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Traveling with Pet: Most Pet-Friendly Airlines

The trend of flying with pets is on the rise as airlines now welcome the chance to accommodate our beloved companions during travel or relocation. Although this presents a rewarding experience for both pet owners and their furry friends, it demands thorough planning and attention to detail to guarantee a stress-free and secure journey for you and your cherished family pet.

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By Eglė

Published: Aug 04, 2023 min read

Traveling with Pet: Most Pet-Friendly Airlines

For pet-loving travelers, parting ways with their beloved furry companions before a journey can be truly heart-wrenching. Thank gods, numerous pet-friendly airlines welcome dogs, cats, birds, and certain other household pets on board, making it possible to have your faithful friend accompany you to your destination. Also, to entertain passengers who are crazy for animals and happy to pet fluffy-cutty-meow-meows. 

However, flying with pets requires extra money, effort, and preparation. Each pet-friendly airline has its own set of policies, which can sometimes be confusing, regarding the types of animals permitted on flights, where they are allowed to stay during the journey, the destinations they can travel to, and the specific times of the year they can fly. Additionally, these airlines impose varying pet fees for passengers traveling with their pets.

Before booking a flight, it's crucial to carefully review each airline's regulations concerning non-emotional support, non-service dogs, and cats, to ensure a seamless experience for you and your furry companion. Furthermore, it's essential to research the pet regulations at your destination. As you plan your next trip, consider exploring the following pet-friendly airlines that welcome dogs, cats, and other animals on board, allowing you to have a pleasant and stress-free journey together.


Numerous airlines permit pets to travel in the cabin as carry-ons, provided they remain in a carrier that fits comfortably under the seat in front of you throughout the flight. Among the airlines that allow pets as carry-ons are Southwest, Alaska, United, American, Delta, , Spirit, and Frontier. Other airlines: JetBlue, Air Canada, Air India, Swiss International Airlines,  Lufthansa,  TAP Airport Portugal, SAS, OpenSkies, KLM, Aer Lingus, Japan Airlines, Alitalia, Copa Airlines, Iberia. 

Possible to buy a seat for a pet on an airplane in 2023? 

In general, most pet-friendly airlines do not allow travelers to buy a separate seat for their dogs. Small dogs are usually permitted to travel in the cabin, but they must remain in a kennel placed under the seat in front of you for the entire duration of the flight.

For instance, JetBlue may require travelers to purchase a second seat and pay an additional pet fee if they wish to bring two pets on board simultaneously. Despite purchasing the extra seat, the dog must still remain inside a carrier throughout the flight. Similarly, Alaska Airlines allows passengers to bring up to two pets in the cabin only if they purchase two adjacent seats on the flight.

Traveling with Pet: Most Pet-Friendly Airlines 2023 RatePunk


Alaska Airlines offers pet travel options both in the cabin and in the cargo hold. For $100 each way (or $105 for flights departing from Canada), passengers can bring dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds in the cabin. There are no breed restrictions, but carry-on dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and able to eat solid food. Travelers need to be at least 18 years old to bring a pet in the cabin.

Each passenger can bring up to two pet carriers in the cabin by purchasing two seats next to each other on the plane. If pets are of the same size and species, they can fly together in one kennel, as long as they fit comfortably. During the flight and in the boarding area, pets must remain in their carriers with all doors secured. The kennel must be stowed under the seat during taxi, takeoff, and landing. The pet carrier counts as part of the passenger's carry-on baggage allowance, and travelers with pets are not allowed to sit in emergency exit or bulkhead rows. There are limits on the number of carriers per flight: three in first class and eight in the main cabin.

Certain destinations served by Alaska Airlines have restrictions based on outdoor temperatures, and there are limits on pet cargo travel on specific flights during holidays. Additionally, Alaska Airlines has specific rules concerning pet travel to Hawaii due to strong headwinds experienced during certain months.


As the world's largest airline, American Airlines is renowned for its pet-friendly approach. Price range goes  $125 – $200. On shorter flights, pets are welcome to join their owners in the cabin, provided they remain in a small carrier under the seat for the duration of the journey. For longer flights, pets are required to be checked as cargo to ensure their proper care during extended travel. The fees for this service may vary based on your specific flight and the size of your pet. Nevertheless, American Airlines has garnered numerous positive reviews regarding pet travel, making the cost well worth it. If you wish to learn more about flying with animals and American Airlines' comprehensive policy, press the bottom.


Southwest Airlines welcomes pet travel in the cabin. In the cabin, small vaccinated dogs and cats over eight weeks old are permitted, subject to a $95 pet fee each way. However, pets are not allowed in the cabin on international flights or flights to Hawaii.

Each passenger can bring only one pet kennel into the cabin, but there are only six total carrier spots available on each flight, offered on a first-come, first-served basis. To travel with a pet, passengers must make a reservation over the phone and then check in their pet and pay the fee at the airport ticket counter on the day of the flight.

