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SOUTHWEST AIRLINES WELCOMES FLUFFY AND FIDO ONBOARD

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Pets will now have the “Freedom to Fly” on Southwest Airlines.  Southwest will soon allow Customers to bring along small cats and dogs in the aircraft cabin for a special low “pet fare” of $75 each way.  All pets must be in a carrier that fits under the airplane seat, and the carrier will count as the Customer’s carryon bag.  Customers can begin purchasing tickets for their small cats and dogs on June 1, 2009, for travel beginning June 17, 2009.  For more information and a video on Southwest’s new pet fare, visit www.blogsouthwest.com.

“We know from Customer and Employee feedback that our new ‘pet’ Customers will be a welcomed addition to any flight,” said Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly.  “Our enhanced boarding process has opened the window, allowing us to accommodate small pets comfortably on a Southwest flight – without impacting our efficiency.”

The new pet policy is one of several programs and processes that Southwest Airlines is implementing in an effort to enhance the service the Carrier provides, and at the same time, create opportunities for incremental revenue growth.  Read more on these programs and processes in a blog post by Kelly at www.blogsouthwest.com.

“These new programs and processes are just the starting point with additional initiatives planned for later this year,” Kelly said.  “It is always our goal to be upfront with our Customers and to set the right Customer expectations.  Our changes today associate a charge for items that are truly an extra service.”

Southwest Airlines has long absorbed the additional cost associated with the administrative work and extra care necessary to safely transport Unaccompanied Minors (Customers ages five through 11 traveling without an adult), which represent less than one percent of our Customers.  Southwest will soon implement a $25 each way service charge, in addition to the fare or Rapid Rewards Award ticket, for Customers who are traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor.  The Unaccompanied Minor service charge will apply to tickets purchased June 1, 2009, and later, for travel beginning June 17, 2009. Unaccompanied Minors may only travel on nonstop or direct flights (no change of planes).

“We are proud to offer an outstanding service for our young Customers traveling alone but realize that the extra service does come at a cost to the Company,” Kelly said.  “This service charge will help us cover our added costs and still maintain our competitive Low Fare advantage.”

Additionally, Southwest will increase its already existing service charge to check a third and overweight bag (weighing 51 to 70 pounds).  Currently, Southwest Customers pay $25 to check a third or overweight bag on the airline.  Customers traveling on or after June 17 will be charged $50 to check a third or overweight bag.  Southwest continues to be one of the only airlines that allows Customers to check their first two bags without a fee.

“We continue to allow our Customers to check two bags on Southwest for free, making our baggage policy far and away the most generous in the Industry,” Kelly said.  “The increase in the baggage charge impacts less than one percent of our Customers.”

“We continue to allow our Customers to check two bags on Southwest for free, making our baggage policy far and away the most generous in the Industry,” Kelly said.  “The increase in the baggage charge impacts less than one percent of our Customers.”

For additional information on Southwest’s Pet; Unaccompanied Minor; and Bag Policies, visit www.southwest.com/pets. 

36 Comments
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In today's economy, do you really think now is the time to start charging fees for unaccompanied minors? Let's see, the majority of minors are traveling to see divorced or separated parents, grand parents and family members, this will take more money out of the pockets of people who are already fighting to make ends meet. My son has been traveling as a UM for the past 6 years, charging fees for employees to handle and take care of the children? In most cases that involves an employee walking the child down the walkway and then another walking him off of the plane on arrival. Not having a fee is the reason we choose to fly SWA and not other carriers, how many people will choose not to fly with SWA due to the additional charges?
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I wish that airlines would recognize and easily accommodate allergies to pets. I have asthma and allergies to cats/dogs/birds/you-name-it and it is a potentially life-threatening problem to end up on a flight next to someone who has a pet as their carry-on. Other airlines have generally not shown concern about reseating me as far as possible from a pet. When they do I usually get stuck in the back row. With Southwest's open seating policy (which I love!), I don't know how this is going to play out. I may be already seated (as an A-lister) and then a person w/ a 'C' may end up right next to me. Then there will have to be reshuffling of people at the last minute to get me away from the animal. It would be best if people with pets were all kept together, ideally at the back of the plane. That way allergic people could get as far away as possible (in the front). Southwest should in that case make an announcement that there will be pets on board and allergic people could show a doctor's note stating their allergy/asthma to get priority seating in the front away from the animals. I wish airlines showed concern and procedures to help those of us with asthma due to animals -- I want to arrive at my destination breathing and not headed off to the E.R.
