Southwest To Allow Small Pets In The Cabin For $75

Southwest previously did not allow animals in the cabin unless they were there for medical reasons — but times are tough, so the airline that doesn’t charge for bags is looking for ways to add revenue without “angering customers.”

Starting June 17, you’ll be able to bring Fluffy and Killer for a mere $75 a piece, which is cheaper than the industry standard. Southwest says that they’ll be a maximum of 5 pets per plane, and that they plan on outfitting their terminals with places where animals can “relieve themselves.”

From Newsday:

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told investors last week that Southwest was looking at new ways to generate generate income without angering customers. In addition to the new pet service, Southwest said it starts to charge a $25, each way, service charge for children aged five through 11 who aren’t traveling with an adult.

Southwest to let small pets fly in cabin for $75 [LA Times]
(Photo:LouManPhoto)

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  1. Cat_In_A_Hat says:

    I don’t think I really want any animal named “Killer” sitting next to me on a plane.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      @Cat_In_A_Hat: Dogs don;t know what the heck their name means. Personally I don’t want to sit next to the moron who names their dog Killer, know what I mean.

      • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

        @speedwell, avatar of snark: Understood. Animal names tend to reflect the personality of the owner, although I have known a few Fluffy’s and Foofoo’s who have been known to be complete terrors. “Hi meet my dog Fifi. She’s really friendly and won’t bite” *

        *some terms and conditions do apply

        • bluewyvern says:

          @Cat_In_A_Hat: Aren’t most Fluffys and Foofoos complete terrors? Of the undisciplined, attention-seeking, insanely yapping variety, at least? I think I’d prefer a Killer to a Fluffy most days. Killer is probably trained.

    • babyruthless says:

      @Cat_In_A_Hat: Aww, c’mon, what if Killer is an ironically named Yorkie?

    • subtlefrog says:

      @Cat_In_A_Hat:
      I really don’t want any children aged 5-11 sitting next to me, regardless of their names. Call me cranky…

  2. vgeroh says:

    does this mean cat boxes and little patches of grass in terminals?

    • Mikael Vejdemo Johansson says:

      @vgeroh: EXACTLY what I started worrying about. As in “Oh, THAT’s why I haven’t been able to breathe since take off”…

  3. Gaambit says:

    I see no way how this can end well. By not angering the customers who WANT to take their stupid toy yapper-type dogs on board, you’re just plain going to piss off all the other customers who have to listen to the yapper-type dog for the whole flight. At least you can placate and bribe a child…what are you gong to do with the dog?

    • mergatroy6 says:

      @Gaambit: forget the annoying noise, what about allergies. Pet dander and recycled air. I can feel my nose running and my eyes itching just thinking about it.

      Believe it or not, your pet is an inconvenience to many of us.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @mergatroy6: I’m deathly allergic to dogs, and I have no problem with dogs in the cabin unless it is literally right under my seat. Filtration FTW!

        @korybing: My vet recommended against it.

        @HurtsSoGood: Cats can also be trained to travel. One of mine adores the car so much that all we have to do is set the carrier out and he will dash into it. (He will only yowl if he thinks we’re taking too long to put him in the car.) He flew on an airplane with zero problems at all, except that by the end of the experience (cab to airport, waiting in terminal, flight, waiting for baggage, ride to parents’ house) he was a little tired of being cooped up in his carrier. (Also, security was not his favorite thing.) He made exactly one tiny meow when I put him under the seat, I said, “Oh, you’re fine.” And then he was quiet the whole flight, except that I think he thought the engines were purring at him because he purred heavily the entire flight.

        • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Cats purr to comfort themselves, too. It’s sort of like nervous humming.

        • korybing says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Really? I’ll have to look more into pet sedatives then. My fiance worked in a vet clinic for four years and said that pet sedatives are perfectly fine and work very well for traveling animals, especially cats. I’ll have to look into that in more depth when we get close to hauling our cat halfway cross the country.

