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?
On 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
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