If ever a trend took the travel industry by storm, pet travel is the one. Following Pet Airways' launch of the first pet-only airline, Animal Airways introduced a pet escort service to supervise animals en route and then a new cargo division. Throughout the year, we tracked the Top 10 Dog-Friendly Cities, Top 10 Dog-Friendly Regions, and Pet-Friendly U.S. Airlines. American Airlines opened a Pet Relief Area in New York's JFK International Airport, and the many hotels embracing the furry-friendly trend included Harrahs Resorts, The James New York and Walt Disney World Resort's Best Friends Pet Care Resort, in addition to last year's Top 10 Pet-Friendly Hotels.
We've come a long way in recent years. In 1947, American airline Braniff International Airways' introduction of pet transportation was still news. Unless the pet was a seeing-eye dog, to fly in the main cabin at no charge, pets were transported in the baggage compartment in cages or containers.
Finally, in 1970, the nation's first pet resort opened in Purr’n Pooch Inc. (PNP). Recently, we found that pet owners travel at least 50 miles with their pets and at least once a year — thus it makes perfect sense that loyalty rewards would recognize pets as much as their owners.
As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we're taking a look at what was happening in the industry in the past and asking agents to share their thoughts on what has changed in the industry in the present. Please share your thoughts by posting a comment below, writing us at our Facebook page, sending a tweet to our Twitter page or by engaging in a discussion in real time at AgentNation (the only social community online for all kinds of travel agents, which certainly wasn't around 80 years ago). We want to hear from you.