The company was founded by Dan Wiesel and Alysa Binder, who got the idea when planning a trip with their dog. The launch of the company was funded by a group of investors. In August 2010, the company announced that it had combined with a public company through a share exchange with American Antiquities, and in October 2010 announced that it would be traded on the OTC BB as PAWS.
Operations commenced in 2009, flown by Omaha, Nebraska-based Suburban Air Freight who staffed and operated the aircraft and flights under their ICAO code SUB . Suburban operated 19-seat, two-engine Beechcraft 1900s, which has theseats in the main cabin removed to make room for the pet carriers. The cabin is pressurized and climate controlled. Suburban stopped flying for Pet Airways in September 2011 and declined to elaborate on reasons.
In April 2011 the company announced that would start service at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and began leasing space in July. In October, the airport cancelled the lease after the airline fell behind on payments; the airline had not started service at that point.
In February 2012 The New York Times reported that Pet Airways had run into financial problems, canceling flights at the last minute, leaving customers and pets with no recourse, and that customers had reported difficulty getting refunds. In a regulatory filing that month, the company said, “We have experienced a history of losses and have yet to begin generating positive cash flows from operations and, as a result, our auditors have raised substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.” Since 2013, the airline has apparently ceased operations, and its website is no longer functioning.