JetBlue Goes to the Dogs (and Cats)

Posted December 17, 2008 by Carl Unger

JetBlue recently launched JetPaws, a new travel service that is pet "fur-iendly." (I swear I did not come up with that! It's from JetBlue's press release!)  OK, so what does JetPaws provide, you might ask?

PettravelOn the surface, it doesn't look like JetPaws is much more than a new branding initiative for JetBlue's existing pet policy, which consists of a $100 each-way fee for small dogs and cats in the cabin (JetBlue apparently doesn't allow animals in the cargo hold). But there are benefits to the new service.

JetPaws will kick in two TrueBlue points each way when you travel with your pet, which is a nice perk. Other than that, customers receive a pet carrier bag tag, which, JetBlue says, will "let everyone know your pet is ready to jet," as well as Travel Petiquette, "a handy list of JetBlue's social graces of pet travel." JetBlue will also send you a welcome email with information and tips for your upcoming flight, and the airline has a free pet travel guide available for download on its site.

From there, it gets kitschy. JetBlue is selling trademarked pet travel gear, including a Pet Carrier and a Pet Travel Kit, which includes a fleece blanket, a white rubber bone toy, and a 16-ounce bowl emblazoned with the JetPaws logo. And, for the four-legged passenger that wants to display some JetBlue love, the airline has dog-sized  polo shirts and hoodies sporting the JetBlue logo and cute phrases like "JetWag" and "I only beg for Blue Chips." Seriously.

I'm a pet owner (the cutest dog and cat you ever did see), so I'm glad JetBlue is making pet travel seem more like a service than a hassle, even though my dog is too large to fly the JetBlue skies. And JetBlue does seem to have its heart in the right place by making (small) pets welcome aboard its planes. But JetBlue Doggie Polo shirts? I draw the line at dog clothes. I mean, small dogs in funny clothes are cute and all … the way they waddle around looking sort of confused … adorably confused … you know, I bet my dog would look cute in one of these … and Christmas is around the corner, so—wait! What am I saying? No clothes for dogs! No!

But good job otherwise, JetBlue. A well-deserved wag of the proverbial tail to you.

What do you think? Is JetPaws a step forward for travelers with pets, or just clever marketing? And would you get your little canine friend a JetBlue hoodie? Don't be shy

(Photo: Flickr)

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Reader Comments

?Is supposed to be a great program? A $100 per pup to ride under the seat!!! I have two West Highland White Terriers (Westies). We just went to Sarasota from Chicago on American. While we had a deal, the dogs cost us more than our tickets. When is a deal not a deal? At this point it becomes cheaper to drive from Chicago to Sarasota
with gas & hotel than to fly and rent a car. I see somebody getting shot in the foot here. I like your service.

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 04:30 PM by richard espe

I think $100. Is excessive for a small pet that put under th seat in front of you.With the economy so bad & seniors on fixed incomes,this is thoughtful;but not helpful.Thank you for your consideration.Sarah Hopkins

Posted on January 01, 2009 at 06:33 PM by Sarah Hopkins

This is just a glorified advertisement campaign aimed people who love their pets. I'd rather keep my dogs with good friends or a reputable pet hotel rather than put them through the trauma of air travel.

Posted on January 06, 2009 at 03:34 PM by Bob

What about big dogs? I need to go to canada with my black lab/ boarder collie, but i cant find out how much it will cost to get him onto a plane, or what planes even take dogs...

Posted on January 06, 2009 at 04:19 PM by Melissa Morris

Melissa--JetBlue doesn't take big dogs, unfortunately. Your dog and carrier must weigh 20 pounds or less. Air Canada will let you check a pet as baggage, as will most other major carriers. Air Canada charges $105 each way for this service, and other carriers will charge about this much, if not more. Thanks for reading!

Posted on January 06, 2009 at 04:25 PM by Carl Unger

It's a little pricy for me. I usually pay $160 for roundtrip under the seat and I thought that was high for the sky!

Posted on January 08, 2009 at 06:38 PM by Frances

I own three dogs, so in theory I like the idea. (if only my 40 and 60 pounder could hang out in the cockpit--they like to be in the driver's seat!)

But I think back to my childhood, when I was mildly allergic to cats and dogs. (outgrew that)

Some people need inhalers or possibly even epi-pens if around animals for just a few minutes.

What happens when someone allergic to animals finds themselves sitting next to one of these special guests?

Also, I imagine the experience could be frightening to a small animal, combined with ear pressure changes, or other animals onboard, it could be a rough flight.

So no one has problems about whining little dogs or allergic reactions?

If faced with a NYC-LA flight with a "yapper", I think I'd (gulp) prefer the cell phone "loud talker" instead! At least their battery would wear out! :)

I'm surprised the airlines don't segregate this to certain sections of the planes or certain flights.

...woof...

Posted on January 13, 2009 at 01:08 AM by GP

$100 for under the seat?

Sorry but I'll pay the extra and have my cat ride in the seat next to me. Why should she shoved under the seat to only be kicked by the long legged guy or teased be the 5 year old in front of me.

In emergency, which are happening quite frequently, I want quick access her carrier to grab and exit.

And where's the kitty-wear, what no one thinks cats wear shirts? Mine won't but somewhere one does, JB stop catering to the pup. Dogs drool, cats rule!!!

