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SeatGuru info about pet travel: Has potential, but out-of-date

This post was prompted by a reader’s comment, asking if I’d seen the “Pets” feature on SeatGuru. I had, and you can too if you go to SeatGuru’s site, click in the left column on a part of the alphabet (I chose Frontier, at random, so I clicked on the F-K range and then on “Frontier Airlines”). Once the airline of your choice is featured, look at the tabs at the top of the page — on the far right is one called “Pets,” and if you click on it, you get that airline’s pet policy.

Only, unfortunately, the feature doesn’t seem to be well-maintained by SeatGuru. A quick look at their Frontier page, for example, reveals that the fee ($100) is wrong (for Frontier, the fee is currently $75 each way for an in-cabin pet, and $150 each way for a pet in cargo), and they provide only limited information about the kind of carrier you use for a pet in cargo, and no information about an in-cabin carrier. I believe, in fact, that the page has not been updated since Frontier began carrying pets in-cabin, which was in May 2010.

So let’s try another airline. The wheel turns, and lands on Delta Airlines, and…the SeatGuru fee information is wrong. According to SeatGuru, the fees are $150 each way for in-cabin pets, $275 for a checked pet within the U.S. and associated islands, and $550 for a checked pet outside the U.S. The current Delta fees are instead, for in-cabin pets, $125 each way within the U.S. and $200 outside the U.S. (except for travel to Brazil, a steal at $75). For checked pets, the current fee is $200 each way, except, again, for Brazil ($150).

Believe me, I love SeatGuru for its primary purpose, choosing the best seat for your flight. I like it so much I’ve bookmarked it. I wouldn’t rely on it, however, for current information about traveling with your pet. Instead, feel free to check Dog Jaunt’s guides for U.S. airline pet policies and international airline pet policies — although I work hard to keep my guides current, I’ve provided you with links to each airline’s published policy (which SeatGuru doesn’t, alas), and I urge you to double-check at the source before finalizing your plans.

And if SeatGuru is listening, please consider adding to your list of features information about each seat’s workability for an in-cabin pet. I’ve started doing that myself — measuring the under-seat spaces I encounter and publishing the results on Dog Jaunt — but with SeatGuru’s fan base, the job would be done in no time.

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