Furry frequent flyers

Virgin Atlantic Airways has taken the concept of the Frequent Flyer programme to new heights with its Flying Paws scheme. Globe-trotting pets are presented with their own passport that gets stamped with a paw print each time they fly, redeemable against future airfares or a range of animal gifts such as bowls or toys.


From the first time they take to the skies, says Virgin, dogs, cats and ferrets (why ferrets we ask) receive an onboard pet pack that includes a Virgin Atlantic collar tag and other goodies, while regular travellers can earn enough stamps to receive grooming, designer label clothing or a personal portrait by a famous animal artist .

There is a more altruistic angle to the programme too – once five stamps (worth 」50 or around $90) have been gained the money can be donated to a registered animal sanctuary or charity.

The carrier has carried some 3,000 pets since 2003, when pet passports became widely accepted, and has enrolled nearly 1,000 animals in the Flying Paws programme.

Virgin Atlantic is not the first carrier to offer a Frequent Flyer programme for pets. United and Midwest Airlines in the USA, among others, also run schemes whereby pets accrue points each time they travel that can be used as air miles by their owners, but none offer the same rewards for four-legged travellers. Unless you know better?

One Response to Furry frequent flyers

  1. baldrick 13 July, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Bet they can’t redeem though
    With regards to the Virgin rewards programme, after flying with many other airlines i tried Virgin-Atlantic on the whole compared to the rest pretty good and the rewards programme was easy to understand and for a change rewards seemed to be achievable so we got the credit cards even treated ourselves to some premium economy ticket’s and got to the heady heights of silver members so after gathering some miles and also being presented with a companion reward flight for being a good little consumers we decided book a flight to San Francisco only to be told you can only use the reward flight with “j” class tickets which cost £8411including extra for the tax on the reward ticket sounds OK so far, but i then check ed the price of the lowest price ticket not a “j” class and found buying 2 of these tickets would cost me only £5411a saving of £3000, i have since looked into using reward tickets, and in all but a very few cases you will pay more to use your so called reward ticket than buying 2 normal tickets. So i rang them and talked to various people who seemed to think this OK, so am now in the process of writing to the people at the oxford dictionary to get them the meaning of reward corrected as it doesn’t mean what i thought it did so the upshot of this tale is although it is easy earn miles and rewards with Virgin you’ll probably never get to use them.

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