Despite the ongoing worldwide recession, luxury products and services continue to pop up in some way, shape or form. There are, apparently, plenty of folks still moneyed enough to keep that market segment going. The luxury, of course, often go beyond just the rich folks, with the conveniences extending to their beloved pets as well.
The latest in animal-pampering excesses is Pet Airways, the world's first pets-only airline. While it sounds more like a deleted scene from Beverly Hills Chihuahua than an actual real-world offering, the company really does provide first-class travel experiences exclusively for animals.
Discouraged by the transport options available for animals during flights (either sedating them or leaving them in cargo), founding partners Dan and Alysa Binder started the company as a service to pet-lovers everywhere. All pets are afforded utmost care during each trip (including scheduled potty breaks) and will be housed in comfortable carriers inside climate-controlled cabins.
Pet Airways currently has a fleet of 20 planes (including 747s), plying routes to and from Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, Denver and Los Angeles. The pets will have their own lounge check-in areas (which I suspect will be noisy) and will be supervised by flight attendants (all of whom happen to be human, by the way) to look after their needs, checking in every fifteen minutes. Tickets start at $149.
In the meantime, it looks like the offering is strictly limited to dogs and cats. Hopefully, they'll find it in their hearts to have space in the future for my pet elephants too.