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Top Airlines to Look for If You’re Flying With a Pet

If you’re planning on flying with a pet there is much to know before you pack all the essentials for your pet and zip that carry on bag. When it comes to air travel, everybody looks for a few significant factors that an Airline must possess to make it a frequent choice in the context of the ticket price, safety and security, food and facilities, luxury and comfort and much more. If you are a pet lover, you will look for the same necessities for your tamed animals as well while traveling along with them.


Passenger inconvenience like flights getting canceled or delayed and luggage getting lost, there are fair possibilities of pet fatalities or pets going missing. Wallethub says, in the year 2018, 10 animals were reported dead during air transport and major US airlines had a minimum of one pet fatality.


Calm dog


Looking at the same it seems tough to think of sending these companions to travel via air. But fortunately, there are some well-recognized Airlines one can look for the safety and comfort of their pets. All these provide a traveler with the details of pet carrying/transport policies which must be read thoroughly before making a wise decision.


Take a run down to the best airlines to consider while your air travel with the beloved pets, where I have made an effort to guide you in the best possible way, gathering all the basic information at one place.


If You’re Flying With a Pet Then You Should Explore These Airlines


#1  Delta Airlines


One of the popular airlines that provides excellent pet travel services is  Delta Airlines. It is a pet-friendly airline and allows you to either carry pets in the cabin or to be checked as cargo. This is the airline I always choose when flying with a pet. They also have their home base right here in Atlanta.


The services are both for Domestic and International flights; nevertheless, it puts some restrictions and requirements while traveling to different destinations which call for flyers to do some research before flying with their emotional support dogs or other pets.


Lets put some light over their basic pet requirements:


  • Pets carried in cabin must fit in an approved container which must be placed underneath the front seat while not disturbing the passengers traveling along.
  • Pets flying to Canada must be above ten weeks old where the expense to travel with them accounts to $125.
  • Making a Europe trip has a distinct procedure; the pet must be 15 weeks old where the price to carry them along also rises with their age. ($200 per pet).
  • Pet journey to the United States adds one more week to their age and makes it 16 weeks.


Flying with Pets
Image Source: DeltaAirlines


#2 American Airlines


American Airlines is one of the largest ones and facilitates dogs and other pet’s travel with different requirements for their transport. Undoubtedly, the big brand possesses the biggest containers specified for commuting pets to different locations.


The airlines provide the three elementary services of ‘Carry on’, ‘Check’ or ‘Pet Transport’ to ease the journey of passengers traveling with their cats or dogs with a few breed limitations.


The following are the restrictions applied on pet travel which one must consider:


  • Pets carried or transported must be eight weeks old.
  • Beloved dogs, cats or birds cannot be transported if the journey is longer than 12 hours.
  • The Airline puts a special note while traveling in summer months and limits their travel to some particular warm places that of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Palm Springs, etc.
  • The one-way fee charge for pet travel sums to $125.


flying with pets
Image Source: AmericanAirlines


  • Pet containers weight must limit to 20 pounds with these dimensions 19 x 13 x 9 (inches).


#3 Southwest Airlines


Unlikely the others, Southwest Airlines do not allow you to travel with pets on an international flight and mostly allow vaccinated small pets to commute with you in the cabin.


Some of the unique requirements of the airline include:


  • Pets’ reservations are done on a first-come-first-serve basis and processed further.
  • Traveling pets must be over eight weeks.
  • The one-way fee charge is $95 per pet.


Southwest Airlines
Image Source: SouthwestAirlines


  • A customer is allowed to carry one pet carrier and a total of six per flight
  • Unaccepted behavior of pets results in their boarding denial.
  • The approved container must have these dimensions: 18.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 (inches) and should not be longer than this.


#4 United Airlines


United Airlines is one of the major airlines and is quite restrictive when the talk is about Pet Travel. One can go through the United Airlines Pet Policy in detail to get a better understanding and an overview of its terms and conditions.


However, down below are some of its requirements for pet transport mentioned briefly:


  • The airline freezes only some destinations for carrying pets where the services are not available while traveling to Hawaii, New Zealand and Australia
  • The pet container size varies; hard-sided containers are not big than  17.5 x 12 x 7.5 (inches) and soft-sided containers must not be over 18 x 11 x 11(inches).
  • There are many limitations in the context of breed and season while your air travel with cats, dogs, and other tamed pets.
  • For ‘Carry on’ facility, United allows pets to travel with the following characteristics:


flying with pets
Image Source: Airlinepetpolicies


Thinking of flying with pets? Consider Faremart, a well-designed booking platform that helps make your travel better with its remarkable traveling services, accompanying you from beginning till the end.


#5 Alaska Airlines


Alaska Airlines is also one of the good airlines that keeps the availability for carrying pets in the cabin or cargo by providing them the ‘Fur-st’ class care. Like many others, it also has special requirements for pet travel considering their safety.


Let’s look below at some of the limitations applied while traveling with the tamed pets:


  • Pets above eight weeks old or above are allowed to commute.
  • Either in cargo or cabin, the fees for travel accounts to $100 for one side.


alaska air
Image Source: AlaskaAir


  • The airlines have pet specifications while traveling to Hawaii and accept only cats and dogs to commute to the island.
  • The approved container for animals to travel have particular dimensions, for hard-sided, it’s 17 x 11 x 7.5(inches), and soft-sided it’s 17 x 11 x 9.5.
  • The allowed pet carriers must be air ventilated, free from cracks and breaks, clean and have safe leak proof bedding.


There are many others in line who serve travelers with their pets; however, the listed ones have a good name in providing better facilities to the dogs, cats and other allowed animals to reach their destination safely.


Dog in the car, driving with a dog


Final Consideration


Human’s best friend also need special treatment and especially when they are going along with you as a companion. When flying with pets there are many facilities for pet travel provided by most of the airlines which promise to cater to all the animal needs with some restrictions.


One can make the right choice while going through their specifications as per the kennel size, breeds, traveling locations, transport and much more. If you are traveling for the first time then you must consider reading Airlines Pet Travel Policies that details the necessary information you need to know so you can be at ease when flying with pets.


Happy Traveling!

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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