Traveling with pets can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Southwest Airlines is one of the most pet-friendly airlines out there, allowing small dogs and cats to travel in the cabin with their owners. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know to bring your furry friend on a Southwest flight with ease and confidence.
Southwest’s Pet Policy
Are you planning to bring your furry friend along for a Southwest flight? You might be wondering about their pet policy and what you need to do to ensure a smooth trip. The truth is, Southwest has a complex pet policy with many rules and regulations that can be perplexing and difficult to navigate. For starters, you need to make sure that your pet is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. Additionally, you’ll need to provide proper documentation and pay a fee for your pet’s travel. But wait, there’s more! You’ll also need to make sure that your pet is well-behaved and won’t disrupt the flight. This can be bursty and unpredictable, as pets can be easily agitated or anxious in new environments. While Southwest does allow pets to travel, it’s important to do your research and make sure that you’re following all of their guidelines to ensure a stress-free trip for both you and your furry friend.
Preparing Your Dog for Air Travel
Air travel can be stressful for both you and your dog, so it’s important to prepare your pet properly to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. Start by researching the airline’s pet policies and requirements, including necessary health documentation and carrier specifications. Once you have all the necessary information, gradually acclimate your dog to their carrier by leaving it out in your home with treats and toys inside. You can also take your dog on car rides in the carrier to get them used to the sensation of being enclosed. It’s important to make sure your dog is comfortable in their carrier before the flight. Additionally, consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dog is healthy enough to fly and to obtain any necessary medication to keep them calm during the flight. On the day of the flight, arrive early and allow plenty of time for check-in and security procedures. Finally, provide your dog with plenty of water and a comfortable blanket or toy to help keep them relaxed and happy during the flight. With the right preparation and care, air travel with your dog can be a safe and enjoyable experience for both of you.
|Visit the Vet||Get a health certificate and update vaccinations||At least 10 days before travel|
|Choose a Carrier||Get a carrier that fits airline guidelines||At least a week before travel||Allow dog to get accustomed to carrier|
|Pack Essentials||Bring food, water, treats, toys, and leash||Day of travel|
|Prepare for Security||Remove dog from carrier and carry through security||Day of travel||Keep leash on and stay calm|
|Check In Early||Check in at least 90 minutes before flight||Day of travel||Inform airline of dog in advance|
|Board Early||Board in the first group||Day of travel|
|Stay Calm||Remain calm and speak softly to dog||Throughout travel|
|Offer Water||Offer water during layovers and on flights||Throughout travel||Do not feed too much|
|Take Potty Breaks||Take dog for walks during layovers||Throughout travel||Clean up after dog|
|Be Prepared for Emergencies||Carry extra food, water, and medications||Throughout travel||Know location of nearest vet|
|Arrive at Destination||Take dog outside for potty break and exercise||After flight|
|Monitor Dog||Watch for any signs of distress or illness||After flight|
|Enjoy Your Trip||Have fun with your furry companion!||Throughout trip|
Types of Carriers Approved by Southwest
Southwest Airlines allows small dogs and cats to travel in-cabin with you, but the pets must fit in an approved carrier. The carrier must fit under the seat in front of you, and the pet must remain inside the carrier throughout the flight. Southwest only accepts carriers that meet the dimensions of 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide.
There are different types of carriers that are approved by Southwest Airlines, including soft-sided carriers, hard-sided carriers, and carriers that are a combination of both. Soft-sided carriers must be made of water-repellent, padded nylon with mesh ventilation panels on at least two sides. Hard-sided carriers must be made of metal, wood, plastic, or other rigid materials with a metal or plastic grated door, and must have ventilation on at least three sides. Combination carriers are carriers made of both hard-sided and soft-sided materials and must meet both the requirements of soft-sided and hard-sided carriers.
