What is the Southwest Airlines Pet Policy?
Many pet owners consider their animals to be family. Additionally, it's not always possible to leave your pet behind while traveling. As a result, you might be looking at Southwest Airlines' pet policies, such as the list of permitted pet carriers and the dog policy.
Fortunately, if your pet, route, and carrier satisfy certain standards, you can travel on Southwest with a dog. On Southwest, it is also possible to travel with a cat. However, you should make sure your pet will be allowed on board before making travel plans with them.
So, before you bring your pet to the airport, here is everything you should know about traveling on Southwest with a dog or cat. And if you have any doubt regarding any of the points mentioned in the pet policy in the following section, you can reach out to Air1Network any moment of the day as we are available for you 24x7.
What does the Southwest Pet Policy entail?
Small domestic cats and dogs that are at least 8 weeks old are allowed to fly in the cabin with you under Southwest's pet policy. Your dog or cat, for instance, could fly underneath the seat in front of you.
Unaccompanied minors are not permitted to embark with a pet in a carrier; only paying passengers are permitted to do so. Southwest imposes a limit of one pet carrier per booked traveler, but you are permitted to bring up to two pets of the same species.
At the gate, throughout boarding and deplaning, as well as the duration of the trip, your pet must remain in the enclosed space of its carrier. Additionally, Southwest may refuse to let you board with your pet if it exhibits disruptive behavior like scratching, excessive whining or barking, growling, biting, lunging, or urinating.
Unfortunately, you cannot bring your pet on Southwest airlines flights outside of the United States. Additionally, you are not permitted to bring a pet on flights to or from Hawaii. On flights between Hawaiian islands, though, Southwest will let you bring your pet.
Additionally, despite Southwest's open seating policy, passengers cannot sit in the exit row or in a seat without an available under-seat area (stereotypically the first row).
Southwest Pet Carrier Requirements
You must transport your pet on Southwest flights in a carrier that is no bigger than 18 1/2 inches long, 8 1/2 inches high, and 13 1/2 inches wide. Both hard-sided and soft-sided pet carriers are acceptable, but they must be leak-proof and well-ventilated. All animals must be able to stand up and move about while fitting completely inside the carrier.
Southwest pet carriers are also available for purchase online or at the ticket desk. This pet carrier with the Southwest logo measures 17 inches long by 9 1/2 inches high by 10 inches wide, which is just under the permitted maximum.
Despite Southwest's extraordinarily large baggage allowance, keep in mind that pet carriers count as your only personal item. You are still permitted to check a regular-size carry-on bag or another personal item when traveling with a pet carrier.
It should be mentioned that Southwest Airlines does not transport any animals as cargo, including cats and dogs. Therefore, the only place you can bring your dog or cat on a Southwest flight is in a pet carrier in the cabin.
Southwest Airlines Pet Fees
Pets are not permitted to fly for free on Southwest Airlines. According to Southwest Airlines' pet policy, each carrier will cost USD 95 for one-way travel. Remember that the airline does not offer services on foreign routes. Therefore, this fee will only be applied to domestic travel.
You must study Southwest's compensation for delayed flights and related rules before paying it.
Please find out if the cost will be claimed if you decide not to travel in this case.
Cremated Pet Policy
Although losing your dog is very upsetting, Southwest Airlines allows you to fly with their remains. Your pet's cremated remains are acceptable carry-on baggage for flights. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) executives will examine it at the airport gate or security checkpoints, though.
Please keep in mind that cremated remains are not permitted to be stored with any checked items. It must be kept in a cardboard box or a temporary plastic bag. Additionally, it should be able to get through the checkpoint screening. To learn more about this section, though, you should read the Southwest Airlines pet travel policy.
FAQs about Southwest Airlines Pet Policy
Can I bring my parakeet on Southwest flights?
No, the airline only allows properly vaccinated small pet dogs and cats.
Can I get a refund for the money I spent with Southwest Pet Carriers?
The money you spent on pet carriers might not be refunded.
Is the size restriction on pet carriers sometimes forgiving?
The recommended size from the airline is 17 inches long, 9.5 inches high, and 10 inches wide (wide). However, it has a maximum height of 18.5 inches long, 8.5 inches high, and 13.5 inches wide (wide). Your request for boarding can be rejected if you don't meet the Southwest pet carrier size criteria.
Can my pet fly on a Southwest airplane as cargo?
Southwest Airlines does not provide freight services so your pet cannot travel in the cargo of Southwest flights.