          • pop top says:

            @korybing: Work on getting your cat used to it’s carrier by giving it treats before putting it in and right after the door is closed. Get it used to being in there for long periods of time, and make sure to constantly reward it. Then try short drives around the block/neighborhood, while rewarding with treats. Eventually the cat will learn to love rides because rides = treats.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @korybing: When we moved halfway across the country, my vet basically said the crying wouldn’t hurt the cat (drove ME half-mad), but his (low) weight and age made him difficult to safely dose with a sedative. My other cat, who doesn’t mind the car, was younger, bigger, and in robust good health, so he could have had a sedative much more safely. But didn’t need one because he likes car travel.

            Anyway, decision to be made with one’s vet based on one’s animal’s specific needs. (I would never have flown with that cat, though, because he would have keeled over dead from the stress.)

          • sybann says:

            @korybing: Melatonin – 3mg. Works a charm for both us and them.

        • madfrog says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!):

          Not to burst you bubble, but cats that are stressed/scared will purr as well when they are happy.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @madfrog: Animals make noises that can be indicative of many things. The key is to look for other signs. Cats who are stressed may be purring, but are probably not in a relaxed position. From my experience with rabbits, when they are extremely calm and happy, they’ll make clicky/grunty noises. This may seem alarming to some people unused to them, but it doesn’t mean they’re stressed.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @madfrog: Happy purr combined with Relaxashun Kitteh pose. :)

      • tgpt drives a Korean taxicab says:

        @mergatroy6: to be fair, that means your pet allergy is an inconvenience to us too.

    • korybing says:

      @Gaambit: Sedate them. I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t give their pet some sort of pet sedative when going on a trip. It’s less stressful for all parties. In most cases the animal just sleeps the whole trip.

    • redskull says:

      @Gaambit: If there’s a noisy chicken on your flight you can always suffocate it… but… i-it wasn’t a chicken… IT WAS A BABY!!!!

      • azsumrg1rl says:

        @redskull: As korybing said, most animals will sleep during the flight, especially if dosed with Benadryl. When we flew my Chihuahua from Phoenix to San Diego to compete for the national title in Petco’s Chihuahua race, she never made a peep–and that’s without the drugs. In fact, none of the passengers sitting near us even realized I had a dog under the seat.

        As for the allergy argument…Sorry, I don’t have much sympathy. Other passengers wear perfume and cologne, which often stinks and can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. I don’t see much of a difference.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @azsumrg1rl: I’m pretty sure it’s not a good idea to give an animal human drugs and any drugs at all when they don’t have any reason to take them.

          • azsumrg1rl says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: Actually, most vets recommend giving Benadryl to dogs with minor allergies and for dogs that have anxiety issues on flights.

            Of course, my dogs are trained and socialized well enough that I’ve never had to worry about the latter. Neither of my Chihuahuas really bark. How’s that for breaking stereotype? ;-)

          • pop top says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: Pets can take some human drugs (aspirin is the most common), but it’s usually best to talk to your vet first. And giving them a sedative is easier on everyone, including the animal, even if it’s not medically necessary. I’d rather travel with a docile animal than one that’s scared out of it’s mind.

            • the lesser of two weevils says:

              @squinko: This is true. We’ve given Benadryl to our Golden Retriever for both car travel and anxiety during thunderstorms. Our vet said it was as effective as a mild sedative.

          • korybing says:

            @pecan 3.14159265: We used to have to crush an aspirin up in my dog’s food every day when she got arthritic, on the vet’s orders. They make sedatives especially for traveling animals, too. I don’t condone over-medicating a pet, but there are lots and lots of medicines specialty-made for pets with allergies, skin conditions, anxiety, etc. :)

        • Sparerib says:

          @azsumrg1rl: You don’t see a difference? That’s just silly. You can’t keep a person from putting on cologne before they come to the airport. But you CAN stow pets in a place other than the passenger cabin of a plane. There is a valid difference there. People have been putting pets through airplane rides without them being around other passengers for years. And unless there has been a cover-up of them dying en masse, there isn’t really a valid excuse for having them board with paying customers. This whole thing reeks of a terrible idea.

