I've travelled several times with Southwest with my small dog, paying the $95 pet fee (each way) and forgoing my additional bag so as to accommodate his carrier. I grin and bear it, but I can't help but wonder who exactly is benefitting from the additional fee.
While on hold today waiting to add him to my reservation, there was a short hold "ad" about Southwest fee transparency, and it made me wonder about the pet fee. Yes, it's on par with industry standards, but what exactly is my $190 going toward? It's not for a seat, since his fee is often more expensive than my entire RT flight. It's not for additional bag space, since he takes up one of my bags. I doubt it's to clean after him. Since there appears to be no additional work on the side of Southwest for him, is this money going towards...better salaries for flight attendants? A better flying experience for everyone? Or just, and I feel rather old and bitter saying, another easy way for SW to make money?
This is likely a rhetorical question, but I thought I could manage to fork out the money for him a little easier if there was an actual point. But I fear it's just an easy money grab, and possibly a deterrent to bringing animals - though, I've yet to see evidence of that working.
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