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Kuddos to you Southwest Airlines, although I am not an animal lover, I think you were the only airline left that did not allow pets on board. As far as charging for UM's you were the only one left who did not. I think you did a noble thing in charging for these items. I mean we still get to check 2 bags for free, along with SO MANY OTHER FEES WAIVED. Wow, you know you will not always make everyone happy but at least you are a surving ariline. Thanks Southwest for the LUV!!!
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As an allergy sufferer, I say "NO WAY" to pets being on board. To those with pets who do not understand what allergies feel like: It feels comparable to having a cold - stuffy, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing and coughing. Ask yourself how happy you are when someone gives you a cold? Ok, that's unpreventable. But someone bringing Fido and Fluffy onboard IS preventable! How about adding on a fee to pay for my allergy medication?
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I salute Southwest for changing their policy on carrying small pets. I empathize with those who have allergies but you'd have to deal with this on other airlines as well. I am sure Southwest's compassionate flight attendants will do everything possible to ensure those with allergies are not seated with other customers who are traveling with a pet.
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And I'm SURE SW's compassionate and COMPLIANT passengers will do everything possible to ensure that those with allergies DO NOT TAKE THEIR ANIMAL OUT OF ITS CARRIER AT ANY TIME DURING FLIGHT.
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Concerning those with allergies, especially those allergic to cats. If my daughter were tofind herself on an aircraft with a cat on board and she was unawares, meaning she had not prepared for the contact in advance (her medication needs at least an hour to begin working to protect her from the dander), then that aircraft would be making an emergency landing and she would need to be transported to a hospital. Is SWA prepared for such an emergency? How will SWA notify those with allergies that there is a pet on board? Who has priority? the person with the cat or other allergic reaction causing animal or the person with the allergy?
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Pets on board...Bad Move SWA!!! I'm allergic to cats. Not a little allergic, real allergic. My wife and I always fly SWA when we want to "Get away!!!" This really stinks. We will now instantly not be able to fly on our favorite airline anymore. Please reconsider the choice you are making. Some people w/ asthma cannot be around animals either. Not even one. Especially, in a tube at 30,000ft. I'm sure you will make some loyal customers happier and maybe even gain a few new customers, but you are going to lose a lot more. Once you make this effective, even if you change your minds and realize your mistake cat dander stays around a long time. I don't stay in hotels that allow pets b/c I may end up in a room that had a cat in it weeks before. Please change this policy!!! I don't want to have to fly on another airline!!!
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As a fequent customer of Southwest, I am not pleased with this policy and do not understand what management was thinking. Besides the alergy issue what about when Fido decides to start barking. A crying baby can be comforted but a yapping small dog may be a problem for the entire flight. Also, what will happen when the pet relieves itself and the smell is circulated throught the cabin? Perhaps 1 flight a day out of a location could be "pet allowed" flight. I can't imagine the demand for this will be that great but if I have a bad experience becuse of this policy I will be looking for a new airline.
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I am one of those people with a horrible cat allergy, not a stuffed head and sneezing but CANNOT breathe! I also have always flown SW, love the airline but will be reconsidering this, I do not want to make my yearly trip to see my grandkids and end up having to spend it in the hospital. People with an allergy of this nature cannot halt the process by moving seats around a few rows, the dander is in the air, and the person WILL get sick no matter how far away you are from the pet. I go very much out of my way to stay away from cats on the ground, why would I want to be trapped like that for hours trying to breathe???
