Flying with a Small Dog or Other Small Pet: Airline Guidelines and Prices
Flying with a Dog or Other Small Pet Can be Easy
Very few of us like to leave our small dogs or small pets behind when we travel. In the past, if you were flying, the usual option was for your dog or pet to fly in the cargo section of the plane, not always the most accommodating place for your pet, especially not your small pet. Things have changed and there is now the option for your small dog or pet to fly with you. After all, if it’s a vacation you’re destined for, think of how much fun it will be to watch Fido frolic in the waves on some sandy beach alongside you and the kids.
If you are moving, it may be impractical to drive to your new home meaning a flight for you and your pet. And boarding your pet for an extensive stay can be costly and it may be unsettling for you and your pet.
In fact, there can be many reasons you may prefer to fly with your pet rather than leave it behind. Here are a few of the guidelines and the approximate costs for some of the airlines that allow your pet in the passenger cabin.
Choose the Best Airline for You, Your Pet and Your Wallet
Delta Airlines can have up to four pets that fit in specified carriers on any one flight. When making a reservation, it is best to call the airline and tell them you would like your pet to travel with you. The cost will be $125.00 one way. During the trip, the pet must remain in the carrier, under the seat in front of you. Remember to turn the carrier so that your pet faces you and can easily see hear and smell you. The pets are usually so inconspicuous you hardly know they are there. One airline reservation employee mentioned that in all of the times she has traveled, she has never known when there was a pet in the passenger cabin during that flight.
Southwest Airlines also allows pets to travel in carriers under the seat in front of you. The cost is $95.00. For your convenience, Southwest Airlines has the correct size carrier available for purchase at some ticket counters or it can be purchased at Southwest Airlines’ online store. Again, it is necessary for you to call the airline to let them know you would like to travel with your pet. They will provide instructions to make that happen.
If you choose to fly Air Canada to your destination, the policies mirror those of the other airlines. The cost ranges from $50 - $100 for your pet to fly in a designated carrier placed under the seat in front of you. The pet must remain in the carrier at all times.
According to their website, United Airlines allows a variety of pets in the passenger cabin as long as they fit in an approved hard- or soft-sided carrier. The carry-on pet can include domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and even household birds with the exception of cockatoos. Call the airlines for question when booking a reservation.
Check the pet flying policies and then decide which airline is going to be a match for you and your pet. It is also a good idea to check with your vet to see if your breed of dog tolerates stress of flying. In addition to checking with your vet, also check the rules of entering another country with a pet. There may be regulations that apply.
The bottom line is that pets, like the rest of us, are mobile, too. Airlines have stepped up to accommodate that reality. There can be pets on the plane, in the passenger cabin with you, provided they fit in a proportioned, airline approved carrier. Speak with your veterinarian regarding flying with your pet so that they can make any necessary recommendations.
Airlines and Their Pet Flying Costs as of January 2017
Call airline ahead of time
$125.00 one way
Correct carrier available for purchase online; call airline
$95.00 one way
Designated carrier under the seat
$50 - $100.00 one way