Travel companies introduce luxurious offerings for pampered pets
Affordable luxury is a growing trend in the Millennial travel category, but young people’s focus on thrift doesn’t necessarily extend to their furry friends. When it comes to pets, they’re taking a more indulgent approach, with many sparing no expense to ensure their dogs and cats enjoy the luxe life.
THE ARK AT JFK
NYC’s John F. Kennedy International Airport boasts some of the highest foot traffic in the world—and not just of the human variety; about 70,000 four-legged friends pass through its gates each year. To accommodate this special breed of traveler, the airport is developing The ARK at JFK, a $48 million, 178,000-square-foot facility providing services to board, kennel, quarantine, import, export, and transport small and large animals alike. A highlight of the luxury terminal will include a “dog resort” by Paradise4Paws featuring lavish suites with flat-screen TVs, splashing pools shaped like dog bones, and an animal spa offering treatments like massage therapy and "pawdicures."
AMERICAN AIRLINES CUDDLE CLASS
Well-heeled travelers have long enjoyed the perks of Business and First Class, but American Airlines has created a new class to covet: Cuddle Class. The eyebrow-raising offering is currently reserved for First Class passenger flying from LA and SF to NYC on the carrier's fleet of A321T planes. For the standard $125 carry-on pet fee, pampered pups are stationed in special compartments adjacent to their owners instead of being unceremoniously stuffed under a seat, thereby giving them increased visibility (and their owners, greater ease of movement). Cuddle Class must be reserved at the same time seats are booked, and as always, veterinary documentation is required.
It’s good to be a pet in Singapore, where coddled canines and felines can enjoy the perks of PetMate, an offering from courier service CarPal that allows owners to book a personal pet driver on-demand. Pet taxis have been available on the island since the 1990s, but PetMate hopes to update and improve the industry by providing a more convenient and personalized travel experience. Essentially an Uber for pets, the app allows owners to schedule drivers for same-day rides and only pay for distance traveled. All drivers are screened to ensure they have experience with animals and must also attend an hour-long orientation.