First BARK Air Flight That Caters To Dogs To Take Off

A dog waits on line with their owner at a checkin counter at JFK International airport in New York City on June 30, 2023. Credit - David Dee Delgado—Getty Images

A new airline will take its first flight Thursday—with dogs as its passengers.

BARK, a company that sells dog food and toys, announced in April that it was launching a new aviation experience for dogs, called BARK Air. The airline will allow pets to travel with their owners as their plus ones in the aircraft cabin, rather than in crates in the cargo hold.

The airline’s first flight, traveling from New York to Los Angeles, is sold out, according to the company’s booking website. Tickets aren’t cheap though—a one-way flight from New York to Los Angeles in June costs $6,000, and a flight from New York to London costs $8,000 (one ticket is for both a dog and its human). The company said that its goal is to bring the cost of tickets down over time.

BARK said it created the air travel service “because, despite incredible demand from dog people, there is simply no good or convenient solution to traveling long distances with your dog.”

“We recognize and believe that life is better—for you and for your dog—when you are together,” the company said on its website. “We partnered with a jet charter company to meticulously build out an in-flight experience from the ground up that is focused solely on the comfort and happiness of the dog first, and human second.”

“Bottom Line: No dog should fly in a crate,” the company added.

In 2019, 404,556 animals were transported by airlines, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Canine passengers will be able to socialize with one another during the flight, and will be offered treats, noise-canceling ear muffs, and beverages. There will be designated relief areas for canine passengers to use before boarding the plane, and if they need to relieve themselves on the aircraft, airline staff will have emergency pads, the company said on its website.

Currently, the airline offers flights between New York and Los Angeles, as well as between New York and London. But BARK plans to expand the service and offer more routes in the future.

BARK Air doesn’t own or operate the aircrafts; it’s a public charter operator. The aircrafts are Gulfstream G5 jets, and can seat 15 dogs and their humans, but BARK Air said it will only sell 10 tickets per flight to ensure that all passengers have enough space. There are no size or breed restrictions for dogs.

“The initial launch of BARK Air is only the beginning—our first step in achieving our vision for dog-first travel,” the company said on its website.

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