Airlines Cramping Pet Style?Published November 5, 2008
My colleague, Patie Ventre, travels extensively with her dogs Sassy and Dancer. As founder of WCFO, Inc (World Canine Freestyle Organization), her furry dance partners are part of her business. Musical Freestyle in which you dance with your dog to choreographed moves makes both handler and dogs prance with happiness. But economics is taking a bite out of the joyful dance. Patie, dancing with Sassy and Dancer Sassy weighs eight pounds and most typically travels in a carryon that fits under the seat. I recall the cost for this service a year or so ago ran about $50-$100 depending on the carrier and space availability. Larger dogs travel “extra baggage” with the luggage. Folks recall that I’ve blogged about air travel with pets before. However, the cost of flying pets has gone out the roof because--well, because airlines seem to make up decreased income any way they can. Pattie tells me when she booked herself and Sassy on Delta to fly to Cleveland via JFK, her own ticket cost $167. They charged $300 for Sassy in a bag on the floor under a seat. ”I went to book us for the AKC Eukanuba event in Long Beach, CA via Jet Blue,” she added. “It was $229 for me in a seat, $200 for Sassy in a bag on the floor under a seat. I had to opt not to fly Dancer as excess baggage as she costs $400 round trip.” Now I understand that airlines need to make money. But have fuel price increases really necessitated what appears to be price-gouging when it comes to traveling with pets? I’ve traveled on many flights over the years that include animals and must say the carryon cats and dogs rarely are even noticed by other travelers. Yet crying babies or pestering toddlers can make traveling a trial (no offense to parents who have well-behaved kids)--I wonder when airlines will hike fares for kids?! The huge price increases in flying dogs and cats impacts not only pet owners, but also the show people with performance and competition cats and dogs. Fair is fair (or should I say “fare”). Folks are willing to pay for good, reliable and SAFE service to transport pets. But is a 200 percent (or more) increase? What do you think?
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