Air Partner - 01 Aug 2017
If you can't be the most loved member of the household, be loved by the most loved member of the household: Take your pet by jet.
"In Victorian England the family Patriarch enjoyed a privileged position in many households; his needs met before others were even considered. But those days are gone, and is not without some sadness that we reflect on our rapid decent through the domestic pecking order and watch jealously the ascendance of the family pet instead.
No greater illustration of this trend is there than the rise and rise of dogs and cats travelling by private jet.
Changes in UK quarantine law and the introduction of the EU pet passport scheme has made bringing your dogs, cats and (more curiously) ferrets into the UK a relatively straightforward exercise. Chartering a private jet allows for the pet to travel in the company of the rest of the family - in the cabin, not the hold.
To satisfy the UK and EU law now, your pet need only be microchipped, hold an EU Pet Passport (or an accredited non-EU Vet certificate), be vaccinated against Rabies and have been treated recently for tapeworm. Once you have this paperwork in hand, you can now chose to fly direct into more than a dozen airports across the UK.
Many of us would be uncomfortable with the idea of subjecting our pet to the stress of a flight; alone in an aircraft hold for hours on end, not to mention all the unfamiliar noise and upset of the loading and unloading process. Unlike scheduled service options, a private jet option allows our furry friends to travel with the family through calm private airport terminals. They may be fed, watered and comforted by the people familiar to them throughout the flight and arrive at their destination having enjoyed the experience rather than just survived it.
At the time of writing, jets can be chartered into Biggin Hill, Farnborough, Oxford, Manchester, Stansted, Cambridge, Leeds Bradford, Lydd, Gatwick, Heathrow, Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Gloucester and Bristol. But airport availability varies, as indeed do prices but more importantly not all private jet operators can access all airports so you need impartial advice to get the best solution for you.
Similarly, different operators have different policies for things like the use of travel baskets in flight, or the maximum size / weight of animal they will accept in the cabin.
Your charter broker can help you navigate all the different options available to you, and if your ultimate destination is not well served by the operators available, they may even suggest that you briefly clear customs with your pet at Biggin Hill for instance, so you can then fly on unhindered together to any airport in the UK.
It's important to get an understanding of the costs vs. convenience of all the options available to you. An operator will only offer you the airports they serve with their own fleet, so an independent charter broker is better placed to do this for you, and with their buying power, they may be able to negotiate a better rate or even work with the operator to gain special access to a specific airport for you
Travelling with pets is fast becoming the norm these days and at Air Partner we have seen a rise in this over the last few year - it needn't be a 'dark art' for the uninitiated. Ask your charter broker to take a look at the options that best suit you and your pet today. If you're lucky, your pet might let you come along too!
At Air Partner we have a number of clients who fly with their beloved pets. Owner of Eddie a White Maltease, explains to us her thoughts on travelling with her much loved companion.
"We often fly with Eddie – flying privately allows the flexibility that he can be with the family at all times. It is a less stressful experience than him travelling cargo on his own. When I arrive at my destination, there is a simple clearance procedure meaning that, as long as I have my pet passport we can be on our way in a matter of minutes. This is a great way to ensure he is comfortable, happy and safe."
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