With pet owners a growing audience for private aviation, many private jet airports are now broadening their facilities, to cater for passengers flying with animals.
Each country has its own regulations but in the UK, domestic pets (cats, dogs and ferrets) can travel with their owners in the cabin of a private jet, providing certain conditions are met. Find out more about flying with pets.
Last week we took PrivateFly’s newest team member, Tex, to test out Execujet’s new FBO facilities at Cambridge airport.
Execujet have recently taken over the running of the VIP terminal at Cambridge. As part of ExecutJet’s UK expansion plans, many more of their staff will be soon coming across from their Zurich office.
Cambridge Airport is now a hub of excellence, where best practice can be seen in action. Courtesy of London Executive Aviation (LEA), we tried out the end-to-end experience of private jet travel from Cambridge with a pet.
On arrival at Cambridge, Tex was met by the FBO staff, who made him feel very welcome.
As for human passengers, first impressions count and making your pet feel comfortable on arrival is all part of the service – whether he or she is a seasoned traveller or flying for the first time, like Tex.
Overall the atmosphere was very calm and Tex was happy and content.
Practicalities and facilities
The Execujet FBO lounge at Cambridge is very smart, roomy and open, perfect for pets to stretch their paws.
There are also a number of grassy areas, suitable for dog-walking, within 2 minutes of the terminal building.
Tex also got a sniff at the facilities for human passengers. He was particularly impressed by the smart boardroom, and floor-to-ceiling views of the apron.
Identity and security checks
Just as with human passengers, it’s important that the necessary checks at a private jet airport are done seamlessly and quickly.
The staff at Cambridge were well-trained, checking Tex’s pet passport and scanning his microchip, without causing any fuss or over-excitement – the last thing you want just before boarding an aircraft.
If your pet needs to be seen by a vet or there are other additional checks required, Execujet have a comfortable holding area for animals to be kept in.
Most pets won’t need to visit this part of the FBO, but Tex checked it out just in case.
All the staff are well-trained to manage animals and to make them (and their owners) feel calm and comfortable, even if complications occur.
Boarding the aircraft
All passenger checks can be completed in as little as 15 minutes after arrival (longer in our case – to allow frequent photo opportunities) and the Embraer Legacy aircraft was waiting for us just outside the terminal building.
The crew made Tex feel very welcome and helped him to navigate the aircraft steps.
Aircraft operators will make sure you have everything you need for your pet onboard during the flight, including their favourite food and snacks; a specific type of bed; or a litter tray if required.
Overall Tex gave Execujet Cambridge a resounding bark of approval. He is looking forward to trying out other pet-friendly FBOs and airports soon. Others in the UK with dedicated pet facilities include London Oxford; London Biggin Hill; London Stansted (Inflight); and Manchester.
Need advice on flying with pets?
For further information on pet flights by private jet please contact us or call +44 (0) 1747 642 777 (24hrs).