Pet AirWays: Travel Safety for Dogs, Cats, And Hermit Crabs

by Mary Haight on June 18, 2011

HAWTHORNE, CA - JULY 16:  Signage is seen on t...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Pet Airways has turned pet air travel on its head over the past few years – no more worrying about too cold or too hot cargo areas, or too long wait periods on the tarmac. Instead, our precious, dogs, cats and other furry and non-furry( but not human) family members can be transported in the comfort of the passenger section thanks to Pet Airways. Edie Jarolim interviewed Aly Tognotti who has been a representative with the company since it launched in 2008. 

Pet AirWays In Brief

Incorporated in 2005 by husband and wife team Alysa Binder and Dan Weisel, Pet Airways launched it’s maiden flight in July 2009 and have grown their business and the number of cities they serve from 5 to 14. With room for 50 “pawsengers” in the twin engine Beechcrafts, flights cater to the comfort of the clientele. Propeller craft travel at slower speeds and altitudes and that is a comfort factor for animals. 

Pet Airways Procedures

Each pet has a medical and behavior profile taken so that attendants understand the needs of each animal and what special measures may be required before during and after the flight.  After the medical and temperament history is taken, you’ll need a health certificate from your vet.  The airline asks that you arrive two hours prior to your flight to ensure that pets can be settled before it’s time for takeoff.  Staff  observes the pet to make sure s/he looks well and is responsive.  Pet Airways does not allow pets to be tranquilized and considers it a dangerous practice.

Pets have a chance for a last minute potty break, and once on the plane, a flight attendant checks the passengers every 15 minutes to make sure everyone is comfortable and well.

Pet Airways Logistics

One thing most people don’t realize is that Pet Airways fly from small airports stationed outside cities main airports. This means added travel time, so it’s not as simple as landing and going to pick up your dog in the next terminal.  And if you are flying from New York to LA, that trip will take 24 hours for your pet with a layover for the night in one of Pet Airways centers. 

Your pet is not put in a kennel in a strange place and  left alone.  A staff member sleeps with the pets to help them feel more at ease, if not at home, during an overnight layover . So while flying with Pet Airways does have a convenience issue, you tend to agree with the airline position that a less bustling small airport will keep most pets from getting over-anxious. And with an “always-there” attendant on hand, you don’t worry so much about your pet when your flight has been delayed.

For more interesting facts, listen to the interview at Animal Cafe and get the scoop (no pun intended) from Edie Jarolim on Pet Airways making air travel safe for our pets .


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