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Anonymous — Thu, 06/04/2009 - 14:43 makes a good point. For a short flight one could imagine putting the animals in the back and allergic people in the front. That is still a compromise in that some allergic people will still have a reaction and arrive at their destination wheezing (hard to breathe), sneezing, sniffling, watery/swollen eyes or some combination of these symptoms. For longer flights (e.g. the LAX - Nashville trek I have coming up) the likelihood of an asthma attack and/or allergic reaction is even greater and more dangerous, even if I'm in Row 1 and the animal is in row 32. How about having all pets either in checked bags or in bags checked at the jetway at least and kept in the cargo area? Southwest you are so creative and concerned with your customers, I'm sure you can think up some alternatives rather than follow the horrible policy of the other airlines in this matter. Please!!! This is one ~100 Southwest flights/year passenger that wants to keep flying Southwest without worrying about an asthma attack on board. Please consider us too...
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My wife has terrible allergies to dogs. I could see the start of what was to be a great vacation start with a couple days of allergy flare ups. So when the ding happens and we are free to move about the cabin, is that when those flying with their pet pull them out to sit on their lap? I am one of Southwest's biggest fan. I hope to remain just that.
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SWA policy is that pets must remain in their carriers for the duration of the flight and will be strictly enforced. Of course service and emotional support animals are not included.
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Thank you very much for allowing pets to fly!!! My wife and I have been extremely loyal SW customers for many years and love the option of now being able to take our dog with us on some of our travels. I read an article in USA Today that other airlines such as United and American that have been allowing pets in the cabin for years simply have not had very many issues with people with pet dander allergies have an acute allergic response during flights. Perhaps that is because the pets must strictly remain within their carrier at all times and that reduces or eliminates the allergans being released beyond the confines of the carrier under the seat or perhaps it is because those with allergies to pet dander are immediately re-seated if they end up sitting in close proximity to a pet. I would not mind being seated in a different section when traveling with my dog in consideration of a person with allergies, but I think people should know that other airlines have not had significant problems with pets in the cabin in past years. Also, I think it might be good to inform people ahead of time that a pet will be on board as many allergic responses can be prevented by taking medication before the flight. After all, people should always be prepared to come into contact with a service animal that is not within a carrier in a public place.
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I can not begin to tell you how happy I am to hear that I c an once again fly onswa. Lately I had to take aa. because it was neccessary to take my dog . I always loved flying your airline and once again my dog and I can fly with swa.Thank youall so very much
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Way to go Southwest. Your $75 fee for allowed carryon pets is was less than most airlines. As far as the allergy sufferers go, what are the odds that their will be an animal on your flight, probably very, very small. I would not worry. And paying just $25 each way to transport a UM? Not a bad price to pay to transport your most precious cargo. If divorced parents would not be so selfish, and possibly move closer to one another to benefit the child, then paying this fee could be avoided. Don't blame Southwest airlines for trying to survive. Blame the selfish parents!
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I understand the allergy issue, but having flown on many airlines with my service dog, I have not run into any issues with people suffering allergies - I always let the people around me know when I sit down, before the place takes off, that I have a service dog (he is only 25 lbs, and is trained to be as unobtrusive as possible in crowded situations, so most times people do not even know he is there), and if they have any issues (fear of dogs, allergies, etc.) to please let the attendant know, and they will assist us in resolving the problem. Actually, there was only one problem, a drama queen that had been on both legs of the flight I was on with no issues, who suddenly developed allergies and demanded to be moved. They moved us to first class once they checked to be sure there were no allergy issues with the passengers there, which is actually what he was trying to get seated- he threw a fit it was us and not him. IF he had not been so obvious about his intentions or obnoxious about the whole situation, they would have moved *him* to first class instead of me, but they explained they did not want to reward him, as that would cause him to try that stunt every time he flew. None of the flights I have ever flown on with airlines that allowed animals have had smelly dog issues, or pets defecating issues, or pets barking and whining issues, and I am sure there were more pets on the flights than I knew about. They are unobtrusive, as they are under the seat and are not allowed out of their carriers. Since passengers cannot control whether or not service animals are allowed on board, it is likely you may have flown with one on a SW airlines flight in the past and not even known it. So, the new rules do not affect me one way or another, but having extensive experience traveling with a dog, I can say my experience has been that most people are not even aware if there are under the seat pets are on board.
