Pets on holiday: flying luggage, pampered guests

Fri Aug 6, 2010 6:09am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Airlines may charge a small fortune to transport animals in noisy cargo holds, but pets vacationing with their owners are finding that when they deplane, there's a room with a treat waiting for them.

"It costs $200 one-way to transport your pet as checked baggage," said Genevieve Shaw Brown, senior editor at Travelocity. "On the other hand, there are plenty of hotels that are pet friendly"

Sixty-one percent of pet owners traveled with their furry friends last year, according to a survey of 1,200 U.S. travelers by the travel website TripAdvisor.

Fourteen percent said they thought bringing their pet was more cost effective than boarding them in a kennel, according to Brooke Ferencsik, of TripAdvisor, who has taken his two Labrador retrievers on many road trips throughout New England.

Pet-friendly means more than throwing the dog a bone.

"Some hotels have pet sitting and pet walking services, grooming and even pet massage," Ferencsik said. "But that doesn't mean they stay for free."

He said pet surcharges can run from $25 to $100 a night.

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, a nationwide chain of 50 boutique hotels, prides itself on extending hospitality to all companion creatures, great and small.   Continued...