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Private Charter Plane to Hawaii – to Ensure Pets Fly Safely

This was an email that just came in from Amy. She wants to fly her Great Dane dog to Hawaii and isn’t confident about shipping it in a large jet airliner’s cargo compartment (and who is?). She came up with a work-around that involves finding a few other pet owners to share a private charter plane to Hawaii – so the pets can fly in the same passenger cabin. Good idea, right?

If you know someone flying to Hawaii in May or June that has pets and might consider going in on the private plane share – write me here quickly so I can pass it on to Amy.

* * *
Hi Vern,

My name is Amy and I was wondering if you might have any info that could be helpful to me. I actually wrote you last year about moving to Kauai and my husband and I have been working very hard to make that dream a reality. We’ve paid off our debit and built a nice cushion in our savings account. We’re planning on making the move this May or June. Here’s where I could use some help, we have a Great Dane that will be making the move with us (don’t worry, he’s already met all Hawaii quarantine requirements). We hate the thought of shipping him cargo and have been looking into sharing a private charter plane with other people moving to the islands with their pets. We plan on leaving from Southern California – LA or San Diego. Although I thought this would be a long shot I’ve actually found three other people willing to share a plane. My questions for you are, do you know of any other people who may be interested in sharing a charter with us (one or two more people could really help us cut costs) and do you know of any charter companies that are pet friendly? I really appreciate any help you could offer. I also want to thank you for your website. It’s always a place of great information. I’m sure I’ll be emailing you for more info as the moving date gets closer.


P.S. I love your book too.

* * *

Great idea Amy. I’m not sure we’ll be able to find anyone else to go – but worth a try. Do you have any idea of the costs of the flight and how much it would be for someone and their pet to join right now?

I don’t know any private charters flying to Hawaii. However, I know a helicopter pilot living in San Diego that used to live in Hawaii – so he might know how to find other charters. I’ll ask him.

Best of luck to you on your trip. Hope you fill the plane.




This exchange happened a little while ago, but you can be sure it happens a couple times a week somewhere online. Moving pets is a serious headache, but if you want to get it done you can always find a way to make it work. With enough money! Find others who are in the same situation and cut your costs when possible!

About the author: Moving to Hawaii was one of the most amazing moves ever. I strongly encourage you to consider it if you’re in the financial position to make it work. Living in Hawaii has a fair bit of both positive and negative experiences awaiting each of us who give it a try. Read some of the articles here and try to get a feel for whether you might thrive in the islands. I wrote an entire book on the subject and it’s usually less than $5. It’s up there on the right side column. Best of luck and life to you! Aloha! – Vern L.

47 comments… add one
  • Kim

    Hello! Moving from California (east bay – inland from San Francisco) to Maui mid July or August 2016. I have 2 cats (named Maui and Shaka) and would like to go in on a charter flight with others. I have spoken to XOJets and Wheels Up and waiting for call back from NetJet. Looks like fee will be approximately $45,000 to $55,000.

    Is anyone interested or does anyone have a flight scheduled already around this time? Open to other options / suggestions also.


    P.S. It is great find other people that love their pets as much as we do!

  • Lee

    We’re moving with 5 animals around December 1, 2016 and are in Denver. Really would love to find a cheaper way to get them there than $50,000! If flying from West Coast was easier and more people were leaving from there, we’d gladly drive out to California to fly from there!

    • Lee

      PS We’re flying to Maui.

      • Kim

        Hi Lee! Would August, 2016 work?

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Vern,

    We are moving to Hawaii during the summer of 2016 and we would like to share a private jet with a few other pet owners. We can be flexible with the timing so that it can work for everyone. Net jets has a company called executive jet. They fly to Hawaii and if we can fly on an empty leg it would be about $60,000 for a mid sized jet (which is what is needed to fly to Hawaii) It can hold several people and pets. If we can share with several other pet owners it would be great! We are flying into Kona on the big island and we have 2 dogs that are about 35 lbs each. If anyone would like to consider this, it would be great!
    Thank you,

  • Scott

    Posted: 3/25/16


    Unfortunately my senior dog who the flight was for passed. Best of luck to everyone.


