Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My pets are not packages.

By TravelGirl --

Pets on Airlines. Love it. A Pets-Only Airline. Even better.

Southwest Airlines announced this week that they will start allowing pets on their aircraft. Well, woop – tee – doo! It’s about time! This isn’t new in the travel world. It’s just new for Southwest. I really don’t understand some of the rage from current Southwest customers about this. Other airlines, except Frontier, allow this and they’ve reported very few negative incidents. In fact, just like a screaming child, a pet can be moved to another seat (or UNDER another seat, rather) where they won’t bother someone who may be allergic. Yes, I wrote that correctly. Some people are allergic to children simply because of their distaste for the small humans. And, some people are obviously allergic to pet dander. My point is that you can’t please everyone but there are measures in place to make sure passengers will be kept safe.

The fact that Southwest is finally acknowledging that pets are family members is one step closer to improving how we treat animals. How would you feel if you were placed in cargo hold? I mean, really! Why is it ok to do that to a dog or cat? Is it because they are an inferior species to humans? Is that what we think as a society? Sad. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States recommends we do not transport our furry friends in cargo hold…ever! Many deaths have resulted from extremely high or low temperatures, and “pet parents” have found their animals dead on arrival to their destination. If they survive the flight in cargo, they are subjected to conditions where their kennels are unstable and can jiggle and move about during the flight. How would you like your beloved dog to fly in the dark, without you, in extreme temperatures, being tossed about? I can’t even imagine.

Then there is the new airline – Pet Airways – where you can send your fluffy babies in a first class environment – a pre-boarding pet lounge, a potty break, flight attendant service during the flight, and a post-flight pet lounge where you get to pick up your furry kids upon their arrival. No, pet parents -- you can’t come along. The only downside that I see for this service is that it’s only offered in a limited number of cities – New York, Washington D.C., L.A., Denver, and Chicago – and airfare starts at $149 each way.

Perhaps if we can evolve the way we think about and treat animals, we will see that our companions deserve better. We’ll get more in return as a result. Who doesn’t need more unconditional love?

I am dedicating this blog post to my dear sweet Charlie. Charlie was my kitty for the last 16 years, and we made the tough decision to let him go this past Saturday due to a severe illness that he couldn’t beat. He was a beloved housecat, and will be missed by all of us.

Charlie Jacobs – 1992 - 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment