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From the airline that brought you a channel dedicated to a 7-hour train trip through Norway now comes a channel devoted to nonstop cuteness. Debuting this September on British Airways' long-haul flights, "Paws and Relax" will initially lead off with the comic series "Simon’s Cat," the documentary "The Secret Life of Cats," and the awwww-inspiring "America’s Cutest Dog."
It's obviously a departure from the usual in-flight fare of almost-new movie releases and TV series from B-list actors, but "Paws and Relax" is based on the very real research that watching cute animals lowers blood pressure and facilitates relaxation. The goal? To "enhance the wellbeing of customers" flying BA.
YesterdayNovember 13, 2013was more than just another Wednesday. For Virgin America and a group of homeless chihuahua puppies, it was "Operation Chihuahua Airlift" and the promise of a positive future. Through a partnership with the City of San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SFACC), Virgin America flies these doggies from Los Angesles-LAX to Newark-EWR with the goal of delivering them to loving homes through the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
This is actually the 5th airlift by Virgin America for the pups, and it's probably not the last since the operation is all about achieving this heartwarming goal: "The overpopulation of Chihuahuas in California continues to force animal shelters on the West Coast to look to shelters on the East Coast for help – where there is demand for the dogs among apartment-dwelling New Yorkers."
Celeb Travel / Airport Photo Shoot / Toronto Travel / Toronto International Film Festival / Pet Travel / Dog Travel / Jessica Chastain / → All Tags
Jessica Chastain drew a crowd at the airport on Sunday but it wasn't just because fans were hoping to get her autograph. Jessica, who is promoting The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby at the fest this week, brought her best friend along for the trip: a three-legged rescue dog named Chaplin.
Pet Travel / Animals / Lists / Airline Fees / Airlines / Dog Travel / → All Tags
Happy National Dog Day! To celebrate, we're revisiting one of our most popular information posts of this year: the Guide to Pet Travel Fees on US Airlines.
When traveling with your four-legged best friend, keep in mind that they must fit certain size and weight restrictions in order to be accepted into the cabin, and not shipped as cargo. The guide below is for those pets that qualify as carry-on. Always check with the airline for the latest rules before purchasing and traveling. Just remember to have veterinarian paperwork detailing the pet's vaccination record, and have yours and your pet's travel booked in advance.
Pet Travel / Animals / Virgin / Virgin Australia / Frequent Flyer Miles / Velocity / Airline News / Dog Travel / Cat Travel / → All Tags
Earlier this year, we delved into the world of pet travel fees on airlines, a topic not much discussed but a frequent cause of concern for travelers with animals.
In the US, there are a few airlines that stand out when it comes to pet travel; Virgin America has a "pet liaison" named Boo and JetBlue awards 300 frequent flyer miles for every one-way flown with your fuzzy friend.
Abroad, any perks of pet travel are nearly non-existant, with the exception of what Air New Zealand is now calling "Australia's first Pet Frequent Flyer Program."
Now that it's the dead of winter it's also high time to head out on getaways to tropical locales, but often travelers don't realize there are plenty of ways to help out the community while soaking in the sun.
For example, in the Turks & Caicos there is an overwhelming population of pups, known as Potcakes, who need homes. One organization, Potcake Place, is helping to place these dogs with loving families visiting from the U.S.
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It really seems as though traveling with pets has been quite the hot topic of the last couple months, as we experimented with it, then JetBlue launched a Pet Pass, then model Maggie Rizer suffered a tragedy with her dog. And it looks as though pet travel won't be excused from the news anytime soon, as JFK Airport announces the development of the $32 million animal care facility.
From tiny kittens to massive racehorses, the building will be able to care for all sorts of jetsetting pets, but services will stretch beyond just kenneling to include grooming, quarantine, a vet hospital, a rehabilitation center, lawn space and an aviary.
Why this and why now? The AP/WSJ reports:
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Air travel for pets is often a precarious situation. Some airlines let Fido and Fluffy ride with their owners in the cabin, while others insist that animals go in the cargo hold. And, even if airlines are super permissive (like Pet Airways), it doesn't change the fact that animals often face health risks in the air. Take the sad story of Maggie Rizer's dog, for example.
Rizer, a well-known model and Vogue mainstay, had a golden retriever named Bea. Rizer often brought Bea around the world with her, most recently on a United Airlines flight from Newark to San Francisco. She took to her blog (heartbreakingly titled "And Bea Makes Three") to write about the pooch's death. Here is an excerpt:
Videos / Pet Travel / Animals / Dog Travel / Virgin / Virgin America / Airlines / → All Tags
Hopefully by this point in the week you've already seen the viral music video "Gangnam Style," so we safely declare the above cuteness the best video you'll see today.
It of course comes from Virgin America, who've been using Boothe "cutest dog in the world"to promote their pet friendliness. Back in June, Boo and Buddy (plus their owner) flew VX and the experience has been documented on VX's twitter and instagram. Finally it comes to YouTube with this best-of overview of Boo's First Class travel.
And, yes, his boarding pass does say "WORLD CUTEST DOG/BOO."
[Photo: Virgin America]
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As much as we loathe the forced lovey-doveyness of Valentine's Day, we love doggies. We especially love doggies who get to hop cross-country flights in search of a new and loving home, as chihuahuas have been doing on Virgin America for a couple years now.
Today marked the fourth ever Operation Chihuahua in partnership with Animal Care & Control San Francisco. It's all a case of supply and demand...and having a little heart. Shelters on the west coast are overpopulated with the tiny dogs, but homes on the east coast can't get enough of them. Thus, every so often the airline flies a bunch of the pups from shelters in San Fran to loving arms in NYC. They even get to wear little red hoodies.
"Awww" over more pictures of them in flight here.
[Photo: Virgin America on Facebook]
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Apart from being a new architectural landmark for Miami Beach, the New World Center is a cool place we highly recommend checking out. The building was designed by Frank Gehry and is worth gawking at for that fact alone.
The venue's main role is to be the home of Miami's New World Symphony and its slate of live performances. But even if you don't dig on classical or orchestral music, don't start yawning just yet. You might just like one of other activities the New World Center has going on. For example, you could...
1. Walk Your Dog Through the Parkor Sit and Eat a Sandwich
We love walking our dog here because, unlike Lumus Park down by the beach, it's almost always quiet. The grass is landscaped with little hills and pathways, and there are curved concrete seats to sit on and take five. Sure, you may share the park with the occasional homeless person, but they're usually just catching some zzzs and not bothering anybody. Besides, there is a security guard who rides around on a bike to keep you nice and safe.
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Happy Friday! Finally, right? It's been a long week, but you're mere hours from the weekend and thus, we thought it proper to celebrate by pointing out that even airports like to have a little fun.
We're specifically thinking of Dallas-Love Fieldtotal Southwest Airlines turfand their outdoor "dog rest areas." You know what we're talking aboutthe little plots designated as places for your pets to do their business before and/or after flights.
A friend of Jaunted recently spotted one such area at DAL, complete with the cheeky sign above. For pet owners traveling with their best furry friends, taking a flight isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world, and a little injection of humor such as this can go a long way to diffuse the anxiety.
[Photo: Erica Nevas]