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Airline policy updates

“Air”-side pet relief areas in the works for all larger U.S. airports

A little note at the end of a Harriet Baskas article electrified me. “The list,” she wrote, referring to pet relief areas on the air (or “sterile”) side of security, “should get much longer soon: There’s a U.S. Department of Transportation ruling mandating that all air terminals that serve more than 10,000 daily passengers have a post-security pet relief area by August 2016.” That’s thrilling news, because — as I’ve said here any number of times — pet relief areas on the  … Read more

Flip, flop, and fly: Alaska Airlines again requires health certificate for in-cabin pets

I’m losing patience with Alaska Airlines, so I’ll say up front that this is the airline’s policy as of today’s date; given their track record, check their page about pet travel carefully. Heaven only knows what their policy will be when you’re making your plans.

Back on November 4, I reported that Alaska Airlines had started requiring health certificates for in-cabin pets and expressed a fervent hope that the other major U.S. airlines would not follow suit. Two weeks later, I reported (with relief)  … Read more

Alaska Airlines reverses direction: Health certificate no longer required for in-cabin dogs

On November 4, I reported that Alaska Airlines had started requiring health certificates for in-cabin pets and expressed a fervent hope that the other major U.S. airlines would not follow suit. Imagine my surprise to learn today that Alaska has reversed itself, and returned to its previous hands-off policy (“A health certificate will not be required for pets traveling in the cabin, however, many states have specific importation health and vaccination requirements”). You can see in my November 4 post what  … Read more

Alaska Airlines now requiring a health certificate for all pets

In what is, I hope, a move that no other U.S. airline will follow, Alaska Airlines has decided to require a health certificate for pets flying in-cabin (Alaska also requires a health certificate for crated pets checked as baggage/cargo, but that’s normal policy for U.S. airlines transporting animals). The new policy applies to flights on December 4, 2014 and following, and states that “All pets traveling in the cabin or cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines, (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest  … Read more

JetBlue now lets you reserve on-line an in-cabin spot for your pet dog

This is a two-part update, and I owe both parts to reader Giuliana, who wrote first to tell me that JetBlue now allows you to reserve an in-cabin spot for your pet online. As of at least June 16, the language on JetBlue’s JetPaws page stated that “Pets can be booked online or you can call 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).”

That’s unusual — previously, of the major U.S. airlines, only Virgin America and United (carried over from Continental’s policy) let you make your pet’s  … Read more

Thai Airways no longer takes in-cabin pets

I learned about this policy change from reader Naomi, and sure enough, a Thai Airways customer service rep just confirmed that the airline stopped taking in-cabin pets “over a month ago.” This is such bad news, not just because Thai Air is a pleasant airline to fly on, but also because its maximums for in-cabin pet weight and carrier size were unusually generous. Other airlines going to Asia allow in-cabin pets (including, for example, Korean Air and Asiana), but their  … Read more

Southwest and AirTran: No pet “reservations” on shared itineraries

10/18/13 Thanks to reader Rebecca for nudging me (see the comments below) to update this post. Since I wrote it, Southwest and AirTran have snuggled into a cozier embrace and now you can bring a pet on a “shared itinerary” (that is, travel plans that include flight legs on Southwest and AirTran planes). However, you can only make advanced reservations for your in-cabin pet on non-shared, AirTran-only itineraries. If you fly entirely on AirTran flights, “Advanced reservations must be made  … Read more

International airlines’ carry-on policies regarding your pet’s carrier

I’m reposting this summary of the major international airlines’ policies regarding how your pet’s in-cabin carrier fits into your carry-on allowance because it’s been updated, and I’ve moved the info into a table, which is much easier to navigate than the list I originally provided. As in the U.S. airlines version I posted yesterday, each airline’s name is also a link to that airline’s pet policy page.

This Monday, I wrote a post about the major U.S. airlines’ policies regarding how your  … Read more

Good news for travelers with in-cabin pets: Changes in U.S. airlines’ carry-on policies regarding your pet’s carrier

I’ve updated this post (which originally went up on 7/30/12) with a chart. I think it’s easier to follow than the list approach I started with. Please note that the airline name is also a link to that airline’s pet policy page, so you can easily refer to the airline’s own site.

When I began flying with Chloe, nearly four years ago, U.S. airlines that allowed pets in-cabin stipulated that your pet’s carrier took the place of your carry-on bag, leaving  … Read more

Interstate travel and health certificates, including U.S. airlines’ requirements

Please note that Alaska Airlines has changed its policy re health certificate for in-cabin pets three times since early December 2014. Here’s my most recent post about this maddening situation. Since I’ve learned that Things Change, often Without Warning, I urge you to click on the link I’ve provided for each airline name to double-check the current policy.

The first thing to know is that individual states make their own rules about the movement of pets across their borders. The USDA’s APHIS (Animal  … Read more