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Flying with Felines

Southwest welcomes small, vaccinated cats to travel in-cabin under the seat in front of you for domestic flights in the U.S. Below we share frequently asked questions, tips from a frequent feline flyer, and cat-related discussions from the Community forum.


Kerry is a Rapid Rewards Member who frequently uses her Points to travel to cat shows. For her insider's scoop on traveling with cats, check out her story here.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for flying with my cat on Southwest?

Cats traveling are subject to a $125 Pet Fare each way per pet carrier.


Can I travel with more than one cat?

While Southwest Airlines allows only one cat carrier per ticketed Passenger, the carrier may contain two cats.


Is there anything I need to do ahead of time?

Since there will be no more than six scheduled pet carriers per scheduled flight, reservations must be made in advance by calling 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792). On the day of travel, Customers must bring the cat(s) to the airport in an approved pet carrier. Proceed to the airport ticket counter to check the cat(s) in and pay the Pet Fare before going to the departure gate.


Do I need a cat carrier?

Yes. All cats must be inside a leak-proof and well ventilated carrier. The maximum dimensions we will accept is 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide. Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers specifically designed as pet carriers are acceptable. Your cat must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease. While not required for travel on Southwest, Southwest does offer a branded pet carrier for Southwest enthusiasts online here. 


What's the process for getting my cat through TSA?

When passing through security, Customers will be asked to hold their cats and walk through the screening device while the carrier is x-rayed.


Is there any reason my cat wouldn't be permitted onboard?

As long as your cats are harmless, not disruptive, odorless, accompanied by their owner, and require no attention during flight, they will be permitted onboard.


Can I travel internationally with my pet?

Pets are not allowed to travel in-cabin on international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight. However, there are plenty of fun domestic locations to choose from.


What other advice do you have for cat flyers?

Hear from other Customers in cat-related discussion threads below:

Need Advice For Cat Travel

Southwest Pet carrier/traveling with two cats


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