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BarkBox Service Lets Well-Heeled Dogs Fly in Style

No pet parent relishes the idea of their dog traveling in a plane’s cargo hold.

A new service by subscription dog treat company BarkBox aims to end that situation for pet lovers who can afford it.

As Bloomberg News reported Friday (April 12), Bark Air lets dog owners reserve flights on Gulfstream 550 private jets, with all members of the family traveling in the main cabin. 

According to the report, the airline will offer weekly flights from New York to Los Angeles — and LA to NY — as well as twice monthly flights from New York to London, with fares starting at $6,000 one-way on the transcontinental U.S. flights—a ticket includes a seat for one person plus one dog—plus $8,000 one-way on the New York to London route.

The first flights — on jets owned and operated by charter company Talon Air — will take off May 23, with dogs allowed to sit anywhere in the cabin. Flights offer a dog-specific menu with delicacies such as “dog Champagne” (chicken broth), and someday include an onboard play area resembling a dog park.

“We’ll find out if this is a service that the world wants and values,” Matt Meeker, Bark’s co-founder and CEO, told Bloomberg. “If not, we’re going to have a heck of a time finding out.”

Regardless of whether dog owners want Bark’s specific offering, recent reporting by PYMNTS shows that pet parents value services that treat their four-legged friends like part of the family.

These feelings are being harnessed by companies like Synchrony, whose CareCredit earlier this year launched a collaboration with Destination Pet, a provider of veterinary care and pet services. It involves offering CareCredit’s financing solution at Destination Pet locations across the country, for things like boarding, daycare, grooming, veterinary care and pet resorts.  

“In our conversations with the executive team at Destination Pet — their customers are asking for it,” Jonathan Wainberg, GM of Synchrony’s pet business, told PYMNTS in January. 

“People are still bringing pets into their family and at increased rates. And they are spending more,” Wainberg said.  

Backing up this assertion is data showing that in 2022, the global pet care market reached $235.32 billion and is expected to reach $368.88 billion by 2030. 

“These figures clearly indicate why Synchrony is seeking to expand its market share in the industry,” PYMNTS wrote.