home_and_garden com
May 8, 2024
(Updated on
Apr 12, 2024

BarkBox Launches BARK Air, a 100% Real and Luxury Airline for Dogs

For too long, dogs have endured less-than-ideal conditions when flying, tucked into small carriers or isolated in cargo holds. The debut of Bark Air, an airline reserved only for canines and their human companions, is a game-changer for the canine care industry leader Bark. With plans to expand to other cities, this innovative service flies between London, New York, and Los Angeles. 

Source: Bark

Starting April 11, travellers will have the option to book a flight on Bark Air's ultra-luxurious, 10-guest private planes. These flights are not only pet-friendly but also designed with the comfort and safety of pets as a priority. Dogs can enjoy special amenities like noise-canceling earmuffs, blankets scented with calming pheromones, and even "dog Champagne" made from chicken broth.

This might sound like a parody, but it's anything but. In a newly released one-minute promotional video, dogs are showcased enjoying the high life, replete with meals prepared by a private chef, in-flight entertainment tailored to their tastes, a belly-rub button at each seat, and even a full bed to share with their owners. The video concludes with a flight attendant humorously noting, "If you think this is a joke, you're not a dog person," underscoring the campaign's serious intent. Bark, widely recognized for its BarkBox subscription service, is now venturing into new territory just in time for the peak travel season.

Not Just a Gimmick

Contrary to initial skepticism, Bark Air is not a publicity stunt. The initiative stems from a genuine desire to improve air travel comfort for canines, a concept Bark's founder, Matt Meeker, has championed since 2013. "This isn’t just an idea we whimsically threw together; it’s a thoughtful response to a decade of disappointment with traditional airlines," commented Dave Stangle, VP of Brand Marketing at Bark.

The service plans to operate using Gulfstream G500 jets or similar aircraft, which are known for their high-altitude capabilities and speed, potentially shortening flight times compared to traditional commercial flights. This setup allows pets and their owners to avoid the stress of typical airport procedures like TSA checkpoints. The interiors of these flights are planned with the canine passenger in mind, from the mood music and colour schemes to the arrangement of the seating based on the personalities of the dogs onboard. Bark Air aims to provide a stress-free environment where pets can mingle, play, or simply relax in comfort.

Luxurious Amenities on Board

- In-flight Entertainment: Pets can roam freely, play with each other, or relax on couches—a far cry from the cramped conditions of commercial flights. Calming pheromones are diffused throughout the cabin, and during takeoffs and landings, pets are offered water to help with ear pressure. "Every element of the flight is designed with canine comfort in mind," Stangle adds.

- Custom Comfort: Each flight will offer calming treats and jackets, noise-cancelling earmuffs, and special bedding to ensure pets are as relaxed as possible. A BARK Air concierge will welcome dogs and make sure they are at ease. 

- Gourmet Dining: Not just for pets, but human passengers will also enjoy custom meals prepared by a chef at the terminal, with options for complimentary mid-flight drinks and snacks.

- Custom Travel Plans: Post-booking, a BARK Air concierge will contact each customer to tailor the travel experience based on the specific needs of their dog.

Source: Bark

A Tail-Wagging Journey

Before, during, and after the flights, a dedicated concierge team will take personalized care of each canine passenger. “We contact each dog owner to learn about their pet’s preferences and any special needs. This allows us to customize the travel experience to ensure it is as comfortable as possible,” explained Stangle. Each Bark Air flight is prepared with the canine demographic in mind—from social interactions in the lounge pre-flight to tailored seating arrangements that ensure every dog has a first-class experience. Additionally, Bark-trained flight attendants are on board to take care of any in-flight needs.

Market Research and High Costs

Launching such a niche service comes at a steep price—$6,000 for a trip from New York to Los Angeles and $8,000 to London. However, Stangle is confident in the demand and foresees a future where costs could decrease, making premium dog travel more accessible. "Our market research supports the demand at these price points. As we grow and scale, we expect competition to help drive prices down," he explains.

Innovations in Canine Comfort

The innovations don't stop there. BARK Air plans to introduce 'Tail Winds', the world's first in-air dog park, as part of its ongoing efforts to provide unique and enjoyable experiences for pets. This feature is set to revolutionize how dogs spend their time in the air, allowing for play and relaxation at cruising altitude. The marketing campaign extends beyond the film, with strategic outdoor billboards placed in key cities and a robust social and digital content strategy designed to engage directly with dog owners on platforms they frequent.

Source: Bark

Looking to the Future

As bookings begin today on dogsflyfirst.com, both Bark is optimistic about the airline's future. With plans to expand routes by the summer, the potential for Bark Air extends beyond just pet travel, influencing how pet-friendly services are perceived globally. “As we expand and refine this service, we aim to make it more accessible. This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a broader movement towards dog-friendly travel innovations,” he stated.

As BARK Air takes to the skies, it promises to set new standards in pet travel, ensuring that dogs no longer just tag along but travel in style and comfort, truly ruling the skies. As Bark Air prepares for its inaugural flights on May 23, it sets a new standard in the industry, promising an experience that is as beneficial for the pets as it is for their owners.

These Insights might also interest you
Contact Us
Brand Vision Insights - Lets Talk!
Please fill out the form below if you have any advertising and partnership inquiries.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.