Travelers Say This Is the Best Airline for Pets

Like to travel with your pets? You’re not alone. Almost half (47%) of travelers have flown with their pets this past year. Airfarewatchdog, along with The Points Guy, surveyed over 1,500 travelers to understand how they prefer to travel with their pets and which airline they think treats pets best.

The Pet Travel Experience

The main reason travelers bring their furry friends along on their travels (41%) is they simply can’t or don’t want to leave them behind. Moving was the 2nd biggest reason for transporting pets (27%), with emotional support ranking third with 22% of the vote.

After a string of pet related tragedies earlier this year, it’s no surprise that most travelers don’t feel comfortable flying their pets in cargo. Only about a third (30%) says they have done so. In fact, more than half (54%) of travelers feel there should be an entire section on planes dedicated to pets. Travelers listed having a separate pet section as their most wanted amenity, followed by priority pet boarding, and the ability for pets to travel cage free.

Despite the many pet mishaps making headlines this year, most travelers (81%) report having only positive travel experiences, with over a third (35%) saying they’ve had exceptional travel experiences. Of those surveyed, only 38% of travelers said they feel worried about traveling with their pets.

If you want to ensure a safe and pleasant travel experience for your pet, make sure to check your carrier’s pet policies well in advance of your flight. Our Pet Travel Checklist can help you prepare for your trip.

So Which Airline is the Best for My Pet?  

Delta was voted the best airline for pets by travelers, despite a well-publicized incident last summer involving the death of an 8-year old family dog.

“According to DOT data, Delta flew 57,479 animals last year, of which two deaths were reported,” said Tracy Stewart, Content Editor at Airfarewatchdog. “There have certainly been more pet disasters in the news recently, but the fact is that in most cases the process of traveling with pets goes off without a hitch, and passengers are pleased with the experience. We're also seeing more people flying with pets that have been certified emotional support animals, which means they're flying alongside their owners in the cabin rather than unsupervised in cargo.”

Southwest Airlines placed second, followed by American in third. United made the list in fourth place, after several consecutive incidents of animal deaths over the year. Of the top five U.S. airlines, Alaska Airlines finished last on the list.

See a full view of the rankings here.

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