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Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

New Arrival

Wife and I relocating from Idaho to Florida. with our three cats. We might fit two cats in one carrier and the third in one by himself. Short flight to Denver than 4 hours to Orlando. Anyone have any suggestions to make this trip without incidents? Probably flyig about Dec 10th or thereabouts, so middle seats won't be blocked. Wonder if we could buy one to give us  more space? Man, really appreciate any guidance. 

 

Thanks much,

Howard

11 REPLIES 11

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

Rising Star
Solution

In theory this is possible, but there are two things to note.

 

SW has a limit of six pets per flight and a limit of one pet carrier per paying passenger. They also reserve the right to adjust that per flight.

 

So you should be good if you get two cats in one carrier.

 

Here are all the details from SW’s site.

 

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

Top Contributor

Minor correction, the limit is 6 carriers per flight, not pets.

 

  • There will be no more than six (6) scheduled pet carriers per scheduled flight. However, from time to time, circumstances may allow for more (or fewer) than six (6) pet carriers per scheduled flight.

Good luck with the move!

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

Employee
Employee

@Humeston - there is a wonderful blog post from @TheWingedCat about this topic: Flying with Felines—Southwest Airlines Celebrates National Cat Day 

 

This YouTube video is also in that blog post and is a fun watch:

 

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

New Arrival

Thanks! 

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

New Arrival

Thanks for the reply. We may need three carriers, and I know that means a third person. It also means with the 6 maximum carriers per flight, one of us may have to stay behind and catch the next flight. Is that how it would work?

 

Obviously, three cats is problematic, but we are not young kids anymore, so driving a week 2,700 miles in winter is challenging too.

 

Thanks again.

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

Active Member

Actually, the policy is that you can put two cats or two dogs in one carrier. You just cannot have a cat and a dog in the same carrier. I have flown many times , in fact most times, with two cats and a single carrier. 

  • The carrier may contain two (2) cats or dogs and must be of the same species per carrier.
  • The cat or dog must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease.”

Here is the full policy:

 

https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/traveling-with-animals/pets/index-pol.html

 

Unless you have particularly large cats, you should be able to put two in one carrier. SWA sells a well-constructed carrier. There is also a brand by a company that caters to those of us who travel the cat shows that has a divider in the middle so it is designed for two cats.  Since my cats are quite fond of each other are usually don’t use the divider snyway. 

It’s been my experience flying with cats since 1991 that Southwest Airlines makes it very easy to bring your furry family members. 

Just don’t forget to make a reservation for them when you make it your reservation, or you could call back anytime at 1-800 -IFLYSWA and add the pet carrier to the reservation. . Remember, the reservations are for per CARRIER. 

Enjoy your future trips with your cats!

 

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

New Arrival

Thanks for your reply and the information. One of our cats is 18 pounds. His twin brother is only about 10 but they won't fit in one Southwest carrier. The third cat is less than that but doesn't get along well with the others. Plus, the first flight from Boise to Denver is about 90 minutes, then the next flight to Orlando is about four hours. Not sure how the cats will deal with that unless they have the room.

 

We are looking into hiring a Pet Flight Nanny from one of the many companies that provide that service. This would be a person who will travel with the third cat. Expensive since we have to pay their round trip airfare plus a fee of about $600, but worth it for a one time trip.

 

Thank you for your encouraging words, they have helped.

Hope you have happy and safe holidays.

Howard

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

New Arrival

As far as keeping them comfortable, try to leave their carriers out for them to crawl into (I’d start now if you haven’t already since you’re flying soon). Add a favorite blanket if it’s small enough. You’ll want one that smells like them. Feliway wipes and/or travel spray work really well for some cats. They contain a pheromone that helps to comfort the cats. If you can, get an Rx for liquid Gabapentin from your vet for anxiety. If you know any of them get motion sickness, I’d speak to your veterinarian about it to see if they can get prescribed something like Cerenia. 

I’d probably add a small cleanup kit to your carry on items. Things like gloves, a couple of pee pads, baby wipes, and a plastic bag to dispose of any accidents - just in case. 

Best of luck on the travel and the move!

Re: Flying with 3 cats in December 2020

New Arrival

Thank you for your wonderful reply. I appreciate it very much!