Home Part of States Newsroom
Commentary
Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: This airline is going to the dogs…literally

Share

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: This airline is going to the dogs…literally

Jun 15, 2024 | 6:00 am ET
By Celia Rivenbark
Share
Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: This airline is going to the dogs…literally
Description
The author is worried about what the arrival a new airline dedicated to luxury travel for dogs says about humans. Photo: Getty Images

Anytime I write about dogs I get mail from readers who accuse me of the worst thing they can imagine: “You sound like a CAT PERSON!” Well, yes. But I’m dog-curious. 

Besides, who stood up for poor Cricket just a few weeks back? When South Dakota’s nutjob governor Kristi Noem wrote about killing her puppy, I didn’t hesitate to defend the doggie. 

I’m a cat person who has no problem with well-behaved dogs that don’t try to do unspeakable things to my leg or bark all day for no logical reason. Timmy is soooo not in the well. Your bowl is overturned and you have only yourself to blame Rover.

But, sure. Dogs are fine. Not my favorite but just fine if you can’t have a cat for some reason. 

That said, the launch of BARK Air just seems…what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yes. Insane. 

BARK Air, according to a pawsitively glowing NPR story is a brand-new airline offering a “white paw experience” to dogs as they jet across the country or to London (and soon, Paris).

Flight attendants serve the dogs, who must be accompanied by their humans, puppuccinos, special cupcakes and, wait for it, a shoe on a platter.

How much does all this cost? Exactly $6,000 each way (includes your human) if you’re flying from New York to L.A. and $8,000 each way if traveling to London.

The world has lost its damn mind.

The same people who carp about carbon footprints are up in the sky, somewhere over Oklahoma City right about now, watching their dogs get deep tissue massages on a “lay-flat” bed. I repeat: World. Lost. Mind.

Please do not litter my inbox with your stories about how awful it is to fly a dog in the cargo hold. I’m sure it’s wretched but, if we’re being honest, is it really that much worse than the middle seat in Economy on the back row that never reclines with its olfactory stew of burnt coffee and busy bathroom? I doubt it. 

BARK Air’s CEO, Matt Meeker, says he knows it’s expensive and he hopes to make doggie-centric flying more affordable when the company buys its own airplane, hopefully a 747 that will be large enough to feature a dog park and separate bars for humans and dogs to socialize.

I am not making this up.

To be fair, even with the free-range pooping (followed by speedy cleanup by staff, we are assured), it’s possible some of these pooches behave better than humans on a cross-country flight.

I don’t think any dog would’ve behaved like the female human passenger who, upon seeing other people’s luggage in the overheard bin above her seat dumped it all out on the floor.

Bad human!!

Or the jerk who demanded everyone get free drinks for being inconvenienced after a passenger died on a flight to Boston not long ago.

And it’s unlikely a dog would clip its toenails, apply smelly nail polish or eat a garlic and onion pizza like humans do. And, yes, that last one was me. Sorry Row 27.

Dogs aboard a turbulent flight on BARK Air, Meeker said, didn’t panic but did pad down the aisle to lay their snouts on the laps of humans who appeared anxious.

All y’all say “Awwwwwww.”

Mercifully, there have been no reported incidents of dogs trying to gain membership into the Mile High Club, another stupid human trick I’ve never understood. Nothing says romance like a chemical toilet and lighting that makes you look like you died somewhere over Denver.

Meeker proudly assures owners their dogs will “never be treated just as another piece of luggage.”

Amen to that. I’d hate for the dog to arrive in the wrong city with unexplained black grease on his head and a huge dent in his side.