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Re: Pet airline

that's great!   Cargo holds indeed, harumpf...

On 7/20/09, TeichFauna@aol.com <TeichFauna@aol.com> wrote:
> Thought you all might find this interesting......
> Noreen
> Paws up: All-pet airline hits skies
> By SAMANTHA  BOMKAMP, AP Transportation Writer
> July 14. 2009
> NEW YORK b   One trip for their Jack Russell terrier in a plane's cargo
> hold
> was enough  to convince Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel that owners needed a
> better option  to get their pets from one city to another.
> On Tuesday, the  first flight for the husband-and-On Tuesday, the  first
> flight for the husband-and-<WBR>wife team's Pet Airways, the  first-ever
> all-pet airlin
> All commercial airlines allow a limited number of small  pets to fly in the
> cabin. Others must travel as checked bags or in the cargo  hold b  a dark
> and sometimes dangerous place where temperatures can vary  wildly.
> Binder and Wiesel used their consulting backgrounds and  business savvy to
> start Pet Airways in 2005. The last four years have been  spent designing
> their fleet of five planes according to new four-legged  requirements,
> dealing
> with FAA regulations and setting up airport  schedules.
> The two say they're overwhelmed with the response.  Flights on Pet Airways
> are already booked up for the next two  months.
> Pet Airways will fly a pet between five major cities b   New York,
> Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. The $250 one-way  fare is
> comparable to
> pet fees at the largest U.S.  airlines.
> For owners the big difference is service. Dogs and  cats will fly in the
> main cabin of a Suburban Air Freight plane, retooled  and lined with
> carriers
> in place of seats. Pets (about 50 on each flight)  will be escorted to the
> plane by attendants that will check on the animals  every 15 minutes during
> flight. The pets are also given pre-boarding walks  and bathroom breaks.
> And
> at each of the five airports it serves, the company  has created a "Pet
> Lounge" for future fliers to wait and sniff before  flights.
> The company will operate out of smaller, regional  airports in the five
> launch cities, which will mean an extra trip for most  owners dropping off
> their pets if they are flying too. Stops in cities along  the way means the
> pets
> will take longer to reach a destination than their  owners.
> A trip from New York to Los Angeles, for example, will  take about 24
> hours. On that route, pets will stop in Chicago, have a  bathroom break,
> play
> time, dinner, and bunk for the night before finishing  the trip the next
> day.
> Amanda Hickey of Portland, Ore. is one  of the new airline's first
> customers. Her seven-year-old terrier-pinscher  mix Mardi and 2-year-old
> puggle
> Penny are taking their first flight  soon.
> Hickey said the service was a welcome alternative to  flying her dogs in
> cargo when she transplants them from her soon-to-be  Denver home to Chicago
> to
> stay while she and her fiance travel to Aruba to  get married.
> "For a little bit more money, I have peace of  mind," she said.
> It was a stressful experience in a cargo hold  that spurred Binder and
> Wiesel to start their airline. Their Jack
> Russell terrier, Zoe, flew once in cargo and Binder said they worried
> about how the dog was doing, but were unable to check on her or get
> information. The couple soon started looking for a better  solution.
> "One time in cargo was enough for us," Binder said,  walking through an
> airplane hangar as Zoe trotted in front of her. "We  wanted to do something
> better."
> The company, which will begin  with one flight in each of its five cities,
> is looking to add more flights  and cities soon. In the next three years,
> Binder hopes to fly to 25  locations.
> Among the big U.S. carriers that offer pet services,  AirTran, Spirit,
> Southwest and JetBlue only allow pets to fly in the cabin.  Most U.S.
> airlines
> charge between $100 and $125, but Delta and Northwest  charge $150 for
> cabin
> trips. AirTran is the cheapest among big carriers at  $69.
> The charge is more to fly in the cargo or check-baggage  holds. Delta and
> Northwest are the most expensive at $275. Alaska Airlines  and Midwest
> charge
> the least, at $100. Frontier prices its checked pets fees  between $100 and
> $200 and only takes pets as checked baggage.
> Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.Anne Banas, executive editor
> of SmarterTravel.<WBR>com, questions the  v
> "I'm not  sure how sustainable it is," she said. "But if people are trying
> to go for a  first-class service, it could make sense."
> She said the  service's popularity could spike in peak summer or winter
> months when  airlines in some areas don't allow pets to travel.
> Betsy  Saul, co-founder of Petfinder.com, which has ranked the
> pet-friendliness of  airlines for three years, said she's excited about the
> expected
> impact Pet  Airways will have on pet travel across major airlines.
> "The  entire industry will stretch because of Pet Airways," she said. "It's
> a  challenge that says 'let's make this (experience) better for pets.'"
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Pam Evans
Kemp TX
zone 8A

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