It is important to ensure that your pet is comfortable in the carrier and that the carrier is sturdy and well-ventilated. Ensure that the carrier has a secure latch and that your pet cannot escape. If you are unsure which type of carrier to use, consult with your veterinarian or the airline prior to travel.
|TYPE OF CARRIER||APPROVED BY SOUTHWEST?|
Booking Your Pet on a Southwest Flight
Booking your pet on a Southwest flight can be a stressful experience, but it doesn’t have to be. The process is relatively simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth journey for you and your furry friend. The first step is to make sure that your pet is eligible to fly. Southwest only allows small dogs and cats to travel in-cabin with their owners. Larger pets must travel in the cargo hold.
Once you have confirmed that your pet is eligible, you will need to book a reservation for them. You cannot book a pet reservation online, so you will need to call Southwest’s Pet Reservations line. Be prepared to provide your pet’s weight, breed, and carrier dimensions. You will also need to pay a fee for your pet’s travel. The fee is currently $95 each way.
When you arrive at the airport, you will need to check in at the Southwest ticket counter. You will need to provide your pet’s health certificate, which must be issued within 10 days of travel. You will also need to provide your pet’s carrier, which must meet Southwest’s size requirements. Your pet will need to remain in the carrier for the duration of the flight.
Once you’re on board, your pet should be stowed under the seat in front of you. Southwest only allows one pet per carrier, so if you have multiple pets, you will need to bring multiple carriers. It’s important to note that not all Southwest flights are pet-friendly, so be sure to check with the airline before you book your ticket. With a little planning and preparation, you and your pet can have a stress-free journey on Southwest.
Checking in with Your Pet at the Airport
If you’re planning to bring your furry friend on your next trip, it’s important to know how to check them in at the airport. Each airline has its own rules and regulations for traveling with pets, so it’s essential to do your research beforehand.
For example, if you’re flying with Southwest Airlines, you’ll need to follow their guidelines for bringing a dog on board. This includes making a reservation for your pet ahead of time, paying a pet fee, and ensuring that your pet meets all the necessary health requirements.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the specific airport’s pet policies, such as where to go for check-in and security screening.
By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free trip for both you and your furry companion.
Going Through Security with Your Pet
When it comes to traveling with pets, going through security can be quite a hassle. First and foremost, it’s important to research the airline’s policies and procedures regarding pets. This will help you understand what to expect when going through security. Some airlines require you to remove your pet from its carrier, while others may allow your pet to stay in the carrier during security checks. This can cause confusion and stress for both you and your pet.
Additionally, there may be different rules and regulations depending on the airport you are traveling from. Some airports may have designated areas for pets to go through security, while others may require you to go through the standard security line with your pet. This unpredictability can make the experience even more perplexing.
Furthermore, it’s important to make sure your pet is comfortable and safe during the security check. This may involve removing any items from the carrier that can potentially harm your pet, such as collars or leashes. You may also need to remove any items from your own person that may set off metal detectors, such as belts or jewelry.
Overall, going through security with your pet can be a stressful and confusing experience. It’s important to do your research beforehand and be prepared for any unexpected situations that may arise.
|AIRLINE||PET CARRIER TYPE||MAXIMUM CARRIER SIZE||REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION|
|Southwest||In-Cabin||18.5"L x 8.5"W x 13.5"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|Southwest||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel, and other documentation may be required for international travel|
|American Airlines||In-Cabin||19"L x 13"W x 9"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|American Airlines||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel, and other documentation may be required for international travel|
|Delta||In-Cabin||18"L x 11"W x 11"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|Delta||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel, and other documentation may be required for international travel|
|United||In-Cabin||18"L x 11"W x 11"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|United||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold|
|Alaska Airlines||In-Cabin||17"L x 11"W x 7.5"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|Alaska Airlines||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold|
|JetBlue||In-Cabin||17"L x 12.5"W x 8.5"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|JetBlue||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold|
|Frontier Airlines||In-Cabin||18"L x 14"W x 8"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|Frontier Airlines||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold|
|Spirit Airlines||In-Cabin||18"L x 14"W x 9"H||Health Certificate dated within 10 days of travel|
|Spirit Airlines||Cargo||No specific dimensions, but must fit within cargo hold|
Boarding the Plane with Your Pet
Boarding a plane with your pet can be a confusing and unpredictable experience. Many airlines have different rules and regulations when it comes to traveling with pets, and it can be difficult to keep up with them all.
