On private flights, dogs under 150 pounds are usually allowed to sit on an aircraft’s seats, though pets must be secured by a seatbelt or placed in a carrier during taxi, takeoff and landing, private jet operators said. On some jets, once a person buys a seat, there is no additional cost to transport a pet or requirement to purchase a seat. Multiple companies even help clients navigate country-specific pet restrictions and assemble required documents for entry, another obstacle to flying internationally with pets.
But these private flights can be incredibly expensive, with a price tag that can run to tens of thousands of dollars, even for a domestic jaunt from one coast to the other.
For years, Rusty Rueff, a 62-year-old start-up adviser and investor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, flew his dog across the country on Pet Airways, an airline founded in 2009 that carried only animals. But the company shut down several years ago.
Mr. Rueff said that while he’d flown privately with his 5-year-old French bulldog Theo several times during the pandemic, it wasn’t a practice he wished to continue. When he’d tried to fly commercially with a previous dog, also a French bulldog, they’d sometimes been prohibited from boarding the plane, he said. That uncertainty has made him reluctant to fly commercially with an animal.
Instead, his family drives across the country from the Bay Area to Rhode Island, where they have a summer place. He called the annual trip “a pain.”