What is Southwest Airlines Pet Policy?

Southwest Airlines Pet Policy

Planning a vacation but don’t want to leave your furry friend behind? You don’t have to. Southwest Airlines welcomes your pets with open arms so you can travel the world with your furry companion. Southwest Airlines pet policy makes your trip with your pets possible and convenient. However, make sure to follow the guidelines and rules set for a streamlined trip.

The Southwest pet policy covers your pets in the best possible way. So, whenever you have to fly with your pawed buddies, Southwest is there to give you space on board. Scroll down and learn more about the key terms and conditions.

What is Southwest Airlines Pet Policy?

Traveling with pets might be challenging. That’s why the airline has created a dedicated pet policy to make travel easier for passengers with pets. With Southwest Pet Policy, you can travel with your pawed friends without any hassle. Here are the policy highlights for your reference.

  • Only small and vaccinated cats and dogs are allowed in the cabin on domestic flights.
  • They must be in an appropriate pet carrier stowed under your seat.
  • Pets must be a minimum of 8 weeks of age.
  • You cannot bring pets on international flights, or any itinerary with an international flight.
  • Pets are not allowed to travel on flights to/from Hawaii. However, flights between Hawaiian Islands allow pets.
  • You must fulfill specific requirements when flying to Puerto Rico with pets.
  • You can take cremated pet remains on board as carry-on items. However, the TSA check at the security checkpoint is mandatory.
  • As per Southwest animal policy, the pet must stay in its carrier –
    • At the gate
    • Throughout the flight
    • During boarding and deboarding

If you can’t fulfill this requirement, your pet could be denied transportation.

Please note
  • On Southwest Airlines, Unaccompanied Minors are not allowed to fly with pets.
  • Pay the Pet Fare at the airport ticket counter.
  • Get your pets vaccinated. However, documentation is not required.
  • Pets are not allowed in cargo.
  • If your pet takes longer in the relief area, Southwest will not delay its flights.

How to Make Pet Bookings with Southwest Airlines?

Ready to take off with your pet? Make easy pet bookings with Southwest and enjoy the best-in-class journey. Be mindful that pets are not allowed on international flights, so you can bring them on domestic routes only. Here’s how to do so.

  • Call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792) to make pet bookings in advance.
  • Ask for the availability and see if you can bring your pet on board.
  • Visit the airport ticket counter on the day of travel and check in with your pet.
  • Make sure your animal behaves appropriately; otherwise, the airline’s agent will deny its boarding.

Can Southwest Airlines Deny Boarding to Pets?

If pets show aggressive behavior, they are denied boarding on Southwest Airlines. Here are some of the examples of such disruptive behavior, but are not limited to – 

  • Excessive scratching, barking, and whining
  • Biting, growling, or lunging
  • Defecating or urinating at the gate area or in the cabin

What are Southwest Pet Carrier Requirements?

When you are flying with a dog or cat on a Southwest flight, check the pet carrier requirements beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises later on. Here are the guidelines that you must follow – 

  • The airline allows 2 cats or dogs in one carrier.
  • Make sure that both the animals in the carrier belong to the same species.
  • The carriers must be airy and leak-proof.
  • Ensure your pet can stand or move around in the pet crate throughout the journey.
  • The maximum dimensions of the pet carrier are as follows.
  • The Southwest Airlines Pet Carrier – 17 x 10 x 9.5 (length x width x height in inches)
  • Other pet carriers – 18.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 (length x width x height in inches)
Please note
  • Pet carriers are personal or carry-on items. So, when you board the flight with a pet carrier, you can bring along a – 
    • Personal item or
    • Regular size carry-on bag.
  • Carryon baggage rules must follow the rules set.
  • Your pets must be harmless, odorless, not disruptive, and don’t need attention during flight.
  • In an emergency, the cat or dog might not be given an oxygen mask.
  • The airline doesn’t take liability for the well-being and health of pets onboard.

How Many Pet Carriers Does Southwest Allow in its Flights?

To know the number of pet carriers that the airline allows onboard, go through the following points – 

  • The Southwest pet travel guidelines allow each traveler to have only one pet carrier.
  • Usually, 6 pet carriers are permitted per flight. However, there are times when the airline changes the number of pet carriers on each flight.
  • Southwest accepts pets on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note

Get in touch with the customer service representatives of Southwest Airlines to know about its dog or cat policy in detail.

How Much Does it Cost to Bring Pet on Board?

Southwest Pet travel is a paid service, and you must spend a few extra bucks to bring your animal on board. The fee applies per pet carrier each way and depends on the route on which you are flying.

Scroll down and take a closer look at the one-way pet carry-on charge.

  • US Mainland: $125 per pet carrier
  • Between Hawaii Islands: $35 per pet carrier

In Conclusion

So, why wait? Take your pets along when you travel with Southwest, and make your journey easy and convenient. Always get a pet carrier that fulfills Southwest’s size or dimensions requirements and stick to the formalities mentioned. Do you want to know more details about the pet travel? Contact the Southwest customer support agent for further assistance.

You may visit:

Southwest Airlines En Español

How to get a call back from southwest

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Southwest pet carrier cost?

Southwest pet carriers cost around $58. The fee is non-refundable, so make purchases wisely.

Can my pet travel alone on Southwest flights?

No. Southwest doesn’t accept pets without a customer.

Can I occupy an emergency exit row seat when traveling with a pet?

No. Those traveling with pets may not occupy emergency exit row or front-row seats.

What are the requirements for traveling with a trained service animal?

You must purchase a non-refundable additional seat when traveling with a trained service animal.

What is Southwest Airlines Pet Policy?
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