3 Airlines That Allow Pets To Travel In Their Cabins

These three airlines let owners take their furry companions along with them on adventures by allowing them in their plane cabins. 

Traveling can be difficult for pet owners who are moving to a different place or always on the go. For the longest time, pets haven’t been able to travel alongside their owners, either because aviation laws prohibited them from doing so or assigned them in cargo areas. Though air travel isn’t for every furry companion (and fur parents would do well to consult a vet before taking them on a flight), such isolating conditions can make the journey even more stressful. 

Thankfully, airlines today are paving the way for safer and more comfortable air trips for pets. Though many of them understandably have limits depending on the size of these fur babies and international regulations on pet travel, they’ve certainly taken significant steps. 

If you’re looking to book a flight with your four-legged pal, here are three airlines that will offer them a cozy ride with their owners:

READ ALSO: Furry Heirs: Pets Who Earned Millions In Inheritance From Their Owners

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines allows passengers 18 years old and above to travel with small dogs, house cats, domesticated rabbits, and even household birds in international flights and flights to Hawaii. 

For a fee of $100 USD each way, owners can keep their pets in the cabin under their seats as long as they’re in a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier with a length, width, and height of 17 x 11 x 7.5 inches. Passengers must properly enclose these carriers and ensure they’re free of any damage, as well as properly ventilated. 

The airline considers pets to be a part of each passenger’s carry-on allotment, and will only allow dogs and cats that are at least eight weeks old, with a diet of solid food. There’s also a limit to the number of animals that Alaska Airlines can accommodate, with the First Class cabin allowing a total of three pet carriers per flight, and the Main Cabin allowing a total of eight pet carriers per flight.

The airline has also provided some reminders for pet owners on their website, like advising against overfeeding and overwatering prior to boarding, and recommending a preflight workout for fur babies who tend to have a lot of energy. 

American Airlines

American Airlines also allows small pets to travel with their owners in the cabin for most flights up to 12 hours, to and from: the 48 contiguous United States, the U.S. and Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and St. Thomas, with certain rules on space limitations depending on the location. 

Certain countries like Australia, the Caribbean, and South America also have restrictions on pet travel, so it’s worth looking over both the airline’s rules and country regulations. Permissible carry-on pets can stay inside a comfortable and secure carrier for a fee of around $150 USD per kennel, beneath their owner’s seats. Fur parents can bring one additional personal item like a purse or handbag, or a carry-on bag that fits the sizing requirements of the airline’s overhead bin.

Carriers should also follow certain size requirements, regardless of whether they’re soft-sided or hard-sided, which can also be found in American Airlines’ website. As per the airline’s site, it only accepts seven kennels on American flights (excluding service animals) and five kennels on American Eagle flights. 

Bark Air

The future of pet—specifically canine—travel is here with Bark Air, the very first airline that’s completely dedicated to dog plane trips. “We’re here to revolutionize flying for dogs,” the new airline’s website writes. So what does Bark Air promise for its four-legged friends?

According to its official video, Bark Air will have full beds for owners and their dogs, yummy food and treats, as well as the very first ever in-air dog park. It sounds almost too good to be true, but it’s quickly becoming a reality. 

“On the travel day, dogs and their people will arrive at the airport one hour before the flight for a simple, efficient check-in process and security screening – no crates, no stressful lines,” the website states. “A highly skilled BARK Air concierge will welcome all pups and help them settle in to their experience through socialization at the gate and dog-centric cabin preparation.” The airline aims to handle all manner of things related to pet travel, from their crew (composed of attendants who are vet techs or trainers) to insurance-related matters. 

Upon its inaugural flight this May 2024, the airline will “serve the New York City metro area via Westchester County Airport (HPN) with flights to the Los Angeles area via Van Nuys (VNY) and London, England via Stansted Airport (STN).” Given the very innovative concept of the entire airline, its routes are still limited—but they promise a first class experience for owners and fur babies who want to try it out. 

Photo by Dex Ezekiel via Unsplash.

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