21.4.09

FUR WILL FLY

A new airline scheduled to take off in the
US fully expects its passengers to
behave like animals.

On Pet Airways , of Delray Beach, Florida,
all pets travel in the main cabin and
owners are not allowed on board -
not even in the cargo hold.

The airline claims to be the first designed
specifically for the safe and comfortable
transportation of pets.

Company founders Dan Wiesel and Alysa
Binder (above) say they got the idea while
planning holidays with their pet dog.


"Currently, most pets travelling by air are
transported in the cargo hold and are
handled as baggage," said Mr Wiesel.


"The experience is frightening to the pets, and
can cause severe emotional and physical
harm, even death. This is not what most
pet owners want to subject their pets
to, but they have had no other
choice, until now."


The airline has scheduled its first flight
for cats and dogs for 14 July and will serve
five US cities - New York, Washington
DC, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.


Pets - or pawsengers, as the airline calls
them - can be booked in online and are
checked in to a Pet Lounge at the airport.


Pet attendants give the animals a "potty
break" shortly before take-off and then
monitor the animals during the flight.

Owners can follow their travel progress
using an online "pet tracker".


On its website, the airline promises never to
leave a pet alone adding: "A pet attendant
will always be within a cat's meow."


The flights will be made in 19-seat turbo-prop
planes operated by Suburban Air Freight,
which have their seats removed to
make space for the pet carriers.


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