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More airlines embracing furry travelers

By jim Published: July 10, 2009

Blame America's pet obsession, but in recent years, more members of the airline industry are embracing dogs and cats on board. Midwest Airlines may be an extreme example, letting select dogs sit in the same seats as humans, but other airlines are relaxing their pet policies by letting smaller cats and dogs come into the cabin area.

About a year ago, Midwest began allowing certain "celebrity" dogs that appear in canine competitions, shows or advertisements to sit in seats.

"They are just passengers with four legs instead of two," said Susan Kerwin, who oversees the pet program at Midwest Airlines.

The pet travel frenzy has spurred the creation of an airline catering exclusively to pets. This month, Pet Airways, the nation's first pet-only airline, will begin flying in five major cities, including New York and Los Angeles, California. It's an alternative to shipping larger pets in the cargo area of a plane, where there have been pet injuries and even deaths.

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