  • Scott

    Also we need to verify this but I heard that the quarantine may not be as bad as it sounds because you can elect to do the quarantine time at home as along as the dog doesn’t leave the home during that time period. If that’s true and I had known that I probably would have just done that and not the direct release program with sending the blood work and having to wait all that time to leave. Please verify for yourself though.. Rgds

  • Scott

    Posted 3/2/16.

    Michael, Zenia, Adrienne, Shauna, Ray, Anthony and anyone else interested in trying to make this happen around june 2016 please email me so we can start a group email conversation. (email removed by request – Vern) Too difficult to plan on here..regards

  • michael gilbert

    moving to Honolulu Hawaii in aug-late 2016 (flexible on date) with 1 large dog, please contact me if there is a chain going around

  • Zenia


    Not sure how recent these post are. My fiancee and I have an English Bulldog, due to his breed we are left to seek private jet service or we even thought of taking him on a cruise. We plan to move to Oahu mid June 2016.
    We live in Sacramento area, we are willing to go to LA or San Diego area if necessary. Any tips, feedback or people interested in sharing a private/charter jet. Let me know.


    • Adrienne

      Hi Zenia,

      I am relocating from San Diego to Oah by August 1st, 2016, probably right around there. Would like to stay in touch in case your travel plans can be pushed out. Open to the idea of sharing a private charter with other people and their furry friends! I have a 13 year old cattle dog and am uncomfortable with cargo travel for her.


      • Zenia

        Hi Adrienne,

        Sorry for the delay. Here is my email zeniafon@gmail.com
        Let’s keep in touch when the time comes, hopefully we can find something that works out.


    • shauna

      We might be relocating to Oahu from southern Ca also around june 2016 and are looking to do this with our 2 dogs as well. I will know for sure if we are relocating within one week. I would like to keep in touch.

    • Ray

      Hiy wife and I are looking to move later in 2016. 2 dogs 25 and 40 lbs each. W a private would be great if we can afford it!

  • Scott

    Posted 10/21/15


    It doesn’t show the date of people’s posts so I can’t tell if there is anyone currently looking to do a jet share for 2015/16. I contacted Tanya and she said her post was from 2012 and she’s on Maui. I’m ready and looking to do this. Please let me know if anyone else is out there. Thank you

    • Stephen A Rosos

      I am starting a project called , simply, PetJet
      I am partnering with the Aussie gent who founded Go! airlines here in Hawaii. He plays polo regularly at PoloInParadise in Mokuleia.

      We will offer minimal or no cost transport of any pet , anywhere to or from

      Forever endeth the dark ages of plastic carrier confinement in an unheated cabin in a jet liner designed for the pet’s loved ones aboard

      The SimpleSolution is a HeartsForAnimals.org (( in Laie, OAHU ))
      Dedicated Air travel exclusively for the maximum comfort and kindness
      Of every pet’s loved ones

      Please see the heartsforanimals.org website or email me directly at srosos42@gmail.com

      Please spread this virally. It’s about TIME for this to be the status quo,
      The norm. The Renaissance of Pet Travel.

    • Anthony

      Hi, yes, I have a dog and I’m interested in flying to hawaii 2016.

  • Scott

    Ideally my timeframe is around the end of November to beginning December 2015 but if there’s a delay I could probably wait a few months too. I looked into the cost of a charter from van nuys to Maui and the best I’m finding is approximately 35k to 45k which is calculated at an approximate charter rate for a super midsize at $3500 per hour times 11 hours for the roundtrip. Even though the charter company is calling it a “one-way” the price isnt. It’s pretty much the same as a roundtrip because your price is including paying for the plane to fly back to van nuys which they then turn around and try to sell as an “empty leg”. Since I’m looking to go from Maui to van nuys with my 2 dogs and you would be paying for roundtrip anyway it seems that coordinating with me to take the return back to van nuys would reduce everyones costs. Hope this works out. Thank you.

