Southwest Pet Policy – All You Need To Know For Easy Travel With Yout Pets

Southwest Pet Policy - All You Need To Know

In this article, we will be sharing all you need to know about Southwest Pet Policy.

For a safe and comfortable trip, it is important to know the regulations of any airline before you embark on a journey.

Basically, each airline has its own requirements and conditions for transporting pets and animals.

Therefore, for your pet to travel with you, you will need to adhere to these conditions and requirements.

Nevertheless, you can’t possibly adhere to what you do not know.

Hence, we have carefully outlined the basic information you need to know about Southwest Pet Policy.

You may also like to read about Spirit Airlines Pet Policy For Travelling With Dogs and Cats

Southwest Pet Policy for traveling with pets

What is Southwest Pet Policy You Should Know?

Southwest pet policy is very favorable for pet owners who wish to travel with their pet dogs and cats.

Besides that, Southwest is one of the good low-cost airlines in America. They allow you to travel safely with small dogs and cats.

Basically, your pets can fly only in the cabin.

For you to transport your pet through Southwest there are certain policies you should know.

They include;

#1. In-Cabin Pet Policy

The only pets allowed to fly In-Cabin in the Southwest are small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs.

However, these cats and dogs should be at least 8 weeks old before they can travel in-cabin with Southwest.

All pets allowed in the cabin should be in an appropriate carrier.

Furthermore, pets are only accepted on a first come first serve basis until the capacity is full.

On Southwest airlines, there are only 6 pet carriers accepted on each flight.

Therefore, it is important to make your pet reservations immediately when you confirm your travel plans.

Furthermore, pets are only accepted in the cabin on domestic flights.

Southwest does not allow pets to travel on international flights.

During the entire flight, small pets are expected to completely stay put in their carriers, under the seat, with the doors closed.

Most importantly, the carrier must be an approved airline pet carrier with a waterproof bottom.

Furthermore, it should have enough room for your pet to stand up, lie down and turn around.

There should be adequate ventilation and the lock must fasten securely too.

The maximum size of the soft or hard carrier should be about 18.5n × 8.5in × 13.5in (48cm× 22cm × 34cm).

The above-mentioned is worthy of note so as to avoid disappointments.

Read also, Jetblue Pet Policy for Traveling With Pets in 2023

Check-In and Cost.

In Southwest, pets must be checked in at the airport ticket counter.

However, you can still secure your boarding pass online, at the airport kiosk, at curbside check-in, or at the ticket counter.

The fee you will pay for your pet to travel in the cabin is $95 each way per pet carrier.

One good thing about Southwest is that they have a refundable pet fare.

This comes up when you cancel your reservation or if your flight is canceled and you don’t rebook.

Also, you will be refunded if your pet doesn’t travel at all.

However, it is good to keep in mind that the pet fare pricing can change at any time.

#2. Checked Baggage Pet Policy.

Southwest only carries pets in the cabin.

No pet carriers are permitted as checked baggage.

Furthermore, because of extreme temperatures in the baggage hold on flights with Southwest Airlines, pets are not permitted to travel in the cargo area.

Trained Assistance Animals

Trained assistance animals are welcome on Southwest flights.

However, there will be an exception if the animal is too large to be accommodated safely.

In this case, such animals providing assistance to a disabled customer can be accommodated in the aircraft cabin.

Nevertheless, the animal must be kept in such a way it doesn’t block the way for customer evacuation during an emergency. 

Also, read about Emotional Support Animals (Everything You Need to Know)

Travelling with pets on Southwest Airlines - Southwest pet policy

Southwest General Pet Travel Restrictions and Guidelines.

  1. First and foremost, Southwest Airlines does not welcome pets (cats or dogs) traveling without a Customer.
  2. Additionally, pets are not allowed to travel with Unaccompanied Minors.
  3. Thirdly, pets are not permitted to travel in-cabin on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight.
  4. If you are traveling with your pet on Southwest, you are not allowed to occupy an exit row or a seat with no forward under-seat stowage.
  5. Furthermore, Southwest Airlines will only carry pets in the cabin and not as checked baggage.
  6. Southwest provides no more than six scheduled pet carriers per scheduled flight.  Nevertheless, from time to time, circumstances may allow for either more or fewer pet carriers per scheduled flight. 
  7. Cats and dogs must be at least eight weeks old for travel.
  8.  Most importantly, animals must be harmless, not disruptive, odorless, and require no attention during the flight.
  9. Cats and dogs must remain in the carrier including their head and tail, and the carrier must be stowed under the seat in front of the owner for the entire duration of the flight.
  10. In Southwest airlines, a pet is not allowed to share a carrier with a trained service animal.
  11. The purchase of a non-refundable additional seat may be required to accommodate the pet when traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator or trained service animal.
  12. Southwest Airlines will not be responsible if you miss a flight due to the need to take your pet to an outside relief area. 
  13. Furthermore, flight departures will not be delayed or held in order for you to take your pet to an animal relief area.
  14. If the pet becomes ill during the flight, oxygen or other first aid procedures will not be administered.
  15. In the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask may not be available for the cat or dog.

Key things you need to do to ensure a safe trip for your pet on Southwest Airlines.

Safe travel for your pet is one responsibility you should take seriously.

From the policies mentioned earlier, there are certain things you need to do to ensure a safe flight for your pet.

They include;

  • Confirm and ensure your pet (dog and cat) is healthy and eligible for travel.
  • You need to ensure you have the right kennel for your pet.

#1. Confirm and ensure your pet is healthy and eligible for travel.

For your pet to travel safely, this is a worthy point to note.

You need to ensure your pet is healthy enough to fly and at least up to 8 weeks of age.

If there are other additional documents you need to submit prior to the flight then do well to do so.

#2. Ensure you have the right kennel for your pet.

This is another key point to note if you really want your pet to be comfortable and enjoy the flight.

Southwest has kennel specifications and you should ensure yours meet the standard.

Also, ensure your pet kennel is well-ventilated and leakproof.

Southwest Airlines also has an official branded pet carrier which goes for USD45 with tax inclusive.

You can construct yours yourself or you can decide to purchase from Southwest.


Surely you can have a safe trip with your dog or cat on Southwest Airlines.

We have come to the end of this article on Southwest Pet Policy.

Truly, we hope you find this article quite beneficial.

You can share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Southwest Pet Policy.

Can you bring pets on Southwest airlines? 

Yes. Southwest Airlines allows customers to bring small pets (cats and dogs only) in the cabin on their domestic flights. However, they do not allow pets on international flights.

Does Southwest Airlines let you buy a seat for your dog? 

Yes. Southwest Airlines will let you buy a seat for a trained service animal that is larger than a child under the age of two. You must purchase a non-refundable additional seat and place the pet carrier under the seat in front of the additional seat.

Can my pet fly with me in the Cabin?

Yes. Your pet can fly with you in the cabin if the pet dog or cat in its carrier can fit under the seat in front of you.

Can my pet fly with me as checked Baggage? 

Your pet can only travel as checked baggage if you are an adult passenger traveling on the same flight as your pet. Also note that if your pet is traveling alone or If your pet is a very large animal or something other than a cat or dog, then it will travel as manifest air cargo.

How much is Southwest Pet fare? 

Southwest pet fare is fixed at $95 per pet carrier each way of the trip. And if you decide to change your mind about traveling with your pet, the Pet Fares are refundable.


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