As PetsJets, a pet escort service, celebrates its three-year anniversary this week, we’re toasting its Founder and President Craig D. Anapol, who has set a lofty goal for his company.
As a pet escort, Anapol flies with your furry or feathered friend in cabin when you can’t or don’t want to. PetsJets (not to be confused with The Jet Set Pets) currently uses commercial airlines to transport pets — but that may not be the case forever. “My belief is, the sky is not, in fact, the limit,” says Anapol, who launched his pet escort business on April 28,2011.
“My goal is to take PetsJets to the next level and offer PetsJets-operated flights between New York and Miami and New York and Los Angeles,” Anapol revealed to The Jet Set Pets. “In the meantime, commercial airlines are the way.”
Pet lovers will rejoice should Anapol’s aspiration come to fruition. Wouldn’t it be nice to have flights where dogs, cats and other household pets of all sizes could fly in cabin? This would begin to fill the gap left by Pet Airways, a pet-only airline that launched in July 2009 with limited routing and ceased flying in 2011. PetsJets would also only have pawsengers — no passengers. Although you couldn’t sit next to your 50-pound Labradoodle on a flight, at least your precious pal wouldn’t be banished to the baggage compartment either.
Commercial airlines require in-cabin pets to fit in a carrier of a certain size and be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. The combined weight of pet and carrier is generally 18-22 ponds. This often prohibits travelers who do not want to transport their pets as baggage, which can be risky and is not recommended by The Humane Society of the United States or The Jet Set Pets, from taking their little loved ones on vacation, or restricts them to destinations easily reached by car.
With the slogan “Angels Do Fly,” PetsJets is committed to transporting your loved one with the utmost care. When size permits, Anapol personally escorts household pets — including dogs, cats, and birds — onboard a commercial plane in a pet carrier, placing the carrier in the bag-storage area under the seat in front of him. When the size is too big, he has a couple of options — he can either drive the pet, or, for international travel, go by boat. Some PetsJets clients don’t mind flying their pets cargo, in which case Anapol will simply act as a liaison for the pet and its human, making sure the animal gets checked in and arrives safely. However, things aren’t always so cut and dry. Some breeds are prohibited from flying cargo due to the dangers they could potentially face and certain countries restrict entrance from in-cabin pets. Anapol knows how to get creative.
“A few countries are difficult to travel with pets to, but there’s most often a good solution,” he said. “For example, I have several clients who live in the U.S. and U.K. and I transport their pets between both countries. The U.K., however, doesn’t allow pets fly onboard flights (except service animals). So, I fly via Paris and drive/train into London.”
But no matter how this pet escort travels, Anapol delivers your pet from one door to the next.
Anapol founded PetsJets in memory of his black Labrador, Jackson. Jackson frequently traveled with Anapol between California and New York and became Anapol’s inspiration, as well as practice, for his later pet escort business. Anapol worked as a senior analyst for Delta Air Lines for 25 years, gaining extensive knowledge of and familiarity with world travel.
“PetsJets was created as a result of combining my favorite passion and compassion: flying and pets,” says the pet escort who was featured in the New York Times in 2012. “I love reuniting pets with their persons and knowing that each pets journey was safe, comfortable and stress free.”
Take a look at some of PetsJets’ satisfied pawsengers.
Tell us about a favorite trip you took with your pet. Share your experiences with The Jet Sets Pets Community in the comment box below.