Pet Airways has been named the most pet-friendly airline in North America by Petfinder.com, an organization that provides an online database of animals who need homes.
In its annual review, Petfinder considered Pet Airways, which transports animals-only in the main cabin of its twin turbo-prop planes, to be the most pet-friendly airline over all, as well as the best for large animals.
Kim Saunders, the vice president of shelter outreach for Petfinder.com, said Pet Airways’ ability to fly animals, even large ones, in the main cabin helped push it to the top of the list.
Alysa Binder, who founded Pet Airways along with her husband, Dan Wiesel, said another benefit of flying her airline was that “pawsengers,” as clients are called, are fed, given water and have play time any time the flight makes a stop.
Petfinder also praised three passenger airlines with pet-friendly in-cabin policies. JetBlue’s JetPaws program, which provides a pet carrier and other helpful accessories, won the award for best amenities. Frontier Airlines was lauded for the variety of animals it will transport, including guinea pigs and hamsters. Frontier also won for allowing the most pet containers in cabin per flight. WestJet, a Canadian company, was named the most budget conscious, with $50 one-way tickets for dogs, cats, rabbits and birds.
Petfinder’s determinations were based on each airline’s official pet policies, as well as the amount of animals that were injured, lost or died while in transit with each company, according to the United States Department of Transportation’s monthly Air Traffic Consumer Reports for May 2010 through May 2011.