When Your Dog Needs To Fly Alone

Are you planning on putting your pet dog on a major airline flight this summer? Flying the friendly skies can be challenging for us humans and especially so if your dog needs to fly alone.

To help dog owners with their summer travel plans, Petfinder has published its annual review of pet-friendly airlines in the United States – listing the best choices for our furry companions.

Petfinder researched the top commercial U.S. airlines and chose the best in these categories:
* Best Pet-Friendly Amenities: JetBlue. JetBlue’s superior JetPaws program was specifically designed to help pet owners and their pets enjoy a smoother travel experience. The customer-focused airline provides pet-toting travelers with a pet carrier baggage tag, a travel petiquette guide, 300 TrueBlue points each way and a welcome e-mail.
* Best for Budget-Conscious Consumers: AirTran. AirTran tops this category, allowing small domesticated dogs and cats to travel for $69 each way in-cabin.
* Best for Transporting Pet Variety: Frontier Airlines. Of the airlines researched in the 2010 Petfinder.com analysis, Frontier allows the most diverse variety of pets in-cabin, including domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small household birds.
* Best for Animal Health and Safety: JetBlue. If a pet becomes ill mid-flight, JetBlue will ring the cabin crew to see if there is a veterinarian on board who can treat the pet immediately – showing their dedication to the health of our loving pets. Jet Blue’s refusal to permit pet transport in cargo is another important animal safety measure. Evidence supports this policy; from May 2009 to May 2010, the only airlines with zero reported pet deaths were those that required pets to travel in-cabin.

Last year, Petfinder was thrilled to see the first-ever pet airline take off, Pet Airways. Dedicated to four-legged friends, Pet Airways dubs its clientele “pawsengers” and gives pets the opportunity to experience a truly first-class travel experience. Pet Airways touts the following top-notch policies:
* Pawsengers fly in the climate-controlled pressurized main cabin and are checked-on by pet attendants every 15 minutes during flight.
* Pets fly securely and comfortably in individual pet carriers with special fasteners, preventing any accidental movement.
* If a pawsenger falls extremely ill, the plane will be diverted to the nearest airport so that the pet can be treated.

Pet Airways only flies out of a few major airports:
Atlanta / Baltimore-Washington International Airport / Chicago’s Midway Airport
Denver’s Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport / Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport
Hawthorne Municipal Airport/Los Angeles Executive Airport / Republic Airport New York
Omaha’s Eppley Airfield / Phoenix’s Falcon Field

Please let us know if any of you have used the services of Pet Airways and tell us about your overall impression of the airline. Also, if any of you have experienced serious pet problems on any of the major airlines, we’d like you to share that with our other readers. You may end up saving the life of a dearly loved pet.