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Pet travel just got more friendly! American's obsession with their pets has led more airlines to embrace dogs and cats on-board their planes. While most major airlines now allow pets, some airlines are real standouts - offering special pet programs and frequent flier miles for furry travelers and their people.
Continental Airlines' rewards its human travelers when their pets fly. Continental's PetPass program offers members of OnePass, its frequent flier program, one OnePass mile for every dollar spent when transporting a pet using Continental's acclaimed PetSafe service, a special cargo option. Continental's PetSafe program allows pets that previously traveled as checked baggage to experience certain safeguards when they travel as cargo, keeping them safe and their owners reassured.
Highlights of the program include a dedicated 24-hour staffed animal hotline, online tracking of pets' travel, and personal handling of pet travelers in climate-controlled vehicles for connections over Continental's hubs. In addition, Continental operates the only on-airport kennel managed by an airline in the United States at its Houston Bush Intercontinental cargo facility. Open 24/7, this kennel provides 1,100 square feet of space for runs and exercise pens. It also provides the ability to contain separate species in separate rooms. With this facility, Continental also provides grooming, on-site servicing (or day kenneling) and overnight kenneling. This is a great way for pets to be more comfortable while they're making their connection - they can spend their layover time running, sleeping or getting groomed at Continental's special kennel facility! The cost of the PetSafe service varies per pet. In-cabin accommodations are also available for a cost of $125 each way.
JetPaws is JetBlue's exclusive pet program. It provides pet travelers and their humans with tips, tools, and perks to help ensure a smooth trip. Members of JetBlue's frequent flier program, TrueBlue, can earn two TrueBlue points each way when traveling with their pet. JetPaws also offers pet travelers pet etiquette tips, a welcome email with helpful travel tips, and an e-booklet that includes the whats, wheres, whens and hows of jetting with your pet. They also carry a JetPaws pet travel kit and other custom pet travel products. In-cabin pet accommodations only are available at JetBlue. The cost is $100 each way.
Pet Airways is the only airline that only flies pets. That's right, no humans allowed. All pets fly in the main cabin in pet travel crates and are monitored closely by special pet flight attendants. MyPAWS Club is Pet Airways' rewards program. One-way flights are worth 100 points and round-trips are double. You earn a free ticket with 1,000 points. Members of the MyPAWS Club can also accumulate points by purchasing pet supplies from one of Pet Airways sponsors.
Southwest is worth a notable mention as they are the most recent major airline to allow pets on-board. Although they don't offer a frequent flier program for pets, their rates are very pet friendly. In-cabin pet fees are only $75 each way - making Southwest Airlines the low cost winner. Plus, their reputation for excellence in customer service makes them a favorite pet friendly airline option.