Tag Archives: Pet Airways

Pet Airways – The first pet only airline

Travelling abroad or in the US can be quite a taxing operation with so many things to organise.  For those travelling with pets this can be a lot more problematic.  Apart from ensuring that your pet has had the right shots, has up to date health certificates etc, the safety of animals in transit is also a big issue.   How it all happened

Pet Airways  are leaders in the field of pet comfort and safety during long haul travel.  The company was born after the founders, Dan and Alysa Wiesel,  kept running into difficulty with airlines when trying to travel with their beloved dog, Zoe.  There just seemed to be no suitable way for Zoe to fly with them whenever they wanted to go on vacation.  Finally they gave up trying to convince human airlines to transport animals more responsibly and decided to take up the cause themselves.  In 2008, Pet Airways was born.

Pet Airways is the first airline that caters exclusively for animals.  With the exception of the pilots (obviously, LOL!) and pet attendants onboard, all of the passengers are of the furry variety.  The beauty of this airline is that it’s run by pet lovers for pet lovers.  Every conceivable occurrence has been thought of to ensure that pets arrive at their destination healthy and happy.


At present, Pet Airways operates domestic flights only and flies to and from the following cities: Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles/Hawthorne, New York, Omaha and Phoenix.  If you need help finding reliable international pet shippers, feel free to contact us and we will point you in the right direction.

The plane

Pet Airways uses the Beechcroft 1900 as the plane of choice for flying animals around the country.  This plane was chosen because of its impeccable safety record.  The animals all travel in the main cabin of the plane, NOT in cargo and each pet has their own container.  There is a climate-controller on board which ensures that the pets will neither be too hot or cold.

As with traditional flights, tickets  are booked online. There are different size seats to accommodate the various frames of animals who may be travelling: your pet can only travel on a given flight if the correct size seat is available.  If there isn’t a seat available on the day you want to travel,  you can either choose a different day or be put on their waiting list just in case another pet drops out.

Pets are checked every 15 minutes during the flight, or as needed and have regular potty breaks.  Everything is done to ensure that they are not distressed at any point during the flight.


As with all niche/boutique enterprises, you must expect to spend a bit more than you would on human airlines.  Fares start from $149 per animal per flight, but keep an eye out as they sometimes have sales.

It’s great to finally see the issues of animal safety during flights being addressed in this way.  It’s a relief to have the peace of mind that while your pets are out of your sight, they are being looked after by people who love them as much as you do.

Pet transportation by Pet Chauffeur can help Taxi your pets to this location.


Cities Will Talk to the Animals by Going Orange

By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY
April 10th, 2011   The color orange will infuse landmarks Tuesday from New York and Philadelphia to San Francisco.
Manhattan’s Empire State Building, Chicago’s Sears Tower, San Francisco’s City Hall and Philly’s quaint quarter-mile span called Boathouse Row will be lit in orange; the famous Wall Street charging bull sculpture will be decorated in the color; and the Louisiana Boardwalk fountain in Bossier City, La., will look to be spraying orange water.

It’s the 141st birthday of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and people and groups nationwide are donning and draping the ASPCA’s signature color to “celebrate the special human-animal bond,” says Jo Sullivan, the organization’s vice president of development and communication.

School teachers and librarians will offer special-educational programs, shelters are holding special animal events, and animal-friendly businesses have devised ways to trumpet support of the day. Pet Chauffeur in Manhattan the premier pet taxi service ,will tie large orange bows on its cars,pet transportation is a big service in NYC. Petride.com 212-696-9744 is open 365 days a year.  Also Jack London Square in Oakland will display ASPCA posters.


• New York – A celebration at Union Square from 4 to 8 p.m. will feature Animal Planet personalities, a costume party and an adoption fair.

• Bossier City, La. – Louisiana Boardwalk merchants will dress themselves and their establishments in orange, eateries are concocting orange drinks, and their will be a pet costume party.

• The L.A. Coliseum – “Go Orange for ASPCA Day” will streak across the Jumbe\otron.

• Austin – The Round Rock Express minor league baseball team will make an announcement during the game, and employees will wear orange wristbands.

The efforts are an outgrowth of a Manhattan celebration last year of the New York-based ASPCA’s 140th birthday. Response to the event extended far beyond New York as supporters from all over the country e-mailed goofy costumed-pet pictures to support the day.
“It was to have been a one-time event,” Sullivan says, but organizers realized that they had “tapped into something.”

Three decades ago, valuing animals “was not on the radar” of most Americans, ASPCA president Ed Sayres says. But society has become a more animal-conscious place, he says.

More than 50,000 ASPCA orange wristbands are expected to be ordered online for the celebration (1 million are in circulation already). The ASPCA has created 10 animal e-greetings that website visitors can send to friends and family, and the group is posting several “go orange” ideas.

