Pet Airways — viewed as salvation for those who hoped to avoid their dogs traveling, luggage-like, in cargo holds — has hit some turbulence.
Created in 2009 by a California real estate developer, the airline in recent months has canceled flights, leaving dogs and cats stranded and their owners inconvenienced and angry, the New York Times reported Saturday.
“Dog and cat owners are angry about canceled flights. Travel sites are abuzz with complaints, including customers who claim they have not received refunds for paid-for flights. And the company is burning through cash at a rapid rate.”
Alysa Binder, the co-founder of Pet Airways, acknowledged in an e-mail to theTimes that the airline has had some problems procuring planes from contractors and needed to cancel “some flights during the holidays and into the new year.”
“We are a very new company that is pioneering, just as FedEx pioneered the overnight packaging business,” Binder told the Times. “We have ups and downs, but we are keeping our eyes on the long-term goal of providing a safe and comfortable transportation option for the pets.”
The company, which says it has flown more than 7,000 cats and dogs, is still taking reservations, according to its website.
Pet Airways offers service to nine cities. Flights run from about $100 to more than $1,000 each way, and roughly 40 pets can sit in crates in the main cabin (the airline carries pets only), monitored during the trip by a pet attendant.
The airline was a welcome alternative to the major airlines, some of which ban pets in the cabin entirely. Most typically store animals in the plane’s cargo hold, where temperatures can vary wildly and have contributed to deaths. According to the Department of Transportation, 122 dogs died in cargo holds on U.S. airlines between May 2005 and July 2010.
Records indicate Pet Airways had no flights between Dec. 16 and Jan. 16, and it is unclear if it has had any flights since then, according to the Times.
“We are working toward being in the air as soon as we can be assured that the planes are ready for our use,” Binder said.
In a recent regulatory report, the company said it did “not currently have sufficient cash on hand to meet our financing needs … Our auditors have raised substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, airlines, alysa binder, angry, animals, canceled, cargo holds, cats, complaints, customers, dog friendly, dogs, financial, flights, new york times, news, pet airways, pets, problems, reservations, stranded, travel, traveling with dogs, traveling with pets
Nick Cannon thought it would be a hoot to make his radio co-host think he had sent her dog aloft by tying the tiny pooch to a bunch of helium balloons.
So, using a stuffed animal as a substitute, he pretended to launch Sarah Lee Owensby’s dog, Charlie Roo, into the air
In a video posted on the 92.3NOW website, Cannon explains, “I won a bet with Sarah Lee, and I’m about to play the meanest joke on her ever. This whole time I’ve been acting like I don’t like dogs, but I really love dogs. I’m a dog person… But I’m pretending that I want to float Charlie Roo with balloons!”
Despite all the disclaimers, Cannon received scoldings and threats via Twitter, Facebook and on his voice mail — some from people who didn’t understand it was pretend, some from people who did and didn’t like it, anyway.
Among those finding little humor in the prank was PETA President Ingrid Newkirk: “If bad taste were a crime, we’d be going to jail with Nick, but joking about killing a dog, a kid, an old person — anyone — isn’t cool when there’s always the danger that some numbskull will do it for real.”
“I think I might be getting fired,” Cannon tweeted in reaction to the uproar. ” … boss just told me PETA is on the phone … Radio bit gone seriously wrong … People are acting like I’m Mike Vick. I apologize. Now get over it …”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 92.3, 92.3now, afloat, air, animals, backlash, balloons, charlie roo, dj, dog, floating, helium, ingrid newkirk, joke, launched, nick cannon, peta, pets, prank, radio, sarah lee owensby, sky, stuffed animal, uproar, video
But according to Petfinder.com, Pet Airways is where your dog can expect the best service.
Petfinder released its annual review of pet-friendly airlines this week, outlining the best options for traveling in-cabin with animal companions. (Petfinder advises against shipping your pet in cargo holds.)
