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Airline Pet Policy Southwest
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DISCLAIMER:
To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on PetTravel.com reflect the current airline regulations. We cannot predict how a given airline may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to deny boarding for your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by carefully following the rules of the airline you are using.

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Airline Pet Policy Southwest Airlines

Southwest dog

Can my pet fly with me in the cabin? Yes
Can my pet fly with me as checked baggage? No
Can my pet fly without me as manifest cargo? No

If your dog or cat meets the requirements listed in Southwest Airlines pet policy to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved airline pet carrier. The maximum size carrier that can be carried on a Southwest flight is 8.5" high x 18.5" long x 13.5" wide. If you are traveling with a soft-sided carrier, the height should be measured when compressed. There must be sufficient room for your pet to stand up and turn around in the carrier. It must have a waterproof bottom and must have adequate ventilation.

A maximum of 6 pets is permitted per flight. Southwest pet policy is one pet carrier per paying adult passenger. Two very small dogs or cats can travel in the same carrier as long as they are of the same species.

You must produce proof of current rabies vaccination for your pet.

You must notify Southwest Airlines that you are traveling with a pet. Reservations for pets cannot be made online. The charge for transporting a pet in the cabin is $75.00 each way. The fare is changing to $95.00 for flights after January 15, 2014. Any flights on routes served with AirTran are subject to AirTran's pet policy when flying on their aircraft.

Pets are not permitted to travel on international flights including those to Puerto Rico.

Service Animals: Both service and comfort animals are permitted to fly in the cabin with advanced approval.

Southwest Airlines does not provide checked baggage service for pets.

Southwest Pet Policy CargoSouthwest Airlines Pet Policy Manifest Cargo

Southwest Airlines does not allow pets to travel as manifest cargo.

 Southwest Airlines Pet Policy

GOT QUESTIONS??? We're happy to help. Please post to our blog or forum.
GOT COMMENTS??? It would be great of you to enter them below. Your experiences will provide insight to all pet travelers!!



judy.boyer.7
may I buy a seat to put pet crate on? My little Shih Tzu doggie very spoiled, would not understand being put in a crate and shoved under a seat. She probably would cry. If she could be next to me in a crate and I could put my fingers thru the wire to pet and console her, she'd be an angel on the near 7 hr flight to CA from BWI. I will NOT put her in a cargo unless I'm allowed in cargo with her LOL.
Posted on 2013-04-21 15:54:02.0
PetTravel
Commercial airlines will not permit your pet to sit in the seat next to you. The only option is to charter a private pet friendly jet.
Posted on 2013-07-19 04:40:35.0
kevin.erickson.773
I have a pit bull that I need to send to my X in Texas....how do I ship him on an airline....I realize they may have to put him in cargo hold.
Posted on 2013-08-09 22:31:32.0
mvb.godrock
My cat's carrier is to big for the seats. The.only thing wrong with it is that the height is only 10in. can I rent a pet carrier?
Posted on 2013-08-22 06:13:07.0
toto2456
Can my small dog sit on my lap once we are airborne?
Posted on 2013-08-26 21:55:42.0
PetTravel
Your pet must remain in the carrier for the duration of the flight.
Posted on 2013-11-30 00:48:51.0
PetTravel
If your carrier is a soft sided carrier, you should be fine. Southwest does not rent carriers.
Posted on 2013-11-30 00:49:46.0
christina.pavlovich.1
What about transporting my 65 lb. dog, not in the cabin of course? How much is it and how safe is it?
Posted on 2013-11-30 12:59:54.0
christina.pavlovich.1
Did you ever get an answer?
Posted on 2013-11-30 13:01:13.0

