Southwest Airlines Welcoming Pets Onboard

Small cats and dogs in carriers will soon be allowed in planes, counting as passenger's carry-on baggage.

Posted: May 30, 2009, 3 a.m. EDT

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Orange tabby cat
Cats in carriers small enough to fit under passenger seats will soon be allowed to fly with their owners on Southwest Airlines.
Pet owners who fly Southwest Airlines will soon be allowed to take small cats and dogs along with them on the plane, according to the discount carrier.

The pets who are granted “Freedom to Fly” access must be small enough to fit in carriers that can be stowed under the passenger’s seat. Customers can soon start to bring along their small cats and dogs in the aircraft cabin for a special “pet fare” of $75 each way, or $150 roundtrip.

The pet carrier will be counted as the passenger’s carry-on bag. People can buy tickets for their pets starting June 1 for travel beginning June 17.

“We know from customer and employee feedback that our new ‘pet’ customers will be a welcomed addition to any flight,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines chairman, president and CEO. “Our enhanced boarding process has opened the window, allowing us to accommodate small pets comfortably on a Southwest flight — without impacting our efficiency.”

The new pet policy is part of the airline’s overall goal to enhance the service it provides, according to the company. At the same time, the new pet policy creates opportunities for incremental revenue growth.

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Reader Comments

David heaster    carrollton, VA

8/8/2011 1:25:13 PM

when it started out , It was free now that I fley my wife and dog to WA. from Va it has cost me 150$

sherry    anaheim, CA

5/26/2010 7:38:46 PM

i think that the price is way out of line if they are going to be counted as a carry on and have to go under my seat.they should get there own seat for that price

Joan    NorthPort, FL

3/20/2010 6:27:55 AM

Thank you Southwest for thinking of the people with pets who love to fly Southwest. I will use this service, thank you again.

Kevin    seattle, WA

10/8/2009 6:32:13 PM

I used to fly Southwest several times each year; however I must now take my bird with me which is not allowed on your airline. Another airline will be used going forward until your policy is changed to allow pet birds.

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