Flying with Fido? Here's Everything You Need to Know.

November 21, 2016

Flying with Fido? Here's Everything You Need to Know.

Traveling with pets has gotten much easier over the past few years. A number of reputable luxury and budget hotels now open their doors to four-legged guests. Airlines are also becoming increasingly pet friendly. The top 15 most popular airlines in the U.S. now allow in-cabin pet reservations for dogs and cats. About half of these high-trafficked carriers also permit dogs in their cargo and baggage areas.

The annoying part? Each airline has its own unique pet policy. Fees, max pet weight and even approved pet carrier size vary greatly from one carrier to another. Breed restrictions also often apply. Did you know that most airlines prohibit snub-nose and pug-nose dogs from flying as checked baggage? These include bulldogs, frenchies, shih tzus, and pekingese (to name just a few).

To make your life easier, we researched the pet policies of 15 most trafficked airlines in the U.S. Need more info?

Click on the airline carrier name to visit the airline’s pet policy website.

Airline Policy Comparison: In Cabin Pets

Airline One-Way Fee Max Weight # Pets Per Reservation Max Carrier Size (Hard) Max Carrier Size (Soft) (inches) Contact Reservations
Aeromexico $145 15-20 lbs 1 19x12x10 inches same as hard carrier 800-237-6639
Air Canada CAD 50 (CAD 100 for international flights) 22 lbs* 1 21.5x15.5x9 inches 21.5x15.5x10.5 inches 888-247-2262
Alaska Airlines $100 20 2** 17x11x7.5 inches 17x11x9.5 inches 800-252-7522
American Airlines $200 (Brazil $150) n/a 1 19x13x9 inches same as hard carrier 800-433-7300
Delta $125 USD/CAD (Brazil $75, Outside the US $200) n/a 1 varies by flight varies by flight 800-221-1212
Frontier $75 n/a 1 18x14x8 inches same as hard carrier 801-401-9000
Hawaiian Airlines $175 to North America ($35 inter-island) 25 1-2°° 16x10x9.5 inches same as hard carrier 800-367-5320
Jetblue $100 20 lbs* 1 17 x12.5 x 8.5 inches same as hard carrier 800-538-2583
Spirit Airlines $110 40 lbs* 2 18x14x9 inches same as hard carrier 801-401-2222
Southwest $95 n/a 2 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches same as hard carrier 800-435-9792
Virgin America $100 20 lbs* 1 18x15x7.5 inches same as hard carrier 877-359-8474
Volares $100 for international travel (MXN 999 within Mexico) 22 lbs* 1 17.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches same as hard carrier 855-865-2747
United $125°°°° n/a 1 17.5x12x7.5 inches 18x11x11 inches 800-864-8331
US Airways see American Airlines
Westjet $50-59 n/a 1 Hard carriers prohibited 16x10x8.5 inches 888-937-8538
* Combined weight of pet and carrier

** Pets must travel in same carrier and must be identical in species and comparable in size
° Permitted only on inter-island flights and flights leaving the State of Hawaii
°° Two puppies or kittens permitted if both are (1) over 8 weeks old and under 6 months and (2) combined weight is less than 25lbs
°°° Domestic (U.S.) travel only; no in-cabin pets on international flights

Airline Policy Comparison: Checked Pets

* Includes weight of carrier

** Depends on age and size of dog
° Depends on flight number

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