In one of my prior travel blogs I detailed Midwest Airlines’ gourmet meal options (see “New Menu Options at 35,000 Feet”). Now for you pet lovers who can’t bear to leave Fido or Fluffy at home (or who cringe at the thought of your furry friend flying in a cold cargo hold) some good news from the Milwaukee based airline. A new policy will allow travelers and their small dogs to fly together in the airplane cabin.
The airline has given the go-ahead to passengers who want to bring up to two small dogs (like a dachshund or Shih Tzu) on-board the plane and have them sit at their owner’s feet. The pets must be carried in an airline-approved carrier that can fit under the plane’s seat. (Midwest even sells the approved dog carriers on its website.) If you are traveling with a larger pet, don’t feel left out. The airline is catering to them as well. Midwest is touting a “temperature-controlled and pressurized pet compartment” in its cargo area.
The accommodations are a part of the airlines “”Premier Pet Program,” designed to appeal to pet-owning customers. And get this. The new pet program is also the “first of its kind to offer frequent flying pets that travel with their owners the opportunity to earn free travel.” Pets earn a free flight for every three paid round-trip flights they take with their owner.
When I first heard about the program, and especially the offer to let small dogs sit at their owners feet (albeit in a dog carrier), I instantly thought of my cousin who is allergic to fur. What if he ends up sitting next to Fred and Fido? I suppose he could ask to change seats. But, what of all the passengers who slip me the evil eye when my baby starts to bawl mid-flight? What do you consider more annoying a crying baby or a whimpering or howling dog? But, on the other hand, I could see that the presence of a dog in the cabin could serve as a distraction to my baby. We’ll see.