Southwest Airlines is one of the many airlines that allows passengers to bring their pets on board, but there are a few things you need to know before you take off. First, you will need to make sure that your pet meets Southwest’s requirements for size and weight. Additionally, you will need to make a reservation for your pet and pay a fee. Once you have taken care of these details, you will need to arrive at the airport early to give yourself enough time to go through the check-in process and get your pet settled in for the flight. During the flight, you will need to keep your pet in an approved carrier under the seat in front of you. This can be a stressful experience for both you and your pet, so it is important to prepare ahead of time and make sure that you have everything you need for a smooth and comfortable journey.
In-Flight Care for Your Dog
Flying with your furry friend can be stressful for both you and your dog, but with proper in-flight care, you can ensure a safe and comfortable journey. First and foremost, it’s important to check with your airline’s policies and restrictions before booking your flight. Southwest Airlines allows small vaccinated dogs to travel with their owners on board, but there are specific guidelines you must follow. To prepare for the flight, make sure your dog has had plenty of exercise and has gone to the bathroom. You’ll want to pack a carry-on bag for your dog with food, water, treats, and any necessary medications. During the flight, keep your dog’s carrier under the seat in front of you and try to keep them calm with soothing words or a favorite toy. If your dog gets anxious or restless, you may want to try a natural calming supplement or speak with your veterinarian for other options. Remember to never offer your dog any sedatives or tranquilizers without consulting with a professional first. With these tips and a little bit of planning, you and your dog can have a safe and enjoyable flight on Southwest Airlines.
|CRATE SIZE||WEIGHT LIMIT||ADDITIONAL FEES OR DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED||RECOMMENDED CARE|
|The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. The maximum size allowed is 18.5”L x 13.5”W x 8.5”H.||Your dog and the crate combined cannot exceed 20 pounds.||A $95 pet fare each way applies and you must reserve your pet’s spot in advance.||Avoid feeding your pet for four to six hours before the flight to prevent motion sickness. Pack a water bottle and a bowl for your pet to stay hydrated during the flight.|
|Southwest Airlines recommends using a hard-sided crate for in-cabin travel.||–||–||Make sure your dog is properly trained and socialized to reduce stress and anxiety during the flight.|
|If your dog weighs over 20 pounds, you may transport them as checked baggage or as a cargo shipment.||For checked baggage, the combined weight of the dog and crate cannot exceed 100 pounds. For cargo shipments, please see Southwest Cargo for weight limits.||A $95 pet fare each way applies for each segment of the trip.||Consider purchasing a direct flight to reduce stress on your pet. Provide your pet with a blanket or something that smells like home to help them stay calm during travel.|
|Southwest Airlines does not transport pets in the cargo compartment.||–||–||If your dog requires transportation in the cargo compartment, consider using a pet shipping service that specializes in pet travel.|
|Your dog must remain in the carrier for the entire duration of the flight.||–||–||Make sure your dog is comfortable in the carrier before the flight.|
|Southwest Airlines reserves the right to refuse transport to any pet that appears to be in distress due to travel.||–||–||Visit your veterinarian before the flight to ensure your pet is healthy enough to travel.|
|Your dog must be at least 8 weeks old to travel.||–||–||Make sure your dog has all necessary vaccinations before the flight.|
|Southwest Airlines does not allow pets to travel to Hawaii.||–||–||Consider leaving your pet with a trusted friend or family member if you are traveling to Hawaii.|
|Southwest Airlines does not allow pets to travel on international flights.||–||–||Consider leaving your pet with a trusted friend or family member if you are traveling internationally.|
|Southwest Airlines allows each customer to bring one pet carrier on board.||–||–||Ensure the pet carrier meets the size requirements before the flight.|
|Your dog must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.||–||–||Make sure your dog is comfortable in the carrier and can fit under the seat in front of you before the flight.|
