Pet-Friendly Air Travel Flights

Written by jennifer hench
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Pet-Friendly Air Travel Flights
Dogs and cats that meet airline requirements are welcome on pet-friendly airlines. (naughty dog image by MichMac from Fotolia.com)

Travelling is sometimes for business and sometimes for pleasure. Not all travel is about leaving your everyday life back at home. Taking pets on vacation is important for some people because pets are often treated just like one of the family. Pet-friendly airlines that offer lenient and clear-cut rules regarding travel with Fido can help make trip-planning a smoother process.

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Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has a lenient pet policy. Small dogs and cats that are domesticated and current on all vaccinations and shots are allowed to travel with their owners directly in the cabin. The airline counts the animal carrier as a piece of carry-on luggage, but that is a small price to pay as animals are not sequestered to a separate area of the plane. As for costs, Southwest charges a flat £48 fee each way for travelling with a pet. Animals must remain fully contained at all times in a pet carrier that can be stowed under a seat in the same manner as other forms of carry-on luggage. Southwest keeps the maximum number of pet carriers allowed per flight to five and reservations for bringing pets on board must be made by phone, directly with a Southwest reservation agent.

Virgin America

Virgin America allows pets to travel with their owners on domestic flights provided the owner follows the simple rules laid out by the airline regarding pets. Passengers may not have animals in either the Main Cabin Select or First Class cabin areas, which means travellers must fly in the Main Cabin portion of the plane only. Animals must be small, domesticated varieties, and each must be housed in its own pet carrier. The total weight of the carrier plus the animal may not exceed 9.07 Kilogram. The airline charges passengers an additional £65 per flight segment fee for pets to travel with them. In addition, the airline requires passengers seeking to bring their pet along to contact the airline directly or use the online booking tool that offers an option for adding a pet to a passenger's final itinerary.

JetBlue

JetBlue is a casual airline that likes to impart fun on its flights, marketing and overall sense of business style. One area it has thrown in some humour is with their pet policy, known as JetPaws. The program promotes the airline's lenient rules on bringing pets on board and lets passengers know that the airline actually encourages pets on board. To book a pet for a flight, call the airline directly. A £65 fee is charged each way to pay for the animal. The airline sends the pet owner a bag tag and guidebook on travelling with the pet prior to the trip. Size limitations are that the animal plus their carrier may not exceed 9.07 Kilogram. The airline does give pet owners additional frequent flyer points for bringing their pet along and paying for their flight.

US Airways

US Airways is selective in how many animals are allowed on flights, and the airline strongly recommends that guests call the airline to inquire about availability. US Air allows small cats, dogs and birds to travel with their owners provided the animal is well-behaved, not sick or injured and is current on all vaccinations. Pets must stay with their owner at all times and be stowed under the seat, securely contained in a pet carrier. A £65 each direction fee is levied upon guests who bring along their pet. The pet is counted toward a passenger's carry-on bag allowance, which passengers need to keep in mind when packing for their trip.

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