Selecting the appropriate airline might make all the difference when traveling by air with your pet, but it can also be an exhilarating adventure. Not every airline allows pets, and their pet-friendly regulations and facilities differ. Here, we’ll look at some of the Best airlines for dogs to make sure your four-legged buddy travels in safety and comfort.
What are the Top Most Airlines for Pet Travel?
After you’re certain your pet won’t cause any issues while traveling, you need to decide which carrier you prefer. The list of the best airlines for dogs is provided below if you wish to travel with your dog because some airlines are more accommodating to pets than others.
Southwest Airlines Pet Travel
Do you want to hug your dog when you take off? For a nominal price, Southwest accepts small dogs and cats as carry-ons. Their laid-back attitude and emphasis on customer service make the trip easy to navigate. In addition:
- The fee would be 95 USD per pet per direction.
- Pets must be at least 8 weeks old.
- Passengers must make a pet reservation over the phone, up to 24 hours before departure.
- The airline also offers Southwest-approved pet carriers for 58 USD.
- Unaccompanied minors are not allowed to travel with pets.
- There is a Southwest Open Seat Policy. Pet owners are not permitted to sit in the emergency escape rows, though.
Read more: Southwest Airlines Pet Policy
JetBlue Pet Travel
JetBlue permits small dogs in the cabin. They offer JetPaws, a program providing travel perks for furry companions and their owners. The airline charges 125 USD each way for in-cabin pet travel. This is also considered as the best pet friendly international airline. In Addition:
- Pets must be carried in the carrier.
- The combined weight of the pet and carrier must not exceed 20 lbs.
- Pets are not permitted for premium fares like Mint.
Read more: JetBlue Pet Policy
Alaska Airlines Pet Travel
Pet comfort is a strong point for this airline. Pet safety during the trip is their top priority, and they prioritize it by allowing pets in the cabin as well as having temperature-controlled pet spaces in the cargo. Alaska charges 100 USD each way for in-cabin travel, as only small cats and dogs are allowed. In addition:
- The airline does not have any breed restrictions for in-cabin travel.
- The in-cabin pets must be at least 8 weeks old.
- Passengers traveling with pets must be at least 18 years old.
- Unaccompanied minors are not allowed to travel with pets inside the cabin.
- Each passenger may bring two pet carriers with them, but they must reserve two seats next to each other.
- All of the time, pets have to remain in the kennel.
- Alaska allows no more than 3 pets in the first class, and 8 in the main economy cabin.
- Due to limits on external temperatures, the airline does not permit freight flying during the holidays.
Delta Airlines Pet Travel
Delta pet policy is comprehensive, allowing pets in the cabin (within size restrictions) and providing special handling for animals traveling via cargo. They also have a dedicated team ensuring pet safety and comfort. Dogs and small cats are permitted to fly in the cabin on Delta Airlines. Pets must be at least 10 weeks old and kept in a carrier while on board. The remaining highlights consist of:
- The delta pet fee is 95 USD each way.
- The airline allows two pets of the same breed in a kennel.
- Pets are allowed as carry-on luggage. You are permitted to bring one modest personal item in addition.
- Pet owners are not permitted to use emergency exit seats and are not permitted to occupy the aisle..
- The size of the carrier must not exceed 18*11*11 inches.
- Delta does not allow pets as cargo.
Read more: Delta Pet Policy
Hawaiian Airlines Pet Travel
Hawaiian welcomes small dogs and cats in the cabin and offers spacious kennels in the cargo hold for larger breeds. Bonus points for island vibes and a pet relief area at Honolulu International Airport. The US-based international carriers only allow small cats or dogs for domestic and international travel.
- Pets can travel on flight duration no more than 12 hours.
- The pet carriers must be kept beneath the seat.
- The storage is not available on the seats of Business Class. Pets are not allowed to travel in the Business Class cabin.
- The kennel size must be within 19 x 13 x 9 inches.
- The combined weight of the pet and kennel must not exceed 20 pounds.
- Active duty members of the US military are permitted to check up to two dogs in the cargo hold when traveling by cargo on the airline.
Read More: Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy
What are the Pet Travel Guidelines for Airlines?
Here’s a summary of the prices for pet travel with the top dog-friendly airlines, along with information on whether and how many pets are allowed in the cabin.
|IN-CABIN PET TRAVEL FEE
|NUMBER OF PETS ALLOWED PER PASSENGER
|TYPES OF ANIMALS ALLOWED IN MAIN CABIN
|125 USD each way
|2 pets are allowed
|Dog or Cat. Maximum 6 pets allowed in each aircraft
|100 USD. Up to 2 per carrier
|2 pets are allowed.If you purchase 2 seats together, 4 pets are allowed
|Small dogs, cats, and household birds
|1 pet is allowed(Airline also allows 2 if the pet’s age is between 10 weeks and 6 months)
|Small dogs, cats, and household birds
|125 USD outside Hawaii. 60 USD within Hawaii
|1 pet is allowed
|Dog or Cat
|1 pet allowed
|Small dogs, cats, household birds, hamsters, and guinea pigs
Which Airlines allow Large Dogs in Cargo?
Here are some major airlines that allow large dogs to travel in cargo:
- Air Canada: Allows dogs up to 100 lbs in both cargo and as a checked bag. If your pup is larger, they encourage you to reach out to them.
- Air France: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
- American Airlines: Allows big dogs to travel as cargo with American Airlines Cargo. Using their cost calculator, you may obtain an idea of how much it will cost to ship a pet with American Airlines.
- Delta Airlines: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
- Emirates: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
- KLM: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
- Lufthansa: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
- Singapore Airlines: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
- Turkish Airlines: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
- WestJet: Allows dogs up to 176 lbs in cargo.
What makes a Dog-Friendly Airline?
Choosing the perfect airline goes beyond fancy names and cute slogans. Here’s what to look for:
- Know the size, weight, and breed restrictions, as well as in-cabin and cargo options.
- Pet travel comes with added costs, so compare fees for both in-cabin and cargo travel.
- Ensure the airline uses climate-controlled cargo holds for maximum pet comfort.
- Opt for airlines known for their pet-friendly staff and helpful policies.
- Look for amenities like water bowls, airport pet relief areas, and even in-flight pet snacks!
Choosing the right airline for your furry friend can make flying a delightful experience for both of you. Understanding the pet policies, prioritizing comfort and safety, and planning ahead are key factors to consider when selecting a Best Airlines for Dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s
Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest Airlines as mentioned above are some of the best airlines for dogs, keeping in view their favorable pet policy and affordable fees.
Post covid, most of the airlines have barred emotional support animals from traveling for free. You can take ESA and are subject to fees and health certificates.
Delta Airlines is known for its commitment to pet safety and strict adherence to guidelines. If any pet creates trouble or exhibits aggressive behavior, the airline immediately cancels the travel for passengers.
Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines are considered pet friendly international airlines. Most passengers prefer it due to its safety and strict protocols, and it is touted as the best airline for dogs.