Flying with pets
General pet policy information
We welcome small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs in an appropriate pet carrier in the cabin on domestic flights. Carriers must be stowed under your seat. For Customers traveling to Puerto Rico, specific requirements may apply. We do not accept pets on flights to or from Hawaii.
Pets must be checked in at the airport ticket counter.
You’ll hold your pet and walk through the screening device while the carrier is X-rayed. All pet carriers are subject to being searched.
We have an open seating policy; however, those traveling with pets may not sit in an exit row seat or a seat with no under-seat stowage in front of them.
No, pets will not be allowed in cargo.
Pets must be vaccinated, but we don’t require any documentation from a veterinarian for pets to travel.
Yes, pet relief areas are available at each of the locations we serve. Keep in mind that we will not "hold" a flight for you to take your pet to a relief area.
No, Unaccompanied Minors cannot travel with a pet.
A pet that shows disruptive behavior may be denied boarding. Examples of disruptive behavior include (but are not limited to):
- Scratching, excessive whining or barking
- Growling, biting, lunging
- Urinating or defecating in the cabin or gate area
Yes, you can take cremated pet remains onboard as a carryon item. Cremated remains must be inspected at the security checkpoint and cannot be accepted as checked baggage. We recommend transporting the remains in a temporary plastic or cardboard container typically provided by the crematorium. This is to make sure that the item can be cleared by X-ray screening. If it cannot, it will be opened for a physical inspection. If a remains container cannot be screened, it is not allowed past the security checkpoint.
Pets are not allowed to travel on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight. We also do not transport pets to or from Hawaii. Visit our Hawaii travel Help Center page to learn more.
No. Pets must be secured in the pet carrier at all times while in the gate area, during boarding/deplaning, and for the entire flight. If you don't follow this requirement, your pet may be denied transportation.
We allow one pet carrier per ticketed Customer. Each pet carrier can contain no more than two of the same species of a small cat or dog.
Six pet carriers are generally allowed per flight. However, sometimes we will allow more (or fewer) than six carriers. Pets will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.
Customers traveling with pets will board with their assigned boarding group.
Your pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Pet carrier requirements:
- You can use the Southwest Airlines® Pet Carrier (dimensions: 17” (L) x 10” (W) x 9.5” (H)).
- Or, you can use other pet carriers with maximum dimensions of 18.5” (L) x 13.5” (W) x 9.5” (H).
- The carrier may contain two cats or dogs of the same species per carrier.
- The cat or dog must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease.
- Pets must be secured in the pet carrier at all times while in the gate area, during boarding/deplaning, and they must remain in the carrier for the entire flight. If you don't follow this requirement, your pet may be denied transportation.
Acceptable pet carriers must be:
- Specifically designed as pet carriers (can be soft or hard).
- Leak-proof and well ventilated.
- Small enough to fit under the seat in front of you and stowed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations (18.5” (L) x 13.5” (W) x 9.5” (H)).
Yes. Pet carriers are considered either a personal item or a carryon item. You may board the aircraft with either a pet carrier and a personal item or a pet carrier and a regular size carryon bag.
Yes, Customers traveling with a pet may check a pet stroller or crate for free (this is in addition to the regular free baggage allowance). Southwest does not assume liability for damage to pet strollers.
Pet Fares and reservations
Yes, space is limited, so we ask that you make a reservation in advance by calling 1-800-I-FLY-SWA®. We will accept pets on a first-come, first-served basis until we reach our six-carrier capacity. However, sometimes we will allow more (or fewer) than six carriers.
The Pet Fare is $95 each way per pet carrier.
Yes, the fare is refundable if you cancel your reservation or if your flight is canceled and you do not rebook. Call 1-800-I-FLY-SWA or visit the ticket counter to request a refund. Please note, Pet Fare pricing is subject to change at any time.
You can pay with accepted credit cards. Southwest LUV Vouchers®, gift cards, flight credits, and cash will not be accepted. On your day of travel, please pay the Pet Fare at the ticket counter.