  • Tammy

    My husband and I are also planning on moving to Hawaii. Our dogs had the blood test done and it was received on 5/30/2014 by Kansas state university. We are planning on selling our home but were also concerned about how to get our pets to Oahu! I know the test is good for 36 months and not less than 120 days, so we still have time. We haven’t put our house on the market yet because we also have the same problem with getting our pets there! We have a Shepard, a Bichon Frise and 2 Maltese.

  • Laura

    People interested in charter share with pets to Hawaii? I’m in Portland and am flexible with dates. Just need to go by November when my dogs rabies paperwork expires.

  • Tanya

    Hi, finally our tests came back for our dogs and we are wanting to fly to Maui from southern California beginning of January 2014. I have received a quote of $40,000 for a 1 way trip out of van Nuys to Maui. Anyone interested in this time period that might want to share the flight please contact me at cheekiest01@yahoo.com. (we will be travelling with 3 small/medium size female dogs)

  • April

    I’ll see what I can find out as well regarding prices. My husband asked me if I know of any cruises that will allow pets on to Hawaii?

  • April

    Does anyone here know of other forums where people are looking to charter a plane to Hawaii? I can seem to find anything? Here’s my email address aprilkandrews@hotmail.com

  • An update on the charter prices. Spoke with one company and they quoted $55,000.00 to $60,000. That would be for a 15 seater aircraft. They said that the pets could be in cages and on the floor and then we could possibly sell all the other seats to other passengers. Would work out to $4000 per person if all seats could be filled. Will keep checking around to see if I can get better prices.

    • April

      Spoke with New Flight Charter and they said it depends on date of travel, pets, and how many passengers and what type of aircraft. He said we are looking anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000.

      I’ve contacted these charters and they either do not fly to Hawaii or do not accept pets:

      Jet Suite, Linear Air

  • Hi

    We are still planning on departing from California for Maui around the beginning of December. April, you need to start the process asap. From once the lab receives your dogs blood samples there is a 120 day waiting period. I spoke with a vet in Maui who will meet us at the airport and I feel a little more confident about how the process works now. Let us stay in touch and perhaps we can work this out. I still have not had any response on charter prices from southern California. Will try again.

  • Hi everyone who responded to my post

    If all goes well with the test results for our dogs, the earliest we would be able to leave for Maui is roughly the end of November or beginning of December. Does anyone have an idea of what a charter might cost out of southern California, San Diego or Los Angeles?

    Hope that we can put something together and that we get a few more people interested.

    Thanks for the response

    • April

      Where you able to find anything out regarding charter prices? My husband and I got lucky and sold our home the first day on the market. Now we are in the process of buying a home in Oahu. I know we will be driving our vehicles to Cali and flying from their to Oahu. I am pretty open to the end of the year if anyone else needs extra people. Question? Everyone tells me to get started on the paperwork now. Does that mean take the papers to the vet, get them to make sure dogs are current on all vaccinations and such? We just didn’t want them to do the blood work yet until we were certain on a home first. We are shooting for the 5 days or less program.

  • April

    Hello everyone! My husband and I are in the process of selling our home in Houston. Once that is taking care of we are hoping to get a group of people who are interested in charter plane to Hawaii. We have 2 shih tzu dogs.

    • Ashley

      Hi April, which island are you looking to move to?

      • April

        I am sorry that I forgot that bit of info. We are moving to Oahu. Is it true that it takes 4 months to get all the paperwork approved? To me the most stressful thing is timing. Selling the home, figuring out when to begin the paperwork for the dogs, getting a group of ppl to charter there. Ughh! I wish Pet Airways would hurry up and fly to Hawaii!!!!

        • Ashley

          We are actually looking to move to Maui. We have already started the process for our dogs and they are approved to go by August, but we are not looking to probably late October. But there is still steps when we do get ready to leave that we will need to do in order for them to get a direct release at the airport. You should start by going to hdoa.hawaii.gov this has all the information and paper work you will need to get your pets approved to go. Once you get their blood samples approved you cannot arrive within 90 days so I would start as soon as possible. Plus their are requirements on their rabies vaccines. Just make sure you read everything carefully, it can be a little overwhelming.