It’s a Fare Deal for Fido

     By Ralph R. Ortegas

Vicki Ungar gave up yelling, “Hey, taxi!” to go across town with Molly, her lovable cocker spaniel.”Ten taxis will pass you before one will stop. I guess most don’t like people with animals,” said Ungar, a pet hospital manager who travels to work with her pooch daily.
David Lang, owner of Pet Chauffer, picks up another fare. Ungar gets Molly there using Pet Chauffeur, one of the city’s pet-transportation companies that allow humans along for the ride. Animal lovers who travel with sizable dogs, as well as iguanas, ferrets and other exotic critters, have turned to such companies after being banned from most other modes of public transport.
Cabbies take the most heat for passing on pets, objecting because of their size and even for religious and cultural reasons. Many drivers can’t handle fur. “I’m highly allergic to cats, I choke,” said Fernando Mateo, president of the 30,000-member New York Federation of Taxi Drivers, representing livery cabs. But the biggest objection comes from the potential backseat cleanup.
“Cab drivers don’t like to stop for pets because they fear they might do their business in the car,” said David Lang, owner of the Long Island City-based Pet Chauffeur. Potty accidents are no problem for Lang, whose five-minivan fleet comes prepared for cleanups. Lang charges varying rates around town, starting at $25 for 1 to 40 blocks. He also will go out of state. Locally, owners travel free and crates are not usually required.
Ungar calls ahead to schedule her 15-minute ride to work at the Park East Animal Hospital in midtown. Drivers usually arrive early, she said, and often will tune into Molly’s favorite jazz and classical stations for the ride. Dog and owner make at least 10 trips a week, pricey for Ungar since she started taking Molly to work in January. She declined to discuss how much she pays, but explained that 12-year-old Molly has cancer. “She’s very special, and a great companion,” said Ungar, who was recently divorced. “I’ll really do anything for my dog.”
Pet movers make trips to the vet, hospital, groomers, doggie day care, airports and New York’s animal havens.
“I take a customer three times a week from Tribeca to Central Park with her giant, beautiful German shepherd, Harley!” said Larry Reilly, owner of the Manhattan-based Pet Taxi. Reilly also offers tempting excursions to grassy country settings near mountains and lakes, and provides weekend service to the Hamptons. “Reunite yourself and your dog with Mother Nature,” he urges on his Web site, “Meet other pet owners who want to give their pets a better life.”
In 1999, Gail Pierangelino, a former deli owner and groomer from Manhattan, started a one-woman pet-travel business called Petex. Ever since, she has found customers who wouldn’t travel any other way with their animals. “They have no worries,” said Pierangelino, 47. “They call me up, and I’m there. It’s like having a private car for you and your animal.”

At an Indoor Pet Spa, Why Let the Dogs Out?

By Julie V. Iovine

“DON’T overlook the pet industry. It’s big!” said David Lang, the owner of Pet Chauffeur, as he swiveled around at a red light and pointed a digital camera at the two Labradors drooling in the back seat of his bright orange minivan. ”Can I put them on my new Web site?”
Four years ago, Mr. Lang was the delivery guy for a pet store. Today he operates a five-minivan livery service with six drivers on call to drive the city’s most well-heeled dogs to their increasingly hectic weekly rounds of acupuncture, swim therapy, massage and grooming appointments. Pet Chauffeur even drove a miniature schnauzer to Atlanta recently for a man who refused to put his pet on an airplane. The dog’s trip cost $1,736. The man flew.

If the word of advice for ”The Graduate” in 1967 was ”plastics,” in 2000, think ”dogs.” There are 55 million pet dogs in the United States, and 43 percent of owners celebrated their dogs’ birthdays with a wrapped gift. So says an American Animal Hospital Association 1999 Pet Owner Survey that also found that 84 percent of pet owners referred to themselves as their animal’s mom or dad.

On Wednesday, Mr. Lang was dropping a couple of dogs off at the opening party for Biscuits and Bath Doggy Village at 227 East 44th Street. It’s the latest in extreme dog services that have many dog-lovers panting for more, and the rest of the population aghast. ”A lot of people are deluding themselves that animals have the same agendas and appreciations as themselves,” said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, the author of ”The Dog Who Loved Too Much” and ”Dogs Behaving Badly,” both published by Bantam. He noted that turning pets into surrogate children is the natural outcome of younger couples’ delaying reproduction and empty-nesters’ trying to keep a few warm dependent bodies around. ”The fact is that pets are now regarded as family, and people want to do anything they can for them,” he added.

But for every $450 cashmere dog sweater with a Gucci logo, and every bottle of Oh My Dog perfume now on holiday display at Saks, there also seems to be a new enlightened veterinary office or health center like Bonnie’s K9, which opened this fall in Chelsea offering underwater massage to ease the pain of dogs with cancer. The new Biscuits and Bath Doggy Village treads the line between excess and amenity. Petophobes, steer clear.