Here’s which airlines came out on top in the various categories.
Most Pet-Friendly Overall: Pet Airways. Dedicated to providing a superior travel experience for animal passengers, the first-ever pet-only airline tops the list for this category due to their outstanding policies and first-class treatment of pets.
Best Amenities for Pets (and Pet Parents): JetBlue. For the second year in a row, JetBlue’s superior JetPaws program landed the airline in top place for the pet-friendly amenities category. The airline provides travelers with a pet carrier baggage tag, a travel “petiquette” guide, 300 TrueBlue points each way, and a comprehensive e-booklet with pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and animal hospitals in some of JetBlue’s major cities.
Best for Transporting Pet Variety: Frontier Airlines. Frontier allows the most diverse variety of pets in cabin, including domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small household birds.
Best for Budget-Conscious Consumers: WestJet. Included in Petfinder.com’s review for the first time, WestJet tops this category allowing small dogs, cats, rabbits and birds to travel for $50 each way in-cabin. Coming in a close second, AirTran Airways allows domesticated dogs, cats and birds to fly in cabin for $69 each way.
Best for Flying Multiple Pets in Cabin: Frontier Airlines. Frontier allows up to 10 pet containers on each flight, though only one per human.
Best for Big Furry Friends: Pet Airways. Pet Airways can accommodate some of the biggest pups in town, with the maximum height allowance being 34 inches.
“As the proud parent of a huge pet family, I know how important it is to find a way for your pets to travel safely and comfortably with you, whether across the country or across the state,” said Betsy Banks Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.
“All too often we hear stories of pets dying or getting injured while traveling in a plane’s cargo. We feel strongly at Petfinder.com that you should only travel with your pet in the cabin with you when flying, which is why we continue to review and promote the pet policies of airlines each year.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, animals, dog friendly, dogs, flying, pet airways, pet friendliest, pet friendly, pet friendly airlines, petfinder, pets, review, survey, transportation, travel, traveling with dogs, trransporting
The airline Monday banned the brachycephalic breeds from air travel because of the risks of breathing problems and overheating.
The ban covers pugs, bulldogs and boxers, and several breeds of cats, including Himalayan, Persian and exotic short-hair cats, CNN’s Business 360 blog reports.
Cathay Pacific’s ban follows similar moves by Singapore Airlines and several American carriers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released figures last year showing about half of all in flight deaths in the previous five years were short-snouted breeds, with English bulldogs accounting for nearly a quarter of those deaths.
“The ban is to bring Cathay Pacific into line with industry practice because it has been found that there is quite a bit of danger,” said Thomas Lau, Cathay Pacific’s assistant manager of public affairs.
Hong Kong’s Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) believes that the ban is an over-reaction.
“… There are cases when air travel is unavoidable, especially when owners need to emigrate,” said Rebecca Ngan, communications manager of SPCA Hong Kong. “If owners cannot send them in the cabin they may have to abandon them or put them to sleep.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, american airlines, bans, brachycephalic, breathing, breeds, cathay pacific, cats, dogs, english bulldogs, flat-faced, himalayan, hong kong, overheating, persian, pets, restrictions, short, singapore airlines, snouts, spca, travel, traveling with dogs, traveling with pets
As we reported last summer, short-snouted dogs run a far higher risk of death when it comes to air travel, with bulldogs heading the list of cargo hold fatalities, according to federal government statistics.
Bulldogs, pugs and other snub-nosed breeds for whom its harder to take in oxygen accounted for about half of the purebred dog deaths on airplanes in the past five years, the data showed.
Since then two air lines have stop accepting bulldogs as passengers, most recently Delta, which based on its review of animal incidents last year, has opted to no longer carry American, English and French bulldogs.
Of the 16 pets that died on Delta flights in 2010, six were bulldogs.
