Last Friday evening, as drizzle fell on the tarmac, 10 passengers boarded a Gulfstream G4 headed from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to Farnborough Airport, just southwest of London. They didn’t seem to notice the plush leather seats or the treats nestled in Champagne flutes in the armrests.

They also hadn’t particularly enjoyed clambering up the aircraft’s stairs.

This was the inaugural flight of K9 Jets, a private jet charter company based in Birmingham, England, founded in response to both a growing desire among pet owners to travel with their animals and mounting frustration at the increasingly challenging process of flying with them. The passenger manifest included nine dogs, mostly on the larger side, and one sphinx cat, as well as 10 humans.