Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Bark Air, a New Airline Specifically For Dogs Takes First Flight

BARK Air, a luxury airline for dogs, officially launched earlier this week.

A joint venture between dog toy company BARK and Talon Air, a New York-based jet charter service, BARK Air allows dog owners to travel with their furry friends ‘in comfort and its style’.

BARK AIR’s first flight, traveling from New York to Los Angeles, took off on May 23. The flight carried six canines of varying breeds from a Golden Retriever to small Chihuahuas, and 11 humans (both travelers and crew).

barkair The pups on board were provided with a meal service that included special cupcakes, chicken-flavored puppuccinos, as well as a shoe to chew on. According to Katharine Enos, the Chef of Staff at BARK, there was ‘no drama on board’.

She added that several of the dogs on the flight were friends and played with each other, while others took long naps. She said there were no accidents on board nor was there any stolen food.

Despite the cost of the tickets ($6,000 for one dog and one human), the flight was completely sold out. Tickets for their next flight in June is also filling up quickly.

A Subsidiary of BARK

BARK Air is a subsidiary of BARK, the dog toy company known for its subscription service BarkBox. Matt Meeker, the CEO and Co-founder of the company said he’s been working toward an airline for dogs for more than a decade.

bark He was inspired by Hugo, his late Great Dane, who because of his size, was never able to travel with him in the cabin.

In recent years, airlines have also tightened their restrictions for emotional support animals on board. This, along with the cost of travel, has become an issue for many families who do not want to leave their furry friends behind when moving or relocating.

Meeker said in a phone interview that they think of themselves as selling ‘awesome experiences with your dog’ rather than ‘seats on an airplane.’

How Much Does It Cost?

BARK Airline flights are not exactly cheap. For flights between New York and Los Angeles, it costs $6,000 for one human and one dog in each direction. They also offer one-way flights between New York and London for $8,000.

While Meeker acknowledged the high cost, he hopes the price will come down over time, as it’s usually seen with new innovations. He also said they have ‘clear ways of bringing the costs down if there is demand’ and that that is what they will be doing as they want to make the airline accessible and affordable for as many pups as possible.

Flight Accommodations

Every dog on BARK Air is given chicken broth champagne in bowls and leashes as seat belts. As for the bathroom, the pups can go anywhere; the crew will be there to clean up after them. The plane is also thoroughly cleaned between each flight.

bark airlines Once they’re in the air, dogs are also offered blankets or perks such as spa treatments. The crew members are also trained in dog CPR.

The aircrafts can also accommodate 14 humans, though the company is currently capping them at 10 so there will be extra room on the flights. While the airline has no dog breed or size restrictions, humans accompanying the dogs must be at least 18 years old.

Prior to each flight, the airline will conduct a ‘pup intake’ to learn about the canine’s preferences and temperament. On the day of flying, owners and pups are advised to come one hour early to the terminal, from which they will be able to walk onto the plane after presenting an ID.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.


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