[Fox Business] BARK Air completes its first cross-country dog flight with tickets costing $6,000 for pet and owner

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Air travel has gone to the dogs. Literally. 

BARK, the company that makes BarkBoxes, completed its first-ever BARK Air “white paw experience” flight from Westchester County Airport outside of New York City to Los Angeles’ Van Nuys airport on Thursday with a number of breeds and their people on board. 

The company said the flight was 10 years in the making, “but we are finally confident that we can provide all dogs with the air travel experience they deserve: one that puts them first. We could not be more excited to finally be able to welcome your dog (and you) on board.”

Katharine Enos, BARK’s Chief of Staff told FOX Business the inaugural flight was a “great success.” 

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“There were a mix of breeds onboard including chihuahuas, a golden retriever and dachshunds,” she continued. “Happy to report there was no dog drama, some dogs played in the aisle while the smaller dogs took nice long naps. All dogs snacked on BARK cereal treats for dogs, dog-friendly cupcakes, chicken flavored puppuccinos and doggie champagne (chicken broth). The humans onboard all got along as well and felt connected in their shared obsession with their dogs.”

The tickets for the flight cost $6,000, and included one dog and its owner. 

“Right now, at an altitude of 30,000 feet, there is a flight filled with dogs,” the company wrote on Instagram Thursday commemorating the first flight. “Unlike any flight before it, these dogs are not merely an afterthought, nor are they treated as cargo or a burden to the crew and fellow travelers. Here, dogs are the foremost priority. Every single detail of this flight experience has been crafted with a ‘dogs-first’ mindset.”

One person commented on the post: “I went through so much to travel with my dog in the cabin. I couldn’t let him go in cargo; he is not an object. Airlines lose suitcases all the time, and dogs are members of our families. They shouldn’t travel as objects. I’m so happy to see the industry changing with this airline.”

An influencer named “herboozytails” said she was “HONORED” to have been on the first flight, “and we can’t wait to share the BARK Air experience with everyone!”

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BARK CEO Matt Meeker told Reuters he thought of BARK Air because he struggled to travel with his Great Dane Hugo. 

“I was unable to travel with him long distances and had the idea that there should be an airline that caters to dogs,” he revealed. “We cater everything to the dog, trying to lower their anxiety and their stress, so they have the most comfortable, fear-free experience on an airplane.”

The “white paw experience” starts even before getting on the plane. Passengers and their furry friends are greeted with a quick check-in in a lounge filled with dog treats. 

Pre-flight involves no crates, TSA checkpoints or screening.

The company, which will also fly to London along with New York and Los Angeles, says it expects to have around 10 dogs and 15 people on each flight. 

An “Argus Platinum-rated charter company is responsible for all aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance-related matter,” BARK previously said. 

A BARK Air spokeswoman says they have partnered with charter company Talon Air, which will be handling the flights.

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London flights cost $8,000, but the company expects the cost to go down in the future. BARK Air is also considering adding flights to Paris, Milan, Chicago, Seattle, Florida and Arizona. 

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