My mom loves to travel and her dog, Molly, is like an American Express card. She wouldn’t consider leaving home without her. Luckily, she does most of her traveling on the road, driving to her destinations. That’s good because in South Florida, it’s often too hot for her to be able to bring her dog on a flight. Molly is too big to ride coach on the plane, in a carrier under the seat in front of her. That would normally mean she would go in her carrier into a different section of the plane, but the airlines have a summer heat embargo. When the temperature on the tarmac goes above a certain degree, it’s no longer safe for the animals to ride in other sections of the plane. That means those pets are essentially grounded from flying into and out of certain locations because of their climate. That’s heartbreaking for people like my mom, who considers her pet part of the family and doesn’t want to leave the animal at home with a pet sitter or at a doggie daycare.
But now, pet owners have a new option: Pet Airways. Launching this week, Pet Airways is essentially a kennel in the sky. It’s designed especially for pets. Pet owners can pay for flights for their animals to ride in the section of the plane where people normally sit, only on these flights, the only people you’ll see are the pilots and flight attendants. At this point, Pet Airways will fly to five cities: Washington DC/Baltimore, New York (NJ, CT and Philly), Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. It’s an interesting concept and Pet Airways is not the first to try it. However, Pet Airways is the newest, and the concept is attractive to pet owners looking for options. The flights start at $150 each way, so it may be a bit pricey for some, but for pet owners who otherwise would have to drive, it could be worth every penny. Meantime, Molly and my mom will still be taking to the road for their travels, since South Florida isn’t on Pet Airways’ list of destinations quite yet.