Housed in a former carriage house, the Doggy Village is a Health and Racquet Club for dogs and cats. Annual memberships start at $1,000. Lunch is available for both humans and dogs.

The village spreads over five floors, each with a greensward of AstroTurf the size and length of two bowling alleys. ”Why not have a wonderful place where people can play with their dogs freely and learn to be a better parent?” said Sandy Zuchert, the co-founder, with her sons Robert Zuchert and John Ziegler, of the 28,000-square-foot facility that cost $1.3 million to renovate.

The decor is Pet Provencal, possibly in honor of the French, who treat their dogs like full citizens of the state. There are white-washed picket fences around the plastic greens, bleached red-tile floors, blue-and-white striped awnings, a cafe around a gazebo, and strategically placed cement sculptures of dogs and cats in playful postures. The 30-foot lap pool in the basement is decorated with hand-painted tiles featuring ducks. On a tour, the two Labradors didn’t notice the birds. ”But did you see the cabana where we’ll blow-dry the doggies’ hair by hand?” Ms. Zuchert asked, as she bent over to greet one of the Labs with a mouth-to-mouth kiss reminiscent of a similarly riveting one in the movie ”Something About Mary.”

Though Ms. Zuchert, 62, compares the place most often to Central Park without restraint laws, it is also a day care and overnight boarding facility. Cats are kept in a neonatal-like ward with cages overlooking an aquarium and a wicker rocking chair. Ms. Zuchert calls it the ”kitty condos.” Drop-off dogs are taken outside every two hours to relieve themselves. While the two Labs were terrified of the steep stairs and their claws grated on the tile floors, they bounded happily out onto the turf. The indoor pool was another story. There was no way they were going to take a dip — too claustrophobic and redolent of chlorine for a couple of outdoor dogs with webbed feet.

Doggy Village is to a kennel what Ian Schrager’s Hudson is to Midtown hotels. Social chemistry will be everything. The restaurant on the top floor is meant to be a scene. Les Deux Magots in Paris it’s not, but there are intimate little tables with metal chairs gathered around a gazebo where humans can buy snack meals for themselves and organic treats for their pets while they all watch each other frolic. There are plans for book readings, parties and ”lectures for children on neutering,” Ms. Zuchert said. Animal education by way of puppy-training classes and behavior modification courses will be promoted in a big way. A veterinary doctor will be on the premises, available by appointment.

There will be agility classes — the latest update on show-off Frisbee throwing to golden retrievers in bandanas. It’s a workout: dogs race through a course, part steeple, part military obstacle. They slalom, they jump, they balance on see-saws, run through tubes, over ramparts, under bars and burst through something that looks like a collapsed parachute. The two guest Labs watched in muted horror, their tales stiff, while a visiting vizsla went berserk with anticipation. Andrea Arden, a professional dog trainer who will be conducting the classes, said any able-bodied dog can learn in a few months. Six group lessons cost $300.

Doggy Village is a vastly expanded version of the Zucherts’ Biscuits and Bath Gym at 1535 First Avenue and the Biscuits and Bath boutique, a much smaller operation focused on grooming at 255 East 74th Street. But it was Ms. Zuchert’s son John who started the ball rolling in 1990 with a dog-walking business he ran after graduating from high school. ”I was modeling and acting at the time and kind of neurotic about my dog,” Mr. Ziegler, 29, said. One day he tailed the dog walker to see if she would go to Central Park, where she was supposed to go. (”Don’t you ever follow your dog walker?” he asked.) Instead, she took his dog into a nearby building. ”I knew I could do much better than that,” Mr. Ziegler said. Last year, Biscuits and Bath Gym listed 800 paying members.

Part of the business is a nonprofit rescue fund. Stray dogs and cats on death row at the Center for Animal Control and Care will be brought in monthly for visits and cleaned up in the hopes of finding the animals homes. ”You go into the shelters and the animals are terrified and running around,” Mr. Ziegler said. ”Who’s going to take these dirty cyclones? Here, they’ll look clean and smell good. It’ll give them a chance to meet someone who really wants them.”

There were several homeless dogs at the opening party on Wednesday. A television crew milled around the cafe’s gazebo in anticipation of a ”wedding” to be staged between two former strays, Max and Cinder. The bitch wore an outfit donated by Vera Wang. Bruce Hammer, an onlooker who keeps his dog on Long Island, appeared touched. ”I foresee not just dogs getting married,” he said, ”but people getting married who meet while watching their dogs right here.” Unmoved, the two Labs yanked their leashes and headed for the door.

A Cab For Your Lab

By David Serchuk     See full size image

Owner David Lang started Pet Chauffeur four years ago with one goal: to create a recession-proof business.

