If having all the comforts of home when you’re away this summer means having your cat with you, then Southwest Airlines has good news for you. The airline joins other major carriers in allowing pets onboard flights. Starting June 17, Southwest customers will be able to bring along small cats and dogs in the aircraft cabin for a special low “pet fare” of $75 each way. You can begin making reservations starting June 1.
The new Pets are Welcome on Southwest (P.A.W.S) rules indicate all pets must be in a carrier that fits under the airplane seats; pets will continue to be barred from the hold. While the pet carrier can contain up to two animals – they must be either two small cats or two small dogs and have enough room to stand up and turn around easily. Southwest advises that the pet carrier will count as a customer’s carryon bag; and you can only have one pet carrier per person. Also don’t wait to book until the last minute if you are planning to bring along your feline companion since Southwest only allows up to five pet carriers per flight.
If you are hoping to double your Southwest Rapid Rewards by bringing along your cat, that won’t ‘fly.’ Southwest is not extending its rewards program to your pet. Still for animal-loving San Francisco Bay Area residents, Southwest news should be welcome, since the airline flies from all three major airports serving the region.
In other pet-related travel, Pet Airways takes to the sky in July with its new flights dedicated to ‘pets-only,’ so humans need not inquire. With Pet Airways, your cat will fly only in the main cabin – not in cargo. Initially the airline is only serving New York, Washington/Baltimore, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. So if your cat has some exotic vacation spot in mind, Pet Airways might not be your option.
Seems the friendly skies just keep getting friendlier for our companion animals. Under those circumstances, why leave home without them?