Before you book an airline ticket, make sure you review the airline’s pet policies if you are traveling with a furry friend or if you plan to take them along on a long-distance trip.

Southwest Airlines allows pets to fly with them. Yes, but only in their main cabin.

Here are the essentials to flying with your pet on Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines’ pet policy

Southwest Airlines allows pet owners to fly with them as long as they meet certain eligibility criteria. Pets are not allowed to travel in cargo. Domestic flights allow small, vaccinated domestic pets such as cats and dogs to be carried in cabins.

Your pet carrier must be placed under your seat during flight. One pet carrier per ticketed passenger is permitted. Pets cannot be brought along by minors.

Pet fares can only be purchased by six carriers per flight. Sometimes, however, exceptions to the six-pet limit will be granted by the airline.

It’s a good idea to read the Southwest Airlines pet travel rules before you go.

Southwest incabin pet options

Southwest does not allow pets to fly with cargo but you can still bring your pet into the cabin if they meet the requirements.

These are the Southwest Airlines pet travel rules:

Southwest pet policy

  • Only small, vaccinated domestic dogs and cats can be taken on vacation.

  • Southwest flights require cats to be at least 8 weeks of age.

  • You must ensure that your pet remains in its carrier at all costs.

  • You can count your pet carrier as either a personal or carry-on item.

  • Maximum length of carriages must not exceed 18.5 inches x 8.5 inches. x 13.5 inches. (length x height.x width)

  • Pets are not allowed to travel with their owners on international or domestic flights.

  • Hawaiian islands allow pets to fly with them.

  • Travelers to Puerto Rico with pets should check the entry requirements.

  • A passenger may bring up to two pets in one vehicle.

  • You must place your pet carrier under the seat in front you while on the flight.

  • Customers who travel with pets must board with the assigned boarding group.

  • Traveling with pets means that you cannot sit in exit row seats or in a seat without under-seat storage.

  • Pets are permitted on a first-come basis and are limited to six per flight.

  • Boarding may not be granted to pets that exhibit disruptive behavior such as biting, scratching, barking, growling, or excessive barking.

Southwest Airlines pet fees

How much does it cost for a Southwest dog to fly? What about other animals?

A $95 per pet fee is required for Southwest flights. It is worth taking into consideration this additional cost when planning your trip. If you do not want to travel with your pet or you cancel your flight, the fee will be refunded.

The fare for pets traveling between Hawaiian Islands and June 30, 2023 is $35 per pet carrier.

Southwest’s pet-friendly flight schedule compares with other airlines

Do you need help deciding which airline to fly for your pet-friendly trip? Southwest is No. 1 when compared to other airlines’ pet policies. Out of nine airlines, Southwest ranked No. 2 on the list of pet-friendly airlines.

Southwest received a score of 3.4 out 5 in NerdWallet’s evaluation. This placed them second.

These are the primary factors that were used to rate each airline’s pet-friendliness rating:

  • Cost of bringing your pet to the main cabin.

  • Maximum number of pets permitted.

  • Types of animals permitted.

  • Pets allowed in cargo.

  • Cost of transporting a pet by cargo.

  • Information from the Department of Transportation (June 20,21 to May 2022), regarding deaths, injuries and losses of pets.

Southwest was awarded high marks for its low pet fees and excellent records regarding pet safety.

Southwest Airlines pet travel, recapped

Southwest Airlines does not allow pets to travel in cargo with passengers, but there are other options.

You can fly to and from any domestic destination with an eligible pet, or between Hawaiian Islands with a pet, if you pay the appropriate fee. Keep your pet in the approved carrier under your seat.

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