More people are traveling with their pets more than ever before. Car
manufacturers are even paying attention to safety and comfort - for
dogs! Toyota is arguably an industry leader in this regard.
Pets on Valley Air charter flights are given a blanket to
sleep on and treats and toys to enjoy. That's more than people get when flying. Canines flying before Christmas might even received Christmas cookies. All pets are welcome (within reason, I suspect). According to the Trib piece, one client even flew with his fish .Of course, this swanky service doesn't come cheap.
This is not necessarily a matter of rich people pampering pets, it's that everything else is such a pain on standard carriers - particularly traveling with pets. And there's an extra cost associated with it anyway, if they are small enough to fit under the seat in front of you and travel in the cabin. Otherwise they travel in cargo, not always the best idea.
Pets are generally allowed to roam the cabin, except during turbulence, takeoff and landing,
when all passengers are required to wear seat belts or harnesses.
Some have concerns about traveling with pets when they hear news stories, such as, when seven
puppies died on an American Airlines flight at O'Hare International Airport. An investigation found that heat may have been a factor. Winter
is not an optimal time to transport animals by air, either. If the temperature is forecast to be less than 45
degrees, many airlines require a "certificate of acclimation" before
allowing an animal to travel in cargo holds. Twenty degrees is the
minimum temperature that an animal will be accepted on most airlines.
About 2 million animals travel by air annually, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Fewer than 200 animals have died while being transported by air in the
last five years, including 28 this year through October, according to
data reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
But those are only the cases involving pet deaths reported by the
airlines to the government. The count does not include deaths involving
animals shipped by commercial breeders or livestock.
Another idea is Pet Airways, which is just like it sounds - you are not allowed, but your pets are. And all the pets travel in first class. So, you drop your pet off, they are pampered and taken care of on their airplane - but always fly in the cabin, never in cargo. Simultaneously, you fly in your airplane, and pick up the pet when you arrive.