If traveling with your furry friend is a must, you’ll need to book with pet-friendly airlines that offer extra cabin space and amenities for man's best friend.
Many leading airlines provide pet travel services so you can bring your dog or cat along in the cabin. Pet travel can be easier when you choose the right pet-friendly airlines to fly with, along with securing a fur-friendly hotel or resort for your upcoming trip. Read on to see the best airlines to book when you're flying with pets.
10. Allegiant Air
If you're flying with dogs or domestic cats, you can bring them along in the cabin with Allegiant as long as they can fit in a pet carrier under the seat in front of you. However, keep in mind pets and animals are not allowed onboard flights to and from Hawaii.
You’ll pay a $100 fee per flight, per carrier and can’t bring more than two pets per carrier. There's no charge for service animals and emotional support animals are excluded from the standard pet policy, which can help you save money on airline fees. However, you still need to make a reservation for these animals by selecting the "special assistance" option under your name when booking the flight.
9. Hawaiian Airlines
Acceptable pets can travel as checked baggage or as carry-on aboard Hawaiian Airlines flights. Snub-nosed dog breeds and snub-nosed cat breeds should not travel as checked baggage, but other breeds can be checked in a kennel. If your pet is traveling as checked baggage, expect to pay $60 per pet for travel within the state of Hawaii and $225 each way for travel to and from North America.
Pets can travel in the cabin on certain flights, except for first class cabins on all North American flights, on any flight to and from New York, or on international routes. Your pet must fit in a pet carrier to be stowed under the seat in front of you. Fees for in-cabin pets are $35 for travel within the state of Hawaii and $175 for travel from Hawaii to North America.
Service animals are allowed onboard as long as you have the required documentation. Emotional support animals are also allowed as long as you bring appropriate documentation. If the animal is too large to sit on the floor in front of you, it can sit in an empty adjacent seat in the cabin. You also have the option to purchase a second seat for your service animal. In addition to being a pet-friendly airline, Hawaiian is also one of the cheapest airlines to upgrade your flight.
8. Virgin America
You can travel with peace of mind on pet-friendly airlines like Virgin America. The airline has a limit of five pet carriers in the main cabin at a time, so it’s a good idea to call ahead and make a reservation. Your pet must fit in a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier and cannot weigh more than 20 pounds.
The carrier will sit under the seat in front of you throughout the flight. There is a $100 pet fee each way. Service animals are allowed onboard Virgin America flights at no charge and do not need to travel in a pet carrier. Emotional support animals are also allowed onboard as long as you bring documentation from a licensed mental health professional.
7. JetBlue Airways
If you're traveling with pets and looking for airline perks, JetBlue offers some incentives with its JetPaws program. This free program includes a carrier bag-tag that you can attach to your pet carrier at check-in, a Petiquette™ list of tips on how to manage pet travel with JetBlue and 300 TrueBlue points. You can book your pet online and will need to pay a $100 fee each way.
Your pet and the carrier count as one carry-on bag on the flight, and you’ll need to check in at the full service counter at the airport. You can bring a service animal or emotional support animal in the cabin at no extra charge. However, exotic animals, hedgehogs, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles and other certain types of animals are not allowed onboard.
6. American Airlines
American Airlines is one of the most pet-friendly airlines, offering several travel options, depending on the breed and size of your furry friend. You can travel with pets as carry-on luggage or transport them with American Airlines Cargo. There are some dog and cat breed restrictions to keep in mind, and you can confirm whether your pet can travel by calling in advance. Carry-on pets must fit in a small kennel under the seat in front of you for the duration of the flight.
Fees are $200 per kennel for checked pets for travel between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean; $150 per kennel to and from Brazil; and $125 per kennel for carry-on pets for travel between the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central and South America.
There is no charge for service animals. If a service animal doesn’t fit on your lap or under your seat, it will have to travel in a kennel and be checked. Emotional support animals are allowed onboard with proper documentation.
5. Delta Air Lines
Delta is another pet-friendly airline that offers several options for your pet. Dogs, cats and household birds can travel in the cabin with you for a fee ranging from $75 to $125 each way, depending on the route. Household birds are only allowed onboard domestic flights. Your pet needs to fit in a kennel that is small enough to fit under your seat and must be at least 10 weeks old for domestic travel.
Pets are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and the total number of pets per flight is limited so it’s best to call ahead. Some breeds aren’t accepted in the cabin but can be flown via the Delta Cargo program instead. Trained service animals and emotional support animals are welcome on Delta flights. You will need to bring documentation for emotional support animals.
4. Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines offers a pet travel program to ensure all pets travel safely and comfortably. Short-nosed dogs, such as bulldogs, mastiffs and shih tzus, and short-nosed cats, including Persian, Himalayan and Burmese breeds, are not permitted to travel as cargo because they can have difficulty breathing. They can, however, travel with you in a pet carrier. The fee for a pet traveling in the cabin or as checked baggage is $100 each way.
Service and emotional support animals are allowed onboard and can sit at your feet if there is enough room. There is no extra fee for a working service animal. If you’re traveling with an emotional or psychiatric support animal, you will need to provide documentation from a licensed mental health professional. Exotic animals are not allowed onboard.
3. Southwest Airlines
Feel free to bring your small, vaccinated domestic cats and dogs in a pet carrier on your Southwest domestic flight. No animals are allowed on international flights. Only pets that can be stowed under the seat are allowed to travel on Southwest, and you'll pay $95 each way, per pet carrier.
Trained assistance animals and emotional support animals are allowed onboard to and from all domestic and international destinations, except Jamaica because of country-specific regulations. Since only six animals are allowed per flight, pets are only accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Related: 25 Airlines With the Lowest Fees
2. United Airlines
United offers pet travel service for domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds, except cockatoos. Your pet must travel in a hard-sided or soft-sided kennel, which needs to be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. There is a $125 service charge each way for pet services and an additional $125 service charge for layovers of more than four hours.
This airline also accommodates for service animals, and larger animals can sit without a kennel in the area in front of your seat. Smaller service animals can travel in an approved in-cabin kennel. Therapy animals must be kept in a kennel just like regular pets.
1. Pet Airways
If you have the luxury of flying in a private plane, book with Pet Airways to fly with your pets on a private charter flight. You can fly with up to two other passengers on a three-person plane and fly in and out of local airports. Flight prices range from $2,500 to $10,000 depending on the route. You can find routes from major cities, including Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
All pets fly in the main cabin and are taken care of by a designated onboard pet attendant. Fluffy can settle into the pet lounge for a relaxing trip and will always receive the red carpet treatment.