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Pet Airways: Viable Business Model?  
User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3376 times:
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Just read about a new upstart, Pet Airways... They're flying Fido and Tabby in an animal-only Beach 1900 for $150 ish each way.

Any thoughts as to how viable this business model is? I would have figured that if there truly are enough pet owners willing to fork over enough money to cover the costs of operating an aircraft, that airlines would have expanded and promoted their animal transport business much more.

Also, not to nitpick, but their website isn't exactly creating a much better impression. For example, this page:

http://petairways.com/content/pet-airways-air-fares

shows a stock photo of a 747, and refers to "Virgin Airlines".....

On the plus side, they somehow got endorsements from Lassie's vet, Phil Bakes, and a former CEO of DHL...


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20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3353 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Thread starter):
Any thoughts as to how viable this business model is? I would have figured that if there truly are enough pet owners willing to fork over enough money to cover the costs of operating an aircraft, that airlines would have expanded and promoted their animal transport business much more.

Maybe it's just me (Disclaimer: I'm not a Vet and I don't play one on TV), but multiple stops between the coasts on a Beech 1900 seems like too long a time to keep an animal cooped up and/or tranquilized.

Also makes you wonder if the crews might have to don the oxygen masks at some point, since nobody is able to "walk the dogs"...  gasp 

As usual, the marketplace will decide.


User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5890 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3253 times:
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Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 1):
Beech 1900

What I think is funny is that the aircraft they use in their video ads or news releases looks like a Convair 580.


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1844 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3220 times:
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Also funny, they claim they removed the overhead bins from the cabin. Imagine some overhead bins in this cabin!


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User currently offlineItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3193 times:

RAHAHAHA....friend of mine sent me the link and I thought the exact same things!!

I got stoked for 4 seconds when I saw the 580 but when I saw that it is really a B1900, not so much. Perhaps flying Fifi from NY to Chicago or Buck from Denver to SoCal...but I agree that is allot of time in a Beech..in the summer/winter. Their pricing seems to be slightly below legacy animal transport charges, and I assume that extreme heat or cold will not be a factor in carriage (climate controlled 'Pet Lounges') . We will see.....oh and they are hiring!!!  Big grin


User currently offlineHBJZA From Switzerland, joined Jan 2006, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

This is so funny for me. They say that the Pets are travelling in the main cabin and not in the cargo hold like they would with other carrier. But they claim that they removed all seats from the passengers cabin and put some kind of Pet boxes instead. At this point, what difference does it make as it actually became a cargo aircraft !!!!

User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10345 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2823 times:

This service MAY be ok if you only want to go point to point and then just to the cities they service, but, many, many animals connect thru hubs to connect to any number of smaller cities. A Beech 1900 certainly doesn't sound like the answer to me.


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offline102IAHexpress From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1156 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2788 times:

I'll give it 4 months.

There is a market for transporting valuable animals to and from zoos. There is also a market for transporting poultry via overnight delivery. But owners do not ship their pets, they travel with them.


User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10345 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2776 times:



Quoting 102IAHexpress (Reply 7):
But owners do not ship their pets, they travel with them.

Yes and no. DL suspends checking your pets as baggage during the summer months, so shipping them is the only way to go. Also, in my experience there is a large market for shipping pets from breeders to owners.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineCairnTerriAir From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 401 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2544 times:

I'm going to be the odd man out and say that this kind of service has the potential to do very well. There are huge numbers of passengers who travel with their pets.....and more often than not, the airlines embargo animal shipments if it is too hot or too cold. And with nearly all airlines allowing only one small pet in the cabin at any given time flying quite often on a $100+ ticket, it seems that alot of potential revenue is being lost.

For those who don't think that pet travel is common enough to warrant this type of service, keep in mind the number of people who leave the Northeast U.S. for the Winter months for weeks at a time to escape to Florida or other warm places. Many wish to bring their pets with them. Years ago I managed to book early and get the only cabin space for my Cairn Terrier puppy when I took a trip to West Palm. I didn't want to put him in cargo. Upon landing in PBI, I was amazed at the number of pets coming off the belt down in baggage claim off my flight. Big market the airlines often overlook.

In addition, it is not just people traveling with their pets. On a daily basis, breeders ship puppies and kittens to new owners, zoo's transfer wolves, foxes, and other exotics around the country, and shelters will relocate strays from overcrowded pounds to ones with room. Go to any cargo terminal and see the number of live animals coming and going. And with poor weather or extreme temperatures...everything comes to a stop.

While one may argue about the size of the plane being used, it appears that the transport of the animals has been taken into careful consideration, calming peoples' fears about their pets being carried in the cargo hold.

Give this one time to develop I think it may work.


User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10345 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2511 times:



Quoting CairnTerriAir (Reply 9):
Go to any cargo terminal and see the number of live animals coming and going. And with poor weather or extreme temperatures...everything comes to a stop.

