Want to bring your pet along on your next trip?
Most, if not all airlines allow travelers to bring their pets along, although with a lot of requirements and restrictions which at times can be confusing. In this article, we’ve worked to clear up the confusion by listing some of the pet travel restrictions as well as fees by airline. See the table below.
Note: Airlines are much more lenient in regards to service animals.
|Airline||Pet Fare Price||Max Pet Carrier Dimensions in inches (length, width, height)||Other Information||Guidelines on Official Website|
|Southwest Airlines||$95, each way per pet carrier||18.5 x 13.5 x 8.5, maximum for carry on||Pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the Customer||Southwest|
|Delta||Depends on pet carrier size. Ranges from $75 to $250||Varies by plane||Delta has several restrictions regarding pet breed and sizes. Please view their official site.||Delta|
|American Airlines||Carry on: $125 per kennel / Check in: $200 per kennel||19 x 13 x 9, maximum for carry on||Check American Airline's site for a full list of restrictions||American Airlines|
|United Airlines||$125 per pet, additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside of the U.S.||Max for carry on hard kennels: 17.5 x 12 x 7.5, Max for carry on soft side kennel: 18 x 11 x 11||Pets must remain in kennels with the door secured at all times.||United Airlines|
|JetBlue Airways||$100 each way||Max carry on: 17 x 12.5 x 8.5, combined weight of your pet and the carrier must be less than 20 pounds||JetBlue has a program for pets owners called "JetPaws"||JetBlue|
|Alaska Airlines||Checked in: $100 each way / Carry on: $100 each way||Hard side: 17 x 12 x 7.5, Soft side: 17 x 12 x 9.5||Alaska Airlines provides Fur-st Class™ Care. Haha 🙂||Alaska Airlines|
|Aeroméxico||$145 carry on||Depends on aircraft||Visit Aeromexico's site for a full list of their restrictions and rules.||Aeromexico|
|Spirit Airlines||Customer must contact Spirit Airlines for prices||Max carry on pet carrier size: 18 x 14 x 9, combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 40 pounds||Spirit Airlines does not transport pets in Cargo at any time.||Spirit Airlines|
|Frontier Airlines||$75 each way||Max carry on: 18 x 14 x 8, soft-side kennel recommended||Pets are not allowed on flights to and from Jamaica. Pets can't be checked in as baggage.||Frontier Airlines|
|Virgin America||$100 each way||Max carry on: 18 x 15 x 8. The total weight of the animal and carrier cannot be above 20 pounds.||Recommends using a soft-sided case. Pets may not be checked in.||Virgin America|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Contact Hawaiian Airlines for exact fees and space availability.||Max carry on: 16 x 10 x 9.5, dog or cat must weigh less than 25 lbs. If heavier, you must check in.||Pets not allowed on flights from North America to Hawaii||Hawaiian Airlines Also visit this page for more info.|
|Lufthansa||Intercontinental flights: $100 for small animals||Max carry on: 21.6 x 15.7 x 9 cm / Max weight of animal + box: 17.6 kg||See more details on Lufthansa's website.||Lufthansa|
|British Airways||$196 per pet||Max carry on: 45 cm x 30 cm x 24 cm. Pets heavier than 13.2lb must be checked in.||If you're flying to the UK, your pet must meet the UK's pet requirements.||British Airways|
Things to consider before traveling with a pet:
- Will your pet meet carry on requirements, or will you have to check it in? If checked in, your pet will be in the cargo hold.
Here’s some information to know about cargo areas according to the Humane Society:
While most animals flown in the cargo area of airplanes are fine, you should be aware that some animals are killed, injured or lost on commercial flights each year. Excessively hot or cold temperatures, poor ventilation and rough handling are often to blame.
- Are you traveling internationally? If so, traveling with a pet is a bit more complex. You’ll have to sort out more paperwork, and make sure your destination country allows for pets to be brought in.
- According to JetBlue, “If your pet needs to relieve itself, you must exit the airport and return through security.”
- Pets will need to go through the TSA screening process. Read more about it on the TSA official website.
Information from TSA:
Please remove your pet from the carrying case and place the case through the X-ray machine. You should maintain control of your pet with a leash and remember to remove the leash when carrying your pet through the metal detector. Animal carriers will undergo a visual and/or physical inspection.
- Does your pet have the necessary vaccinations and meet all health requirements?
- Is your pet’s breed allowed to fly? Certain dog breeds, like American Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Pit Bull Terriers, Italian Mastiffs, etc. have extra restrictions.
- Is your pet old enough? According to United Airlines, “Puppies traveling on United within the U.S. and Puerto Rico must be at least eight weeks of age prior to traveling with United. Puppies weighing less than one pound must be at least ten weeks of age.“
- Remember to bring pet supplies and some snacks and treats.
Which airline is the most pet friendly?
It depends, however Southwest Airlines has one of the lowest rates per pet at $95.
Is flying with a dog or pet safe?
Unfortunately, pet injuries, and sometimes deaths occur. The Humane Society states that “travel can be risky for pets” and recommends to consider all of your options prior to flying with your pet, due to the potential for complications.
Airlines are required to report all pet incidents to the Department of Transportation. Here’s a chart to give you some numbers:
Infographic about flying with a dog:
What are your thoughts? Have you traveled with a pet? Leave a comment below.