The program also gives customers two bonus award points for each flight through JetBlue's TrueBlue customer loyalty program. The company is also offering pet travel accessories at "ShopBlue."
The JetPaws program includes a welcome email for pet owners/travelers within a week of booking; access to a downloadable e-booklet highlighting pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, parks and animal hospitals in some of JetBlue's destination markets.
The airline is promoting the new pet-travel program with a "JetBlue Pet Look-Alike" photo contest this month on www.JetBlue.com. To participate, consumers must upload a photo of themselves with their pets. JetBlue will post the submissions in which owners most resemble their pets on the Web site. The airline's crew members will vote on the top five photos. The grand prize is roundtrip travel for two to any of the airline's destinations, with four runner-ups receiving JetPaws Pet Carrier and Pet Travel Kit.
Meanwhile, Boston-based Airfarewatchdog.com, a consumer group that monitors airlines' pet policies, says new fee hikes and rules unfairly penalize pet owners. Fifty-one percent of respondents to a poll by the Boston-based group said pets should be allowed in the cabin, while 42% of respondents said pets should be banned from planes. The group says 63% of American households include pets.
JetBlue allows pets in airplane cabins, but charges a nonrefundable pet fee of $100 each way and stipulates that the combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 20 pounds. So much for Bruno.
The group says Frontier Airlines banned pets from the cabin this June and charges $400 to fly pets in the cargo hold. However, Frontier's Web site says it charges a pet carriage fee of $100 for small and medium kennels and a fee of $200 for large and extra-large kennels.
The group says Delta and American Airlines have recently raised their in-cabin pet fees to $300 from $200 previously, although the American Web site says its on-board fee is $100 per kennel. The group charges that United has raised its in-cabin fee for pets to $350, and to $500 for cargo. The Southwest Airlines Web site says the carrier has banned pets, except for assistance animals.