OUR BEST FRIENDS

whs-logo

The Sergei Foundation

shelterpet_logo

B-more Dog

aldflogo

Pinups for Pitbulls

philadoptables

TFPF_Logo

Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue

Our Pack, Inc.

Maine Coonhound Rescue

Saving Shelter Pets, Inc.

mabb

LD Logo Color

Tag: fly

Highway Haiku: “Winged Hitchhiker”

“Winged Hitchhiker”

Confused, Mr. Fly?

You came aboard in Carmel

You’re in Barstow now

When dogs fly: More deaths in cargo

The deaths of seven puppies flying in the cargo hold of an American Airlines jet have added to the growing concerns about pets and air 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.

Flight of the bumble bee

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Smooth as it may look — especially when one’s zooming toward your head — the flight of the bumble bee is actually an awkward affair.

In fact, it’s surprising they even get off the ground.

According to a report in the journal “Experiments in Fluids” (in case you didn’t get your copy this month), an Oxford University study observed bumble bees in free flight within a smoke-filled wind tunnel, and found them to be “surprisingly inefficient.”

“Aerodynamically-speaking it’s as if the insect is ‘split in half’ as not only do its left and right wings flap independently but the airflow around them never joins up to help it slip through the air more easily,” the study leader said in a statement.

Most flying insects and birds rely on aerodynamic forces, but, with the bumble bee, it’s a matter of brute force — augmented, researchers say, by their diet of energy-rich nectar.

Pet Airways adds service to Baltimore

 Pet Airways — the animal-only airline we told you about last month — has added Baltimore to the list of cities it will serve.

The flights, which will start in July, will travel to Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago and New York.

Pets will fly in kennel crates in the main cabin of the aircraft, watched over by a flight attendant, and tickets will start at $149 each way.

For a list of the airports served, click here.

(Photos: Petairways.com)

Coffee, tea or Milkbone?

A Florida company has announced plans to start the nation’s first pets-only airline, allowing dogs and cats to travel in the cabin of its commuter planes.

Pet Airways, of Delray Beach, said Thursday it will begin operating weekly flights July 14 between New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

The airline will use commuter planes operated by Suburban Airlines and the average fare will be about $250 each way, said Alysa Binder, founder and executive vice president.

There are tentative plans to expand to Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and other major cities by the end of the year, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The start-up of Pet Airways comes as major commercial airlines have increased their pet travel fees and tightened restrictions to discourage pets flying in cabins. Pets flying Pet Airways will not travel in the cargo hold.

“For us, it’s all about the safety and the comfort of the pets,” Binder said.

Pet Airways “pawsengers” – as Binder calls them – will fly in a 19-seat turbo-prop passenger plane, the Beech 1900. The seats will be removed and planes will be fully-lit and climate-controlled. The airline will have pet check-in lounges and a Web site where customers can book reservations and track their pet’s travel progress.