          • edwardso says:

            @Sparerib: ok, let’s put the overly scented people in cargo then

          • azsumrg1rl says:

            @Sparerib: I live in Phoenix, land of the 122* summers (and where the average temp regularly hovers around 90* even in other seasons). In areas where the temps reach extreme highs/lows, airlines do not (and perhaps legally cannot) allow animals in the cargo hold.

            Airlines have allowed small dogs/cats in the cabin for years, so Southwest is finally giving this perk to budget fliers.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @Sparerib: They’ve also been carrying them on planes in-cabin for years now and the fact that you never noticed argues that your concerns are unwarranted.

            • Sparerib says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): That’s a fair enough assumption. I don’t really fly but every 2 or 3 years anyways. And no, I have never seen or heard an animal on a plane. Since my concerns are invalidated now anyways: does anyone have any “animals on planes” horror stories?

          • azsumrg1rl says:

            @Sparerib: And no, I don’t see a difference. Allergies are allergies, whether they’re set off by pet dander, perfume, or some other factor. Why should certain people get special treatment when the industry standard is to allow a limited number of pets in the cabin?

            And why can’t airlines can keep a person from putting cologne on before they come to the airport? They keep them from packing certain items and even wearing certain types of clothing. (After 9/11, they deterred women from wearing underwire bras lest they set off the sensors.) All it takes a newly places regulation. Would it be enforced or followed 100%? Probably not. But I’m betting it would make a difference.

            • floraposte says:

              @azsumrg1rl: I think you’re confusing federal and airline rules there. And neither of them currently have the motivation to monitor’s people cologne use.

          • David Small says:

            @Sparerib: Actually there have been “coverups” about them dying. Many animals do die in while in the cargo hold. Of course the airlines and their insurance try to blame the deaths on pre-existing conditions, even if the animals were checked out as healthy by a vet beforehand.

            Riding in the cargo hold can also be very detrimental to the mental health of the animal. After a flight in the cargo hold some animals become frightened very easily, etc.

            Putting your animal in the cargo hold should NEVER be the first thing that comes to your mind, particularly if you only have a cat or a small dog. Understandably, if you have a large dog,, there may be no alternative.

          • italianscallion33 says:

            @Sparerib: @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Just because your cat acts a certain way doesn’t mean everyone’s will. Exception not the rule.

            Anyway, I don’t see this being taken advantage of much. $75 is a lot extra to pay when people have been used to having the animals in cargo. I doubt tons of people will do it.

        • JamieSueAustin says:

          But will they allow snakes?

        • AngryK9 says:

          @azsumrg1rl: Right. Why should certain people get special treatment by being allowed to bring their yappers into the cabin, forcing me to sit for 2 hours listening to the it’s incessant barking?

          Just because your lap-yapper is well behaved doesn’t mean that all of them will be.

          If it’s going to be allowed, then a requirement should be that the animal either be sedated or muzzled prior to bording the flight.

          As for the cologne comment, they can’t tell people not to wear cologne or perfume anymore than they can tell a person to brush their teeth, wash their hair, or wear clean clothes before boarding the flight. Not to mention the fact that some people who wear such heavily scented things very well might smell a hell of a lot worse without it. Trust me. I have seen it happen before.

      • Irish Lion says:

        @redskull:

        Nice MASH reference.

      • TheWillow says:

        @redskull: Myself and my M*A*S*H Box Set salute you, sir.

      • wheresmymind says:

        @redskull: Why did you make me remember that you son of a b**ch? Ahh, the carefree days back in the good old four-oh-seventy-seven

      • skb1976 says:

        @redskull: M*A*S*H ftw!

