AIR FRANCE KLM Cargo's and Martinair Cargo’s Animal Hotel at Schiphol Airport is one of the world's largest and most modern in the world. It is designed for the temporary housing and care of animals traveling by air or waiting for their owner to pick them up. It was the first animal hotel to be run by an airline. One special feature of the hotel is its dog-walking service.
When preparing for a flight, the stewards take good care of the animals, giving them the right foods and things to drink, and plenty of time to rest. The animal hotel provides a comfortable environment and is open for business 24 hours a day. It meets all the strict international demands for hygiene. That's understandable because animal health is the priority here.
The animal stewards are employees of KLM Cargo and are all animal lovers. Everyone there has had special training at the University of Utrecht Veterinary School and, each year, they go back for a refresher course. Anyone who flies with the animals must also do coursework in flight safety. The stewards treat the animals, whether in the hotel or inflight, as if they were their very own. This is necessary to provide a sense of safety and security for the animals and their owners.
Staff in the animal hotel keep constant watch over their charges and take immediate action if they see anything in the animals' behavior that gives them cause for concern. Should an animal fall ill, a team of veterinarians and specialists is always on call. Onboard the aircraft, the animal stewards always have access to the stalls in which horses and other large animals are transported. They always remain close during takeoff and landing so they can see how the animals are doing and, if necessary, do something to calm the animals down.