I am seeing more non-service animal travel companions in the last year than I ever have! Would you like to travel with your dog?
Then you will need some information to help you and your dog arrive at your destination safely and happily. Several dog-friendly airlines have comprehensive pet policies, but it can be tricky keeping them all straight. To avoid showing up at the gate with your tail between your legs, I put some information together (not all inclusive) in one place, so you never have to leave your furry friend behind during your vacation again. There are other types of restrictions based on breed, animal size, destinations, carrier sizes, etc. for each airline. You will need to visit the airline site for each pet’s policy.
The below information applies to non-service animals for in-cabin travel. This is for smaller sized animals around 20 lbs. or less. Large or medium sized dogs are generally not allowed in the cabin, even crated, if they are not service animals. Pups that cannot fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you will have to ride in cargo, which, though usually perfectly safe, can be more stressful for your pup. (Brachycephalic dogs like Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, etc., are more sensitive to climate and pressure changes and flying can be deadly due to their condensed respiratory systems.) In all cases, plan for additional time spent during flight check-in.
American allows 7 dogs in the cabin per flight—that breaks down to 5 allowed in coach and 2 allowed in first class. To ensure your special furry cargo gets a spot, you must call ahead. Expect to pay a $125.00 fee each way. The size requirements for pooches on American flights are twofold: 1) The dog must be under 20 lbs. including the carrier; and 2) the carrier itself must fit underneath the seat in front of you.
Spirit airlines accepts the largest of small pets in the cabin on flights within the United States with the combined weight of the pet and carrier under 40 lbs. The fee for your pet is $110 each way.
Delta wins the prize for most dogs allowed in cabin per flight—8 total—or 4 in the main cabin, 2 in business, and 2 in first class. The fee is $125 per flight, and your pooch must fit inside a carrier that fits underneath the seat in front of you. Call ahead to confirm the dimensions of the seat in front of you as Delta planes can vary. And no newborns allowed puppies must be at least 10 weeks old to make it past security.
Even though JetBlue only allows 4 dogs in the cabin per flight (that’s 4 tails, 16 paws), JetBlue shows compassion with their devotion to the four-legged traveler. From a branded pet carrier to articulated travel “petiquette”, the animal lovers over at JetBlue have put some serious thought into welcoming pets aboard. The fee for wet-nosed travelers on JetBlue is an even $100 each way, and the weight limit is 20lbs including the carrier.
For the cost-conscious, Southwest is the airline for you. Fees for bringing your pup along are only $95 each way. Southwest allows 6 dogs inside the cabin, and each must fit within a carrier underneath the seat in front of you. Branded Southwest carriers are available for purchase, and pups as young as 8-weeks can fly on Southwest.
United allows 4 pets in-cabin flying economy. A $125 fee per pet per flight applies, and your furry princess must fly the friendly skies in a carrier underneath the seat in front of you.