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Fly the Friendly Skies: Top 10 Pet Friendly Airlines

If you’re planning to travel with your pooch, you better start your plans now: travel experts at Next Vacay reveal that searches for ‘pet-friendly airlines in cabin’ have increased by 950% in the last 12 months. Wow!

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To help you get started, here is a list of the top 10 pet-friendly airlines, cost to fly with your pet, whether pets are allowed in the cabin or cargo only, and size limits on crates. We’ve also linked to our favorite, airline-approved crates, so you and your canine can fly worry free.

Alaska Airlines

Cost per pet: $100
Allowed in cargo or cabin? Both
Size limits: Hard kennels 17” x 11” 7.5”; Soft kennels 17” x 11” x 9.5”; Cargo 30” x 27” x 40”

Alaska Airlines is one of the most pet-friendly airlines. Not only does it have one of the lowest fees ($100) for pets but has one of the most flexible policies. A customer can travel with a maximum of two pet carriers in the main cabin, only when the adjacent seat is purchased by the same customer. Up to two pets of the same species and similar size may travel in the same carrier. Pets allowed in the passenger cabin are dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds. Dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and must be accustomed to taking solid food and have done so, without nursing, for a period of at least five days.

American Airlines

Cost per pet: $125
Allowed in cargo or cabin? Cargo only
Size limit: 19”x 13” x 9”

Being one of the biggest airlines in the world it’s no surprise American Airlines is also one of the most accommodating to pets. Pre-covid, pets were allowed to fly in the cabin with their owners as long as they are kept in a small carrier under the seat for the entire flight (currently, pets are only allowed in the cargo, but we are hoping this changes soon). The cost per pet is $125, pets can travel in a carrier that must fit directly under the seat in front of them. Pets must be at least eight weeks old, and a combined weight of 20 lbs can. Travelers can travel with their pet carrier and one personal item, but are not permitted to bring a carry-on bag in addition to a pet carrier and personal item. Instead, the kennel will replace your carry-on bag.

Delta

Cost per pet: $125-$200
Allowed in cargo or cabin? Cabin only
Size limit: 21” x 15” x 16”

Travelers will be able to jet off on vacation with their favorite furry friend thanks to Delta. Small dogs, cats and household birds can travel in the cabin for a one-way fee, collected at check-in. They must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of them. Pets in cabin kennels will count as one carry-on item. In addition to the kennel, travelers are permitted to bring one personal item onboard the aircraft. Prices for taking pets on Delta Airlines vary from $125 – 200 depending on the destination.

JetBlue

Cost per pet: $125
Allowed in cargo or cabin? Cabin only
Size limit: 17” x 12.5” x 8.5”

Small dogs and cats may travel in the cabin (except in Mint) in an FAA-approved pet carrier that fits comfortably under the seat in front. The price per pet is $125 and they are allowed in the cabin only. Travelers who are new to flying with pets can join JetBlue’s exclusive program called JetPaws, designed to give owners tips and tools they need for traveling with their pet.

It’s a free program, and can earn customers 300 JetBlue points on each flight with their pet! Travelers may hold their dogs in their lap during the flight as well as purchase a ticket for the seat next to them, where they can place their dog’s carrier.

Helpful Guide to Top 10 Pet Friendly Airlines

Airline

Cost Per Pet

Cargo or Cabin?

Crate Size Limits

American Airlines

$125

Cargo only

All kennels: 19”x 13” x 9”

United Airlines

$125

Cabin and Cargo

Hard kennels: 17.5” x 12” x 7.5”

Soft kennels: 18” x 11” x 11”

Cargo: No crates taller than 30”

Delta Airlines

$125-$200

Cabin only

All kennels: 21” x 15” x 16”

JetBlue

$125

Cabin only

All kennels: 17” x 12.5” x 8.5”

Allegiant Airlines

$100

Cabin only

All kennels: 9” x 16” x 19”

Frontier Airlines

$99

Cabin only

All kennels: 10” x 16” x 24”

Alaska Airlines

$100

Cabin and Cargo

Hard kennels: 17” x 11” 7.5”

Soft kennels: 17” x 11” x 9.5”

Cargo: 30” x 27” x 40”

Hawaiian Airlines

Cabin: $35-$175

Cargo: $60-225

Cabin and Cargo

Soft kennels: 16” x 10” x 9.5”

Cargo: 36” x 24” x 26” or 40” x 27” x 30” depending on the aircraft

Southwest

$95

Cabin only

All kennels: 18.5” x 8.5” x 13.5”

Spirit Airlines

$110

Cabin only

All kennels: 18″ x 14″ x 9″

Things to consider when flying with your pet

Talk to your vet. Before booking your flight and packing your suitcase make sure to take your pet for a check-up at the vet to make sure they are fit for travel.

Make sure you meet the criteria of each airline. Each airline has different specifications for traveling with a pet so make sure you do your research before booking your ticket to find the best option for your furry friend.

Find the right carrier for your pet. Most short-haul flights allow pets to stay in the cabin with their owners under the seat in front of them. Make sure to check the airline’s carrier size requirement this will help you decide the size and type of carrier you are allowed. Your pet carrier will also become your carry-on item, so try and find one with extra compartments to store any essentials you’ll need for your journey. Here is a list of our top 10 favorite, airline-approved crates.

Bring the essentials. One of the most important aspects of traveling is making sure you have the right snacks and your furry counterpart. While they won’t be able to have complimentary refreshments, packing your pet’s favorite treats will make the flight more enjoyable for them.

Make sure you have the right documentation. Whether that’s a pet passport or health certificate, being pre-prepared will make traveling with your pet run more smoothly. A health certificate will show that your pet has had all his shots and vaccinations, and is safe to travel in-cabin.”

Shop these airline approved crates at Chewy.com.

Shop here for the airline approved Petmate Sky Kennel.

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About the Author

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Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, and her boxer Thya, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.

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