For some people, there’s no end to what they’d do for their dogs. And when one of your dogs is a 150-pound mastiff who is too big to fly in cargo on planes, well, there’s only one thing to do when you need to relocate them to Paris, France: charter them a private jet.
@herboozytails Cost + all over videos are in our “moving abroad with dogs” playlist! Honestly so grateful for this experience but even more grateful that it’s all over with 😅 we didn’t love having to pay this much to get the dogs over, nor the stress of planning the flight, but it was all worth it for the rest of our experiences! #movingabroad #traveldog #dogmom #traveltok #greatdane ♬ How`s Your Day – aAp Vision
When the couple decided to relocate to Paris, that meant their three dogs were coming along, too. However, they didn’t want their senior golden retriever and 150-pound great dane age to fly in cargo. They felt their golden was too old to be comfortable on a long flight, and since their great dane is so big, he exceeded the maximum weight specs for most airline cargo compartments. So they did what any loving pet parents would do and found an alternate way to fly with the dogs.
For the two pups, plus one of their human parents, the cost was around $12,000. However, because a private plane charter to France from New York costs far more than that, they reached out to other pet parents around the country to split the cost with other families relocating with dogs. The final manifest on the plane included nine humans and 11 of the luckiest dogs in the world. The couple decided to have their smaller dog, around 12 pounds, fly commercial (with one of his humans, of course).
The dogs on the flight had a great time
In the adorable video, it’s clear that the owners all went out of their way to make the dogs comfortable. Like most humans presented with the opportunity to travel via private plane, the dogs took advantage of their flights by getting as comfortable as possible. From curling up in the oversized leather armchairs to stretching out a bit and using the armrests as chinrests, it seems like every dog had a great time. And considering they had humans available to ensure they had plenty of cozy blankets and ear scratches on demand, the dog’s flights were more comfortable than the humans.
The humans…not as much
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While the plane itself was certainly luxurious, the humans didn’t get much sleep. According to Melanie Demi in the video, “Rather than relaxing, it was mostly about just trying to keep the dog as calm as possible.” While it looks like all the dogs got some shuteye, most of the humans stayed awake for the entire eight-hour flight to ensure their furry friends didn’t have any problems or get scared during the flights.
How to find a plane that allows dogs on flights
In order to fly their two pups to Paris without going broke, the couple started by trying to find other people with dogs moving to Europe. By booking one shared flight, they were able to split the total cost of just over $100,000 with eight other travelers. That brought the cost per person (not per dog) to a “reasonable” $12,000. A large fee for sure, but certainly worth the sacrifice for humans who would never consider putting their pubs in the cargo hold of planes. The couples said it took three years of planning and saving to make the trip happen.
It’s easy to find online private jets available for charters, and prices carry based on factors like the type of aircraft, flight distance and length, and the time of year. But in general, the cost of a private jet charter can range from a few thousand dollars for a short, domestic flight to tens of thousands of dollars for an international flight. Websites like PrivateFly and JetSuite can usually provide nearly immediate quotes.
No word on any extra fees for carrying not one but 11 four-legged friends was, but one clear thing is that it must have been the cutest flight landing in Europe that day. As one TikTik commenter responded, “I would actually pay more to be on a private plane with 19 dogs.”Considering how many airports have therapy dog programs, there are probably quite a few people out there who share the same view.
Airline pet regulations on US airlines
Regulations vary a bit airline to airline for dogs on flights, but they’re all fairly similar.
American, Delta, Southwest, and United all allow cats and small dogs on flights in the cabin on most flights within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but there are some restrictions on flights to other destinations. Fees start at $125 each way for America, Delta, and United, and $95 each way on Southwest.
However, some countries won’t let you enter with pets in the cabin, such as Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the UAE, all of which only allow pets in cargo to enter the country. However, traveling with pets in the cargo areas of planes can be dangerous, and also limited by your pet’s size. On most US airlines, the combined weight of your pet and his or her carrier can’t exceed 100 pounds.
Additionally, most vets recommend against traveling with your pet in cargo whenever possible. Traveling in cargo can be extremely scary and stressful, and temperatures can vary wildly during the flight, as can how well your pet is secured during turbulence. The max time a dog is allowed to be in cargo as well is usually around seven or eight hours, which means you’ll need to book a multi-stop flight to give your dog a chance to get out of his or her crate.
What all this means is that private air travel may be the only option for folks who treat their dogs like family or who have dogs larger than 90 or so pounds. Additionally, don’t forget that many countries have strict requirements about bringing in domestic pets, ranging from proof of a vaccine certificate to letters from vets, passports, and mandatory quarantine time. You can check those regulations at BringFido.com.
International travel can be hard on even the most gentle-natured of pets, so if you have the means to do so, booking a private (and adorable) group flight may be your best option.