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Service dog in training

New Arrival

My son with Down Syndrome and Autism has a service dog who is trained to track him and distract/calm him. It is a toy breed, so small. My question is about training a new dog(also toy breed)his current dog is approaching retirement. If we travel with the new dog in addition to the trained service animal I plan to pay the pet fee for the dog in training. But my question is will that dog in training have to remain in the carrier the whole flight? Or can she “work” with my son during the flight?


Re: Service dog in training

Active Member

My best guess is that she'll be able to work with your son rather than remain in the carrier. However, I recommend contacting Southwest directly to confirm. It may take something as simple as a notation on your passenger record for the pup to work during the flight.

Here's a link to Southwest contact information. I've read that contacting them on Twitter is particulary effective.

Re: Service dog in training

Top Contributor

If you pay the pet fee and the animal travels as a pet, unfortunately they must stay in the carrier. And Southwest doesn't accept service animals in training (to travel as service animals). That said, since you'll also have a fully-trained service animal with you, I suspect the flight crew, if you explain the situation, will be sympathetic and allow you to have the "pet" out of their carrier.


Something to keep in mind is that passengers with pets can't sit in the front (bulkhead) row, or the exit row.


Good luck, and please come back and let us know how it all works out for you!


  • Cats and dogs must remain in the carrier (including head and tail) and the carrier must be stowed under the seat in front of the Customer (owner) for the entire duration of the flight.