Animal advocates are praising the decision, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“We’re pleased that Delta is being attentive and responsive to the particular animal welfare concerns with bulldogs,” said Michael Markarian, chief operating officer of the Humane Society of the United States. Shipping pets in cargo holds “really should only be a last resort, when absolutely necessary,” he said.
Other major carriers have restrictions on bulldogs and some other breeds, or decline to carry any pets in their cargo holds. AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines only accept pets that fit in under-seat carriers. American Airlines stopped carrying snub-nosed dogs and cats last November.
Delta had already restricted a wide range of snub-nosed breeds from flying in hot weather, including pit bulls, pugs and Persian cats.
U.S. Department of Transportation data shows that 122 dogs died on airlines from May 2005 to May 2010. Of those, 25 were English bulldogs and six were French bulldogs.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 8th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air lines, air travel, airlines, american bulldogs, animals, bans, breeds, bulldogs, cargo, cargo hold, deaths, delta, dogs, english bulldogs, flying, french bulldogs, health, pets, pugs, restrictions, safety, short, snout, snub-nosed, travel
A shipper last week checked 14 puppies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a flight to Chicago, according to SmartTravel.com. Despite the airline’s policy against carrying pets when outside temperatures are expected to exceed 85 degrees, the puppies were in the cargo hold as temperatures on the tarmac rose to 87 degrees by the time the delayed flight departed.
When the flight arrived in Chicago, the puppies were lethargic and in visible distress. They were taken to a vet’s office, but five died initially and two others died later, according to the Associated Press.
The airline declined to identify the shipper, or the breed of the puppies. Animals traveling as cargo on American must be at least eight weeks old, and the airline doesn’t allow dogs or cats that have been sedated.
An airline spokesperson said cargo holds carrying animals are routinely kept between 50 and 70 degrees.
But experts — and statistics – say we shouldn’t count on that.
The deaths come a month after the U.S. Department of Transportation warned that short-snouted dogs such as pugs and bulldogs accounted for about half of the 122 dogs that died during U.S. flights in the last five years.
Add in the tales of dogs getting lost at airports and the best advice is to, whenever possible, avoid shipping a pet as air cargo. There are other alternatives — from using Pet Airways, where pets ride in crates in the cabin, to driving, as Ed Perkins of SmartTravel.com notes in a recent column.
The ASPCA recommends that owners avoid shipping pets in the cargo hold, and offers these tips for those who can’t.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 14th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airlines, american, american airlines, animals, cargo, cargo hold, chicago, deaths, died, dogs, fly, flying, heat, pets, puppies, pups, short, snouts, temperatures, transportation, travel, warning
Bulldogs, pugs, and other short-of-snout breeds accounted for about half of the purebred dog deaths on airplanes in the past five years, the data shows.
Overall, 122 dog deaths — 108 of them purebreds — were reported between May 2005, when U.S. airlines were required to start disclosing them, and May 2010, the Transportation Department says.
All the dogs died while being shipped as cargo, as opposed to flying in the cabin.
English bulldogs accounted for the highest number, with 25 deaths. Second highest were pugs, 11 of which died. Seven golden retrievers, six French bulldogs and four American Staffordshire terriers died while flying as cargo in that period. And boxers, cockapoos, Pekingese and Pomeranians accounted for two deaths each.
You can see the full list here.
The Department of Transportation says dog owners should consult with veterinarians before putting their dogs on planes. It believes that the deaths represent a tiny percentage of the pets shipped on airlines.
Short-nose breeds — known as “brachycephalic” — in addition to being less tolerant of heat, have a skull formation that affects their airways, Dan Bandy, chairman of the Bulldog Club of America’s health committee, told the Associated Press.
“The way all dogs cool themselves is basically through respiration, either just panting or the action of breathing in or out, is a method of heat exchange for them,” Bandy said. “A dog that has a long snout or a long muzzle has more surface area within its nasal cavity for that heat exchange to take place. So breeds like labradors or collies or those types of dogs with the long muzzles have a more efficient cooling system.”