        • shelly

          Hi April, my sister is moving to Hilo on Big Island beginning of Feb 2016 from San Diego. She has 5 dogs that she will be taking over with her. Her dogs have started the quarantine process of 4 months and they will be released to travel beginning of February. $1200 per dog for all blood work, shots etc. One good thing is the dogs are quarantined in the comfort of your own home and not locked up in a kennel in Hawaii for that amount of time there. Now she is concerned about them traveling in the cargo area of plane and is going to check into a pet airlines. It has been very expensive and stressful for her and I don’t blame her for wanting to take her babies with her. If you know of an airlines for dogs that is reasonable please advise me and I can inform her. Thank you and good luck.

  • Hi, we are planning on moving to Maui later this year, probably around end of November to December some time. We would have 1 person and 3 dogs (small females). Would be interested in hearing from anyone that might be considering a flight charter during that time.
    Thanks Tanya

    • Ashley Crabtree

      Hi Tanya, my husband, 2 dogs (pug & shitzu), are looking to relocate to Maui in the fall also, and finding a safe flight for our pug has been a nightmare so we have been considering chartering a flight too depending on the costs. We we’re actually looking more at late october, but would consider changing that. Would be interested in talking to you more about sharing a flight.

      Thanks, Ashley

  • Amy

    Hi Jennifer. Sorry for the delayed response. It would be great to have another person on the flight. Our timeline for the charter would be around mid June. Here’s the problems I’m facing though. We can only afford a charter if we get an empty leg flight (this is an empty plane that is scheduled to fly to Hawaii to pick up passengers and fly back). All the companies I’ve talked to don’t seem to think it will be hard to find an empty leg but the problem is they don’t usually get scheduled until a week or two before the travel dates. That puts us in a bad situation for getting the dogs over if a flight doesn’t become available as the cargo flights fill up a month or more ahead of time. Unfortunately I dont think a charter will work. What I’ve decided to do is book a flight for my dog to go cargo and then hope a charter becomes available. I can always cancel the cargo flight if needed. I hope this helps. Good luck.

  • Jennifer

    I was wondering if you need anyone else for your charter and what is your current timeline? Since you have to go through HNL, does your charter then take you to Kauai?

  • Amy

    Thanks Vern. I’ll check those sites out.

    • Wanda

      Amy, I see I have my work cut out for me. I’m interested in finding other individuals to share charter costs too. My time frame is behind yours as I am just now starting the dogs medical requirements and paperwork. I know you have put a lot of work in research so any tips you can share would be greatly appreciated.

      • Amy

        Good luck Wanda. We’re just beginning the charter research but I’m sure we’ll be posting things here as we find out more.

  • Ryan

    Amy-Thanks for reaching out to this website. It would be wonderful to get another family or two. There must be others out there like us. Saying a prayer this works out.

    • Scott

      Id like to fly private with my 2 dogs from Maui to California (ideally la area) and share in the cost of this. Thanks

    • Anthony

      Hi, are you still looking for others?

  • Amy

    Thanks Vern. I really appreciate you posting this for me. I think social media is the only way this will ever work. I didn’t mention it before but we’ll be leaving from Southern California. It will most likely be a June timeline since some of the other dogs won’t be done with quarantine until then but if we have enough interested parties maybe we could do a May flight and a June flight. No harm in dreaming big. We don’t have a firm price range yet but have been give estimates of everything from $35,000-$60,000. We’re all doing more research now and hope to have a more solid price soon. If we catch a break and find an open leg flight the price will be more like $35k which would be about $7000 each if we have five people sharing. Considering the cost to ship a pet cargo plus our individual ticket costs that price isn’t too bad. Not to mention the peace of mind of having our beloved pets with us on a private jet. I could think of worse things.

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