Not Checking Airline Pet Restrictions
Policies on flying with pets vary by airline, so if you’re flown with your pet on one airline, don’t assume that another has the same pet fees and restrictions. Some airlines only allow pets who are small enough to travel in the cabin, and most will not transport pets with an unaccompanied minor.
Among those with the most generous pet policies is small carrier Aztec Air, which charges no pet fee for pets under 10 pounds traveling in a soft-sided carrier. Larger pets can fly in the cabin on Aztec Air for a fee (if the pet is over 30 pounds, you can purchase a seat). Unfortunately, Aztec’s scheduled flights only serve Fort Lauderdale and the Bahamas. Southwest Airlines charges a $95 fee per pet each way and each carrier can contain up to two dogs or cats of the same species. Pets are not permitted on international Southwest flights or in cargo. Delta’s fee for carry-on pets ranges from $75 to $200 each way depending on the destination. These fees and restrictions generally apply to pets but not to service animals.
Rather than relying on an airline’s website for guidance, Heather Eisenstadt, founder of Top Dog Pet Travel, a full-service pet-friendly travel agency, suggests calling the airline and speaking to a person before you book.
“Airlines limit the number of pets that can fly in the cabin,” she says. “You really need to talk to a person about your flight, the kind of pet you have and the ability to get your pet on that flight.”
She recommends calling again 24 to 48 hours before your flight to make sure that nothing has changed.