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      @Gaambit: Dogs can be trained to behave. Cats, on the other hand, hate any kind of mechanized travel, and will howl the whole trip. That’s gotta get on your nerves. It sure does mine when I draw the short straw and have to take one of my cats to the vet.

      • Benny Gesserit says:

        @HurtsSoGood: Some cats, yes. When friends moved from Halifax to Vancouver – one change of planes in Toronto on the way – kitty was so traumatised she cowered at the back of her carrier and didn’t make a peep for the flight.

      • Anonymous says:

        @HurtsSoGood: That’s not true at all! My cat absolutely loves the car, mainly because I don’t use it everytime I take him to the vet. He chills out in the seat and suns himself. Or, he hangs out in the passenger side floorboard and lets the cool air blow on him.

    • dohtem says:

      @Gaambit: Don’t worry, an Air Marshal will be onboard. Pets that get out of line will be tasered. Twice.

      • aedude01 says:

        @mergatroy6: THIS. My boss has a cat, and when I breathe the slightest bit of dander off of his clothes my allergies go crazy. I hope SW doesn’t mind getting sued, because that’s what I’ll do if I end up seated next to the “crazy cat lady”.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @aedude01: doesn’t matter if i fly with my cat or not. between us, my sister [living with her right now] and i have 8 cats. i can take my clothes right out of the dryer and out the front door with them…. and they will already be covered in cat hair, whether they touched my cat or not. no matter how many times a day we vacuum.
          so any time i fly i always hope i am not sitting next to someone with crazy allergies.
          if i am, fortunately for them, i have severe food allergies and always travel with benadryl

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @catastrophegirl – manic first time home buyer: One night I was sitting at my computer, just minding my own business. My rabbit is sitting in the corner, minding his own business. Out of the corner of my eye I see something moving, and my first thought is “BUG! Eeeep!” But I turn to face my moving nemesis and realize that it’s a big, floating ball of bunny fluff. Rabbits are obsessive groomers and mine had sent a big ball of cast-off fur into the air to drift like Wall-E.

        • Wombatish says:

          @aedude01: If you were seated next to the crazy cat lady with dander on her clothes (since that can apparently set you off) you’d have problems regardless of her actually having a cat or not.

          Poor argument.

          And simply request to be on a pet-free flight. They’re clearly managing this very closely (only 5 per flight, etc), I’m sure they could accommodate you.

          Do you want to kick all the guide dogs off the planes too? They have got to already have policies for this.

    • Saboth says:

      @Gaambit:

      Heh I can placate a dog too…actually I can shut a dog up with a muzzle, etc, but I think child services would say something about me doing that to one of these annoying babies that bawl the whole flight.

    • sybann says:

      @Gaambit: throw it in your face?

    • eeeflopc says:

      @Gaambit: UGH I AGREE. I was on a plane to Greece once, flying from Romania, and there was a yappy Yorkie on board. The thing wasn’t even in a cage, he was in a purse! He was roaming around the cabin, barking at every instance.

      I wouldn’t mind sedating my pet and keeping her in the cabin. This way I know she wouldn’t bother anybody and she wouldn’t freak out about air pressure. Poor animal doesn’t know what is going on!

      Also, let’s not forget the BIG dogs that can come on board now. Or Cats! I know there are plenty of crazy cat ladies out there who want to bring their companion fluffy with the to Albuquerque.

      • David Small says:

        @eeeflopc: Maybe it’s different for other countries or airline carriers, but there are specific pet carriers designed for air travel. That Yorkie should have been in one of those. In that case I think I’d blame the airline and person who owned the dog instead of the dog.

  4. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Why only five? I’m just wondering how they reached that number. And presumably there will be a section that will ask you whether you want to add a pet, but if you say you do but five people have already booked their pet ahead of you, you’re out of luck?

    • azsumrg1rl says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Some airlines allow even less pets per flight.

    • nakedscience says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: You’re out of luck on that trip and will probably have to choose another time to fly.