Don't do it - I just read horror stories about animals on planes
Posted on 2013-11-30 15:02:27.0
estelle.elles
Great, I can take my cockatiel with me to Vail!
Posted on 2013-11-30 18:11:48.0
PetTravel
Southwest will not transport your pet as they do not offer cargo services. However, there are many carriers that transport pets as checked baggage or cargo. As many have pointed out, it is a risk to travel, but you can minimize that risk with proper preparation, good equipment (pet crate) flying during the Spring or Fall and being proactive when you fly. Watch your pet being borded, tell the crew about your pet. Also book the most direct flight possible.
Posted on 2013-12-03 04:15:52.0
angela.biron.7
Can I sedate my cat for travel on southwest airlines?
Posted on 2013-12-07 18:55:58.0
rachel.redpath.7
Can I fly with a 6" gecko (in approved carrier, of course)?
Posted on 2013-12-12 17:37:57.0
PetTravel
Southwest allows only small cats and dogs in the cabin. They don't offer cargo service, but there should be another airline serving your route that does offer cargo service.
Posted on 2013-12-13 01:51:20.0
PetTravel
Southwest permits pets to travel only in the cabin. As a general rule, the airlines discourage sedation, especially for pets traveling in the cargo hold due to breathing issues. I do not believe it is as much of an issue in the cabin as long as your pet is not of the snub nose variety.
Posted on 2013-12-13 01:56:14.0
PetTravel
What are the originating and destination airports?
Posted on 2013-12-18 03:49:30.0
haley.ann.1804
Can i cargo my cat if i am on the same flight?
Posted on 2013-12-27 04:24:33.0
haley.ann.1804
And is it safe ?
Posted on 2013-12-27 04:25:48.0
PetTravel
Southwest does not offer cargo services for live animals.
Posted on 2014-01-02 00:21:48.0
PetTravel
It really depends on the agent at the reservations desk. Obviously, they don't want to anger a flying passenger. However, the comfort of your pet is most important. If your pet is "stuffed" into the carrier, there will be a problem. If your pet normally lies down and does not jump around in the carrier, it should be ok. If you want to be really sure, go to the airport and ask them for confirmation. Record the person's name you speak to in case the agent on travel day gives you a hard time.
Posted on 2014-01-02 00:25:53.0
PetTravel
Lots of people will tell you it is not safe to fly a pet in the cargo hold of an airplane. And, for many reasons, hundreds of thousands of pets are transported safely every year. It is also not safe to transport a pet in the car. It is important to know your pet and prepare them in advance of the trip. Get the crate early and get them used to it. Remove them from their surroundings in the crate as much as you can prior to the trip. Here is a good article on the subject: http://www.pettravel.com/news_pet_travel_airline_cargo.cfm
Posted on 2014-01-02 00:29:29.0
brandy.moore.5688
What about small animals? Like a bunny? My Mom wants to bring me one when she visits me in June. They are domesticated show bunnies.
Posted on 2014-01-15 09:19:10.0
PetTravel
Southwest only permits small dogs and cats in the cabin. Frontier will permit them if they serve your route.
Posted on 2014-01-17 03:48:16.0
sharon.moore.9659
this would be a small, two pound bunny in and enclosed carrier. Very quiet and clean. No one would even know it was there.
Posted on 2014-01-17 04:58:22.0
brandy.moore.5688
I don't think they will capitulate on this one Mom. But the good news is you will be going home with a dog!
Posted on 2014-01-17 07:08:18.0
PetTravel
Sharon Moore Because they are considered chewing animals, rabbits are not permitted in the cabin on many airlines. Alaska Airlines does, and there may be one other.
Posted on 2014-01-20 04:18:45.0
sharon.moore.9659
lol. You need to research your policies. A rabbit in a WIRE cage with a cover over it is not likely to be chewing anything. Dogs bark and cry, cats meow and scratch, both are likely to poop and create a stink.
Posted on 2014-01-20 04:23:18.0
brandy.moore.5688
