The Top 3 Pet-Friendly Airlines For In-Cabin Pets
THIS IS A GUEST POST
Author: Arby Abraamyan (founder and developer of PawDiet)
Traveling with pets doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. If you choose the proper airline, traveling with your pet can be a hassle-free and pleasant experience.
The most important decision pet owners must make is the choice of airline. Each airline will have its own policies and restriction for in-cabin pets.
Many airlines completely disallow in-cabin pets and instead require that pets be placed with cargo. In general, I do not recommend traveling by air if you cannot bring your pet inside the cabin area.
Regardless of how convincing the airline representatives may be, cargo pets undergo a tremendous amount of stress. Therefore, I would recommend exploring other options for travel if your pets cannot travel in-cabin.
To help you make your airline choice, here are my top 3 favorite airlines for in-cabin pets.
- Delta Airlines
Delta airlines is one of the few international airlines which provides a lenient international pet policy. The price for your in-cabin pet will depend on the destination and the kennel/carrier size. Here are the one-way fees for dogs, cats, and household birds.
- U.S./Canada: $125 USD/CAD
- Virgin Islands: $125 USD/CAD
- Puerto Rico: $125 USD/CAD
- Outside the U.S.: $200 USD/CAD/EUR
- Brazil: $75 USD
As a general rule, flights longer than 12 hours do not allow in-cabin pets. This rule is universal and therefore is not specifically defined by Delta Airlines.
In addition to the one-way fee, Delta also charges a one-time kennel fee. The kennel size will determine this cost. In-cabin kennels can range from $75 to $160.
For very small pets (under 15 pounds), Delta airlines is relatively expensive. However, for pet owners with larger dogs, Delta is one of the only airlines which will allow dogs over 20 pounds (9 kg) in weight.
The largest kennel allowed in-cabin for Delta Airlines is 40” (101.6 cm) long x 27” (68.58 cm) high x 30” (76.2) wide. The largest weight restriction is 31 pounds (14 kg). As you may already know, most airlines do not allow dogs larger than 20 pounds (9 kg). Delta is an excellent choice if you’re larger dog cannot travel with a cheaper airline.
I have traveled many times in the United States with Delta. I’ve always had a pleasant experience and my pets have always been treated with respect and patience by Delta employees.
2. JetBlue Airlines
My second favorite airline for in-cabin pets is JetBlue Airlines. This airline has a long history of being a top-notch pet friendly airline. They were one of the first few airlines to introduce a frequent-flyer program for pets (JetPaws).
This means that you can earn points for you’re pets travel, which is an amazing feature if you travel frequently.
JetBlue allows in-cabin pets for domestic U.S. flights and international flights. Here is the list of excluded locations for in-cabin pets: Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Cayman Islands and Trinidad & Tobago.
The JetBlue airline fee for each one-way flight is $100. This is relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost associated with Delta and other major airlines.
The customer service level offered by Delta airlines and JetBlue airlines are equivalent in regards to in-cabin pets. For most travelers, JetBlue is the better choice for in-cabin pets. The only drawback to JetBlue is the restrictive kennel size. Unless your dog is very small (less than 20 pounds), JetBlue will not allow your dog inside the passenger cabin.
- Carrier Maxium Dimensions: 17"L (43.18 cm) x 12.5"W (31.75 cm) x 8.5"H (21.59 cm)
- Price (Each Way): $100
3. Southwest Airlines
Southwest is one of the most economical in-cabin pet travel choices available. The cost of a one-way trip is only $95 with Southwest, which is cheaper than both Delta and JetBlue.
However, Southwest Airlines does not allow in-cabin pets for international flights. For pet owners flying in the United Kingdom, Southwest Airlines cannot be used for in-cabin pet travel.
For domestic U.S. flights, Southwest offers a custom pet carrier which fits under the aircraft’s passenger seats. This carrier can be purchased directly from southwest before your flight.
I’ve personally used Southwest many times and have been satisfied with the service. When flying in the United States, I believe Southwest is an excellent choice. For flights outside of the United States, Delta and JetBlue are the clear winners.
- Carrier Maxium Dimensions: 18.5”L (16.99 cm) x 13.5”W (34.29 cm) x 8.5”H (21.59 cm)
- Price (Each Way): $95