This surprising option makes traveling with your pet a worry-free experience
The Coachella Valley is fortunate to have a private airplane charter company right in their own backyard. Located at the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, Desert Jet specializes in all aspects of private aviation travel, from on-demand charter to aircraft management, maintenance, and fixed-base operator (FBO) facility and ground services, offering a personalized flight experience tailored to specific passenger needs.
One of the services attracting passengers to Desert Jet is allowing pets to travel comfortably in the cabin with their owners. In a climate where pets are becoming increasingly unwelcome aboard commercial flights, this is an important consideration for pet owners planning air travel. Pet Companion Magazine had the opportunity to chat with Desert Jet Owner Jim McCool, CEO Jared Fox, and CMO Chris Little to find out more about this pet-friendly way to travel.
PHOTO COURTESY DESERT JET»
What inspired the inclusion of pets at Desert Jet? We understand the dangers of placing pets in cargo/baggage holds on commercial airliners and the worry it causes pet owners. We believe in creating an experience not only for the human passenger but also for the pets that travel with them. “At Desert Jet, we treat pets like members of the family, allowing them to travel securely in the cabin of the aircraft,” said Desert Jet CEO Jared Fox. “Among the many conveniences of flying private is being able to travel comfortably with your pets, who are also welcome inside the Desert Jet Center terminal and aboard Desert Jet planes.”
“In this COVID environment, people who have never flown private before are discovering that the comfort, security, and convenience make charter flights an attractive option. The ease of driving your car up to the plane, having your pets hop on, and flying comfortably to your destination is about as simple and as wonderful an experience as you can describe.” —Jim McCool
Can you elaborate on the boarding experience? We set high standards for ourselves to offer a convenient, stress-free boarding process. First, when a pet is flying with their owner, the pet’s name is added on the trip sheet, so we know to provide special amenities, like extra doggie blankets, biscuits, or a water dish. Next, pet owners can drive their car up to the ramp and position it next to the plane, allowing their pets to jump out of the car and onto the plane. The flight crew greets passengers, and the line crew from Desert Jet Center takes the bags. No security lines, no crowded terminals, and no stressful airline schedules. Our clients create their own itinerary, traveling on their own schedule. After a quick preflight trip to the grassy relieving area for the dogs, it’s up the steps to the cabin for takeoff.
How do the staff feel about flying with furry companions? “Desert Jet flight crews pride themselves on creating a relaxing, welcoming environment for both people and pets,” said Desert Jet CMO Chris Little. “Ensuring all passengers feel safe, comfortable, and confident on their flight is key to the Desert Jet experience.” Team members are happy to hold the leash or lend a hand at Desert Jet Center, our executive FBO facility, where pets have easy access to relieving areas or to visit the “Paw Bar” inside the terminal for fresh drinking water and biscuit snacks.
What pets are allowed? Our clients typically bring dogs or cats of various sizes. Some pet owners bring smaller animals inside cages, such as rabbits, hamsters, birds or reptiles, and their pets also travel safely inside the cabin.
Is Desert Jet involved in pet adoption efforts? Desert Jet has flown numerous animal rescue missions. We provided air transportation for puppies who were rescued by a non-profit from a puppy mill, heading to their new forever homes in California.