Southwest Airlines is known for its budget-friendly flights and laid-back attitude, making it a popular choice for travelers. If you’re planning to fly with your furry companion, it’s essential to understand Southwest’s pet policy, fees, and carrier requirements to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for both you and your pet.
Southwest Airlines allows small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel with you in-cabin under the seat in front of you on domestic flights. Pets must be at least 8 weeks old. The airline does not permit pets to travel in cargo. Each customer is allowed one pet carrier, with up to two pets of the same species inside. Southwest Airlines has a maximum limit of 6 pet carriers per flight.
Pets are not allowed on international flights. Service animals and emotional support animals are allowed on flights at no extra charge.
Southwest Airlines charges a $95 Pet Fare each way per pet carrier. This fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. You can use airline credits to avoid the fee with some credit cards, such as the Amex Platinum Card. It’s important to note that the pet fare is refundable if you cancel your reservation or if your flight is canceled and you do not rebook.
Pet carriers must adhere to Southwest’s regulations, with maximum dimensions of 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide. The carrier must fit under the seat in front of you and have a waterproof bottom and adequate ventilation. Southwest sells an official pet carrier for $95 per one-way flight for pets to fly in the cabin.
Booking and Reservation
To ensure a spot for your pet on the flight, you must make a reservation in advance by calling Southwest Airlines at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA. Pets will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Southwest Airlines reserves the right to refuse pets that exhibit aggressive behavior or any characteristics that appear incompatible with air travel.
Tips for a Smooth Journey
- Book your pet’s ticket ahead of time to secure one of the six pet spots on the flight.
- Ensure you have a compliant pet carrier before arriving at the airport.
- Keep your pet in the carrier at the gate area, during boarding and deplaning, and throughout the entire flight.
- Be prepared for the possibility that Southwest may not allow you to board with your pet if it displays disruptive behavior, such as scratching, excessive whining or barking, growling, biting, lunging, or urinating.
By following Southwest Airlines’ pet policy and guidelines, you can ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip for both you and your furry companion.
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