For those with a private jet, traveling with a pet is no big deal. In addition to not requiring the restrictions and regulations of a commercial airline, a private jet offers increased comfort and familiarity for pets.
Thanks to a new development in the airline industry, pet owners who do not have the luxury of a privately owned jet can charter one for themselves and their furry friends. Although these flights are expensive, they offer amenities that many pet owners just cannot resist.
No Size Requirements
Placing a pet on a commercial airline requires adherence to a strict set of size guidelines. Only smaller animals such as toy dog breeds and cats are allowed in a crate under the owner’s seat, while larger animals, such as big dog breeds, must be stored in the cargo hold of the airplane. Cargo holds are noisy, cold and often dangerous and many pet parents are not willing to place their beloved four-legged friend in such an environment.
Fortunately, private chartered jets do not have the same size restrictions as commercial airlines and often allow the owner and their pet to fly together in side-by-side seats. Cabin flight is much more comfortable and less stressful on pets, as well as presenting fewer risks to their wellbeing.
No Breed Restrictions
Have a Cockapoo you want to take to California? A Pug that wants to go to Pittsburgh? No problem. Private jets offer pet parents a whole world of flexibility when it comes to traveling with their pets. Additionally, since private pet airlines are knowledgeable about in-flight safety measures for a wide variety of breeds, pet parents can rest assured that their furry friend will have everything she needs to arrive safe and sound.
Flying private is supposed to be a luxurious experience and this goes for four-legged passengers, too. Many private jet charter companies provide unbeatable in-flight perks for pets and their owners. Packages may include in-flight massages, gourmet dishes, containers of toys, and even oxygen masks and flotation devices designed specifically for pets.
In addition to being a fun way to involve animals in the in-flight experience, these benefits also go a long way toward helping pets feel more comfortable during the potentially unfamiliar experience of air travel. Some companies even provide poop and pee boxes with real grass, which provide relief for house-trained dogs who are unwilling to urinate "indoors" in the aircraft.
Companies That Provide Private or Charter Flights for People with Pets
Looking for companies that offer this niche service? We found: PetJets.com, MountainAviation.com (operating predominantly in the Rocky Mountains) and SitnStayGlobal.com. All of them seem to have good service records but it is always worth checking up on their individual histories and online ratings. The Pet Jets Travel Club enables you to network with other pet parents, providing the opportunity to share the costs of a chartered flight with your pets if you are traveling along the same route.
It is also important to find out who is running the show. For instance, Carol Martin, who is the Top Dog and CEO of Sit ‘n Stay Global, LLC, developed the first set of standardized Pet Safety Protocols for pets flying in a private jet. Carol is also an instructor in Pet First Aid and CPR for the American Red Cross, which is obviously a very valuable skill set in all situations, not least miles above the ground with a pooch in trouble.
Empty Leg Journeys
Passengers who would like to cut the cost of this pricey endeavor down to rates that sometimes rival commercial airlines can purchase seats on ‘empty legs’ – this is when the jets are being flown from one country or state to another to fetch full-paying clients. This is a great alternative and, if you time it just right, you can save a bundle. Unlike commercial carriers, which hike their fares during peak travelling times such as the school holidays, private jets do not. Most private charter sites will have a forum or a search function where you can keep an eye out for ‘Empty Legs’.
While chartering a private plane is not an option for most pet parents, some are finding that it is a great way to travel safely and comfortably with their favorite four-legged friends.
Photo ©iStock.com/Jodi Jacobson