Top 6 USA Airlines That Allow Flying With Pet Dogs and Cats In-Cabin

Flying with pet dogs and cats in-cabin is increasingly becoming popular in the United States as many pet-friendly airlines in the country now permit dogs and cats to travel in-cabin with their owners. However, prior to booking a flight, you need to carefully read the airline’s pet policies to ensure you and your fur baby have the smoothest traveling experience possible. If you are planning to fly with your pet dog or cat domestically or internationally in the United States, consider the following airlines as the top most pet-friendly in the country.
  • Delta Air lines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines

A cat and a dog in pet carriers

1. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines accept small dogs and cats to fly in the cabin. If you are traveling domestically, your dog or cat must be at least 10 weeks old and small enough to fit comfortably in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. If you are flying to the United States from another country, your dog or cat must be at least 16 weeks old and must be 15 weeks old when traveling to the European Union.

During the entire flight, your dog or cat must remain inside their carrier. If you have a big dog, you can ship it domestically with Delta Air Lines' special shipping service Delta Cargo. Delta Air Lines makes exceptions for customers traveling with service animals. However, the company restricts the following dog and cat breeds:
  • American Bullies
  • Boxers
  • English Toy Spaniels
  • Pit Bulls
  • Terriers
  • Brussels Griffins
  • Chow Chows
  • English Toy Spaniels
  • Japanese Chins
  • King Charles Spaniels
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Mastiffs
  • Pugs
  • Shih Tzus
  • Pekingeses
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Shar Peis
  • Scottish Fold cats
  • Persian cats
  • Himalayan cats
  • Exotic Shorthair cats
  • British Shorthair cats
  • Burmese cats

Delta Airlines does not allow passengers with carry-on pets to sit in the following areas: An emergency exit row, Bulkhead seats, Center seats on the B757-200 aircraft, Delta One seats, Flat-bed seats, Rows 30-43 on the A330 -300 aircraft, Rows 30-35 on the A330-200 aircraft, and Seats designated as "no stowage." For Delta Airlines Carry-On Pet Fees visit the company's website.

2. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines accepts and treat your pet dogs and cats with Fur-st Class Care. However, it is important to carefully read the company's pet policies to understand breed-restrictions and carrier requirements. For starters, you need to be at least 18 years old in order to fly with a pet dog or cat in the cabin. Alaska Airlines does not allow passengers with pets to sit in the emergency exit row or bulkhead row.

The fee for small dogs or cats flying in the passenger cabin is $100. If your dog or cat is not small enough to fit in the under-seat carrier, you can put it in Alaska Airlines' climate-controlled baggage and cargo compartments for a fee of $150. Alaska Airlines' pet restrictions are virtually the same as Delta Airlines.

3. Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines accepts small dogs and cats in an appropriate pet carrier to fly domestically in the cabin with their owner. While 6 pets are allowed per flight, you are allowed to put two cats or dogs of the same species in your carrier. Unfortunately, the company does not accept pets on flights to or from Hawaii and on international flights. While Southwest Airways doesn't restrict or ban any breed of dog or cat from flying in the cabin, it does have policies regarding animals with aggressive behaviors such as urinating or defecating in the cabin or gate area, excessive whining or barking, scratching, growling, biting, and lunging.

4. United Airlines

United Airlines welcomes cats and dogs to fly in either a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier that must fit under the seat in front of you. Your pet dog or cat must be able to stand up and turn around while inside the carrier. Being a pet-friendly company, United Airlines does not have weight or breed limitations for cats and dogs traveling in-cabin. However, you cannot fly with your pet dog or cat if its carrier does not fit under the seat in front of you. The company makes exceptions only for service animals, which are allowed on planes without a pet carrier.

During the entire flight, your pet dog or cat must remain in their carrier with the door closed. Furthermore, your dog or cat must be at least 2 months old to be on domestic flights and at least 4 months old to be on international flights.

United Airlines says you can only bring one pet with you and whether or not you can sit with your pet depends on the type of plane you’re on.

5. American Airlines

American Airlines accepts dogs and cats to travel in-cabin if they meet the age, size, and destination requirements. The company accepts service animals to fly in the cabin for free if they meet the requirements. Your pet dog or cat can be transported through American Airlines Cargo if it does not meet the breed and size requirements to travel as a carry-on.

You can fly up to 12 hours with your pet dog or cat within the 48 contiguous United States and Alaska. Furthermore, you can travel with a pet on most American Airlines flights to and from the following locations: Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and St. Thomas.

6. Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines accepts small cats and dogs to fly domestically in the guest cabin. The company does not accept animals on international flights. Needless to say, there is an exception for service animals. Spirit Airlines allows one pet carrier per passenger. But the pet carrier may contain two small dogs or cats that must be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned. The weight of your pet dog or cat and the carrier combined may not exceed 40 pounds (18.14 kg).

While Spirit Airlines doesn't require a health certificate for dogs and cats flying with guests in the aircraft cabin, your pet must not be ill, violent, or in physical distress. In addition, your cat or dog must be harmless, inoffensive, and odorless or it will otherwise be rejected. Furthermore, Spirit Airlines does not allow passengers with pets to sit in the first and emergency exit rows.

For more information visit the company's online customer support page.

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