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Small pets to be permitted on Southwest Airlines flights

May 29, 2009 |  1:06 pm

Small pets are now permitted on Southwest Airlines flights Southwest Airlines has announced several policy changes, and one of them is sure to make a big difference to pet owners (at least, small pet owners). Our colleague Jane Engle has the details on the Daily Travel & Deal Blog:

Starting with tickets booked June 1, for travel June 17 or later, you'll be able to bring a small cat or dog aboard for a fee of $75 each way.  Pets will still be banned from the cargo hold.

For the rules, check out a cute video, featuring Ace the dog and an improbably enthusiastic kitten (this is a feline?) named Frankie, that Southwest posted on YouTube and its blog site. Or you can can read the details and a Q&A on the airline's P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Welcome on Southwest) page.

Southwest's program name recalls the JetPaws program that JetBlue Airways started in December. But there are differences. JetBlue, for instance, charges $100 each way, and it awards two frequent-flier points per pet for each flight. Southwest doesn’t give frequent-flier points to pets.

Travelers must make a pet reservation by phone beforehand, and the $75 pet fee must be paid in person at the airline's ticket counter.  Each passenger may bring only one pet carrier on board; the carrier will count as the passenger's carry-on and must be stowed under the seat. The pet carrier may contain up to two animals -- but don't get crazy with species-mixing (it's either two cats or two small dogs, and they must be able to stand and turn around easily in the carrier). 

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Ray Kachatorian / For The Times

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