Monday, July 27, 2009
Sometimes I wonder what the world is coming to. Imagine, an airline just for pets. My, My, My.
I know there lots of people who travel all over the world to dog and cat shows to show their animals, and these animals mostly ride in the cargo hold. I know there are some people whose little pet is small enough to ride under the seat in a regular airplane. And I also know some horror stories of dogs and cats riding in cargo and something going awry. But I guess I am just surprised that there is enough interest in flying pets around the country in the cabin of an airplane to be able to start up and sustain an airline with only pets as “pawsengers.”
If you look at this company’s website - http://petairways.com - you will find everything you ever wanted to know about how a traveling pooch or puss will get from here to there. At moment, there are flights going in and out of only five major cities: New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. The company actually operates 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 too are flying. And since a plane leaving LA with a “pawsenger” headed to New York makes a stop in Chicago, where the pets will have a bathroom break, play time, dinner and a good nights sleep, and I suppose pick up new “pawsengers” going to New York from Chicago, the flight will turn into close to a 24 hour trip. So the owners have to weigh some issues before they make a choice of how to get their little friend from point A to point B. If keeping them out of the cargo hold is one’s priority, then 24 hours en route is not going to be a deal breaker.
In reading carefully what is written on the company’s internet website, the plan really sounds like a wonderful step up from a cargo hold. It’s definitely first class service. And when you get down to it, the costs aren’t all that bad either.
When we came home from Istanbul bringing our two adoptees – Tigger and Cipsi – they travelled from Istanbul to Amsterdam in the cargo hold on a Turkish Airlines plane. And then two months later they traveled from Amsterdam to Los Angeles the same way on KLM Dutch Airlines. This was before I heard of all the calamities that can befall animals in the cargo hold. But even so, if my option had been to leave them behind or put them in the cargo hold, I was willing to take my chances. They arrived in LA happy as clams, none the worse for wear, and no psychological damage that we could see!
I will probably never have a choice whether to fly our little Squeaky the same way. I do believe that since she simply squeaks instead of meows, and because she is so little (a 10 pounder), she might do well under a seat on a regular plane, though I would probably worry myself sick about whether or not she is going to make a pest of herself with her squeaking. But that would be my method of choice if I were going on a trip where I needed to take her with me.
I wish this new airline well. I think there are many more people than I am aware of who would utilize this service, and the owners have seemed to think of everything. I’m going to keep my eyes open to follow the progress of this most interesting endeavor – a Pet Airlines, of all things!