|Southwest Airlines does not allow pets to travel on codeshare flights or international connecting flights.||–||–||Consider traveling with a different airline if you need to take a codeshare flight or international connecting flight.|
|Your dog must be well-behaved and non-disruptive during the flight.||–||–||Ensure your dog is trained and socialized before the flight to prevent disruptive behavior.|
|Southwest Airlines does not allow pets to travel in the cabin on flights to/from Jamaica, Hawaii, or international destinations.||–||–||Consider leaving your pet with a trusted friend or family member if you are traveling to one of these destinations.|
|Your dog must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier.||–||–||Ensure the pet carrier meets the size requirements and your dog is comfortable in the carrier before the flight.|
Landing and Retrieving Your Pet
Landing and Retrieving Your Pet:
Landing and retrieving your pet can be a daunting task, especially if you are flying with your pet for the first time. It is important to plan ahead and ensure that you have all the necessary documents and information before your flight. Once you arrive at your destination, it is important to be patient and take your time retrieving your pet from the designated area. It is also important to make sure that your pet is comfortable and well-rested after a long flight. Remember to always follow the airline’s guidelines and regulations when traveling with your pet.
Tips for Stress-Free Air Travel with Your Dog
Traveling with a dog can be a daunting experience, but with some careful planning and preparation, you can ensure a stress-free trip for both you and your furry friend. Here are some tips to make air travel with your dog a breeze:
- Book your flight early and let the airline know you’re traveling with a dog. Many airlines have restrictions on the number of pets allowed in each cabin, so it’s important to book early to avoid disappointment.
- Make sure your dog is comfortable in their carrier. Practice walking with your dog while they’re in the carrier to get them used to the sensation of being enclosed. It’s also a good idea to line the carrier with a familiar blanket or toy to make your dog feel more at ease.
- Pack all the essentials for your dog, including food, water, medication, and a leash. It’s also a good idea to bring some treats for your dog to keep them occupied during the flight.
- Take your dog for a long walk before your flight to help them burn off some energy and reduce anxiety. It’s also a good idea to avoid feeding your dog a big meal before the flight to prevent any potential digestive issues.
- Once you’re on the plane, try to keep your dog calm and relaxed. Talk to them in a soothing voice and offer them treats to keep them occupied. It’s also a good idea to cover their carrier with a blanket to create a cozy, den-like atmosphere.
By following these tips, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable air travel experience with your furry friend!
What are the requirements for bringing a dog on a Southwest flight?
The dog must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned, with a health certificate from a veterinarian. Additionally, the dog must be able to fit in a small carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you.
How much does it cost to bring a dog on a Southwest flight?
There is a pet fare of $95 each way, as of 2021, for each carrier containing a pet.
Can I bring my dog on board with me?
Yes, dogs are allowed in the cabin, but they must be in a small carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you.
Are there any restrictions on the breed or size of dog I can bring on a Southwest flight?
There are no breed restrictions, but the dog must be able to fit in a small carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you.
Do I need to make a reservation for my dog on a Southwest flight?
Yes, you must call Southwest Airlines at least 24 hours before your flight to reserve space for your pet.
In conclusion, traveling with your furry friend on Southwest Airlines can be a great experience if you follow the airline’s guidelines and prepare adequately. Remember to make your pet as comfortable as possible and to keep them safe and secure throughout the journey. Additionally, be sure to have all the necessary documentation and equipment, and to arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight. By doing so, you can ensure that both you and your pet have a stress-free and enjoyable trip.