Hawaii Flights Designed For Visitors With Dogs?

A company called BARK Air is about to take flight, and it made us think that perhaps it could even operate to Hawaii, opening a new travel era for Hawaii visitors and pets. This caught us off-guard, coming as both funny and serious at the same time.

We stumbled on the press release from BARK a few days ago, and then just kept thinking about it. BARK, a NYSE traded company, says it is all about dog happiness. They have just announced a partnership that will result in them introducing jet charter flights starting next month from New York. Their first flights will be to Van Nuys and to London.

BARK will be the world’s first air travel service designed primarily for dogs with human companions. Following initial flights departing from New York in May, BARK Air will with any success, undoubtedly consider expanding its routes that could perhaps include Hawaii, a beloved travel destination for pet owners.

Traveling to Hawaii with pets has long presented unique challenges.

That is due to the strict quarantine laws designed to keep the state rabies-free. However, BARK Air could streamline this process by adhering to Hawaii’s Direct Airport Release program. That allows dogs to bypass quarantine if certain conditions are met before arrival. This program is part of Hawaii’s ongoing efforts to facilitate safe and easy travel for pets and their owners.

Not long ago, Beat of Hawaii editors were on a flight from California to Kauai. There was a small dog in a carrier under a seat nearby. When the plane arrived at Lihue, the passenger and pet were met by a specialist, who handled the paperwork for the dog’s immediate release. The dog got out of the airport even faster than we did! But you have to do the prep work to make that happen, and we don’t want to make light of that.

Matt Meeker, Co-Founder and CEO of BARK, expressed enthusiasm about current and future expansion. This new service, in partnership with a premium jet charter company, is the first in the world to be designed mainly for dogs, allowing them, together with their human companions, to travel together in an unprecedented way.

Challenges faced by pets and pet owners on long flights.

BARK Air seeks to meet the challenges pet owners face traveling with dogs, especially those unable too large to fit under a seat and subjected to the stressful conditions of cargo travel. The problem is exacerbated on longer flights like those to Hawaii. BARK is helping to ease that with their first flights between New York, Los Angeles, and London.

BARK passengers are offered a seamless process for humans and pets.

Starting with what sounds like premium lounge quality service, dogs are introduced to socialize with one another before even boarding the flight. The jet cabin is equipped with dog-friendly features such as calming pheromones and specially curated pet-centric music. Onboard, flight attendants provide custom treats and toys, together with other amenities aimed at reducing anxiety and ensuring a pleasant journey for all.

The reservation process starts when humans are contacted by a BARK Air concierge to collect information about their dogs. Then, on the day of travel, dogs and their humans arrive at the airport 45-60 minutes early for check-in. At that point dogs can meet other furry friends going on their flight. All of this happens outside regular security since this is a charter flight.

Human guests will be treated well, too, with curated meals by “onsite chefs.”

Upon boarding, a BARK Air concierge welcomes dogs and gets them settled in. Any additional human or pet needs are said to be addressed too at that time.

Pets are also offered noise-canceling ear muffs and calming jackets for a stress-free environment. Dogs are served a choice of beverages after departure and prior to landing to help avoid ear discomfort. Treats are offered throughout the flight.

Restroom accommodations for dogs were not mentioned.

So that is, at this point, left to our imagination. Perhaps a grassy area has even been created. What do you think?

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28 thoughts on “Hawaii Flights Designed For Visitors With Dogs?”

  1. To bring your 4 legged Babies to Hawaii is a Very Long process. Because Hawaii is rabies free certain requirements need to be met. A Fur Baby(Babies) needs a special blood test that a Veterinarian needs to submit; in my case it was sent to Kansas State University. The test is to check for rabies antigen. The results take anywhere from 2 weeks – 1 month. A Negative result & associated paperwork is sent back to the Vet & is good for 5 years. Prior to bringing your Babies, Hawaii, like most places require updated vaccines & cleared by your Vet 14 days prior to travel. If that’s not enough Hawaii requires a payment of around $250 per pet. Active Duty Military go through the same process. You can verify by contacting Humane Society.

  2. I would like to travel with my Havanese to Hawaii but I’d be concerned that she may be hurt or frightened by larger aggressive dogs.

  3. I can’t think of a worse flying experience than sitting next to someone’s dog. Yuck!
    My first reaction is to keep dogs out of the passenger cabin period! Not a bad idea to have a dedicated flight as an option so I know what Not to book.
    The problem with the current model where the dog supposedly fits under the seat in front is you don’t know if you may end up sitting next to the mongrel, and have no recourse other than to suffer through a horrible flight sitting next to an animal.

