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Large ESA Dog

Explorer C

My ESA companion is a 90lb Rottweiler. I am concerned about him fitting within my footroom... Does anyone know for sure if he will fit? Do I need to contact Southwest directly? Any input would be greatly appreciated, especially from those who also travel with large ESA animals.




Re: Large ESA Dog

Aviator A

Here are a few notes about animal size from Southwest's ESA web page


  • A leashed animal can be placed on the aircraft floor or on the Customer’s lap (provided the animal is no larger than a child under the age of two). 

Animals must not:

  • Extend into the aircraft aisle
  • Occupy an aircraft seat
  • Occupy a tray table
  • Extend beyond the footprint of the Customer’s seat

The last bullet point regarding the footprint of the seat is probably the most applicable rule. If you would like further clarification you'll want to contact Southwest.



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Re: Large ESA Dog

Explorer C

Hi jourdan_5, I was wondering if you ever got clarity on this issue. I have read every article and called Southwest support and I am still not clear. Some places say as long as they are leashed it's okay, some say they must be able to fit into a carrier, some places say they will make room in the bulkhead or you can purchase another seat.


I'm not clear but need my ESA, who is a larger dog, to travel with me.

Re: Large ESA Dog

Aviator A

Large animals typically get put in bulkhead rows. The airline is not letting people sit in bulkhead seats today - due to the virus, I suspect that you can make a case for a bulkhead seat given your situation. Your pup and your should have enough room. Also, since middle seats are not being used, you could take a window seat and your pup could ooze into center seat space on the floor. You could not do that from an aisle seat.