A hotel in Norway has launched a "dog taxi" service, giving customers a chance to be collected from the airport in style
In the snow-covered landscape of Norway dog sledding has always been considered an efficient form of transport. It is perhaps no surprise then, that a "dog taxi" transfer service has been launched to collect passengers from Kirkenes, one of the country's most northerly airports.
The service – which is the first of its kind in Norway – is run by the nearby Kirkenes Snowhotel, which needed to secure the backing of Norway's defence services, as well as local authorities, in order to persuade the airport to accept their dog sled entourage.
"It was a lot of effort to set up," says Tomas Randol, co-ordinator and guide at the Snow Hotel. "Because we are going through a reindeer area we had to check with the owners so we don't disturb them, and we had to get permission from the defence services to be able to take the huskies right onto the runway without affecting security at the airport."
The route also runs close to the Russian border – meaning the hotel also had to negotiate with military border police.
Up to two passengers can fit on each sled, but if there is a bigger group the hotel will send more dog teams, who arrive with thermal suits – as well as everything you need for a comfortable journey.
"You can land here in a skirt, high heels, whatever and we'll take care of the warm clothes you need to wear," says Randol.
As for whether the dog taxi service will take off among other hotels in the area, Randol is not so sure.
"Lets just say you don't become a millionaire doing husky airport transfers; it might be a bit of time before we have 200 dogs lining up to pick people up."
Still, the 45-minute trek, which takes a scenic route around the local countryside, comes at a price; the hotel expects each transfer to cost around £225, so you really do have to be in it for the ride.
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image: © Kirkenes Snow Hotel