A British-based company has started a luxury plane-charter service for travellers who want to fly with their dogs, and the idea is causing some controversy.
Mile-high pet pampering
K9 Jets, who already offer services to New Jersey, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Paris, and Lisbon, now has a new proposition: between Dubai and London Farnborough. The choice of Dubai is telling. The city’s reputation as a supposedly “high-end” retail destination means it attracts the sort of people who are prepared to pay out to share some mile-high pampering with their pet.
And pay out they will. A one-way ticket costs £8,166 (over €9,400). For that, flyers and their furry friends will get seats together and bubbles to sip en route.
Adam Golder from Birmingham, who co-founded the company with his wife, said: “K9 Jets believes that all members of the family, including pets, deserve to travel together comfortably and in style. We couldn’t be happier to add this new destination just in time for the holidays.”
Environmental campaigners meanwhile have reacted with astonishment and fury.
Todd Smith, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion and a pilot himself, questioned the commitment the private flyers really have to the planet and its creatures: “It gives me a strange sense of hope that even the super-rich are still capable of loving an animal, but we are still astonished that these same people cannot connect with the collapsing natural world around us.”
Smith went on to also blast Farnborough Airport, which is the birthplace of British aviation, but these days is primarily a business and private hub. Smith said it is “notorious” for excessive travel.
“It does not surprise me that K9 Jets is the latest ridiculous service they have added to their portfolio. As a former pilot, it seems clear to me that we need to slow down our lives and offer truly sustainable and clean transportation instead of expanding highly polluting private jet airports that cater to a small minority of ultra-rich individuals”, he said.
Golder’s response to the eco criticism was to restate K9 Jets’ “responsibility towards the environment” which he said the company took “seriously”. The firm pledges “to offset the CO2 emissions of every flight by closely collaborating with trusted experts in CO2 reduction,” he added.
Carbon offsetting however has been discredited as a sustainability strategy and is the subject of multiple environmental lawsuits around false advertising.