As millions of Americans cram into coach for holiday travel, some four-legged passengers will fly on luxury private jets.
A rebound in U.S. business-aircraft trips this year means more dogs and cats are taking wing too. In addition to the perks of on-demand flights and plenty of legroom, being able to bring furry companions onboard can justify the price of a ticket, which doesn’t come cheap.
A flight on Jet Edge International costs $67,000 on average, and the company also charges a $2,000 refundable pet deposit in case of accidents on board. The average net worth of the company’s customers is $1 billion, according to Chief Executive Officer Bill Papariella.
Letting animals tag along is “one of the main reasons why people will fly private,” Papariella said in an interview. “They don’t want to go to Aspen or their holiday or to their second home without their pets being on board.”
For those with means, a charter flight or a jet with fractional ownership is an attractive alternative to airlines’ limits on carry-on kennels or the risks of sending a crated pet in the hold. It’s a niche market that can include handmade dog snacks — a $1,000 Kobe beef snack or rice pilaf with salmon — special attendants and even solo flights without an animal’s owner.