Pets-only airline takes flight
A new airline dedicated exclusively to pets takes off in the United States next week and is reportedly coming to Canada next year.
Pet Airways will offer flights to destinations including Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago and New York starting Tuesday.
Pets travel in their own carriers in the main cabin of a 19-passenger turbo-prop plane, not in the cargo hold as with most airlines.
Owners aren't allowed on board and must fly separately.
Pet Airways is the brainchild of Alissa Binder and her husband, Dan Wiesel, who came up with the idea after they took their aging Jack Russell, Jack, on a cross-country flight. Like other pets, Jack had to fly in cargo.
"We were totally stressed out," Wiesel told ABC News. "We didn't know if she was on the flight, didn't know how she was doing."
The company says pet attendants will care for the animals in a cabin with no seats and no overhead bins and that there are vets on board. To prevent pets from getting sick, there won't be any beverage or snack service.
However, pet attendants will monitor their clients every 15 minutes and provide regular potty breaks, according to the company's website.
One-way fares for Chicago to Los Angeles start at $199 US. Tickets from Los Angeles to New York start at $299 US. Pet Airways also offers an online service for tracking your pet's flight.
Meanwhile, Air Canada announced in June that it would allow dogs and cats in containers to join their owners in executive or economy class, as long as the container fits under the seat.
The service costs $50 each way on domestic and U.S. flights, and $100 for international flights.
Only up to four pets will be allowed in the cabin at any one time out of consideration for passengers who are allergic to animals, the airline said.
WestJet also allows up to four small pets in the passenger cabin, so long as the animals are in crates that fit under the seat.
With files from The Associated Press