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Just wanted to add my support of this new policy! Though I have cats and am thrilled that I can now take them with me on Southwest, I have asthma and allergies to animals, so I understand the challenges. How about designating some planes 'no animals'? Kind of like non-smoking rooms at hotels. That would make it a win-win for all passengers. And/or put HEPA air purifiers on all flights with animals present, that would help too.
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Hi, As someone who has flown on SW at least 10 times in the last 2 years, I just wanted to add my voice to those above with severe cat and dog allergies, in hoping that SW will either end this new pets-in-the-cabin policy or change it - like the ideas of "no animal" planes or HEPA filters that someone mentioned above, or some area in cargo specially-adapted for the comfort of pets, so that they can still travel safely and happily to their destinations with their owners, without endangering human passengers. Whenever I take a plane, I always "pre-medicate" with extra medication on top of what I usually take, in case people around me are carrying dander on their clothing from their pets, and - still - often for a couple of days after the plane trip I have cold-like symptoms and trouble breathing. Having the actual animal in the cabin - even under the seat - will cause a severer reaction (whose symptoms can last for days) and/or asthma attack for me, and there are many people whose reactions are much worse than mine, and may require hospitalization. Not sitting close to the pet may help somewhat, but - since the air in an airplane is always recirculating - there's no real "safe" spot. (This is one of the reasons smoking is no longer allowed on board; no matter where you sit on the plane, we're all sharing the air, and the health and comfort of passengers is - and should be - a priority.) (I understand that there'd be service animals in the cabin anyway, but these are a lot rarer and are more-often dogs, which tend to be somewhat-less-allergenic/allergy-causing than cats to many people (since cats clean more, their dander/skin cells tend to be shed a lot more often, and the dander is what causes the allergic reaction.)) Please reconsider/adapt your decision, because I love flying with your airline - and was looking forward to booking a flight with you for this summer - but I won't jeopardize my health and spend half my trip sick to do so. Thanks for your time and consideration.
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Im still trying to find out if Emotional Support Animals have to pay the PAWS fee of $75 each way! does anyone know?
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I am delighted that SWA is now accepting small animals! I have had a dog for almost 4 years now & I had to fly USA3000 when I traveled with my pup. They discontinued flights last summer & I was bummed. This summer I had a Southwest credit from a previous trip out west that I used toward a flight up north. I made arrangements for someone to care for my dog, but those fell through a week before I was to leave. Anyone that has a pet knows that boarding an animal at a kennel can get expensive, especially since I would be away for 3 weeks to visit family. Also, I did not want to be away from my pup for that long. A few coworkers had mentioned that Southwest accepts pets, so I went online to find out for sure. This couldn't have happened at a better time since my flight is on 6/23! He has a reservation & is ready to go. The low pet fee compared to other airlines is definitely a plus!! As for people against the animals on board... I'm sorry that you all have allergies & some more severe than others. My experience with flying with my 4 legged friend has been nothing but pleasant. People don't even know he's there. One time a lady at the luggage carousel saw him then commented on how she didn't even know there was a dog on the plane & what a great passenger he was. I let people know seated around me that I do have a dog & most people don't mind. I have NEVER had bathroom issues with my dog, nor experienced it with other animals aboard a flight. My dog travels better than most children. Kudos again Southwest keep up the great job. Now offer frequent flier miles for pets & we'll be all set! 🙂
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Southwest, you just got my business back!! I have always loved everything Southwest except the no animals policy. To all the complainers, EVERY other airline allows pets and there have been no reports of emergency landings, etc. Some people smell bad, but they are allowed on planes. Some people have screaming babies (who, most times CANNOT be cajoled). Some people eat gross smelling fast food. We all have to put up with things that we do not like when flying commercial. I cannot wait to plan my holiday travels, WITH SOUTHWEST!!!
