Couple charter private jet to fly their three dogs across the world
Pet-lovers who sold all of their belongings to charter a private jet to fly their dogs to Europe are still travelling the world four months later – and have visited six different countries with their pack of hounds so far.
Melanie Demi, 26, and her husband Albert, 27, have always dreamt of travelling with their pooches – Great Dane Lucas, two, Golden Retriever, Cooper, 15, and Dachshund mix, Brooklyn, six.
Over two years, the couple from Austin, Texas, saved $45,000 to turn their dream into a reality – selling all of their belongings including their car to fund their adventure.
Melanie said the couple were inspired to travel after losing their four-year-old Great Dane Apollo to cancer, who she said taught them that ‘time isn’t guaranteed’.
Along with nine other pet owners and their dogs, Melanie Demi, 26, paid $11,000 to get two of her dogs from the US to Europe, and touched down in Paris in September
Their amazing trip comes after she and Albert lost their jobs during the pandemic, which she said was ‘an absolute blessing in disguise’ after prompting them to take time to explore the US with Apollo before he passed away.
Melanie said that the ‘travel bucket list’ they completed with Apollo showed them the joys of dog-friendly travel, and encouraged her to document their travels around Europe on her successful TikTok account @theboozytails.
After Apollo died and they got Lucas, the couple decided to embark on a year-long adventure around Europe – and refused to leave their beloved pets behind.
While Albert and the couple’s smallest dog, Brooklyn – who weighs just 13lbs – were able to fly on a commercial flight costing just $135 plus a $60 pet fee, the bigger dogs were too heavy for the airliner.
Melanie and her husband, Albert, 27, have always dreamt of travelling with their pooches – Great Dane Lucas, two, Golden Retriever, Cooper, 15, and Dachshund mix, Brooklyn, six. The pups are pictured staying in an Airstream caravan in the US
Great Dane Lucas, who weighs in at a whopping 150lbs, and Cooper who weighs 75lbs, were instead treated to a private jet experience, where they were able to travel in the plane’s cabin with Demi.
Along with nine other pet owners and their dogs, they paid $11,000 to get Demi, Lucas and Cooper from the US to Europe, and touched down in Paris in October.
Since landing in Europe the couple and their furry friends have been getting around using hire cars, trains, and even another private jet.
The pair and their dogs have visited France, Germany, Austria, Czechia, England and Scotland so far, and plan to stop in eight more countries before their trip is over.
‘Sitting at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (pictured) and seeing them roll on the grass, or at the Christmas markets where they got a lot of pets, or running on the beach in Edinburgh, it’s all just incredible,’ said Demi
They intend to go to Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, the Netherlands and Denmark before their trip of a lifetime is over.
The jet setters work remotely in media and as an account executive, and have been on the road for four months – staying at dog-friendly Airbnbs and plan to keep going until November 2023 before heading back home to Austin.
Melanie, a media marketing consultant and content creator, from Austin, said: ‘Getting the dogs from the US to Europe took so much planning, but we couldn’t leave them at home – we want to see the world with them.
‘We planned our own charter trip and managed to find 10 other people heading to Europe with their dogs.
‘All I care about is them living their best life,’ Demi said. The lucky pooches are perhaps some of the world’s best-travelled, pictured in Paris
‘It took three months of planning and cost $11,000 per person and more than $100,000 for the whole flight.
‘We saved around $45,00 over two years and sold everything we had to be able afford it.
‘But now the dogs have seen Paris, Prague, Vienna, and we’re planning to drive around the Scottish Highlands.
‘I think the dogs really enjoy it. People on social media ask why we don’t leave them at home.
The pair and their dogs have visited France, Germany, Austria, Czechia, England and Scotland so far on their European tour. They have previously visited the Caribbean and been around the US (pictured in Key West, Florida)
‘The dogs might not know where they are, but they love exploring new places and it’s about having them with us and making memories.
‘Sitting at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and seeing them roll on the grass, or at the Christmas markets where they got a lot of pets, or running on the beach in Edinburgh, it’s all just incredible.’
Melanie and Albert decided to take their dogs on a transatlantic adventure in May 2020 and started saving and planning their trip.