    • Spaceman Bill Leah says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Perhaps it’s the same as traveling with a child in your lap? You book your ticket and then call the airline and tell them you want to bring a pet as well and then do their computery magic and now your boarding pass say Pecan Pie +1.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: I’ve been told it was based on a conservative estimate of the air filtration capacity of the plane to avoid allergy problems. In some carriers, the # varies by size of plane. (I want to say AA allowed 3 on an MD-80 and 5 on a 747, but I might be making that up.)

      Also it was just a random customer service dude who was telling me that when I asked about restrictions while booking my cat so I don’t know how official that was.

  5. stevejust says:

    I don’t know how long this will last. I like cats fine and all, and find icanhazcheeseburger as amusing as the next person, but I would not want to be stuck next to a litter-box smelling cat that peed itself 3 minutes into a 3 hour flight.

    I can haz nose plugs?

    • vjmurphy says:

      @stevejust: I feel the same way about children.

    • pepelicious says:

      @stevejust: Wow, your ignorance is pretty astounding. If you sedate your cat prior to flying, it will prevent it from needing to use the bathroom. I’ve travelled with sedated cats – once on a 12 hr drive – and have never had an issue like that.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @stevejust: it really depends on the cat. my cat was so irked by an 1100 mile drive that she didn’t pee for two days [the drive only took one!] she wasn’t crying or howling, just mad the whole time.
      yet my brother in law’s cat pees on the 2 mile trip to the vet’s office.
      just like adults and children – some can control themselves [not talking specifically bladders here] and some can’t

      • Framling says:

        @catastrophegirl – manic first time home buyer: Sometimes it doesn’t even depend on the cat. When my wife and I moved to Seattle, the cat didn’t go once during the two-day drive. But a few weeks later, when we were moving from the relatives’ house we’d been staying at to our new apartment, the damn kitty went all Play-Do Fun Factory on us halfway through the fifteen-minute car ride.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @stevejust: The most popular carry-on-approved pet carrier (Sherpa) has a thick fleecy pad in the bottom and comes with a spare one. I always carry the spare in a ziploc bag in the side pocket of the carrier just in case.

      Cats dislike defecating in a sleeping or eating place, so I’ve never had one “go” in a carrier except when one of my cats had diabetes and couldn’t control his bladder (to and from the vet). I don’t know about dogs.

      • b.k. says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Dogs generally won’t go in a carrier, either. That’s the entire thrust of crate training. Dogs don’t shit where they sleep or whatever. Personally I hate crate training, but the only time I’ve had a dog pee in one was when she was so excited to be let out she could barely contain herself (and this was when she was very very young.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Actually, I take my cat on the plane regularly and he is much quieter and better behaved than most of the children. While I have been on many flights with screaming, disruptive babies and children, I have not been on a single one with a disruptive pet.

  7. Mr_Human says:

    JetBlue’s been doing this for years. It used to cost $50, but now it’s $100 :(

  8. downwithmonstercable says:

    If I have to sit on a plane while some cat is doing that meow where they sound like they’re dying, I will be totally annoyed. Muuuuuuhhhhhhooooowwllllaaawllllaaaawwwlllllll… ugh.

  9. montusama says:

    The biggest problem especially with cats is that they “howl” or “meow” when they are in a car. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the stress of an airplane. How would they relieve their ears like humans can easily do?

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      @montusama: Cats aren’t retarded. They’ll relieve their inner ear pressure the same way we do.

      • Sparerib says:

        @HurtsSoGood: You mean: cats ARE retarded. And how are they going to stick their fingers in their ears and wiggle them around until the pressure is relieved? Or are they going to make cat chewing gum?

        Actually, I would imagine most cats would react in the same way they act when they get hurt or are hurting and other way. Cuddling themselves up into a scared little ball in the corner and quietly staring daggers of hate into the closest living thing.

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @Sparerib: Your post made me laugh out loud for real.

