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The Best Airlines for Flying with a Dog
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When wanderlust calls, you’ve got to answer the call. But leaving your beloved four-legged pup behind is not an option—after all, there are plenty of dog-friendly cities on your bucket list. But it’s important to fly on an airline that will treat your dog well, and since every airline handles pet travel a little differently, we decided to break a bunch down for you. (You’re welcome.) Psst: Always double check with the airlines before you pack off and leave as their rules and regulations are subject to change.

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American Airlines
Like most airlines, American requires puppies to be at least eight weeks old to fly. It charges $125 per flight for an in-cabin buddy and $175 to check a kennel. One thing to keep in mind: There’s only a handful of cities that support connecting American flights with pets aboard. Check the website if your itinerary includes a pit stop.

Pricing: $$$
In-Cabin: 1 dog ≤ 20 lbs.
Checked Kennel: Yes
Big Dog Friendly: Yes
International Travel: Yes
Health Certificate Required:
Checked pets only
Overall Rating: 7/10

More information

JetBlue
Is JetBlue Diane Lane? Because it must love dogs! The airline has a program called JetPaws designed specifically to cater to travelers with animals. Travelers paying the $100 pet fee per flight automatically earn 300 TrueBlue points for each leg of the trip. You can also read the Petiquette™ tips for safe puppy travel while stowing Snoopy in a JetBlue carrier designed specifically for in-cabin doggie guests.

Pricing: $$
In-Cabin: 1 dog ≤ 20 lbs.
Checked Kennel: No
Big Dog Friendly: No
International Travel: Yes
Health Certificate Required: International flights only
Overall Rating: 7/10

More information

Allegiant Air
Allegiant offers a bit of a BOGO deal: You can carry on two dogs for the price of one, as long as both fit into the same carrier. Another perk? The space allowed for carriers is twice as large as that which JetBlue offers. At $100 per flight, this airline makes the most sense for people traveling with an inseparable pair.

Pricing: $$
In-Cabin: 1 to 2 dogs ≤ 20 lbs.
Checked Kennels: No
Big Dog Friendly: No
International Travel: No
Health Certificate Required: Inquire for more information.
Overall Rating: 7/10

More information

Southwest Airlines
Southwest offers pretty much the same deal as Allegiant, except you’ve got a little less room for your pups, so they knock off a few bucks. It’s only $95 to slide a carrier under the seat in front of you, and you can bring two dogs as long as they both fit comfortably inside. But again, no checking kennels for big dogs and no international flights.

Pricing: $$
In-Cabin: 1 to 2 dogs ≤ 20 lbs.
Checked Kennels: No
Big Dog Friendly: No
International Travel: No
Health Certificate Required: No
Overall Rating: 6/10 

More information

Frontier
Travelers looking for an international canine adventure on a strict budget should consider Frontier. At only $75 per carrier, per flight, your DBF (dog best friend) can tag along with you to Mexico and the Dominican Republic (or anywhere in the continental U.S.). 

Pricing: $
In-Cabin: 1 dog ≤ 20 lbs.
Checked Kennels: No
Big Dog Friendly: No
International Travel: Yes (Dominican Republic and Mexico only)
Health Certificate Required: International flights only
Overall Rating: 6/10

More information

WestJet Airlines
If you are traveling with one or more big dogs, WestJet may be your best bet. The cost to check a kennel (up to 100 pounds, including your pup) is only $75 to $89, which is way less than some airlines charge to carry on a small bag. And the cost of an in-cabin carrier is even cheaper at $50 to $59 per flight. The only drawback is the smaller in-cabin carrier size requirement, but for this price, we’ll take it. 

Pricing: $
In-Cabin: 1 dog in carrier under seat
Checked Kennel: Yes
Big Dog Friendly: Yes (≤ 100 lbs.)
International Travel: No
Health Certificate Required: Inquire for more information.
Overall Rating: 8/10

More information

Lufthansa
Hello, European jet setters! Lufthansa is a cost-effective, pet-friendly airline for traveling between Europe and the U.S. with just about any dog (four months and older). They allow each traveler two animals and only charge $100 for carrying a dog on an international flight. A larger breed costs a little extra to check ($200 to $400 depending on size), but it’s worth it if you want to ensure your dog arrives happy. Plus, Lufthansa offers far and away the most room for large kennels and carriers.

Pricing: $$
In-Cabin: 1 dog ≤ ~18 lbs. (8 kg)
Checked Kennel: Yes
Big Dog Friendly: Yes
International Travel: Yes
Health Certificate Required: Inquire for more information.
Overall Rating: 9/10

More information

Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines understands separation anxiety. If you check your dog in a kennel, a flight attendant delivers a card to you once your dog has safely boarded the plane. It charges the same amount ($100) to carry on a pet or to check one, which is great news for dog owners with animals over 20 pounds. 

Pricing: $$
In-Cabin: 1 to 2 dogs ≤ 20 lbs.
Checked Kennels: Yes
Big Dog Friendly: Yes (≤ 150 lbs.)
Health Certificate Required: No
Overall Rating: 9/10 

More information

RELATED: 8 Things to Know Before You Fly with Your Pet

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