First: Somehow, there exists such a thing as a “Cat Cafe” (Wikipedia link). As the name implies, it’s a cafe with cats running amok inside.
Second: many people find air travel to be an annoying and stressful experience.
Cuddly animals frequently improve situations. In order to make air travel more pleasant (and profitable for the airline?), the Cat Cafe concept can be applied to air travel as well. We will refer to this as the “Cat Cafe Airline.”
Potential features of Cat Cafe Airline:
- Each plane would be equipped with a menagerie of fluffy domesticated beasts.
- These soothing animals would be allowed to wander about the plane.
- First-class seats would have first pick, and would have exclusive access to giant cats like the Maine Coon and Longcat.
Fig 1: A regular (cat-free) airline overhead bin is cold, sterile, and unwelcoming.
Methods of supplying cats to passengers:
- One option would be to have a “cat cart” in addition to the normal coffee / lunch cart. Instead of specifying a preference for (say) coffee or tea, passengers would choose between siamese and calico.
- Alternatively, cats could normally live in the overhead bins, and would only exit them while the plane was in flight (to make room for luggage). It is unclear if the cats’ sleeping schedule would easily align with the in-use flight time of the airplane.
Fig 2: With dozens of cats inside, the airline overhead bin takes on a warmer and more welcoming appearance.
- People with cat allergies would obviously be advised not to book a flight on a “cat plane.”
- In some cultures, animals such as pigs and dogs are considered “unclean” and anathema. It is possible that cats also have a bad rap in certain cultures, which might limit locations where these planes could fly.
- With this many cats, cat fights might be inevitable. Fortunately, using their in-seat entertainment systems, passengers could bet on the outcome, and the airline could take a cut. This solves the problem without any heavy-handed cat regulation.
PROS : Opens up new business opportunities and soothes passengers on long-haul flights. No animals were harmed in the making of this proposal.
CONS: Cats might escape while a plane is grounded on an exotic unspoiled island, potentially soon exterminating all native life and becoming adorable apex predators.