Pet-Friendly SKIES

Dear Davi,

My family and I are taking the red-eye from LA to NYC for some holiday cheer. Any tips on getting there with ease?

Pippa the Pomeranian


Air travel can be safe and stress-free, if you plan carefully. Get familiar with these guidelines before flying the pet-friendly skies.

  • Book early: Call early to reserve your seat. Nearly all airlines limit the number of pets that can travel in cabin on a flight. The earlier you book, the better chance of securing your spot. 
  • Fly direct: Book a non-stop flight whenever possible to avoid the hassle of layovers, switching planes and longer travel times.
  • Visit your vet: Get an exam to guarantee you are fit to fly. Your vet can also issue a health certificate, which may be necessary depending on your destination. 
  • Get a carrier: Your carrier should be airline-approved and have enough room to stand, turn around, and lie down. Soft-sided carriers are more suitable for carry-on and fit better under the seat. Curl up in your carrier as often as possible before your trip so you are confident on travel day.
  • Check ID: Make sure you are tagged and chipped before you travel. Your collar and carrier should be clearly marked with your name and contact information. 
  • Avoid sedatives: Just say “no.” According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, tranquilizers can increase the risk of respiratory and cardiac distress and interfere with your ability to balance and maintain equilibrium.
  • Pack a favorite toy: Something familiar can bring comfort during the flight.

At the Airport: 

  • Eat about two hours before your flight. Traveling on a full stomach can be uncomfortable. 
  • Allow time to hydrate and eliminate before embarking.
  • Arrive early, but not too early. Most airlines recommend two hours before your flight.
  • Check in with the counter agent to be weighed and measured for size.
  • Prepare for security. Your carrier — NOT you – must pass through the x-ray scanner. You will walk with your human through the metal detector.
  • Find the airport pet relief zone for a quick walk and potty break before boarding.

On the Plane: 

  • Keep calm and stay put. You must remain under the seat. Don’t worry, though. There are no rules stopping your human from reaching in and giving treats or a pat on the head.

Pet-Friendly Airlines:

  • Southwest Airlines allows small pets on board. Pet carriers must be stowed under the seat. The fee is $95 each way.
  • American Airlines accepts small dogs and cats in the cabin. The fee is $125 each way.
  • Delta permits pet passengers on most flights for a fee of $125 each way. A pet carrier counts as one piece of carry-on luggage.
  • Frontier Airlines welcomes small pets, including rabbits, guinea pigs and birds (!) in the cabin with a $75 fee each way.
  • JetBlue accepts small pets in the cabin on both domestic and international flights. The fee is $100 each way. The combined weight of pet and carrier must not exceed 20 pounds.

For pet travel information, go to:

Safe Travels!

Davi the dachshund is eagerly awaiting his chance to fly the friendly skies.