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The response above from Mascal is lacking knowledge of our disease -- this issue isn't about 'putting up with things we don't like', it is an acute health issue which can lead to emergency situations that must be addressed. I suspect many don't understand the issue at hand. Case in point: I flew from Norfolk, VA through Chicago-Midway to LAX yesterday. For each flight I asked the gate agents if there were any pets on the flight. Their immediate response was "Not that I know of," to which I replied "Well you would know because they have to pay, right?" The agent for ORF-MDW said "What is this about?" I said, "I have asthma and need to know if there is a situation I need to worry about/manage." She then seemed to look at her computer and said "There are no pets on this flight." A similar story happened on the 2nd leg. On the first flight I started having allergic reactions during the long flight (flight # 541 ORF-MDW on 7/15/09) and guess what I discovered once we landed and were getting off of the plane -- there was a cat in the row in front of me! This is the worst possible scenario on the plane for me. I left the plane wheezing and sniffling. The symptoms from this exposure developed into a full-on asthma attack within the hour w/ great difficulty in breathing and violent sneezing during the 2nd leg of my flight home (a 4.5 hr flight). This was a dangerous situation. Today I am at home miserably sick with asthma and allergy symptoms. It is hard to breathe, my chest and back are exhausted from having to try so hard to breathe, I'm sneezing my head off, sniffly, headachy, and with a red nose from so many tissues. Exposure to allergens can affect those susceptible long after the offending pet/allergen is removed from the scene. Note that my asthma is clinically well managed, I had had all the preventative medicine prior to the flight, and took emergency asthma medication during the flight. I have to avoid pets to avoid such a response and to be placed in this dangerous situation was both unnecessary and worsened by the agent's lack of care or knowledge about how to assess the situation prior to me boarding the plane. Southwest, I am one of thousands with allergies and asthma who will encounter similar situations if this the new pet policy isn't modified. Please look into this. We had turned to you in the past as our only safe haven, and for the time being that safety is gone. -- From a 100+ flights/year Southwest flyer.
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TO suggest that individuals with pet allergies take expensive medications (usually steroids) to endure a flight with someone who is taking a pet for pleasure is as ridiculous as suggesting that I step outside so a co-worker can smoke at his desk. In the past - I chose SW over other airlines for its no pets policy. This week I flew from Ft. Myers to Orlando with 4 pets around me. A very short flight. I was puffing my inhaler and by the time I got off was so sick that I nearly blew a big case. The return flight the following day was as bad. I counted 3 pets. I had to take 2 days off work as a result. I understand the need for service animals. They are as important as my need to stay away from pet dander. Service animals are a rare occurrence. Traveling with pets for pleasure is another issue altogether. From the looks of this blog, there are very strong feelings that support the position that SW is endangering the lives and lively hood of passengers in return for an extra $75 per pet.
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to all of these people complaining of YOUR pet allergies (ie: YOUR personal problems): those are YOUR personal issues, and it is up to you to figure out how to live your day to day life with your health issues. there are many places you are going to be where cats and dogs have also been - not just on airplanes. what do you normally do? keel over and die every time you find yourself in a place where an animal has been? also, you may be allergic to animal dander....but there are also several people who may be allergic to your god-awful perfume or after shave.....or allergic to your stink in general, and we have to sit next to you on the plane anyway and deal with it.
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The current policy seems to allow cats and dogs provided they stay confined in their containers. I applaude Southwest for accommodating such travelers. Is there something special about cats and dogs that makes them more acceptable than other critters? No, I am not thinking of the movie "Snakes on a Plane"! I am just curious whether another confined pet, say a guinea pig, might not be even less offensive than a cat to the allergic crowd and quieter too. What is the rationale for the rule? Thanks for the improved policy. Not trying to be greedy. Just seeking to understand. HoustonianWithPets
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While I was flying to Seattle, I read with trepidation in Spirit Magazine that pets would be allowed to fly in the cabins. I love cats and dogs but I am an allergy sufferer who has to avoid contact with my furry friends.. On my return trip from Seattle to Chicago I suddenly had a horendous headache and I was unable to breathe out of my nose. I had no idea what was wrong with me until I looked behind me and saw a little dog sitting on a fellow passenger's lap. The stewardess came running up and grabbed the dog and proceeded to fluff up the dog and pet it inches from where I sat. The passenger told the stewardess that the little dog was "hypoallergenic". Any Allergist will tell you there is NO SUCH THING. The woman next to me was also upset as her Granddaughter has asthma. Obviously this is a way to make money but I think it will lose customers in the long run. I felt it was inappropriate for the stewardess to interact with the dog not once but several times during our flight. Her time would have been better spent serving the people's needs and making sure that pets stay in their travel containers.