Bandy said that in addition to trying to cool themselves, dogs may also pant excessively in the cargo hold because of stress or excitement. But he believes dogs shouldn’t be given tranquilizers before flying because that makes them less able to manage their own cooling process. In addition, airlines generally do not want pets tranquilized, he added.
In all, 144 pet deaths were reported by airlines over the past five years, along with 55 injuries and 33 lost pets.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, air travel, airline, animals, boxers, bulldogs, cargo, deaths, dog, dogs, federal, flight, flights, flying, government, health, length, news, nose, pekingese, pets, pugs, purebred, risk, safety, short, snout, transportation, travel
Due to the allergy risks they pose, pets should be banned from airline passenger cabins, some Canadian doctors say.
In an editorial in The Canadian Medical Association Journal, the physicians called for restricting pets from airplane passenger cabins, warning that exposure to animals can lead to discomfort, asthma attacks or even life-threatening reactions in some.
The editorial was in response to Air Canada’s decision last summer to start allowing small pets, including cats, dogs and birds, to travel in the passenger cabin, the New York Times reports.
One in 10 people have allergies to animals, and for some, exposure to dogs and cats can set off an asthma attack or a life-threatening reaction like anaphylaxis, said Dr. Matthew B. Stanbrook, the journal’s deputy scientific editor and an asthma specialist.
“Pets can be accommodated comfortably and safely in airplane cargo holds, which is where they belong,” the doctors wrote.
I know all the airlines say that, but, in addition to the cases in which that has proved not to be the case, I have one more reason to doubt it: If it were true, I’m sure they would be squeezing us human passengers in there as well.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, airlines, allergies, allergy, animals, cabin, canada, canadian, canadian medical association, cargo, cats, doctors, dogs, editorial, journal, passengers, pets, risk, travel
Here’s one way to reduce the number of birds at airports, and cut down on accidents like the forced Hudson River landing of US Airways jet last week.
Her name is Sky.
Sky (click the link above for the video) is a 1-year-old border collie about four months into her job shooing birds away from Southwest Florida International Airport.
“She’s not aggressive at all, but to the birds, she looks like a predator — a wolf or a coyote,” said James Hess, airport operations agent and Sky’s handler. Big birds or flocks of birds, in addition to getting sucked into jet engines, can disable wing tips, dent the fuselage and break windshields.
Southwest Florida International is among about 20 airports nationwide using dogs for some form of wildlife control, according to Rebecca Ryan, owner of Flyaway Farm and Kennels in North Carolina, which has supplied dogs to both military and commercial airfields.
Southwest Florida International was among the first U.S. commercial airports to employ a bird dog, beginning in 1999, according to airport director Bob Ball. Sky is the third generation of her breed to patrol the airport southeast of Fort Myers.
According to USA Today, Charleston (S.C.) International and Canada’s Vancouver International also use dogs for wildlife control.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accident, accidents, air, air safety, airports, birds, border collies, control, crash, damage, dogs, engines, flocks, fowl, geese, hazard, hudson river, prevention, safety, sky, us airways, wildlife
For the first time in more than 40 years, the BBC will not televise Britain’s biggest dog show.
BBC officials said Friday that the network had suspended coverage of the 2009 Crufts show “pending further investigations into the health and well-being of pedigree dogs in the U.K.”
Crufts organizers accused the BBC of making “unreasonable demands” that it exclude certain breeds of dog from the show.
The Kennel Club, the show’s organizer, and the BBC have been at odds since September when the BBC aired a documentary claiming decades of inbreeding had led to serious health problems in some pedigree dogs.
The show will take place as scheduled in March, but, because Crufts organizers would not comply with the BBC’s request for particular breeds to be excluded from the show, it won’t be shown on BBC.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: air, bbc, breeding, britain, broadcast, congenital, crufts, defects, dispute, documentary, dog show, drops, england, health problems, pedigree, pedigree dogs exposed, purebreds, refuses, televise