Traditionally, when pet owners wish to travel they have to endure the mundane task of arranging for their pet to be looked after by someone else and be forced to leave their beloved behind.
That all changes with VistaJet, where pet owners are able to fly with their pets and provide them with the ultimate luxury travel experience.
VistaJet, a private charter jet company who launched in 2004, has released a new animal companion service, called VistaPet. According to the company, VistaPet is the “most comprehensive and considered program for pets in the air”. VistaJet has collaborated with veterinarians, pet groomers, dietitians, and animal coaches to ensure the members’ pets are receiving a lavish 5-star travel experience.
The extravagant service begins before the guests even step on the plane, with the availability of a 4-week fear-of-flying course for anxious pets, which aims to desensitise them to inevitable experiences during a flight. This can include the smell of fuel, the sounds of jet engines, cabin air pressure, and the movements of air turbulence. VistaJet will also provide members assistance with pet travel permits and certificates needed, as well as vaccination requirements.
Once VistaJet’s passengers book the flight for themselves and their pets, they will receive specialised services including special care kits, sleep mats, and “bio-organic” pet food on board. Animals who board the plane are greeted with customised menus, designed by Michelin-starred chef Michael Roux, toys, and a handmade mat to relax on.
A typical menu could include an entrée of roast tenderloin, baked salmon or roast chicken with steamed, roasted or raw vegetables and whole grain brown rice. VisaJet’s Cabin Hostesses will offer natural flower essences which can be mixed with the pet’s drinking water to promote relaxation during the flight.
The members will also receive a ‘VistaPet Pochette’ – a travel bag containing salon quality fur care products as well as rope toys by Furzu to ensure their pets are pampered and entertained during and after the flight. The bag includes bio-organic food from Rockster and Random Rewards treats from The Dog House, which will provide access to high-quality nutrients during the flights or on arrival.
Similarly to a hotel or private concierge, who will recommend locations for a person to visit in their travel destination, the VistaJet team offers members suggestions on pet hotels, dog walkers, and more. They have selected a collection of various pet-friendly facilities and partners all over the world. VistaJet asserted that “whether you require a pet hotel in London, the best salon in New York or a photography session to capture moments with your pets around the world, just ask us for advice”.
According to VistaJet, approximately 30 million people travel with their pets annually, with a 104% increase in the number of pets flown over 2 years. However, according to a survey conducted by the company, only 75% of owners say they trust commercial airlines to safely care for their pets. This is what influenced VistaJet to introduce their own service to ensure that the owner’s pets are intricately taken care of and receive the deluxe treatment they deserve.
The executive vice president, marketing and innovation of VistaJet, Mattei Atti, disclosed that one defining moment that cemented his desire to launch VistaPet was when he read a news report regarding a woman who was kicked off a commercial flight for taking “an emotional support peacock”. That, he recounted, reinforced the idea that people have an unfulfilled aspiration take their animals wherever they go.
NetJets, a competitor of VitaJets, reveals that all of their flight experiences “are customised to owner needs”. Last year, 19, 709 pets flew with NetJets, where they catered the animals with “snacks, toys, and meals of their owner’s choosing”, a representative of the company explains.
The Chief Operating Officer at FlexJet, another alternative private jet travel provider for pets, expresses that the animals are treated “as precious passengers, not cargo. Our owner service representatives and dedicated flight crews become very close with our owners and know if they commonly fly with their pet”.
“That knowledge allows us to stock their assigned aircraft for that day’s journey with items like their preferred brand of treats, pet food, as well as collapsible water and food bowls placed near the gallery,” she adds, “Many of our flight crews will know where pets enjoy sitting, sleeping and playing within the cabin and will set out pet beds, blankets, and toys in those areas”.
If you are wishing to give your loved one the ultimate surprise gift, FlexJet has you sorted. Recently, FlexJet helped the owner of a new family pet introduce the dog in a way that the children will never forget. The owner took his sons on a flight to pick up a new puppy from the breeder.
“He was keeping it a secret from them and played it off as just a regular weekend trip. For their return flight home, we had a ‘new puppy’ basket waiting onboard with a beautiful puppy bed, collar, leash, blanket, decorative food and water dishes, toys and gourmet treats”.
Thanks to programs such as VisaPet, private jet flying experiences are no longer limited to just humans – dogs, cats, birds, and even lizards can receive luxury treatment for the perfect flying adventures with their owners.
By Sian McCaffery