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i think it's insane and inconsiderate with people who are allergic. i have had to be rushed to the emergency room several times for my cat allergies. to allow them IN the cabin is awful. i will never again fly southwest airlines for fear i will have an asthma attack on the plane. and for the person who made that stupid comment above - if you don't mind being on a plane that has to make an emergency landing to get me to a hospital, than we'll take your comment into consideration. but i'm sure that would piss you off too. why don't you get some compassion for people who DO have severe allergies. guess it's time for me to find a pet-free airline once again. so long southwest...
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What about the right to public transportation for HUMANS who have LIFE THREATENING allergies to the dogs/cats you intend to allow in such a confined space, and I'm not just talking about a runny sniffly nose-type allergy to these animals, I'm talking LIFE THREATENING. Not to mention the passengers who may not have allergies, but just don't want an animal next to them. And because we all know planes are certainly less than clean - and that goes across the board for all airline carriers - once those animal scents/hairs/dander are in that cabin, it remains there, just like peanut shells, human dandruff and body odor, and those crummy upholstered seat cushions after how many previous (maybe, hundreds) people have sat in them. And now we're adding animals to the quality of the enclosed cabin environment, and recirculating it. Attendants have enough problems in those cabins without now monitoring passengers' pets too! And, God forbid, should there be the need for an emergency evacuation, I don't want that person stopped in the aisle in front of me getting their animal cage out from under that seat! So, Southwest management, how do you reasonably address my ADA rights to not have to endure pet allergens in the cabin. Hey, why not allow passengers to bring animals other than dogs/cats, as long as the animal cage fits under the seat .... let me see, what about a passenger's right to bring miniature pigs, chickens, parrots, pet rats, etc., etc., etc.
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Hi Judy, We hope it brings some relief for you to know that all cabin air on our planes is filtered through high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters two to three times per minute once the aircraft doors are closed and the system is activated. The likelihood of bacteria, dust, skin, and other fibers circulating throughout the aircraft is quite small as this system is designed to catch 99.97 percent of the particles and live agents. However, we understand that some Customers require certain accommodations, which is why we have always had procedures in place to accommodate our Customers when situations arise. Additionally, our Employees are trained to handle all circumstances with the Safety and comfort of our Customers in mind. If you have upcoming travel with us and require certain accommodations, please give Customer Support a call at 1-800-IFLYSWA for assistance. Thanks for sharing your perspective, and hope this info helps!
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So what? You're basically going to give allergic customers oxygen masks during the flight? Laughable. The reason smoking was banned on flights is the same reason animals should be banned on flights: it's a health hazard to other customers. Service Animal=necessary for a person to travel with. Not only that service animals are well behaved and trained to be in public. Yippie yorkie=luxury because you don't want to pay to put him in a kennel and want to burden everyone around you with your "baby". And if they're out in the cabin during the flight (you know that "pet carrier" policy that you "strictly enforce") that's a federal crime. It is interference with a flight crew. What exactly is your enforcement? Put your animals in a kennel if you're alone or have family take care of them like a human being. Dogs are not luggage they don't go under a seat or in the cargo area! And...they don't travel well in cars so why would you assume they'd do well in a jetliner?
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Help?! I am recovering from a flight on another airline. I have a severe allergy to cats. Got sick during flight. Found out then that there was a cat under our seat. By then the damage was done and there was no place for me to go anyway. Since they do not warn passengers how are we to protect ourselves or can we? I am desperate because we are flying SW on a cross country trip in just a few days. Can someone help me?! Any suggestions? Thanks! To those of you who do not suffer with allergies don't be too judgmental. Mine have developed as I've matured so you may not be immune either and might need the consideration one day that many of us need now. Trust me! You would be as desperate as we are!
