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Traveling by Kenmore Air with a small dog

Kenmore Air has a fleet of seaplanes and land-based planes, and serves lots of useful destinations in the Pacific Northwest (including Seattle; the San Juan Islands; the Olympic Peninsula; Victoria, B.C.; and Canada’s Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands). It is my husband’s favorite way of getting to Friday Harbor (45 minutes from Seattle, as opposed to our usual 3-hour schlep via car and ferry), so we were thrilled to learn that Kenmore allows small dogs on its flights.

They have a low-key, common-sense policy: leashed dogs under 20 lbs. can sit on your lap and there’s no fee. Big dogs are also allowed on board, but if they’re big enough to take up space (i.e., not a lap dog) you’ll need to pay a fee for them (in the neighborhood of $75). You need to tell them about the dog when you make your reservation, so call them instead of booking on-line. There is no paperwork needed for travel within the U.S., but if you’re taking one of their flights into Canada, you need to meet Canada’s import requirements.

Kenmore Air has luggage weight limits: 24 lbs. total for its seaplanes; 20 lbs. (carry-on) and 50 lbs. (checked) for its land-based planes. While a dog officially counts towards a passenger’s allotted carry-on weight limit, Kenmore is wiling to accept an small bag in addition, even if the combined weight of dog and bag is a little high. Just do your best to make your bag as small and light as possible.

And one word of caution: if it turns out that a fellow passenger is seriously allergic to dogs, you will be asked not to travel with your dog. In that case, the Kenmore rep I spoke to said that your ticket cost would be refunded. She also said, however, that it’s never yet happened in her experience.