What is Southwest Airlines Pet Policy?

Southwest Airlines Pet Policy

Do you have to travel but don’t want to leave your furry friend behind? You don’t have to. Thanks to Southwest Airlines pet policy that 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. Moreover, it ensures a remarkable flight trip for them. So, whenever you have to fly with your pawed buddies, Southwest is there to give you space on board. Now, let’s know more about the policy in the account that follows.

What is Southwest Airlines Pet Policy?

Southwest Airlines knows that traveling with pets might be challenging. That’s why the airline has created a pet policy to make travel easier for passengers with pets. With Southwest Pet Policy, you can travel with your pawed friends. 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.
  • International flights or any itinerary having an international flight doesn’t allow pets.
  • 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.

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, 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.

Please note

  • Pet carriers are a personal or a carryon item. 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.

In-cabin Pet Carrier Guidelines

According to the pet policy of Southwest Airlines, you can get an official Southwest carrier at $58. However, it is non-refundable.

Visit any Southwest Airport Ticket Counter to get a carrier. You can also find it online at the official website of the airline.

Now, let’s see which pet carriers are accepted at Southwest.

  • Specifically designed carriers having soft and hard sides
  • Must fit under the seat in front of you and be stowed as per FAA rules
  • Don’t take seats at the exit row or that don’t have stowage under the front seat.
  • Pets are allowed only in the cabin and not as checked baggage.

Please note

  • 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 wellbeing and health of pets onboard.

What are the Southwest Pet Carrier Dimensions?

To help you know what is the size of a pet carrier, here are the dimensions –

  • 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)

Animals inside the pet carrier must be comfortable. They should be able to move and stand easily.

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

Southwest Pet Booking and Payment

You must know about the charges that you have to pay for traveling with pets on Southwest flights. So, here you go – 

  • The airline’s each way Pet Fare is $95 per pet carrier.
  • Southwest offers refundable pet fares.
  • The Southwest Airlines pet policy allows you to request a refund if –
    • You cancel your booking with the pet or
    • Southwest cancels your flight and you don’t rebook
  • Here’s how you can get a refund –
  • Call 1-800-435-9792 or
  • Visit the airport ticket counter

Booking in the U.S. Domestic Flights

  • Contact a customer service representative of the airline at 1-800-435-9792 or +1-888-328-1666 for advance booking.
  • Bring your pet in a carrier as approved by the airline.
  • Before heading to the departure gate, pay the Pet Fare and check-in the pet.

Booking in International Flights

Pets are prohibited from traveling in-cabin on international flights or any itinerary with an international flight.

Please note

Pet Fare is subject to change. Please contact the customer service executives for updated prices.

In Conclusion

So, take your pets along when you travel with Southwest. And why not? You have Southwest airlines pet policy that is customer-friendly. Follow the guidelines for a hassle-free trip.

Also, get a pet carrier that fulfills the size or dimensions requirements of Southwest and stick to the formalities mentioned. And you will be good to go for a trip to treasure on a Southwest flight with your lovable pet.

What is Southwest Airlines Pet Policy?
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