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Southwest Airlines Dog Travel Policies

For Air Carrier Information Click Here
For International Customs/Quarantine Information
U.S. Airport Pet Relief Areas and Off-Leash Areas

Southwest Airlines


For The Full Southwest  Airlines Policy: United Airlines Complete Pet Travel Information

Pet Policy

Traveling With Pets: General Information

Southwest Airlines accepts small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs. All in-cabin pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier, as indicated below and are subject to a $75 pet fare each way per pet carrier. The pet carrier counts as either a carryon item or a personal item.

Pets will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis on Southwest-operated flights until capacity is reached. Six pets are allowed per flight with a limit of one pet per paying Customer traveling on the same flight. As limited space is available, advanced reservations must be made. Reservations for small cats and dogs can only be made by calling Southwest Airlines at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792). 

The pet fare must be collected at the ticket counter, is nonrefundable, and may not be applied toward future-date travel if unused. Customers traveling with a cat or dog must check the pet in at the airport ticket counter and pay the pet fare before going to the departure gate. Customers can still secure their boarding pass online, at curbside checkin, the airport kiosk, or the ticket counter.

We maintain the right to refuse acceptance of a cat or dog exhibiting aggressive behavior or any other characteristics that appear incompatible with air travel.

Guidelines:

  • Southwest Airlines does not accept pets (cats or dogs) traveling without a Customer.
  • Pets are not permitted to travel with Unaccompanied Minors.

Note: These requirements do not apply to assistance animals or emotional support animals accompanying a person with a disability.

In-cabin Pet Kennels:

Get your official Southwest Airlines branded pet carrier for $48 (tax included) at any Southwest Airport Ticket Counter or online (tax not included) at The Freedom Shop (not an affiliate of Southwest Airlines Co.). Pet carriers are nonrefundable.

Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers specifically designed as pet carriers are acceptable. The carriers must be leak-proof and well ventilated. The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the Customer and be stowed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

  • Southwest Airlines allows only one pet carrier per ticketed Passenger.
  • The carrier may contain two (2) cats or dogs and must be of the same species per carrier.
  • The cat or dog must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease.
  • Pets must be secured in the pet carrier at all times while in the gate area, during boarding/deplaning, and they must remain in the carrier for the entire duration of the flight. Failure to follow this requirement may result in denial of transportation of the pet onboard Southwest Airlines.
  • The under-seat dimensions are as follows:
    • Window Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H
    • Middle Seat: 19"L x 19"W x 8.25"H
    • Aisle Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H

However, please keep in mind that some seats may be slightly smaller in width.

Note: Pet carriers are considered either a personal item or a carryon item. A Customer may board the aircraft with either a pet carrier and a personal item or a pet carrier and a regular size carryon bag. A Customer may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a regular size carryon bag, and a personal item. The pet carrier must conform to all carryon baggage regulations.

 

In-cabin Pet Restrictions:

  • Customers traveling with a pet may not occupy an exit seat or a seat with no forward under-seat stowage.
  • Southwest Airlines will only carry pets in the cabin; pet carriers are not permitted as checked baggage.
  • Advanced pet arrangements must be made by contacting a Southwest Airlines Customer Representative at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).
  • There will be no more than six (6) scheduled pet carriers per scheduled flight. However, from time to time, circumstances may allow for more (or fewer) than six (6) pet carriers per scheduled flight.
  • Cats and dogs must be at least eight (8) weeks old for travel.
  • The animals must be harmless, not disruptive, odorless, and require no attention during flight.
  • Cats and dogs must remain in the carrier (including head and tail) and the carrier must be stowed under the seat in front of the Customer (owner) for the entire duration of the flight.
  • Southwest Airlines will not be responsible if a Customer misses a flight due to the need to take the cat or dog to an outside relief area. Flight departures will not be delayed or held in order for connecting Customers to take a pet to an animal relief area.
  • If the pet becomes ill during the flight, oxygen or other first aid procedures will not be administered.
  • In the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask may not be available for the cat or dog.
  • Southwest Airlines assumes no liability for the health or wellbeing of carryon pets.
  • Southwest Airlines will not accept pet remains in the cabin of the aircraft.

 

 

 

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