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An Airline Just for Dogs (and Their People)

By Christy True
published: April 30, 2024 • 2 min. read
A dog boarding a BARK Air flight

Key Takeaways

  • BARK, a company known for monthly subscription boxes of dog products, has launched BARK Air, the “world’s first air travel experience designed specifically for dogs first.”
  • Dogs will travel in comfort, without crates or leashes, and will also have access to beds, blankets, toys, calming treats and jackets, and noise-canceling earmuffs to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable flight.
  • The new airline is only offering New York-Los Angeles, and New York-London flights for now. Tickets for one human and one dog are $6,000 and $8,000, respectively.

If you love to travel with your dog but can’t stomach stuffing them into a crate, having them loaded into the belly of a plane, and not seeing them again until the end of the flight, you may be interested in new VIP flights customized for dogs. Oh, and you must be comfortable spending three times more for your dog to take to the skies in luxury than the cost of a business-class seat just for you.

BARK, a company known for BARK boxes, a monthly subscription of dog products, has launched BARK Air, the “world’s first air travel experience designed specifically for dogs first, and their human companions second,” according to a press release. A charter company will operate the flights and be responsible for all aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance.

What is flying with your dog like on BARK Air?

A dog and woman on Bark Air
Photos courtesy of BARK Air.

The flight is exceptional from the start. On the day of the flight, pets and their human parents will arrive at the airport 45 minutes before takeoff for an expedited check-in, where the dogs mingle with other canine companions as their pet parents dine on meals prepared by on-site chefs. There are designated relief areas outside each plane for dogs to mark one last time before soaring through the clouds.

Next, a BARK Air concierge will greet dogs and “help them settle into their experience through socialization and dog-centric cabin preparation,” per the release. The canines will also have access to various aids, including calming treats and jackets, and noise-canceling earmuffs to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable flight.

Once on board, there are plenty of beds, blankets, toys, and treats. The planes are designed to fit 15 dogs and people, but the airline says they will never sell more than ten tickets, so everyone has ample room. Dogs are not required to be in a crate unless they want to. They also don’t need to be leashed except for takeoff and landing. They’ll be allowed to sit on laps, seats, beds, or wherever comfortable. Should there be a potty accident on board, trained professionals will clean it up.

Once you land, BARK Air will provide complimentary, dog-friendly car service within a 30-mile radius.

The company welcomes all sizes and breeds of dogs, even the smush-nosed breeds (pugs, Frenchies) that are not allowed in cargo on major airlines. It suggests that dogs who don’t get along with others or are highly anxious should not fly. Human passengers must be at least 18 years old.

Video provided by BARK Air
Protect your pet

The cost and frequency of BARK Air flights

A search for a ticket for May 24 revealed that a flight from New York City to Los Angeles costs $6,000 for one human and one pet. Flying one human and one pet from London to New York is $8,000. The price doubles for two humans. One month out, both flights were half sold – with five seats remaining.

That compares to about $1,800 for a business class seat on Delta Airlines on the same routing or $3,700 on the international flight. The BARK Air flights run out of smaller airports – serving New York from White Plains (HPN), Los Angeles via Van Nuys (VNY), and London via Stansted Airport (STN). 

You’ll have to be fairly flexible to take advantage of these flights – the domestic flights are only offered once a week for now; while the overseas routing is only available once a month. The company says it will be adding more routes soon, and expects to be able to drop prices when it gets more volume.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 28 dog years. She also coordinates media requests and manages the Healthy Paws Foundation. A background in journalism may be why she enjoys writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and she volunteers with a local dog rescue. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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