Southwest Airlines values the bond between travellers and their pets, offering a pet-friendly policy to ensure a smooth journey for both passengers and their furry companions. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various facets of Southwest Airlines pet policy covering eligibility, booking procedures, fees, and essential tips to make your travel experience enjoyable with your pet by your side.
Southwest Airlines welcomes small pets, including dogs and cats, to accompany their owners in the cabin during the journey. Understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial to ensure a seamless travel experience for both passengers and their pets.
Size and Weight Restrictions: Pets must fit comfortably in an approved carrier under the seat in front of the passenger. The carrier’s maximum dimensions are typically 18.5″ long x 8.5″ high x 13.5″ wide.
Age and Health Requirements: Puppies and kittens must be at least 8 weeks old to travel, and they should be in good health. Southwest Airlines recommends consulting with a veterinarian before the journey.
Booking Your Pet’s Ticket
Securing a spot for your pet on Southwest Airlines involves a straightforward process. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the booking procedures for your furry friend.
Contact Customer Service: Reach out to Southwest Airlines customer service to inform them of your intention to travel with a pet. They will guide you through the process and answer any specific queries you may have.
Pay the Pet Fee: A pet fare, which is non-refundable, is applicable and must be paid at the time of booking. As of the last update in January 2022, the fee is typically around $95 each way.
Understanding the fee structure is essential for budgeting and planning your trip. Southwest Airlines has a transparent approach to pet fees, ensuring clarity for passengers travelling with their pets.
Standard Pet Fare: The standard pet fare is approximately $95 each way. This fee is applicable for each flight segment, making it important to consider the number of legs in your journey.
Pet Carrier Requirements
Southwest Airlines has specific guidelines for pet carriers to ensure the safety and comfort of pets during the flight.
Size and Structure: The carrier must be well-ventilated, leak-proof, and fit comfortably under the seat. Dimensions are restricted to 18.5″ long x 8.5″ high x 13.5″ wide.
Occupancy: Only one pet per carrier is allowed, emphasizing the importance of the pet’s comfort during the journey
In-Cabin vs. Cargo
Southwest Airlines exclusively allows small pets to travel in the cabin with their owners. This policy ensures that pets remain close to their owners, contributing to a stress-free journey.
Travel Tips for a Smooth Journey
Ensuring a comfortable and safe journey for your pet involves careful planning and consideration. Here are some valuable tips to enhance the travel experience for both you and your furry companion.
Visit the Veterinarian: Schedule a visit to the vet before your journey to confirm your pet’s fitness to travel. Obtain necessary vaccinations and any required health certificates for your destination.
Familiarise Your Pet with the Carrier: Allow your pet to spend time in the carrier before the journey to acclimate to the space. Familiar scents or favourite toys can provide comfort during the trip.
Arrive Early: Arrive at the airport well in advance to complete check-in procedures, pass through security, and settle your pet comfortably before the flight.
Hydration and Comfort: Provide your pet with water before the flight and consider placing a familiar blanket or toy in the carrier for added comfort.
Travelling with your pet on Southwest Airlines is a straightforward and accommodating experience when armed with knowledge about their pet policy. By understanding eligibility criteria, booking procedures, associated fees, and carrier requirements, you can ensure a stress-free journey for both you and your furry friend. Always check the latest information on the official Southwest Airlines website and consult with customer service for any updates or changes to their pet policy. Here’s to happy and smooth travels with your pet on Southwest Airlines!