JetBlue Touches Down in Palm Springs
When JetBlue’s inaugural flight between New York (JFK) and Palm Springs (PSP) landed on January 14th around 10 pm, there was a slight chill in the air, due in part to a theatrical “water cannon” welcome choreographed by the Palm Springs Fire Department. A welcome reception at the Palm Springs Airport was in full swing by the time Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon deplaned, accompanied by city officials and JetBlue executives. It was at this moment that Henri, a Jack Russell terrier, accompanied by Boston Herald journalist, Erica Corsano, was in the limelight.
Henri in his JetBlue JetPaws carrier.
Photo, top, left: Henri accompanied by Boston Herald journalist, Erica Corsano
Henri was the real scene stealer and, in my opinion, the ideal representative for JetBlue’s “JetPaws” program. As Henri comfortably rested in his fashionable JetBlue Carrier, leaving Ms. Corsano’s hands free to deal with travel details, I had just enough time to find out about Henri’s journey. I discovered that JetBlue is savvy in welcoming pets that are twenty pounds and under aboard their aircraft. Their nonrefundable one-way pet fee is $100, one pet per passenger. Each TrueBlue member traveling with a pet earns an additional 300 TrueBlue Points. The fee is waived for emotional support and service dogs (again, under twenty pounds).
Pets must remain in their carriers throughout the flight, with exceptions for emotional support and service dogs. JetBlue’s concern for pet safety and comfort are demonstrated by their custom pet travel products for purchase, such as their pet carrier co-designed by JetBlue and designer Cindy Adams of 1 Jazzy Couture, a stylish Jet-Paws Travel Kit, a JetBlue retractable pet leash and more. A JetBlue bag tag is attached to your pet carrier at checkin so that everyone knows you are ready to fly. Add to this a JetBlue dog collar or a personalized pet waste bag dispenser, which are available for sale on their website. Their official Jet Blue pet logo, a paw with wings on either side, is equally impressive. Currently, no health/veterinarian or vaccination documents are requirements for pets on domestic flights.
While in Palm Springs…
Henri hanging out at the Parker Palm Springs
Henri in a Mr. Turk Bowtie at the Trina Turk Boutique.
Henri at the Frederick Loewe Estate.
Here’s a tip from Ms. Corsano, whose cuddly Henri had a smooth-as-silk experience touring pet-friendly Palm Springs: “Henri has been a frequent flier on flights between Boston and Palm Beach, Florida, so he is accustomed to a carrier and my being hands free. I recommend a body purse for personal items, so you are better able to manage the dog carrier, which is counted as a carry-on item. The focus is to keep your pet calm and relaxed, reducing the chance of his barking. The JetBlue carrier bag is well ventilated, and Henri is used to it and it makes him feel safe and secure.” Seating with your pet should also be taken into consideration. JetBlue says, “You will not be assigned an exit row bulkhead seat, Mint seat, or any seat restricted for underseat stowage. A window or aisle seat is highly recommended.”
Purchase the right sized container for your animal — ensure that your animal has enough space to turn about normally while standing, to stand and sit erect, and to lie in a natural position.
JetBlue now welcomes pets with five flights weekly, Thursday through Monday, between Palm Springs and New York. Details at www.jetblue.com.