Pets traveling in the cabin must remain inside their carriers throughout the flight, including in the gate area, during boarding, and deplaning. The pet kennel counts as either a personal item or a carry-on bag. Southwest Airlines sells branded pet carriers for $58, but passengers may also bring their own.


United Airlines permits only dogs and cats to travel in the cabin. The carry-on pet fee is $125 each way, with an additional $125 charge for each layover lasting four or more hours for U.S. flights or 24 or more hours for international flights. That’s a lot but we can do anything for love, can’t we?

There are no breed or weight restrictions for pets in the cabin. Each passenger can bring only one animal in the cabin, and United limits the total number of pets in each cabin based on the type of aircraft. And as usual, travelers with pets are not allowed to sit in emergency exit rows, United Premium Plus seats, or the front row of each cabin.

United Airlines does not permit pets to fly in the cargo hold. The airline suspended its pet shipping program, PetSafe, in 2018, and there has been no announcement regarding if or when it will resume.


Air India warmly welcomes pets on their flights, provided they are appropriately crated, possess the required documents, and have valid vaccinations. Dogs, pets, birds, service animals can travel in the cabin in the cargo. However, it's important to note that pets cannot be considered as carry-on luggage. An additional fee must be paid for traveling with a pet, and the fee varies depending on the destination country.


Air Canada offers flights to numerous cities worldwide. When it comes to pets, they are highly accommodating. If you arrive 30 minutes before departure with your pet safely secured in their carrier, they are allowed to travel with you in the cabin. For larger dogs, Air Canada provides the option to travel in cargo, ensuring their safety and comfort during the flight. Prices for pet travel range from $50 to $118, depending on the specific flight and your pet's requirements, making it an affordable and convenient choice for pet owners across the globe. For more comprehensive information on flying with animals and Air Canada's pet policy, you can find detailed details here.


Delta Airlines offers an extensive network of destinations spanning over 60 countries worldwide, allowing you and your pet to embark on remarkable journeys together. For domestic flights, Delta even extends a warm welcome to household birds. Small pets have the privilege of accompanying passengers in the cabin, while larger dogs travel safely and comfortably in the cargo hold.

With prices ranging from $75 to $200, depending on the destination, flying with your pet won't put a significant strain on your budget. For further information on flying with animals and Delta's pet policy check below. 


Swiss International Airlines proudly boasts that "you can take your pet with you on any route," as stated directly on their website. Passengers have the privilege of traveling with up to two pets, provided they are in an approved transport container and are deemed safe and fit for travel. An interesting aspect is that this airline permits hares and rabbits to travel as well, but they must be placed in the cargo hold, not in the cabin.

The cost for pet travel with Swiss International Airlines starts at $50, offering a budget-friendly option for flying with your furry companions. Both cabin and cargo options are available, and the airline allows cats, dogs, hares, rabbits, and service dogs to accompany you on your journey. Please note that animal imports are allowed only as cargo on these flights to Hong Kong, Ireland, South Africa, UAE, and UK.


Lufthansa Airlines, similar to Swiss International, welcomes you with your pet on board, be it a cat, dog, or hare, to numerous destinations worldwide. The airline allows two pets to travel together in the same carrier, as long as they are comfortable, and without any extra fees. For larger dogs, they ensure a comfortable journey by placing them in the cargo hold during flights.

With prices starting at €55, you and your pet can reach your destination affordably, without compromising on comfort or safety. Lufthansa Airlines ensures a pleasant and secure travel experience for both you and your furry companion.


Honestly, I didn’t expect that this low-cost airline would offer pet-transportation service. Frontier Airlines truly values the importance of pets as part of the family, and they make every effort to ensure comfortable pet travel. Unlike many other airlines, Frontier Airlines warmly welcomes a wide range of pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and birds, on their domestic flights.

On international flights, they extend a warm welcome to dogs and cats. The airline charges a modest fee of only $75, allowing you to travel with your beloved pet pal without straining your budget, regardless of their size. 



JetBlue stands out as one of the most pet-friendly airlines, going the extra mile to cater to furry passengers through their JetPaws program. This program offers pet-parent travelers a carrier bag, useful tips for managing their pets while traveling, and 300 TrueBlue points as a bonus.

For a reasonable fee of $100 each way, JetBlue provides an affordable option for touring around North and parts of South America with your four-legged companion. With the added pet perks and assistance, you and your pet are assured a safe and delightful journey from point A to point B.


Iberia offers a wide range of destinations within and outside Europe for you and your pet to explore. While ferrets may not be allowed, you are more than welcome to fly with cats, dogs, birds, and even tortoises. Yes, that's right, even tortoises!

When purchasing your ticket, it's necessary to directly contact the booking office to inform them about your intention to travel with a pet. Additionally, ensure you have a well-ventilated carrier with a waterproof floor, and you can embark on your journey with your furry or shelled companion for as little as €120. Iberia warmly embraces pets, making your travel experience memorable and inclusive. Don’t forget that their economy seats have the biggest legroom compared to other European airlines. 

Aug 04, 2023

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