At the time, Lang delivered prescription pet food for high-end veterinarians. The vets told Lang their clients lacked transport for their animals around Manhattan. Lang was surprised. “I didn’t even know there was a problem with it,” he said, “because I didn’t live in Manhattan.”

Lang realized that no matter the economy, people spend money on their pets. Then he took a closer look at his clientele and realized their problem: Few city pet owners drive and fewer cabs take Labrador retrievers.

For Lang, it made sense. If it’s hard for you to get a cab, try getting one for you and a rottweiler. Not to mention that most cab drivers won’t take any animals becuase the animals might “do business” in the car, he said.

Also, many cabbies have issues with pooch passengers.

“If you ask them, they’ll say dogs are dirty, and we will not put dogs in our car,” he said, adding, “I love it that they hate them.”

In just four years, Pet Chauffeur has gone from one van to 11, and the company’s 20 employees ferry from 20 to 40 people and pets daily.

Their orange vans carry animals either in crates or roaming in the back. Animals can also go with or without their owner.

Business has grown steadily. Lang said the company had $480,000 in total sales in 2002, up 20 percent from 2001.

Pet Chauffeur charges $25 for a trip of one to 40 Manhattan blocks, $30 for 40 to 80 blocks and $35 for 80 to 120 blocks.

One reason for the company’s good health, Lang noted, is that his clients are among the wealthiest New Yorkers. Robert De Niro and his Burmese mountain dog are regulars. Janeane Garofalo, Sean “P.Diddy” Combs and Janet Jackson also use the company.

Non-celebs use it, too. Bruno Lauder and his large poodle, Indi, use Pet Chauffeur to ferry them from his Manhattan home to his Queens business daily.

Last year, Lauder spent $12,000 with the company. Lauder uses Pet Chauffeur because Indi gets car sick, and the company’s drivers are trained to drive smoothly. “David spends a lot of time explaining to them that they cannot be race drivers when you drive animals around,” Lauder said.

While 90 percent of Lang’s business is dog owners, he will transport any animal. A giant bearded dragon lizard was a customer – in a crate the size of a coffin – as were a pair of chimpanzees.

Now Lang wants to expand. Last summer, the firm did long-distance pet-relocation drives on a trial basis, with a pair of bulldogs going to L.A. for $6,100

Pet Chauffeur also has gotten into international animal shipping. After September 11, this has become tougher since airlines investigate every package.

The company does all the paperwork and even books the tickets for its customers. This might seem excessive, but as Lang knows, some pet owners will do anything for their pets. Or at least pay someone else to.

New York Pets | Dog days


Paws are no longer good enough for the Big Apple’s streets
IF YOU, as a human, think it is hard to hail a cab in New York , just imagine what it is like if you are a dog. Or, to be more precise, imagine what it was like, because now New York dogs have acquired what they have been panting for since the city began: a pet chauffeur.

Like many clever businesses, this one emerged from a customer’s most desperate need. A decade ago, David Lang bought an old station wagon and began delivering food and medicine from vets to their clients. Before long, veterinarians were requesting Mr. Lang to do a return trip with ailing pets. So Pet Chauffeur was born.

New York swarms with dogs that have wealthy absentee owners. Mr. Lang fills the gap, and it is a very, very, large gap. His old station wagon has been junked, replaced by a fleet of seven specially equipped mini-vans (with dog seatbelts). Given a moment of free time, an eighth would be added.

Mr. Lang’s office resembles a war room. The front wall is taken up by a vast erasable white board, staffed by two employees who constantly rub out and add new requests to each driver’s schedule. Telephones ring constantly. Mornings and evenings are always packed, as is lunchtime, as are rainy days (when, Mr. Lang says, it really does rain cats and dogs). Conversations with Mr. Lang, beyond a few key questions to confirm street and time, are impossible.
He has 10,000 clients, including many celebrities (dog confidentiality precludes disclosing their names), and more are constantly being added.

Medical runs to the vet are now just a tiny part of the business. Several owners use Pet Chauffeur to commute with their dogs to work in fancy midtown offices. An extensive dog social network also exists. They are picked up for afternoon “play-dates” with friends, or for dog birthday parties (Pet Chauffeur provides cakes). For dogs lacking close friends, there are more than a dozen designated dog parks in the city where new acquaintances are usually available, and Pet Chauffeur knows them all. Two days a week, it runs a shuttle to a dog resort in a suburb. And, for those hot days, it frequently transports clients to a dog pool on Ninth Avenue .

Naturally, competition has emerged, but such is the demand that the various firms work together during peak hours, referring customers. Prices are, inevitably higher than for the average human, but of course, to the owners, these passengers are more valuable. They begin at more than $30 for a short hop, and can reach $200 for a trip from Manhattan to Newark airport. None of his riders, says Mr. Lang, eve complains.