Most Pet Friendly US Airlines
- American Airlines: Best for West Coast Travel
- United Airlines: Best for East Coast Travel
- Delta Airlines Best for Large Pets
- Southwest Airlines: Best for Cheap Pet Fees
- JetBlue: Best for Pet Amenities
- Allegiant Air: Best for Pet Check-in Process
- Frontier Airlines: Best for Unique Pets in Cabin
- Alaska Airlines: Best for Unique Pets in Checked Baggage
- Hawaiian Airlines: Best for Inter-Island Flights in Hawaii
Is Flying Safe for Pets?
We’ve all seen the tragic headlines circulate every now and then talking about how a pet was injured during air travel. And while those accidents are truly unfortunate, it tends to paint the image that flying with a pet is dangerous.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! If you look at the statistics, it is actually VERY safe to fly with your pet. In fact it’s so safe, that I daresay the only reason those stories make headlines is because it’s such a rare occurrence for a pet to be injured during air travel!
According to the Chicago Tribune, ~507,000 animals flew on US commercial air carriers last year, and only 24 of those animals died while in transit. That’s only ~0.0048%! United Airlines has the highest rate of pet deaths, although it could be linked to the fact that until recently, they had allowed short-nosed breeds to fly. The new policy banning these certain breeds from flying should help reduce the rate of pet injury.
That said, there are still a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to make sure that you and your pet remain safe and comfortable during your flight.
Tips for Pet Safety While Flying!
For starters, certain breeds of dogs with short-snouts are not allowed to fly on planes because of respiratory issues that may make it particularly difficult for them to breathe. If you’re an owner of one of these breeds, you may want to consider traveling by train instead:
- French Bulldog
- Japanese Chin
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
- Brussels Griffon
English Toy Spaniel
You’ll also want to make sure that your dog is in good health, while also considering their age. Dogs who are too young or old may be particularly susceptible to the stresses of air travel because of things like changes in air quality, air circulation, temperature, cabin pressure, and other environmental issues.
And if you’re hoping to travel with your pet in the cabin instead of putting them in checked luggage, make sure your airline will allow this! Many airlines have restrictions on the number and size of pets if they’ll be flying with you in the cabin. If you’re worried about your pet’s health and don’t want them flying in checked luggage or cargo, double check the requirements and restrictions with your airline to ensure your pet will be allowed to fly with you in the cabin and avoid any last-minute surprises at the airport!
If you’re not sure about whether your pet can safely fly because of these or any other conditions, the best thing to do would be to consult your vet prior to travel, and obtain any health certificates that may be needed by your particular airline.
Best US Airlines for Pet Travel
Each airline has different policies for traveling with a pet, although almost all airlines require the carrier to allow your pet enough space to stand up, turn around, and lie down, and must fit underneath the seat. And if flying in checked luggage, the carrier should have proper ventilation on both sides.
Many airlines also restrict the number of pets flying in the cabin per flight, so you’ll want to follow each airline’s policy for reserving your pet’s spot.
Service animals are not counted as pets, so they fall under a completely different set of criteria.
We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best airlines for traveling with a pet., Which airline is the most pet friendly?, How To Travel With Your Pet, Pets Travel Guide