They drove 3,000 miles across America – from Texas to New York – and with cargo hold or cruise liners not an option, Demi and her canine companions boarded a specially charted private jet from New York to Paris.
Melanie and Albert decided to take their dogs on a transatlantic adventure in May 2020 and started saving and planning their trip. Pictured: Lucas in Paris
After touching down in France, the couple and their pooches now spend their days exploring and adventuring . Pictured: Demi and Brooklyn in Montmartre
Great Dane Lucas was deemed too heavy to travel in cargo and the only pet friendly airliner didn’t accept his breed.
The couple looked into boarding other private planes flying to Portugal or London, England, but none of the dates worked for them.
Eventually, they took the plunge and chartered their own private jet with other people travelling with dogs – costing $102k in total.
Melanie said: ‘I knew how much work was going to go into finding people who wanted to do the same thing and I’m a very busy person with essentially two full-time jobs.
Demi and her canine companions boarded a specially charted private jet from New York to Paris. Pictured: Lucas and Demi on the banks of the Seine
‘In order to book the flight, we had to ask people to send the money over and that’s a lot of money to ask someone to send when you’ve only spoken over Facebook.’
After touching down in France, the couple and their pooches now spend their days exploring and adventuring – working remotely in the evenings.
Melanie said: ‘Being able to travel in general is something I’m very grateful for but doing it with the dogs makes me feel very lucky.
‘There are times when I catch them just staring and it seems like they’re just taking everything in.
The couple make sure to always stay in pet-friendly AirBnBs with their pack of three dogs. Pictured: Demi and the dogs in a forest getaway in Cambridge, New York state
Melanie said the couple were inspired to travel after losing their four-year-old Great Dane Apollo to cancer, who she said taught them that ‘time isn’t guaranteed’. Pictured visiting Scotland
‘I have a video of my Great Dane just resting his head on the Charles Bridge in Prague and it looks like he’s just taking it all in.
‘I think they’re happy wherever we go.
‘We have a rule of two big adventures a week with the dogs – like taking them to the beach.
‘All I care about is them living their best life.
Cooper, 15, is ‘the old man’ of the group according to Demi, who said she wanted to make sure the dogs were happy when flying so made sure they were in the plane’s cabin with her
‘We still work American hours from 4pm to 11pm and it’s been working out really well with the dogs in the morning.’
Melanie says they have been asked why they don’t just leave their dogs at home.
She said: ‘You don’t have to leave them at home, but you also don’t need to take them with you all the time.
‘I think it’s important for them to see more than their back yard or couch.
‘There are ways to travel with dogs responsibly and one of the biggest things I do in my content is show people how to do it.
‘We’re making it work with a Great Dane – it doesn’t have to just be little dogs.
‘I think it’s amazing for people to see the world with their dogs by their side. Taking my travelling zoo on a world tour has been fun.’
Since landing in Europe the couple and their furry friends have been getting around using hire cars, trains, and even another private jet. Pictured: Lucas on the train from Edinburgh to Loch Awe
Melanie admitted travelling with dogs and their extra luggage can be difficult, and they’ve been trying to donate items they don’t need as they go.
She said: ‘Moving from place to place with the dogs has made me realise we have too much stuff to get on a train for example.
‘We’ve been trying to donate clothes as we go – I gave a full suitcase to a friend.
‘We’ve had to take two cars before for dogs and luggage.’
The couple have a jam-packed year of sight-seeing ahead before they return home to Texas. Pictured: Demi and Lucas in Strasbourg
Melanie and Albert are currently in Edinburgh after flying on another private jet – this time just them and their pets – from Paris to Scotland.
The couple have a jam-packed year of sight-seeing ahead before they return home to Texas.
They plan to head to the French Riviera, before moving on to Italian wine country – stopping in Florence.
It’s then on to Kosovo, with a stop in Albania to visit Albert’s relatives.
Finally, they’ll go to Oktoberfest in Germany, and the Rugby World Cup back in France.
‘There’s just so much to see,’ Melanie said.
‘There’s something just so amazing about getting a rental car and driving from country to country.’