Just out of curiosity....don't dogs and cats chew? Aren't they just as capable of chewing through a soft sided cage? Its no biggie if I don't get a bunny for my kids but people have more than dogs and cats as pets and some less likely to cause any trouble. I just think this a stupid policy and pet owners should raise their own stink. If other airlines weren't so much more expensive I would have booked the families flight with someone else.
Posted on 2014-01-20 06:11:53.0
PetTravel
Brandy Moore We are not the airline and do not make the policies. We agree that bunnies would be perfect travelers.
Posted on 2014-01-23 04:37:50.0
karen.koskoff
Ripoff
Posted on 2014-05-05 04:57:39.0
alexis.hupe.5
What about an iguana? He's only 6 inches! If not do you know of any airlines that do allow reptiles
Posted on 2014-06-05 10:47:30.0
PetTravel
Alexis - many airlines that offer checked baggage service (pet travels in the cargo hold, but on the sam flight as the passenger) will accept reptiles, however, not in the cabin. You will need to provide a compliant pet crate that will offer the warmth your pet needs.
Posted on 2014-06-10 03:20:00.0
sunnybball04
I'm flying with my boyfriend who has a service dog and I'm not too familiar with the process. Who do I need to contact to get the service dog approved for coming on the flight?
Posted on 2014-06-16 22:00:37.0
gargoylechild
If it is an emotional support dog you need to have a letter from a therapist. otherwise They allow service dogs on their airline. I call ahead and let them know that i am traveling with my E.S.A. so that they have a note about it. I also check my other dog as a pet in the cabin and both of my dogs have a blast hanging out with me on the plane. I have found for them the best flights are the early morning flights because they are more tired and tend to sleep the entire flight. you can call the airling and talk to someone about what specifically you need to bring.
Posted on 2014-06-17 01:41:12.0
sunnybball04
Vanessa Guetersloh Thank you so much for the advice
Posted on 2014-06-17 02:29:54.0
PetTravel
Rissa - You need to contact the airline and give them notification that you are bringing a service dog on the flight. They will require documentation.
Posted on 2014-06-17 04:54:52.0
sunnybball04
PetTravel alright thank you for your help
Posted on 2014-06-17 15:02:03.0
sunnybball04
PetTravel I'm flying Southwest airlines do you think they will give me a hard time about it?
Posted on 2014-06-20 17:04:24.0
gargoylechild
they shouldnt. i havent had any trouble. i do bring extra copiea of my documentation just in case though
Posted on 2014-06-21 04:31:04.0
laura.glover
Were you able to take your cockatiel on the plane with you?
Posted on 2014-07-10 12:57:25.0
laura.glover
Can I take a cockatiel on the flight with me? I could put her in a small cat carrier if need be.
Posted on 2014-07-10 12:58:49.0
PetTravel
H Seth - Southwest only transports small cats and dogs in the cabin. They do not transport reptiles.
Posted on 2014-07-15 04:40:43.0
PetTravel
Hi Laura - Southwest does not transport birds. You will need to find another airline that serves the route. United will transport birds if it serves your route.
Posted on 2014-07-15 04:41:37.0
dayna.tang.7
Hi, I am planning to buy a puppy in another state and have it flown back with me. When I am able to get the puppy he will be about 9 weeks old and is not old enough for the rabies shot yet. Is there any other paper work I need for the puppy to come on the flight with me? Also when purchasing my ticket how do I go about stating I will want my puppy to be in the cabin with me and how do i go about paying for it and all the other processes?
Posted on 2014-07-16 18:12:44.0
PetTravel
Dayna - are you traveling within the United States or internationally? If within the US, then there are airlines that will permit your pet to travel in the cabin with you. You should call the reservations number to notify the airline you are traveling with a pet as there are a limited number permitted on each flight. You will pay for your pet when you check in at the reservations desk. Ask them if they require a health certificate when you call.
Posted on 2014-07-17 00:47:43.0
nicole.torres.18
Do you have to pay the pet fare, if that animal is your only carry on?
Posted on 2014-07-28 22:00:54.0