Posted on February 28, 2009 at 09:08 AM by Cassandra

I'm very dissapointed with jet blues catering to the animal loving customer. Somewhere along the line we crossed over to humanizing 4 legged creatures.It may be surprising to alot of pet owners that there are many people who don't like cats and/or dogs especially on an airplane in the human passenger compartment. My son who loves to travel and is severely handicapped is afraid of dogs especially Barking ones.If he were to encounter a bark of any type on a plane he would be very upset and never want to fly again. But that doesn't seem to matter to the self centered animal lovers who think if a person doesn't like cats or dogs there is something seriously wrong with them. In my sons case there is but many so called normal people feel the same.Jet Blue this is a bad idea. If there ever was an emergency landing somewhere the dogs in there carriers would be grabbed and the carriers would inhibit the orderly evacuation of the plane.As in my case my handicapped son would not be a priority.

Posted on June 19, 2009 at 09:58 AM by jerry

jerry,

sometimes people need to go places with their dogs. much like sometimes you need to go places with your handicapped son. simple logistics. get over it.

Posted on June 19, 2009 at 12:39 PM by lo

Very much an animal lover here but cannot compare an animal to a human emergency.(like in comment about handicapped son)..pleeze people...
Anyway, I am highly allergic to cats. Like em but can't breathe around them normally. Had an incident on JetBlue on a red eye flight from west coast to east coast. I coughed and wheezed the whole time not knowing a lady behind me had her cat sitting on the "seat" in its cage rather than under the seat. Since it was a red eye flight, I didn't realize this until we landed. Could have been a very serious situation for me. I believe people with pets and in my case, especially cats, should be placed in just a certain area, away from people proned to allergies. Now each time I fly to the west coast I ask the JetBlue people as I am boarding, if someone has a cat and if I need to change seats, I do.

Posted on July 10, 2009 at 01:25 PM by Huddie

Airline industry is increasingly getting competitive. And every airline is trying to compete with its rival, wooing its customers with cheapest possible fares. So it thought that it is very unlikely to get cheaper fares that what are being offered off the counter. This statement though viable is not completely free of error. Achieving Cheap Airfares is still a reality.

Posted on July 13, 2009 at 03:23 AM by manas

I Would Get My Yorkie a hoodie.=)

Posted on July 21, 2009 at 08:53 PM by MARIO MEDRANO

i really like jetblue letting dog in the airplane!!

gooooooooddddd way!!
100 dollar little bit pricey but it's worthedd!!


woowww...

sorryy for those of animals haters =(

Posted on July 29, 2009 at 10:53 PM by duran

If your dog isn't a service dog this is definitely the airline to travel on.

Posted on December 10, 2009 at 05:53 PM by Service Dog

I think its Great! But what if your dog doesn't fit under seat?
My dog always has to be on my lap and look out the window. She is not that small or large. Its a boxer. Very well behaved. But she will not stay on the floor.


Posted on December 21, 2009 at 09:41 PM by Becca

I have two dogs and the Jet Blue only allows one dog per person under the seat unless another person is traveling with you and doesn't mind having my dog under the seat in front of them. Very pricey for me $400 round trip! My dogs are small but would not be quiet for a trip from Boston to LA. I would probably not fly Jet Blue because of this. Some airlines will take two pets in one carrier but mine would not behave in one carrier. So I will look for a pet airline exclusively transporting pets if I do fly or keep them at home with a relative.

Posted on February 09, 2010 at 12:50 PM by Loretta

God blesses us, so how does He feel when we show blatant disregard for his work by flying pets in planes for $?

Posted on May 05, 2010 at 02:12 PM by pets carriers


Pets are such a good company for us I'm sorry for the people that doesn't like them.

Posted on May 07, 2010 at 01:35 PM by diaphoresis

Its kinda expensive for some pet owners but im sure its worth it.

Posted on November 02, 2010 at 12:52 PM by pets and kids

$100 a bit expensive but worth trying.

Posted on November 09, 2010 at 09:40 AM by Airport Lounges

For Jerry,

I think your opinion about the carriers and the hypothetical emergency situation is incredibly self centered. People care about who/what is important to them and who they love. It's understandable that your main concern should be your handicapped son, but you shouldn't expect that to be everyone else's concern. They would of course be responsible for their own loved ones. A life is a life, period.

There are so many people with physical or mental handicaps that require service dogs to lead independent lives. Usually service dogs are larger animals and it's often difficult to find an airline that would accommodate them.

There are therapy animals that bring so much joy and happiness to sick/elderly people, kids with cancer, etc.

People should remember that flying is a luxury, not an entitled activity.

Maybe keep these thoughts in mind when you feel victimized or inconvenienced the next time you fly.

Posted on November 29, 2010 at 11:13 PM by Hanna

Well said, Hanna! I'm with you.

Posted on June 07, 2011 at 01:22 AM by Tabatha


Just Wondering if you ONLY fly SMALL dogs - WHY does your add photo - picture a LARGE BREED - dog?

Your photo above of the dog looking out of the window. Abit misleading don't you think, when your trying to research information on flying medium / large dogs!

Posted on June 27, 2011 at 02:18 PM by Just ~ WONDERING!!!

. We just went to Sarasota from Chicago on American. While we had a deal, the dogs cost us more than our tickets. When is a deal not a deal?At this point it becomes cheaper to drive from Chicago to SarasotaAlso, I imagine the experience could be frightening to a small animal, combined with ear pressure changes, or other animals onboard, it could be a rough flight. If there ever was an emergency landing somewhere the dogs in there carriers would be grabbed and the carriers would inhibit the orderly evacuation of the plane.As in my case my handicapped son would not be a priority.

Posted on December 02, 2011 at 12:03 PM by Service dog

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