Pet Travel: Top Pet-Friendly Airlines releases list of the top pet-friendly airlines.

ByABC News
July 28, 2010, 3:53 PM

Aug. 2, 2010— -- Horror stories abound when it comes to flying with pets. Stowed away in cramped stuffy cargo holds for hours, hundreds of pets have died as a result of flying. There is hope for increasing the odds of a safe trip, however. Concerned owners can refer to's latest list of the Top Pet-Friendly Airlines in the U.S. to make sure Fido and Fluffy make it to their final destination.

"Pets are becoming more of an integral part of our families so it's only natural that airlines are taking pet travel more seriously," said Betsy Banks Saul, the co-founder of said in a press release. "This list will raise awareness on criteria that pet parents should take into consideration, such as the risks of traveling in cargo, so they can make well-informed decisions."

The overall winner was no surprise this year with the introduction of the pets only airline, PetAirways, in July 2009. PetAirways caters specifically to pets and carries no human passengers, just pawsengers, as the airline calls them.

Pets are treated to a level of service and attention on PetAirways that is unmatched by any of the other airlines. Each pet travels in its own individual carrier in the pressurized main cabin. Pet attendants check on the animals every 15 minutes, and the 'pawsengers' are given bathroom breaks as necessary.

PetAirways now serves nine cities across the U.S. with its pets-only flights. For those not flying one of these routes, evaluated the service of the major airline carriers and awarded winners in multiple categories.

Low-cost carrier JetBlue won two awards in the annual survey, and the airline has been lauded for refusing to allow pets to travel in the cargo hold. JetBlue was recognized as the best for animal health and safety and as having the best pet-friendly amenities.

JetBlue's pet travel program, JetPaws, includes a bag tag for the pet carrier, a guide on "Travel Petiquette," 300 TrueBlue points for members of JetBlue's travel rewards program, and a welcome e-mail with travel tips. In the event that a pet becomes ill during the flight, JetBlue's flight attendants will ask to find out if there is a veterinarian on board. Small dogs and cats fly in the cabin for $100 each way.