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[Originally posted 7/15/2009]

Our pet dog Scooter was all excited yesterday about the inaugural flights of Pet Airways. Even though the service only has five initial destination cities, he anticipates rapid expansion as his buddies come onboard. This service that includes such amenities as a Pet Lounge (where you wait for your flight), pre-boarding walks and bathroom breaks is a definite upgrade over adjusting to dark conditions and severe temperature fluctuations in the cargo hold. Now dogs can concern themselves with some of the other quality of service agenda items that torment the rest of us:

  • Quality of food service (Scooter would be pleased with anything different from his boring everyday diet — although dog nature being what it is, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear everyone complaining about the food a month down the road no matter how good it is.)

  • Seat companions — it makes a huge difference in your in-flight experience whether you are slotted next to some overly chatty dog or one that is content to sleep away the flight

  • limits on carry-on luggage — Scooter would hate to have leave behind some of his favorite toys

  • Scheduling issues — one can only hope that the dogs will not have too spend too much time qued up on the tarmac because higher priority flights bump them off the schedule — I mean if only one more flight can get out before the storm hits… are we going to let a bunch of overpaid businessmen reach their destination or assure that the dogs won’t be inconvenienced?

Scooter is hoping to sign on as a “Secret Flyer” so that he can travel for free and evaluate the quality of the services. In these tough economic times, he figures that is his best shot at getting a trip. He has enjoyed the testimonials of some pet owners who claim that their valued animals are receiving better treatment than they typically get from airlines.