It’s expensive enough getting yourself out of town, but if you’re traveling with your pets, it can be as expensive as buying another ticket.
That is, unless you know the cheapest ways to travel with pets. We answer your questions about bringing pets on airplanes, the best pet travel policies, and even how to ride an Uber with your pup.
(Of course, if you can’t travel with your pet, you should check out all the ways you can save on pet boarding.)
And since you’re in the mood to save money on travel, make sure to download the KCL app to be up to date on all the deals.
Who has the cheapest flights for pets flying in cabin?
Allegiant Airlines wins at $50/pet. But no matter which airline you fly, when your pet is in cabin, you’ll be charged a pet fee, your pet must stay in its carrier, and you won’t be able to bring a carry-on item (you will still be able to bring a personal item).
Here are the various airlines’ fees for in-cabin pets:
- Allegiant: $50/pet
- Delta Airlines: $95/pet
- Southwest Airlines: $95/pet
- Frontier Airlines: $99/pet
- Alaska Airlines: $100/pet
- Spirit Airlines: $110/pet
- American Airlines: $125/pet
- JetBlue: $125/pet
- United Airlines: $125/pet
- Hawaiian Airlines: $175/pet — unless the flights are going to and from Hawaii; then they’re $35/pet
How many pets can you bring in cabin?
You’re only able to bring one pet per customer (or purchased seat) on your flight.
JetBlue and Southwest also restrict how many total pets are allowed in cabin per flight (both have a 6-pet restriction in cabin), so make sure you pay your pet fee early.
How big does your in-cabin pet carrier need to be?
Generally, you will only be able to have a pet in cabin if your pet fits under the seat in front of you (like a carry-on). Each airline has different requirements for the size and material of the pet carrier, so you’ll want to check to see if yours fits.
Here are the airlines’ requirements, from smallest carrier size to largest:
- Hawaiian Airlines: 16″ x 10″ x 9.5″ (soft carrier)
- United Airlines: 17.5″ x 12″ x 7.5″ (hard carrier) or 18″ x 11″ x 11″ (soft carrier)
- JetBlue: 17″ x 12.5″ x 8.5″ (either)
- Frontier Airlines: 18″ x 14″ x 8″ (either)
- Southwest Airlines: 18.5″ x 8.5″ x 13.5″ (either)
- Delta Airlines: 18″ x 11″ x 11″ (either)
- American Airlines: 19″ x 13″ x 9″ (hard carrier) or 18″ x 11″ x 11″ (soft carrier)
- Spirit Airlines: 18″ x 14″ x 9″ (either)
- Allegiant: 9″ x 16″ x 19″ (either)
- Alaska Airlines: 22″ x 19″ x 9″ (either)
Which airlines let your pet travel in the cargo hold?
If your pet is larger than the carrier limit or too heavy to be a carry-on item, which is generally 20 lbs depending on the airline, you’ll have to stow your pet in the cargo hold with your luggage, which comes with an additional cost:
- Hawaiian Airlines: $175/pet — unless the flights are going to and from Hawaii; then it’s $60/pet
- United Airlines: $201/pet
- Delta Airlines: $250/pet
- American Airlines: $265/pet
NOTE: Your pet may not be permitted to ride in the cargo hold if airline personnel believe the temperature down there will be too cold.
Can I use airline miles for pet travel?
Yes, but only if you’re flying JetBlue. For 300 of your JetBlue Reward points (which you earned by spending $150 with the airlines), you can waive the pet fee for in-cabin pets. Since Jetblue charges $125 per pet, that’s like an 83.3% cashback reward.
Again, JetBlue is the only airline that lets Fido fly using air miles.
Do airlines allow emotional support animals?
Yes, but not for free. Emotional support animals don’t have the same privileges as service animals (which fly for free if you fill out a Service Animal Transformation form and a Service Animal Relief Attestation form before your flight).
You can have them on the flight, but you’ll have to pay the pet fee, regardless of the airline.
Do Uber and Lyft allow pets to ride?
They sure do, but it’s not as simple as bringing a dog with you when your driver shows up. Here’s what you need to know:
- Uber Pet allows riders to bring a small dog or cat for an additional $3 – $6 fee.
- If your location does not have an Uber Pet option, when you book an UberX, write in your rider notes that you are planning on bringing a pet. It’ll be up to the driver if they pick you up or not.
- There’s no official option to add pets to Lyft, but if you let the driver know in the rider notes that you’re bringing a pet, they can decide if they’ll accommodate you.
There are plenty of more Uber & Lyft tricks you need to know.
Can I bring my pet on an Amtrak train?
With the Amtrak pet policy, dogs & cats can travel as long as they are less than 20 lbs and in a carrier that is at most 19″ x 14″ x 10.5″. You will have to pay a $26 pet fee when you pay for your ticket.
You’ll need to make a reservation beforehand since they have a limit of 5 pets per train. You will also need to fill out a pet release form before boarding.
TIP: Like on airplanes, service animals are allowed on Amtrak rides for free, but emotional support animals are not allowed without paying the pet fee.
Can I use my Amtrak Guest Rewards Points for the pet fee?
Yes. If you’re a member of the Amtrak Guest Rewards program, once you earn 800 points (by spending $400 with Amtrak), you’ll get the opportunity to waive the $26 pet fee.
Can I bring my pet onto a Greyhound bus?
Right now, the Greyhound pet policy states that they do not allow pets in any form on a Greyhound bus.