Premier airport lounge opens for high-flying horses

  • How often have you eyed up the soothing oasis of the first class airport lounges from the uncomfortable plastic chairs in the public seating area at airports?

    Well now pets can enjoy the same comfort reserved for the lucky few while waiting for their gate to be called as the world’s first private equine airport “lounge” has opened in New York.

    The Ark Pet Oasis, Equine & Livestock Export Centre and Aviary In-Transit Quarantine centre at JFK Airport had its official opening on Monday (13 February).

    The Ark

    With horse — and other animal — luxury at the forefront of the company’s aims, the $65 million (£52,192,067) state-of-the-art facility provides “essential resting stalls in a spacious, modern environment” for equine travellers.

    This opening is the first of a three-part series, with the equine quarantine, grooms’ lounge and aviary due to open soon. Its status as an official quarantine centre is also pending approval.

    By this summer, the final part of the centre will be in operation. This will feature a full veterinary clinic, a blood laboratory and a pet boarding and grooming facility.

    The Ark

    Equine export stabling

    “Our goal is to create a more efficient and safe process by reducing the need for additional travel and offering trained animal care staff immediately pre- and post-flight,” said company founder and chairman John J Cuticelli Jr.

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    One of its features is equine “departure lounges”, where horses can rest and receive appropriate food, water and care while their travel documents are being processed.

    The Ark

    There are climate-controlled stables, with bedding and natural light, and the building is designed to allow planes to taxi directly to its loading docks.

    So while owners relax with champagne and massages in the human passenger first class lounge, they can now be sure their four-legged friends are enjoying the equine equivalent.

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