Furs class: Italian prepare operator now providing ‘reserved space next to you for your dog’

One of Italy’s main prepare operators is now promoting tickets that permit canine passengers to journey beside their human homeowners.

Italo, which runs high-speed trains nationwide in competitors with Italian State Railways, is telling passengers: “If your dog is medium or large in size or if you do not want [it] to travel in a pet carrier, you can select the ‘Dog’ option from the train search engine and purchase the service at an affordable price along with your ticket.

“In this way you will be able to keep it comfortably next to you during the trip in a dedicated space.

“The service is available in Smart and Prima environments and with all Italo rates.”

On a take a look at reserving for a short-notice journey from Rome to Milan in Prima (first) class, the human fare was €90 (£77) with the canine paying €40 (£34).

The alternative was noticed by Mark Smith, the worldwide rail journey guru who runs The Man in Seat Sixty-One web site.

He described it as “possibly a European first,” and advised The Independent that the demand from pet homeowners for rail data could be very robust.

Waiting to disem-bark: Pip, The Dog In Seat Sixty-One on a North Sea ferry

(Mark Smith)

“Our dog Pip – a cockapoo – is very experienced now at sea crossings, less so on trains.

“However, years before I got Pip, almost as soon as I set up Seat61, I realised I needed a pets page as so many people asked about it.”

Eurostar, which is the one worldwide passenger rail hyperlink between the UK and Continental Europe, tells pet homeowners: “Unfortunately, Eurostar isn’t part of the pet passport scheme, so we only allow guide dogs and assistance dogs on board.

“Since our trains don’t have space to carry animals comfortably, we feel it’s in the best interests of pets, their owners and other passengers not to let them on the train.”

Mr Smith stated Eurostar is “one of the few services in Europe that won’t take dogs”.

The ban by the cross-frontier trains operator contains border collies.

The high-speed rail line to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam passes via Barking and near the Isle of Dogs.

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