BARK Air Launches First Class Pet Flights (But At a Jaw Dropping Price)

NEWS & TRENDING - TRAVEL NEWS
BARK Air lets your dog fly first class, but the cost is stratospheric. Would you splurge for your furry friend?
Updated May 8, 2024
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pets on vacation

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Imagine your pup strutting through a private terminal, ready to board an exclusive jet unlike any commercial airline. BARK Air, a new private jet charter service from BarkBox — the dog treat and toy subscription company — makes this a reality, for a cool $6,000 one-way ticket.

We explore if it is just a whimsical perk for the super wealthy, or a genuine way to step up your travel game with your pet.

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Canine comfort at a cost: What a $6,000 BARK Air flight includes

Karoline Thalhofer/Adobe puppy on leash

$6,000 is a serious chunk of change for a pet flight. But when you consider the service's exclusivity, it starts to make sense (for some).

Private terminals for pre-flight zoomies, dedicated attendants, and a stress-free environment for your furry friend – these are luxuries traditional airlines simply can't offer.

The airline prioritizes pup comfort with a "Dogs Fly First" flight prep featuring calming pheromones, music, and dog-approved colors.

To further ease anxiety, the airline will provide calming treats, noise-canceling ear muffs, and calming jackets.

Plus, check-in is a breeze compared to traditional airlines – you can arrive just 45 minutes before takeoff and skip the stressful TSA checkpoints entirely.

Routes and pricing

Vladimir Borovic/Adobe woman waiting for her airplane and using mobile phone

If you’re considering booking this luxurious travel experience for your pup, there are a few key details to know beforehand. The service opened for booking travel from April 11, and the first flights will take off from New York on May 23.

Flights are currently limited to specific routes between small private airports in New York (Westchester County Airport), Los Angeles (Van Nuys), and London (Stansted Airport).

Don’t forget, the price tag reflects the pampering, with one-way fares costing $6,000 and roundtrip fares reaching $12,000. The New York to London route cost $8,000 one way.

Each ticket includes one dog and one human companion, according to the BARK Air website.

Walking the walk: A CEO's commitment

Chalabala/Adobe A mostly unseen person stands in front of a flight board in an airport, with one hand holding onto the handle of their suitcase.

So where did this idea come from? BARK Air's CEO, Matt Meeker, took a firsthand plunge into traditional air travel by flying in a dog crate, placed in a standard cargo hold, on a flight from South Florida to New York City.

Through this flight, Meeker said he personally experienced the stress pets endure. This firsthand empathy fueled BARK Air's mission to create a travel experience that prioritizes your pet's well-being, ensuring their journey is as comfortable and enjoyable as yours.

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Bottom line

Chad McDermott/Adobe airport travel with luggage

For many pet owners, the anxiety of ensuring their pet's safety during travel is a major concern. This is especially true for larger breeds or breeds with restrictions on cabin travel. BARK Air eliminates this worry, offering a safe and comfortable space for all canines, regardless of size or breed.

While BARK Air caters to a niche market right now, it could be a trendsetter. As pet ownership continues to rise and people invest more in their furry family members, similar services might become more common.

It is possible that more affordable options could emerge, giving pet parents ways to travel more, without compromising on the quality of their pet’s travel experience.

Editor's Note: Generative AI tools helped write this story.

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Author Details

Maneesha Tiwari With more than seven years of experience managing content and editorial teams, Maneesha is passionate about news and how to help her audience navigate the ever-changing landscape of personal finance. She previously served as a journalist for Reuters, where she covered the stock market.

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