- Jennifer Kopczynski works as a flight nanny transporting pets to new cities and shares her job on Tiktok.
- From peeing pups to fragile show dogs, Kopczynski said the job isn’t without its challenges.
- But at the end of the day, she loves the gig. Here’s a closer look at a typical day for Kopczynski.
Jennifer Kopczynski is a nanny. But not for little babies or rowdy toddlers. Instead, her clients are furry friends.
Specifically, Kopczynski is a flight nanny. She accompanies pets — mainly dogs — on flights to new locations. Recognizing she has a niche job, Kopczynski took to TikTok to share her life on her account, @flightnannyjen. Her videos have since gained a collective million likes.
Kopczynski told Insider that breeders hire flight nannies to deliver puppies to customers or transport a show dog to an event. A family might hire a nanny if they’re moving and need help relocating their dog.
Kopczynski’s flight-nanny career started in 2019. Kopczynski’s friend, a breeder, had a client who recently lost their dog, and was purchasing a new puppy that needed to be transported from Seattle to the family in eastern Washington, she said. The friend asked Kopczynski if she’d fly the dog to its new home.
Kopczynski, 30, said she happily accepted the task. “It was the most heartwarming thing,” she said about her first gig. “I got to witness this family who had just lost their dog welcome their newest family member.”
Kopczynski’s first job was done as a favor. But in September 2020, in search of extra sources of income, she turned to flight nannying, she said.
Kopczynski said flight nannying isn’t “something you can just start doing tomorrow,” and that she first had to get a business license, decide on a business model, and be registered with the USDA.
Today, it’s a side gig on top of Kopczynski’s full-time job. She said she does about three flights a month for extra income and for access to cute puppies.
Kopczynski said she tries to make the trips a one-day affair to lower the cost for her clients. She charges the cost of roundtrip airfare, the airline pet fee, and a nanny fee that varies depending on how many hours she’s away from home, she said. A day trip might be about $300, while an international flight will be a lot more, she said.
Here’s a typical day for Kopczynski as a flight nanny.
Kopczynski said she mainly works with breeders in her home city of Seattle. The night before, or morning of a flight, she’ll go to the breeder’s house to pick up the dog.
Kopczynski said she typically uses her own airline-approved pet carriers. Once she has the pup, she packs the carrier with food, a water bowl, toys, blankets, and pee pads.
By this point, she said she’s already called the airline to add a pet to her ticket. Kopczynski said most airlines allow small dogs, bunnies, and cats on flights. The pets have to be in a carrier that fits under an airplane seat with enough space for the pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down.
Once she’s at the airport, she stops at the airline’s check-in counter to pay the pet fee, which she said ranges between $95 and $125. Then she goes through security.
Prior to boarding, Kopczynski will let the dog out of its carrier, she said. She’ll give the pup cuddles and try to make them as comfortable as possible.
Once on the plane, Kopczynski isn’t allowed to take the dog out of its carrier. “If they are looking anxious, I’ll open it up to give them some pets and water,” she said.
The majority of her work is over once she’s off the flight. She meets the owner, gives them their dog, and gets on a plane to go back home, she said.
Kopczynski told Insider that some of her favorite memories include delivering a puppy to Frankie Grande, Ariana Grande’s brother, and traveling to Paris, France, to deliver a poodle to its recently relocated owners.
And while handling peeing pups and fragile show dogs isn’t the easiest task, she said it’s a job she loves. “This is a feel-good type of job,” Kopczynski said.
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