  4. This is the most amazing news and I am so happy to finally hear someone has a sensitivity to pet parents…It is excruciating for most of us who loves to travel and have no other option for the four legged familly members but to leave them with family or worse — strangers to house them. I have been struggling with this issues since 2019 when I rescued a large size dog (Weimaraner)..Thank You and see you very soon (Heart)

  5. Thanks for bringing up this topic. The misuse of “therapy animals” excuse for allowing animals into airline cabins has gotten “above and beyond” out of control, for years. This should absolutely be restricted to people with legitimate physical disabilities, due to animal smell, behavioral, & restroom issues, and the affects on other passengers who choose to not fly along with their pets in the cabin.

  6. I would be interested. We have not moved permanently to Hawaii because we own two Golden Retrievers. One is two years old, but the other is 15 years old. We do not think our 15-year-old, still healthy, could endure cargo travel to Hawaii, and we have concerns about putting any dog in cargo. We couldn’t do that to a valued member of our family, perhaps to a not-so-valued type ;>) but that would not be a canine.

    1. We moved with an 8 year old lab and 9 year old boxer. Both had to travel in the cargo hold, which was no doubt stressful, for the period during which they were waiting in the noisy cargo shed and even noisier ramp. Once they’re loaded on board and the cargo door is closed, it is relatively dark and quiet, and most dogs sleep during the long flight. But upon arrival, they one again have to endure an extremely noisy ramp and cargo facility. Both our dogs made it ok, but looked very defeated when we picked them up.

      Luckily dogs are extremely resilient, and were back to their happy-go-lucky selves within 48 hours.

  7. Follow the Money .. Money Talks. They say that Money can’t make you happy but if you have Money then the world is your oyster.

  8. I was under the impression that because Hawaii does not have any rabies, dogs must go through a long period of quarantine when arriving in Hawaii. In other words, dogs are not easily taken on a holiday along with you.

  9. I don’t think any animal should be allowed in the main cabin of any regular passenger flight. I think in an emergency situation per owners could slow down the evacuation process to save their mutt. Wasting precious seconds to save a dog could be deadly

    That said, Bark Air is a good idea for people with any dog. Keep them off regular flights.

    1. If it’s that bad of an emergency that walking off with a little pet is that detrimental we’re probably all dead anyway lol…or more people would need help due to having a heart attack! Guess i haven’t been in that many plane emergencies..

  10. I am appalled by the new dog craze! I own a dog. I do not take my dog everywhere and for sure would not inconvenience those that are highly allergic on an airplane. The accidental smells, etc. People do not need to take their pets under tow at all times. Its pathetic to me. We have such a world of whiners, and weak minded individuals, and followers, that corporations are so greedy that they will do what the masses have followed to do. Yep, I said it! But I bet you wont print this!..Call me, travel with humans only please!

  11. We recently brought over five cats in two separate trips. The process is not for the faint of heart. It is easily a five month process from start to finish for the Direct Release program The timeline is not subject to much variance.

    We used a local Oahu company, Island Pet Movers. They have the process down cold, and wer
    e very helpful. One trip was Direct Release through Kona, and one trip through Honolulu, with connection to Hilo, near our home.

    Both are long trips from the east coast. I can’t imagine going through this just for a couple of weeks of vacation.

  12. Great. Just what Hawaii needs is more dogs crapping in their parks and beaches. They already have enough irresponsible owners

    1. No doubt there are plenty of irresponsible pet owners in Hi, its a huge problem, but on the big island dogs are not allowed at almost all beaches and parks. I’ve lived in 8 states, but have never lived anywhere else where dogs had so few places they could be taken to walk or hike. Not a great place to take your pets in the first place.

  13. BAHAHA!!!
    Okay…not for me, as I’m allergic to dogs but totally love them.
    Having witnessed the total failure of many an airline, as a pilot’s wife….
    Good Luck!!

  14. Being a pet owner, I love the idea….. again, wish that I could afford the amenity! I do agree that Hawaii should continue to require the strict entry policy and as long as the owner can provide that, I think this would be a great way for family pets to join the trip…. But finding pet-friendly accommodations is a whole other story….. literally. 🤙🏼🌺🐾

  15. If it’s not too cost prohibitive, this would be great. We travel back and forth all the time and wish the dogs could accompany us. Currently, only Alaska allows dogs on flights to Hawaii. More carriers allow dogs on board, when departing Hawaii. Between the cost of the pet fee charged by the airline and the paperwork fee charged by the State of Hawaii, and the Vet for the paperwork, it’s still too cost prohibitive. So I can’t imagine how much more expensive BARK will cost.

    1. I was on a Delta flight Kahalui to LA and there was a dog in first class. And of course the owner had the dog outside its carrier the entire time which is against policy.
      So I’m curious about the statement only alaska allows dogs.

      1. They were lucky they got 1st. There was a united flight yrs ago the f.a. insisted the dog be in luggage compartment and she killed it! Suffocated. Not one moron took action when they heard the whimpering.

      2. Ditto. We were on a United flight with a humungous St. Bernard in 1st Class! After boarding was completed and during the flight, the dog laid across the aisle. Passengers and flight attendants had to step over the dog to get by. We were all wondering how this could be allowed.

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