Why Airlines Fly Dogs on Planes

Many dog owners are excited about the ability to fly with their dogs. While the chance to fly with your pet is something to be happy about, some might wonder why airlines are allowing pets to fly in the cabin only recently. Unfortunately, your guess is as good as ours. One reason why airlines increasingly allow dogs in the cabin is the financial opportunity it poses. Practically all airlines charge a travel fee for any pets traveling in the cabin. Pet owners will most likely be willing to pay, knowing they can have their dog right at their feet, and airlines seem to be taking advantage of that fact. 

Allowing dogs to fly in the cabin does not take up any more space than a carry-on bag would, seeing as most airlines require the dogs to remain in a carrier that can fit underneath the seat in front of the traveler. Additionally, no seats are lost when dogs are allowed in the cabin. If the traveler opts to travel with two pets (so long as this is permitted by the airline), that traveler often has to purchase two seats to accommodate the dog. Pet owners might not look into these extra fees or charges since it may come as a relief and incentive to be able to travel with your pet in the cabin of the plane. 

If you are a dog owner and looking to fly with your pet but want to explore your options, below is a list of airlines that allow pets in the cabin of the plane. 

American Airlines: 

As is the case with many other airlines, American Airlines does charge a kennel fee for dogs traveling in the cabin. They charge $125. Pay close attention to American Airlines’ pet policies as they restrict certain dog breeds regardless of weight on their planes. It is best to check with their policy page to figure out if you can take your dog on your trip. Overall, while American Airlines does allow dogs to fly in the cabin, they do include many guidelines to make this possible.  


JetBlue offers an interesting incentive to travel with your pet. Travelers can earn 300 travel points when they fly with their dog. Dogs still must fit within a cabin-approved carrier. JetBlue even sells their own pet carriers to make the search process easier. This airline requires certain documentation and licenses for your dog, so you will need to provide those at the airport. 


Southwest allows pets to travel for $95 which is generally less than other airlines. Dogs must remain inside the carrier while in the airport and the plane, so travelers should make sure that their dog does well in a carrier for longer periods of time. Up to six pets are allowed in the plane, so as with other airlines, it is best to book early to reserve a spot for your dog. 

United Airlines:

Pet carriers are allowed in addition to a carry-on bag with United Airlines. The carrier must still fit under the seat in front of the traveler’s seat, so it must match United Airlines’ specified kennel dimensions. As with other airlines, as long as you pay the fee and follow the rules, dogs are welcome aboard.

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