June 21, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The first flight was made by an American airline… for dogs

Four-legged passengers on the first flight of an American airline for dogs felt as comfortable as possible in the air: they were without collars, comfortably placed on the seats and walked around the cabin.

The first flight of the charter company, in which each passenger is a VIP on four legs and flies accompanied by the owner, took place on May 23. The plane was flying from New York to Los Angeles, tells USA Today.

Launched by dog ​​toy company BARK in partnership with a charter airline, BARK Air offers luxury travel for man's best friend. It transports dogs of all sizes and their owners “in comfort and style,” said CEO Matt Meeker. All 10 tickets for dogs and owners were sold for the first flight. And flights for June are filling up quickly. According to company representatives, the goal was to minimize the suffering of pets during the flight. They call their service “the canine equivalent of first class.”

To understand how pets feel on an airplane, Bark CEO Matt Meeker did an experiment. He spent the 4-hour flight from Florida to New York in a cage in the overhead compartment. The company says:

“Too often dogs are not allowed to travel, confined to a travel bag or forced to endure the stress of flying in the cargo hold.”

The company says it has taken “the white-glove expertise typical of a top-notch human experience and redirected all that pampering to dogs.” Flights are not cheap: $8,000 for an international one-way flight and $6,000 for a domestic flight. The price includes a ticket for the animal and its owner.

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For the first flight, the aircraft cabin was prepared specifically for dogs. The company used special pheromones*, music and colors to help four-legged passengers and their companions relax. Meeker emphasized that the airline caters to dogs for everyone, “trying to reduce their anxiety and stress so they can feel as comfortable and fear-free as possible on the plane.” Dogs are provided with food and water, and there are “even spa treatments that are done outdoors,” Meeker said.

According to the rules, dogs must be on a leash while the aircraft is moving on the surface of the airfield, taking off and landing. The rest of the time they can move freely around the cabin. The company discourages human passengers from clapping when the plane lands because it could disturb the dogs. And soon the company plans to add new flight destinations.

*Pheromones are the collective name for substances—external secretion products secreted by some species of animals and ensuring communication between individuals of the same species.

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