Covering all aspects of life with dog companions. We'll cover traveling, rate dog friendly hotels, test and rate products and talk about the ways dogs enrich our lives every day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flying With Your Dog

I've noticed that some airlines started allowing small pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, but they are still treated like luggage restrained in a "carrier" and shoved under the seat.  I'd like an airline to allow me to take my dogs on the plane and let them sit in a seat with their Ruff rider seat belts on, just like when they ride in a car.  

Let me pay for a seat so my dog of any size can ride with me on the plane.  Most people I know, who travel with their dogs, have dogs who behave better than most children I've encountered on planes.

Over the years there have been companies that have tried to start airlines that cater exclusively to transporting dogs, but not allowing people on the flight.  Really that isn't any better than making them ride as luggage.  If I can't ride with my dog then it isn't going to work for me.  Perhaps, if there was an airline that catered to pet owners by allowing us to have our pets sit in the seat next to us then it would work for everyone.

Now, you can travel with your pet in exactly the way I described by using a chartered plane like Marquis Jet but the costs are just too much for most of us to afford.  In a chartered plane your dog can ride in the seat next to you and be treated like part of the family instead of a piece of luggage. 

Recently I've come across Dr.  Peter Dobias and his Flying Dog Club.  Dr. Dobias is trying to unite a network of people like us, who want to fly with their dogs, in order to create a worldwide network who want to make it easier for people to travel with their animals.  His idea is to create charter flight programs where our pets can fly in the passenger cabin with us.

Some of the major airlines are on the right track with allowing small pets to fly but I think they need to start looking at pets as small, furry children and let them sit in a seat.  I know that I'd be willing to pay for a seat for my dog if she would be allowed to sit next to me. 

Maybe the answer is for major airlines to designate certain flights as pet flights so anyone who doesn't want to fly with animals can choose a different flight.   

I'm just not comfortable shoving my dogs into confining bags and putting them under an airplane seat.  To me, it's like asking a mother to put their infant into a bag and shoving it under the seat!  How do you think that would go over?  Should any living thing be treated like luggage?  No!

Nowadays, more and more people have a strong bond with their companion animals and for some their pet is their only family.  Shouldn't we all be allowed to enjoy traveling with our pets?  In recent years hotels have stepped up and started welcoming pets.  Now it's time for the airlines to do the same and give pet owners a better way to travel to all these wonderful hotels.               

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