Each airline has its own rules and they change frequently so check each time when you plan to travel with your pet. There are also quotas on pets traveling with passengers in the cabin—if you don’t reserve early all the slots may be taken. There is a new airline--Pet Airways that now caters to pets and Southwest has a new pet policy that now allows pets.
The airlines charge ($80-100+ one way) to carry on a pet and have limitations as to how many pets are allowed per flight (just a few). You will need to make a reservation. Your pet must be small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel under the seat directly in front of you--contact the airline to determine the size. The pet must remain in the kennel in the boarding area, lounge and onboard. As cargo, airlines (eg. Delta) will not accept animals if it is forecasted to be below 20 degrees Fahrenheit and below 45 F a vet acclimation certificate is required.The airlines will also not accept animals if the temprature is above 85 F and for snub/pug nosed breeds (bull dogs, terriers, boxer, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff) and cats (Burmese, Persian, Exotic, Himalayan), if it is forecasted to be above 70 degrees. Check with your airline as rules change. Certain states also require a health certificate.
New Pet Airways offers cabin comfort for dogs and cats (more pets to follow) for travel between New York, Denver, Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles. The cost is $150 to $300 one way. Your pet would fly in the main cabin and they provide pet carriers free of charge and importantly, there are no hot or cold weather restrictions. To learn more about Pet Airways, click here.
American Airlines offers dog and cat travel, with reservations required for cabin travel. The cost is $100 for a cabin pet and $150 for a checked pet. There are size restrictions for the crate size--23" long x 13" wide and 9" high. Checked pets can not travel when it is above 85 degrees and below 45 degrees F. Only one kennel per ticketed passenger for cabin travel unless the pets are small and of the same species, then two can be in one kennel. Pets must have room to stand, turn around and lie down in a natural position.
Southwest has a new policy of late June, 2009 which now allows small dogs and cats in the cabin for $75 each way. To learn more about Southwest Airlines pet policy, click here.
Delta Airlines offfers pet tavel for cats, dogs and household birds in the cabin and the cost is $150 one way. Reservations are required. Guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters and largers dogs can be checked. There are temperature requirements so check the link. Reptiles, amphibians and fish are only accepted as air cargo and a health certificate is required. Pug or snub-nosed dogs and cats are not accepted as checked baggage or as cargo if the temperature exceeds 70 degrees F.
For fees associated with pet travel as well as fees for other types of airlines services, click here for the USA Today Airline Fee profile as of June 22, 2009.
The pet must be at least 8 weeks old and you can not carry on more than one pet. Your pet counts as your one piece of carry-on baggage. Hawaii travel has additional regulations.
Puppies are at risk as are older or animals with health conditions if they are checked as baggage. The airlines consider pets as warm-blooded mammals and birds. Some airlines do not allow birds including (check as it changes): American Airlines, JetBlue and Southwest and Frontier Airlines. JetBlue allows dogs and cats but not birds. Ferrets and reptiles must travel as cargo on Northwest.
The Humane Society travel tips