Avvinue, which bills itself as the only self-service pet travel booking platform, announced its beta launch on Monday (April 11), which was also National Pet Day.
The company said its platform, now open for the public to test, helps travelers search and purchase flights on more than 500 pet-friendly airlines, offering transit with pets in-cabin, pets in-cargo or on private shared charter planes.
“It’s rather shocking that in such a digital age, airlines still require people to do manual research on their airline pet policy in order to find out if their pet can fly. And when they find those details, they still have to call the airline to make the reservation,” Nicole Caba, Avvinue’s founder and CEO, said in a press release. “It can take between an hour to several hours just to book one flight with a pet.”
According to the company, more than two million pets travel on commercial flights each year in the U.S. alone. Global aviation firm VistaJet has seen an 86% rise in the number of animals being flown in the last two years, while Airbnb launched a feature last year to let customers find pet-friendly properties.
“The longer you’re traveling, the longer you’re actually living somewhere, the more you want to bring the whole family — and usually your entire family includes your dogs or cats,” Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb — and the owner of a golden retriever, the news release noted — said in an interview with The Washington Post.
As PYMNTS reported last year, Airbnb has also seen a 270% increase in searches for WiFi-enabled, pet-friendly properties as more people mix travel and remote work.
“We love our pets — they are our children, and it is no longer the safest option to leave our pets with a pet sitter or a boarding service,” Caba said.
Per the release, Avvinue uses a proprietary algorithm that works with USDA-certified and International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA)-approved agents to ensure pets have a safe and secure travel experience, while also giving pet parents transparency throughout their entire travel journey.
Travelers can use the platform to search, compare and book pet travel, while also coordinating their pet’s flight reservation and getting guidance on their pet’s trip.