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An airline that caters to 'pawsengers'

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Pet Airways, which launched this week, is an airline that transports pets in the main cabin. And they don't have to stow away under the seat, either: The airline bills itself as the first airline with "four-leg room."

The airline has four turbo-prop planes that have been fitted with rows of cages for its passengers. The flights can carry about 50 animals. The only humans allowed are the special pet attendants who keep an eye on the animals -- it calls them 'pawsengers' in its promotional video -- and get them on and off the planes and to their potty breaks safely.

Pet Airways' first flight took off Tuesday from Farmington, N.Y. Initially it will fly between five major cities, using mostly regional airports in the New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles areas. The flights range from $149 to $299 each way, which is comparable to what major airlines charge for flying pets in the cargo hold.

At each of the airports the airline has a special pet lounge for layovers and where owners can board their pets if they can’t meet the plane on arrival.

The airline says its flights are sold out for the first two months. And its website got so much traffic Tuesday the company was directing inquires to its Facebook and Twitter sites, where one very important question remained unanswered:

"In the pet lounge, are they allow to sit on the furniture?"

-- Jeri Clausing

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