Flying with Fido

Tracy Stewart, July 08, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I am traveling to Oregon this summer and would like my dog to fly with me. Will this be possible, and will it be expensive? 

    A. It really depends on your airline. Some allow small pets to fly in the cabin, as long as they're in a kennel that fits under your seat (and the kennel counts as your one allowed carry on item.) Other airlines will have you check your dog and fly him in the cargo hold below, and a handful of airlines (including Frontier) refuse to transport pets entirely, although Southwest recently reversed its no pets in cabin policy and now carries them for a $75 each way fee. 

    As far as costs go, flying pets doesn't come cheap. Even in cargo, it's possible that your dog's fare could exceed your own. For those traveling to Europe with a larger animal, the kennel services of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 may turn out to be cheaper than flying cargo, although the crossing takes almost a week. For pet fees by airline, visit the Airfarewatchdog airline fee chart. 

    Pet owners who travel might also want to investigate Pet Airways, set to begin flying mid-July. Pet Airways allows pets ("pawsengers") to fly in the cabin, where they receive much more attention than if they were crammed in the underbelly of the plane with the golf clubs and the surfboards. Unfortunately, owners are not allowed to fly with their animals.

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