How this NYC airport is changing the game for pet travel
Four-legged flyers are getting a taste of the "suite" life.
Over 2 million animals fly commercially each year.
It's looks less like this:
And more like this:
The experience is often chaotic and stressful for humans and animals alike. While animals have a 1 in 50,000 chance of , stories of incidents often .
As such, pet owners are looking for any way to make sure their furry friends are happy and healthy throughout the travel experience.
That's why John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City is stepping up big time for animals and their owners.
To assist four-legged travelers and the humans who love them, Kennedy is turning an unused cargo terminal into The Ark at JFK, a full-service, USDA-approved airport facility just for animals.
And from the looks of it, it's going to be doggone fancy.
Named for the biblical vessel, The Ark at JFK is more than a terminal, it's set to be a first-class destination for pets.
Opening in early 2016, the 178,000 square foot space , a 10,000-square-foot facility built in the 1950s.
The Ark will house a pet spa (), dog suites, a cat adventure jungle, an animal training center, and a veterinary hospital. Pets can spend the night or just pop in between flights.
It will also be a comfy spot for larger animals like horses and livestock, who definitely can't fit comfortably under the seat in front of you.
When horses and livestock enter the United States, they're required to remain in quarantine to check for contagious diseases. Depending on their country of origin, the animal's stint in quarantine could last anywhere from At The Ark, their stay will include , hay-lined stalls.
This isn't just to make humans feel good about where their pets are; The Ark is designed to minimize stress on pets and livestock, thanks to input from architecture and animal experts.
The space was designed by master architects and leaders in animal facility design including .
You may know the name Temple Grandin because she is a leading animal expert, and the subject of the eponymous .
Grandin's systems encourage calm and humane animal transport and will be found throughout The Ark.
Staying at The Ark won't come cheap, but for many owners, it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Prices for are still in the works, but a could run pet parents $100, and that's on top of airline tickets and fees.
But for the 63% of pet owners who see their animal as a and who contributed to the , it may be a small price to pay for their comfort and safety during long and stressful trips.