Guaranteed on Board program gives pet owners peace of mind

Passengers flying with their pets have always had a rough time navigating the tricky rules surrounding pet carriers. And many have been frustrated to find that carriers that they thought were approved for travel in the plane’s cabin were deemed unsuitable by gate agents. When that happens, many pet owners find themselves out of luck – unable to board the plane, but not eligible for a refund on the flight.

To help, the Sherpa pet carrier company has teamed up with eight pet-friendly airlines to offer the “Guaranteed on Board” program, a sort of insurance policy for those traveling with their pets. The GOB website details the sizes and types of carriers allowed on each airline. Passengers who purchase an approved carrier can go online to register it (after making arrangements to bring the pet on board directly with the airline they are flying) print out the Guaranteed on Board certificate and bring it with them to the airport. If they are then refused boarding by an airline official due to the carrier, the program will reimburse them for the cost of the missed flight.

Airlines participating in the program include American, Midwest AirTran, Continental, Northwest, Delta, Southwest, and Alaska. American and Delta have even designed their own bags, which they sell on the Sherpa website. If your pet can’t fly on its own airline, at least you can have some assurance that your carrier will be up to spec, or you’ll get your money back for being bumped off a flight.

Gadling gets an exclusive look at Virgin America’s cockpit technology

While there have been many reports and videos highlighting the inflight entertainment provided by Virgin America, Gadling thought it would be interesting to find out what kind of technology was available to the pilots and flight attendants at Virgin America.

Take a look as pilots Gabe and Eddie and flight attendant Rebecca give Gadling a look at some of the gadgets available to them on board their A319.

Forgot your tent? Rent a yurt

Want to find the biggest collection of yurts outside of Mongolia? Head to Oregon’s state parks. Since the early 1990s, the state park system has installed 190 yurts in its campgrounds. 170 of those are in coastal areas where the weather can get nasty, especially during the winter. The sturdy, circular, canvas-covered structures provide a more comfortable experience than the average tent. Rental costs run about $30 per night.

Yurts remain an extremely popular option long after the novelty should have worn off. More than 15 years in state parks and still in high demand. In fact, the main problem with the Mongolian tents: they are usually booked months in advance, meaning that a spur-of-the-moment yurt excursion is out of the question. Oregon has been building cabins at some coastal state parks in an effort to draw more campers who don’t want to pack a tent. However, the wooden structures cannot compete with the canvas ones in terms of popularity.

[Via Seattle Times]

Air Canada is Set to Ban Pets in the Cabin

Air Canada is set to become the first Canadian airline to ban pets from riding in the cabin of its aircrafts. This news comes after one passenger had a severe allergic reaction to the the presence of a cat in a seat near her. Unfortunately, because the air on flights is recycled, allergic reactions often won’t go away simply by moving the pet to another seat away from the allergy sufferer.

Meanwhile, Air Canada‘s competitors, particularly Westjet, are taking advantage of the ban by attempting to woo pet lovers.

I’m an animal lover but I kind of agree with Air Canada — it’s not fair for allergy sufferers to bring your pets in the cabin. It’s also not really fair to make animals suffer in the belly of the plane, but I think pets suffer from any journey, no matter where they are on the plane. Here’s my solution: leave Fido at home or drive.