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Archive for Monday, May 4, 2009

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New airline tries to make skies friendlier for furry travelers

May 4, 2009

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Few tasks are more stressful for a pet owner than having to pack up little Spanky or Fluffy and put them on a plane, knowing the animal is destined to spend the next few hours in a cargo hold.

Dan Wiesel and Alysa Binder faced that a few years ago when they and their Jack Russell terrier, Zoe, moved from San Francisco to Florida. Zoe survived the experience — but it got Wiesel and Binder thinking.

The result: Pet Airways, an airline designed for pets.

It launches July 14, with flights to and from five cities, all at an introductory fee of $149 each way. Beechwood aircraft have been remodeled to hold 50 pet carriers each, and the animals will fly in relative comfort.

“If you own a pet, you get it,” Binder says. “They’re in the main cabin, not cargo. There is always an attendant with them. ... There’s fresh circulated air, like any passenger would have. It’s a whole different service than cargo.”

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