Given that pets are usually not permitted on aeroplanes, one of the hardest things for us pet parents is to leave them at home while we travel, checking them into a hotel of their own.
But recently, Nok Air, a Thai airline, held a one-of-a-kind trip in which passengers were allowed to bring their dogs along for the ride, according to this Facebook post. This is a unique offering, as airlines usually require for pets to be stowed in the cargo hold and not brought on board in the passenger cabin.
Dog owners travelling on 30 August from Bangkok Don Mueang airport to Chiang Mai brought their pets on board in specially designed carriers. Special bags marked "Nok Air Pet on Board" were used to transport the animals. The pet carriers included huge mesh panels so people could see their animals from the outside. The carriers also had an opening at the top to enable the pets to peek out of the bag.
Flight tickets for two people and one pet cost THB12,999 (approximately RM1,590).
One of the requirements for passengers bringing their pets is that before boarding, travellers who plan to bring their dogs must ensure that their animals are properly diapered in order to avoid any unpleasant incidents.
Nok Air has not commented on whether the animal package will expand to include more animals or if it will be made available for other routes. The airline however, has acknowledged that this was a one-time flight that allowed passengers to travel with their furry companions.
The airline has indicated that they would be willing to consider additional destination recommendations if there is continued public demand.
For the time being, Nok Air is the only Thai airline that welcomes pets on board. Let's hope that more airlines will join this initiative and begin providing services to enable travellers to bring their pets on board!