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New airline designed for dogs to soon operate out of Chicago

Flights were made available starting Wednesday and will begin taking off in October

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A new airline specially designed for dogs, and sometimes even their "human companions," is now operating flights out of Chicago, the company announced.

Bark Air, described as a "first-of-its-kind travel experience tailored to dogs," will now fly out of Chicago's Midway Airport, among several other locations recently announced.

Flights were made available starting Wednesday and will begin taking off in October.

“The interest and enthusiasm around BARK Air to date have been overwhelming,” Matt Meeker, co-founder and chief executive officer of BARK, said in a statement. “We are excited to expand BARK Air’s service to new cities and through new routes, accommodating customer demand and bringing our unique, stress-free dog-centric travel experience to even more families."

Among other locations the airline now operates out of are New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

According to the company, the airline is designed for dogs, but also offers space for humans to join their pets.

Once booking is secured, a concierge collects information about each dog and their travel plans and upon arrival, dogs are allowed to meet other animals on their flight.

Planes feature "calming pheromones, music, and colors that pups prefer" and all furry passengers have access to things like calming treats, noise-canceling ear muffs, and calming jackets.

BARK Air takes the white glove experience typical of a human’s first-class experience and redirects all that pampering to pooches – from booking to arrival, to in-flight services and disembarkation, dogs are the VIPs and treated to a positively luxurious, curated experience.

"Once onboard, dogs are served a snack or beverage of choice during ascent and descent to ensure they do not experience any ear discomfort commonly caused by changes in cabin pressure," the company said in a release. "Additionally, a variety of BARK-branded treats, snacks, and surprises are provided throughout the flight with the intent of pampering furry passengers and their humans."

Planes are operated and staffed by a charter company.

According to the airline, each ticket for a dog comes with a ticket for a human as well. Additional seats may be available for multiple humans, for an additional price, however. No person under the age of 18 is permitted on the flights, however.

Dogs are required to be leashed on flights, but will not need to be crated.

But the tickets comes at a price.

A flight from Chicago to New York costs a minimum of $3,000.

It's a factor the company acknowledges.

"Our goal over time is to bring the ticket cost down significantly as we scale," the company said.

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