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Some pet owners are content to check their furry friends into a kennel or hire a pet sitter when they take to the friendly skies, while others can't bear to leave them behind.
To help us make smarter choices while we prepare for more fun summer travels, today Petfinder.com released its annual list of the most pet-friendly airlines in the United States.
Last year, Petfinder.com and pet lovers everywhere were thrilled to see Pet Airways, the first-ever pet airline, take off. Dedicated exclusively to our four-legged friends, Pet Airways playfully refers to its furry clientele as "pawsengers" and offers pets a truly first-class travel experience. Here are a few of Pet Airways' high-flying pet policies:
Pawsengers fly in the climate-controlled pressurized main cabin and pet attendants check in with each traveler every 15 minutes during flight. Pets fly securely and comfortably in individual pet carriers with special fasteners, preventing any accidental movement. If a pet becomes very ill, the plane will be diverted to the nearest airport so that the pet can be immediately treated.
Since Pet Airways only flies out of a limited number of cities, here are Petfinder.com's top 2010 picks for commercial U.S. airlines:
1. Best pet-friendly amenities: JetBlue's superior JetPaws program was specifically designed to help pet parents and their pets enjoy a smoother travel experience. The customer-focused airline provides pet-toting travelers with a pet carrier baggage tag, a travel "petiquette" guide and 300 TrueBlue points each way.
2. Best for budget-conscious consumers: AirTran tops this category, allowing small domesticated dogs, cats and birds to travel inside the cabin for $69 each way.
3. Best for transporting pet variety: Of all of the airlines researched in the 2010 Petfinder.com analysis, Frontier Airlines allows the most diverse variety of pets in-cabin, including domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small household birds.
4. Best for animal health and safety: Jet Blue's refusal to permit pet transport in cargo shows their strong dedication to our furry friends. Evidence supports this policy; from May 2009 to May 2010, the only airlines with zero reported pet deaths were those that required pets to travel inside the cabin.Source: sfgate.com