Pets have always accompanied their owners in travel...options are changing today. In the olden days of air travel, the only way to bring a pet along with you was to put him in a container and wish him luck in the plane’s cargo hold. As opinions have changed about the value of pets, however, more and more passengers are looking for ways to keep their pet safe and comfortable during the flight -- up to and including purchasing a first-class seat just for him. It’s not just private flights on which dogs are traveling first class. JetBlue offers a special program it calls JetPaws, which encourages pet owners to bring their pets aboard (for a healthy fee, of course). And while this has for the most part been a good thing, the increasing number of pets has caused issues with passengers and pilots alike. Free-roaming dogs are naturally hazardous to those with allergies, and incidents like this woman being kicked off a US Air flight due to her unruly 50-lb. pig are becoming commonalities instead of strange stories.
RJ, an Aussie LabraDoodle, gets pampered in flight on his private jet. Click to see > video episode on "Posh Pets: Lifestyles of the Rich and Furry” Still, many airline companies are actively seeking pet owners as customers, touting their pet-friendly options. And clients are paying massive sums of money to ensure their animals get the executive treatment. Here’s an example from Carol Martin of Sit ‘n Stay Global: “When [a customer] learned that I love to go on walking tours of different cities, he began insisting that I take his dog on the walking tour of every famous city we traveled to. He wants his dog to experience all of the cultural and historical highlights of every famous city. We take pictures and send them back to him as he works and he takes great pride in all that his dog has experienced worldwide.” As the bond between man and dog continues to evolve, expect to see plenty more pups on flights moving forward.