On Apr. 11, BARK published a press release empathizing with the challenges dog parents face while traveling long distances. Instead of placing dogs in cargo or under seats, the company partnered with a jet charter company to offer a solution: BARK Air.

Matt Meeker, BARK chief executive and co-founder, explained to The Washington Post what happens before, during and after the flight:

  1. In the terminal, owners of dogs will receive a meal. Dogs will also have the chance to meet the other dogs.
  2. Onboard, pets’ leashes can come off if they behave. There are more private spots on the plane for owners and dogs if needed.
  3. A “Doggie Champagne” (chicken broth), dog doughnuts and meat snacks will be served to the dogs on the flight.
  4. The flight crew, trained in veterinary care, will check up with passengers during the flight.
  5. At the end of the flight, dogs will receive a pilot wings pin for collars and harnesses.

BARK Air will begin offering flights on May 23. Routes will be between the Westchester Country Airport in New York, the Van Nuys airport in Los Angeles, California, and the Stansted Airport in London, England, according to the press release.

According to The Washington Post, cross-country flights will cost $6,000 and transatlantic flights will be $8,000 for one dog and owner.

Visit DogsFlyFirst.com to book a flight.

Why do some airlines not allow pets in the cabin?

The Federal Aviation Administration allows airlines to decide the allowance or regulations of pets onboard.

Airlines might not allow pets in-cabin due to allergies, not being trained, destination rules or if the chances of traumatizing an animal are high, per USA Today.

When animals are allowed, some airlines care about dimensions of carriers, breeds of animals and the weight of animals. If they don’t fit into specific regulations, the pet will not be allowed in cabin, according to The New York Times.

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires airlines to recognize and transport service animals for free as long as they meet safety and document conditions.

Is it safe to bring pets on flights?

According to The Humane Society of the United States, while pets can be safe on flights, there are some dangers associated with travel for pets. Therefore, it is best to consider:

  • Visiting a vet to answer questions or get vaccinations.
  • Research your destination and how it may affect your pet.
  • Flying in the pet in-cabin, as flying in cargo areas, have resulted in death, though pets tend to be fine.

If BARK Air is not an option, NerdWallet ranked pet-friendly U.S. airlines in 2024 from best to worst noting average pet fees, airline safety records and where pets are placed: cargo, a bag or in cabin.

  1. Alaska Airlines.
  2. Frontier Airlines.
  3. Delta Air Lines.
  4. Southwest Airlines.
  5. Spirit Airlines.
  6. American Airlines.
  7. Hawaiian Airlines (combined with Alaskan Airlines but still operating under the Hawaiian brand).
  8. JetBlue Airways.
  9. United Airlines.
Traveling with pets: What to know beforehand