Thursday, August 20, 2009

Flying With Your Pet

The thought of flying with a dog or cat in the cargo area of a plane frightens me. Pets are not luggage. Although experts say the incidence of pet dying while traveling on airlines is rare, I would imagine it’s stressful and scary at the least. And, what if you and your pet become separated, like lost luggage?

More and more airlines are offering the option to fly with your pet in the cabin. Here are some things you should know:

Only Certain Airlines permit this option. AirTran, Spirit, and JetBlue are among the airlines allowing pets in the cabin.

Pets Must be in a Crate. The crate must be small enough to slide under the seat in front of you.

Pets Must be Small Enough to fit comfortably in the crate. This means that only small cats and dogs can travel on these planes. Not possible for those of us with medium to large dogs. (or very large ducks!)

The number of Pets on board at a time may be limited. This may be a total of 3-6 pets on one flight.

There will be an extra charge for bringing your pet. This is generally around $100.

A new option is Pet Airways. This is an all-pets airline; no human passengers. Seats have been replaced by rows of kennels in the main cabin. The pets are monitored every 15 minutes by a trained pet attendant. When the plane lands, the pets are taken out for a “potty break” and then reunited with owners, or kept in a special kennels until the owners arrive.


  1. I would never travel with my dog Eddie. He's too nervous. I would fear an accident or a barking episode. He needed tranquilizers to calm him down for the move from North Carolina to Texas.

    I flew from Raleigh to San Antonio once on a small flight that allowed pets in carriers. The dog was well behaved and didn't make a peep. It seemed to relax people waiting in the airport for the flight. Everyone (well most everyone) enjoys seeing a happy dog with its owner.

  2. Hey Stacy, I'm like your dog Eddie...too nervous to fly. And, despite her diet, my Kelly would never fit under the seat of the plane!

    I like your comment, that the dog on the plane helped relax the passengers.


Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!