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Archive for the ‘Airlines’ Category

(Photo by ftzdomino)

 

Here is some interesting news for pet owners who like to travel with their dog, cat, parrot or pot-bellied pig. PetAirways has announced that it is launching an airline catering exclusively to animals. Yes, you read that correctly. No human passengers will be allowed, spots on these jets are reserved for your furry friends.

 

When you arrive at the airport, you will first drop off your pet at a nearby facility.  They will stay in what PetAirways calls the “PAWS Lounge” until take-off time, at which point an attendant will escort them to the plane. No word on whether there is an open bar in said lounge. We’ll just have to hope not.   Lest you imagine a jet filled with frolicking puppies and flight attendants serving up Milkbones, your pet will be in a carrying case during the flight.  However, they will also have attendants monitoring them, making sure they get bathroom breaks and caring for their needs.  The PetAirways website says, “We promise to transport your pet with lots of love, care, safety, and comfort in the main cabin.”  That’s definitely a different experience for your pet than being loaded into cargo.

 

PetAirways is currently operating out of a handful of large cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.  Current rates are $149 one way.  The concept seems to be generating interest and support.  After the initial announcement by PetAirways, their website was deluged with visitors, causing it to be only sporadically accessible.  Best Friends Animal Society was one of several animal groups to endorse the airline. Readers of Zootoo.com, a site devoted to pets, left comments of approval on the site.  Bloggers like Mary Ullmer waxed poetic on possible Pet Airways in-flight movies and which pets get access to first class.  The real question is whether enough pet owners will actually want to use the service.

 

Would I send my pet on PetAirways?  Well, considering that my pet is a 14-year old tortoiseshell cat known for her mood swings and propensity to vomit the instant she is loaded into a car, I’d just prefer to leave her at home.  If I had a larger animal who needed to travel with me and $300 to spare, I’d probably consider it, however.  Any human who loves an animal knows that shipping Fido with cargo is not the most appealing option.

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Virgin America is offering several promotional fares on flights within the U.S. right now.  If you haven’t heard, Virgin America is the new JetBlue.  Seatback televisions, peppy employees, cool factor off the charts… you know the deal.  Everyone wants to be on Virgin America all of a sudden.  As they open up new routes, the airline is offering some pretty great travel deals for those of us located on the west coast.

Virgin America Travel Specials

 

In perhaps their best deal, until the end of May, you can fly from Los Angeles to Boston for $79 each way.  That’s right, about $160 round trip to go coast-to-coast.  Normally, you would pay twice that.  At that price, I may fly out there just to catch a Red Sox game, hit up Mike’s Pastry for some cannoli and then head home.  Totally worth it.

(Photo by PhillipC)

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On a recent Southwest Airlines flight I was reacquainted with the phenomenon of the singing flight attendant.  Have you encountered this?  Since it happened on both my outbound and return flights, I’m assuming this is some sort of standard procedure on Southwest and many other travelers must also have been subjected to it.

 

Picture this: We’re descending into LAX, I’m putting away my headphones and securing my tray table for landing when the speaker crackles to life.  Connecting gate information?  A reminder to stay seated?   Not exactly.  Instead, a flight attendant begins warbling to the tune of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”  “Crazy,” she sings, “Crazy for flying other airlines!”  The song continues, loud and off-key, through several refrains.  Of course, we’ve been told to turn off our electronic devices, so I don’t even have the option of cranking up the volume on something more appealing.  I hear some chuckling around me.  Are other passengers actually finding this amusing?   I’m finding it even less entertaining than all the pre-flight intercom banter, which included the flight attendant and pilot making animal noises and laughing riotously over the speaker.  I was deeply concerned that perhaps they’d spent too long in the Southwest lounge prior to reporting to work.

 

Look, I have a sense of humor.  And I certainly appreciate a flight crew that enjoys their job and wants to make the experience as pleasant as possible for the passengers.  Lord knows those are both rare enough items in this day and age.  The singing has got to stop, though.   The animal impressions, too.  If I wanted to hear people sing badly I’d stop fast-forwarding through American Idol.  So please, Southwest Airlines, keep those prices low and flight attendants cheerful, but put the kibosh on the mile-high karaoke.

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