New airline designed for dog travel adding flight destinations

Dog on plane

“Yeah I’ll be king, when dogs get wings,” Tom Petty sang 30 years ago. Canines may not have wings, but they will be able to fly on airplanes tailored to their needs.

BARK Air, which debuted on May 23 out of Westchester County Airport in New York, is a Fido-friendly airline that has also included flights out of the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and London, Forbes reported.

The company announced five new routes to other metro areas -- domestically and internationally -- according to WMAQ-TV. The new destinations going to the dogs include Midway in Chicago, and metro airports in San Francisco/San Jose, Phoenix, Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Paris, according to the television station.

Flights for the new routes became available for booking on June 12, with routes becoming operational in October, WMAQ reported.

BARK Air’s maiden voyage was sold out and departed New York for Los Angeles on May 23, according to WBBM-TV. One-way tickets cost $6,000 for one dog plus a human from Los Angeles to Chicago, the television station reported. A cross country flight from New York to Los Angeles costs $6,500 one way.

“There were a mix of breeds onboard including chihuahuas, a golden retriever and dachshunds,” Katharine Enos, BARK’s chief of staff, told Fox Business. “Happy to report there was no dog drama, some dogs played in the aisle while the smaller dogs took nice long naps. All dogs snacked on BARK cereal treats for dogs, dog-friendly cupcakes, chicken-flavored puppuccinos and doggie champagne (chicken broth). The humans onboard all got along as well and felt connected in their shared obsession with their dogs.”

Flights are not sold to full capacity, giving dogs and humans enough space, KRON-TV reported. No crates are needed on BARK Air, according to the television station.

BARK Air, which debuted out of New York’s Westchester County Airport, was sued by Westchester County on May 30 for allegedly violating county law, Fox Business reported. The airport claimed that Bark Air uses a Gulfstream Aerospace GV jet that can seat 14 passengers; the airport’s rules state that only jets with nine passenger seats or fewer could fly out of the airport.

The lawsuit’s bark apparently had no bite. It was settled on June 10.

Any size or breed of dog can fly on BARK Air, Forbes reported. All animals must have up-to-date vaccination records and must be leashed when the aircraft takes off, lands or experiences any “ruff” turbulence.

All human passengers must be at least 18 years old, according to the website.

“The interest and enthusiasm around BARK Air to date have been overwhelming,” Matt Meeker, co-founder and chief executive officer of the company, said in a statement, according to WMAQ. “We are excited to expand BARK Air’s service to new cities and through new routes, accommodating customer demand and bringing our unique, stress-free dog-centric travel experience to even more families.”

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