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Help?! I am recovering from a flight on another airline. I have a severe allergy to cats. Got sick during flight. Found out then that there was a cat under our seat. By then the damage was done and there was no place for me to go anyway. Since they do not warn passengers how are we to protect ourselves or can we? I am desperate because we are flying SW on a cross country trip in just a few days. Can someone help me?! Any suggestions? Thanks! To those of you who do not suffer with allergies don't be too judgmental. Mine have developed as I've matured so you may not be immune either and might need the consideration one day that many of us need now. Trust me! You would be as desperate as we are!
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This is asinine, do you people not understand that some poeple have such violent reaction to pet dander/hair that they can die from the reaction, it is not just a little inconvenience from a stuffy nose. Having the pets in the cargo compartment should be the best people could expect. Why people are traveling with their pets in the first place is another question, would anyone mind me bringin my goat on-board a plane? It is housetrained, sits still and is actually hypoallergenic. Sure it has a little odor, but not any worse than your fido or fluffy. No? Why not? You bring a completely useless animal with you, that could perfectly well have been left at home or with a friend. You're moving you say, really, unless you're moving overseas 95% of people move in their cars driving to their new location. People in this country treat their pets like family-members, well I got news for you, they are NOT! I know a lot of people miss their kids so they get a pet as replacement, or they decided not to have kids, and then they feel lonely as they age, well such is life. The whole attitude towards pets is sick, we have no problem seeing starving people arround the word and we do nothing about it, but we turn arround and spend tons of monney feeding a useless pet. Unless you plan on eating you pet down the road, what measurable purpose did it serve? These days the raw-materials going into pet food is of high enough quality that it is fit for human consumption, yet there are starving kids in our midst. If you're consirned with your carbon-footprint, having a pet is the largest hypocrisy out there, get a pet goat or pig, atleast you can eat it when it gets ready for the slaughter. Petowners are about as considderate as smokers used to be in the 50'ties smoking next to children and sick people. Oh you're choughing your lung out, not my problem, right?
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Regarding air filtration. Following your logic, no-one ever got an illness from a plane, because the air got filtered, right?
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To everyone with allergies to pets- I am truly sorry that you suffer with these ailments. However, I am a college student attending one of the top veterinary schools in the county, and I travel with my pet 7+ times per year. Having dealt with several different family members and friends whom have allergies to pets, I know from experience that with proper bathing and grooming prior to contact, even a person with the most severe allergies will experience dramatically subdued reactions. I understand that it is not ideal to be traveling in a closed cabin with something that you feel is life- threatening. I also understand that if the owner takes proper care of their animal, it is likely that you will experience little to no reaction in-flight. Frequent flyers such as myself, take particular offense to those who suggest all animals are a health hazard. Rather than ranting obnoxiously about "poor you", perhaps you should take the proper measures prior to a flight to be sure you do not have to encounter a pet on board. All flights have a maximum number of pets allowed in the cabin at one time- this is for the reason you are all complaining about- PEOPLES' ALLERGIES. IF you do not wish to fly aboard a flight on which a pet is present, call the airline the day before your departure and ask if there are pets onboard. IF YOUR LIFE IS AT RISK, as so many of you suggest, then reschedule your flight. Pay the fees necessary to SAVE YOUR LIFE. You are all so overly dramatic about your sensitivity to pets, and yet you put your own life at risk by not taking precautionary measures. Regardless of the airline's decision, you are making the decision to fly, knowing of your own allergies and knowing of the risk. It's equivalent to someone going to the tanning bed who has a history of skin cancer and knows the statistical increase of threat once exposing yourself to ultraviolet light. In regards to the person who responded with the remark about oxygen masks being laughable, obviously you find your life laughable- because those are the options you have. If you want to laugh at it, then you clearly care more about complaining than you do about your actual health. To the person who said SW's decision to implement pet travel was "asinine", then I suggest you look up the definition to this word, because according to statistics, their purchase traffic percentage has increased by 11.3% since this change. In their eyes- the only thing stupid about the change is that it didn't happen sooner. So to those of you complaining- your complaints are selfish and satiable- simply take the measures necessary prior to flight to prevent any adverse reactions. A lack of assertion on your part is the only blame that can be placed if allergies do arise. Thank you and goodnight.