Labeled as ‘man’s best friend, dogs share a unique relationship with their human caregivers, offering them companionship and loyalty. Some people share such a strong bond with their furry friends that they don’t mind taking them anywhere they go. In the case of air travel, many airlines allow dogs to fly on planes as carry-ons, checked bags, or as cargo. While small dog breeds can usually travel with owners in the cabin, large adult dog breeds are often restricted to riding as carry-on luggage. To make air journeys stress-free and comfortable for both owners and dogs, there are some airlines that allow large dogs in cabins.
Depending upon the rules, most airlines classify small dogs as those weighing less than or up to 20 pounds (including the pet carrier) and large dogs as those weighing more than 22 pounds. Likewise, most carriers require dogs to be at least eight weeks old for flight, or else they are considered too fragile.
Ten airlines that allow large dogs in the cabin
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, JSX is an independent US carrier that allows large dogs to be transported by customers in a cabin. The customer must purchase an additional seat to let floor space in front of an adjoining seat be occupied by the dog, which is too large to occupy an approved under-seat pet carrier. JSX provides free transportation of small dogs in a cabin as long as that pet is in the kennel stowed underneath the seat in front of the owner for the flight duration. However, the transportation of pets weighing less than 65lbs requires an adjoining seat to be purchased at the current available rate for both Hop on and All fares.
Conditions to allow large dogs in the cabin
JSX Airlines allows large dogs in the cabin only if
They are leashed at all times and are well-behaved
They weigh 65 lbs or less
They occupy the floor space instead of aircraft seats or seatback tray tables.
JSX Airlines has the right to deny travel to the dog which displays disruptive behavior such as barking excessively, freely wandering around without a lease, jumping on guests or JSX crew members, eating off seatback tray tables, etc. A maximum of five pets is allowed in a single flight, and pet owners must fill up JSX Pet Acceptance Liability Form for this provision.
Surf Air is a Los Angeles-based air charter broker flying across the United States. While it allows one pet per flight, it charges an animal fee of $50 (+ tax) for those not occupying a seat. Large dogs over 20lbs are subject to separate, single-use flight pass to occupy a seat. No standby basis is applicable for the transportation of pets in the cabin.
To travel in a cabin, the dog must be at least four months old and should not exceed 100 pounds. It should be neat and clean, well-vaccinated, and behave well. In non-compliance with conditions, Surf Air can deny boarding pets and passengers. Surf Air passengers willing to fly with dogs in the cabin must purchase a flight pass and provide 48-hour notice to the airline. Read the policy here
Tradewind Aviation is a U.S.-based aircraft operator headquartered at the Waterbury-Oxford Airport, providing private charter services throughout the US and Caribbean. Tradewind Aviation is an excellent choice for passengers to travel across the globe with their pets as it welcomes pets of all sizes, including large-breed dogs.
Without the stress and discomfort of the cargo hold, large dogs can enjoy pet-friendly flights to the Northeast, Caribbean, and beyond in the spacious cabins of Citation CJ3s and Pilatus PC-12s. One customer can bring a maximum of one pet per flight. Tradewind Aviation requires its passengers to purchase seats for dogs that weigh over 100 pounds.
Also Read: US airlines that allow dogs
The new low-cost US-based airline Breeze Airways is another airline that allows big dogs in the cabin. However, the total weight allowance for the pet plus pet carrier is 25lbs. The minimum age for pet travel is at least eight weeks old. The pet carrier will count as the carry-on item and the maximum size allowed is 18x13x9 inches. It must fit under the seat and be spacious enough to fit the pet comfortably to stand, lie down, and turn around.
Breeze Airways permits five pets per flight on a first-come, first-served basis in which one guest can bring only one pet carrier. Passengers must reserve the spot for their dogs and pay Pet in Cabin Fee of USD 75. Read the official policy here.
La Compagnie Airlines
La Compagnie is an all-business-class boutique airline based at Orly Airport in Paris, offering flights between France and Newark Liberty International Airport. It is a good pet-friendly airline that allows large dogs in-cabin with their owners. To travel in-cabin, the dog must weigh less than 15kg or 33lbs and cross at least 16 weeks of age.
The dog must remain in an aerated pet carrier (12 2/3 inch, 13 3/4inch, 9 5/6 inch) stowed in front of the owner’s seat the whole flight. The owner must reserve the pet service at least 48 hours before flight departure along with the pet passport and vaccination book and pay 10% of the ticket fare for the same. La Compagnie Airlines allows up to 3 cabin dogs on a single flight.
WestJet Airlines is the second-largest airline in Canada, flying to an extensive network of more than 100 destinations with a fleet size of 162 aircraft. Customers flying WestJet with working dogs must pay the pet-in-cabin a few and, upon the requirement of additional floor place, purchase an additional seat.
Working dogs do not provide a service to a disabled person but perform the specific task of locating people or items for the military or police. Read more from official website.
The leading ultra-low-cost carrier in the US, Spirit Airlines, allows large dogs in the cabin at least eight weeks old and fully weaned. The dog’s weight combined with the carriers must be 40 pounds (18.14 kg) or less. The dog must be harmless, inoffensive, odorless, and remain the carrier for the flight duration. To ensure comfort, Spirit Airlines accepts a maximum of six pet containers on the aircraft during all domestic flights. The owner and dog may sit anywhere except on the first row and emergency exit rows.
Delta Air Lines
One of the best airlines for pet travel, the US-based Delta Air Lines, allows the transportation of carry-on dogs at least ten weeks old for domestic travel and 16 weeks old for international flights. One pet is permitted per kennel as a carry-on item. The maximum carry-on kennel dimensions vary according to the type of aircraft for flight.
However, the cabin kennel must be leakproof, spacious, and fit under the seat. No dogs are allowed to sit in bulkhead seats, emergency exit rows, flat-bed seats, no-stowage seats, Delta One seats, etc. For travelers to/from Canada/US/Puerto Rico/US Virgin Islands, the checked pet fee each way is $95.
The major US carrier, American Airlines, is dog-friendly and allows accepts dogs of at least eight weeks old to travel in the cabin whose weight combined with the weight of the carrier doesn’t exceed 25 pounds. Each passenger can bring one kennel measuring 19″x13″x9″ (or 48cm x 33cm x 22cm). Altogether seven dog kennels are allowed on domestic flights of American Airlines and five on American Eagle flights.
Carry-on kennel requirements
The kennels for carry-on pets must not exceed the under-seat dimension of traveling aircraft. Soft-sided collapsible kennels must fit under the seat while being secured, padded, and made of water-repellant material. During the flight, the dog must stay in the kennel, where it can stand up, turn around, and fit comfortably.
The dog owner must pay the carry-on pet fee, which is $125 per kennel within and between the US and Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. He/she can’t bring a carry-on bag which the kennel will replace. However, one personal item is allowed. Due to a shortage of under-seat storage capacity, American Airlines can’t accept carry-on dogs in First or Business class on Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-8, and Boeing 787-9.
Air Canada, the flag carrier of Canada, permits dogs and cats in the cabin and baggage compartment as one standard item toward carry-on baggage allowance. Each passenger can bring onboard only one dog, which is at least 12 weeks old and has a maximum weight of 22 pounds (including a pet carrier). To allow dogs in the cabin, Air Canada charges a cabin fee of around $50-59 CAD within Canada and the USA and around $100-118 CAD in other countries.
These are some of the airlines that allow large dogs in the cabin to ensure no family members are left behind. With added comfort and safety, flying is no more stressful for four-legged passengers.