Makes me wonder if everything with Pet Airways wouldn't come to a stop as soon as the Department of Agriculture inspectors check it out and they don't meet the same criteria that the airlines have to live with.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineThePalauan From Guam, joined Oct 2006, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2502 times:

It's funny how they actually have testimony from pets themselves proclaiming satisfaction. If the animals themselves make any complaints, would they go about filing with the FAA in the same manner? Would flight attendants be hired only if they speak dog, cat or some other animal (maybe snake, turutle, lizard or iguana) in addition to English?  duck 

Quoting CairnTerriAir (Reply 9):
For those who don't think that pet travel is common enough to warrant this type of service, keep in mind the number of people who leave the Northeast U.S. for the Winter months for weeks at a time to escape to Florida or other warm places. Many wish to bring their pets with them. Years ago I managed to book early and get the only cabin space for my Cairn Terrier puppy when I took a trip to West Palm. I didn't want to put him in cargo. Upon landing in PBI, I was amazed at the number of pets coming off the belt down in baggage claim off my flight. Big market the airlines often overlook.

I can see where you're coming from with this. However, I'd probably have to cry foul if service standards for pets exceed that of humans (especially on the legacies). Fido enjoying the IFE system?!  Big grin



You can take the boy out of the island, but not the island out of the boy!
User currently offlineCairnTerriAir From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 401 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 2460 times:

Good point Palauan....

From the looks of it, the pets even get a lounge to hang out in before their flight. Definately one up on the legacies. The lounges run by the airlines I fly, you have to be a member to enter. The pets definately have the one-up there!  Smile


User currently offlineContrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2449 times:

What NY area airport are they going out of?


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User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10345 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2400 times:

Quoting CairnTerriAir (Reply 12):
From the looks of it, the pets even get a lounge to hang out in before their flight. Definately one up on the legacies. The lounges run by the airlines I fly, you have to be a member to enter. The pets definately have the one-up there!

I know at DL's hubs, there is a live animal room for them to wait until picked up or until it's time to go to their departing flight or to make a connecting flight. That's with animals being shipped as cargo, particularly. Mostly, if they're checked as bags and connecting, it's a relatively short connection time.

Matter of fact, since animals on DL that are shipped as cargo, now go as DASH, they have the same connecting times as bags, so there is very little time for them to spend on the ramp before their connection leaves.

[Edited 2009-05-11 19:25:55]


"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4985 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 2372 times:



Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 3):
Also funny, they claim they removed the overhead bins from the cabin. Imagine some overhead bins in this cabin!

LMAO! That is indeed hilarious, especially if you have had the pleasure of flying on the aircraft type!

Quoting Mayor (Reply 6):
This service MAY be ok if you only want to go point to point and then just to the cities they service, but, many, many animals connect thru hubs to connect to any number of smaller cities. A Beech 1900 certainly doesn't sound like the answer to me.

The 1900 does not sound like the kind of aircraft for coast to coast either. The 580 is even stretching it a bit. However, I think the idea of catering to animals will bring them business. I personally think it could be a niche that we are overlooking. If they got a few contracts to fly zoo animals from place to place, it could be a lucrative business after all.

BTW- I am being positive, because I always love the under-dog! Get it!!!???? LMAO!!!!



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineCairnTerriAir From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 401 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2340 times:

F9Animal.....not only did I get that joke, I found it to be the CAT'S MEOW! Perhaps if this works out, AA can open a similar operation....they can call it AMERICAN BEAGLE!!!

User currently offlineFreequentFlier From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 893 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 2287 times:

This is one of those things that's crazy enough to work, but i think it's more likely than not that it won't. I wish them the best of luck though! It's definitely an interesting concept.

User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10345 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2186 times:

What are they really offering that the airlines can't provide? The fare sounds roughly like what the fee is to check in your animal for a flight and they certainly won't be able to provide the convenience that an airline could provide with all the possible cities that the airline could take your pet to. If you're just shipping the animal or pet, as a shipper or maybe a zoo, the latter still holds true.

If you're flying into Buffalo, NY from SFO and send your pet on Pet Airways, will they provide service all the way to your destination or just to certain large cities, in this case, say, JFK? That $150 certainly wouldn't cover flying one animal, by itself into BUF, especially if it took one whole day on a Beech 1900.

The idea is nice, but the execution and details may leave alot to be desired. The airlines already have a ready made route system that can get your pet to wherever you want to go.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineThePalauan From Guam, joined Oct 2006, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2171 times:



Quoting Mayor (Reply 18):
What are they really offering that the airlines can't provide?

They have personalized attention. According to their site, they've being monitored every 15 minutes by a "pet attendant." By the sound of the attentiveness, they're also willing to divert if it means Fido absolutely needs to go. I think here is where the problem lies in this airline being successful. If they make a stop for Fido, the only way they'll make a profit is to charge the owners for every bathroom stop they make from point A to point B.

Hmm... They really seem to be going out to some distance for their "pawsengers." If a legacy ever did that, they'd probably be dead the next day.



You can take the boy out of the island, but not the island out of the boy!
User currently offlineMayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10345 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2166 times:



Quoting ThePalauan (Reply 19):
They have personalized attention. According to their site, they've being monitored every 15 minutes by a "pet attendant." By the sound of the attentiveness, they're also willing to divert if it means Fido absolutely needs to go. I think here is where the problem lies in this airline being successful. If they make a stop for Fido, the only way they'll make a profit is to charge the owners for every bathroom stop they make from point A to point B.

Hmm... They really seem to be going out to some distance for their "pawsengers." If a legacy ever did that, they'd probably be dead the next day.

Well, that's what I'm getting at. The idea sounds nice and it is commendable, but there are certain realities that have to be taken into account and I don't think they've thought of those.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
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