        • West Coast Secessionist says:

          @Sparerib: Swallowing does the trick for me. Probably works for kitty too. Don’t hate on cats, I hope you are reincarnated as a mouse.

        • Zegridathes says:

          @Sparerib: Simply swallowing seems to equalize the pressure for me. Chewing gum just encourages the production of saliva so you’re forced to swallow more often.

          • Mr_Human says:

            @Zegridathes: I taken my cat for lots of in-cabin flights. He’s never made a sound. The real spectacle is getting through security, where I have to take him out of his carrier and carry him through the metal detector. The people on line love watching that.

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              @Mr_Human: If I were behind you while you took your cat through the metal detector, I think any resentment I had for being so far behind the line would be melted away. I love cats, can’t help it.

          • Sparerib says:

            @Zegridathes: I just took my 10 month old from home in Philadelphia (8 meters above sea level) to central West Virginia (256 meters), and I can’t really describe in words the pain in his crying. I took to rubbing gently on his ears and jaw occasionally when I would feel my ears starting to “pop.” I can’t even imagine what it would be like for him in a plane.

            • b.k. says:

              @Sparerib: Can cats have peanut butter? I’ve learned that a trick for getting dogs to pop their ears is to give them peanut butter, which most dogs go apeshit for anyway. So it’s a comfort food and all that happy smacking relieves the pressure in their ears.

            • subtlefrog says:

              @Sparerib:
              I realize you’re not talking about a flight, yourself, but this is a cool story. I’m not a parent, so I’m just passing along something someone else did.

              My friend was on a plane next to a baby recently and she looked down, thinking, you’re so cute,but soon, you’ll be howling. At takeoff, the mother put a bottle in his mouth, and that helped him equalize the pressure. Each time he woke up, same thing. For landing, definitely same thing. Not that I’m for overstuffing your kid, but if you fly infrequently, it may be a useful thing, because no one wants their child to suffer.

        • Copper says:
    • nakedscience says:

      @montusama: You can sedate cats.

    • nakedscience says:

      @montusama: since this isn’t the first time cats have been allowed on planes, I’m thinking this isn’t an issue except for the people here commenting that seem to not realize that SOUTHWEST IS NOT THE FIRST AIRLINE ALLOWING PETS ON PLANES.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @montusama: I get maybe that the howling bothers you…but cats meowing bothers you? I’ve never heard a cat excessively or loudly meow, so unless you’ve got an aversion to dainty, adorable sounds…maybe you need earplugs too.

  10. redskull says:

    So as if air travel hasn’t become unpleasant enough, we’ve now got to add livestock to the equation.

    I’m assuming these small pets will still have to stay in a carrier? If so, where will that go? In the seat next to the owner?

    • nakedscience says:

      @redskull: Pets aren’t livestock. You can sedate cats and dogs.

    • Spaceman Bill Leah says:

      @redskull: Under the seat like a normal carry-on.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @redskull: In approved carriers under the seat as your carryon. Pet size is restricted. Most airlines have been allowing it for quite some years and you haven’t noticed until now, so it’s obviously not that big an issue.

    • Wombatish says:

      @redskull: I’ve flown on flights with iguanas, cats, dogs (both in carriers and not ((service dogs obviously aren’t in carriers))), illicit hamsters and even seen one plane being loaded up with a horse (not a commercial carrier) all of the animals were well behaved and/or responsibly sedated. The horse pawed at the edge of his carrier once, and one of the dogs did a little dog yawn type thing.

      That was about it.

      Honestly, the news here isn’t that pets can be on planes now. It’s that Southwest is allowing the practice, and at a reasonable rate. Sheesh.

  11. lalaland13 says:

    Well I don’t know how pleasant this would be for the animal, but it’s got to be a heck of a lot better than being in the cargo hold-just thinking about putting my cats there makes my skin crawl. At least this way they know their person is nearby.

  12. dreamsneverend says:

    I love animals but the cabin of an airplane is not somewhere I want them to be on a flight.

    • pepelicious says:

      @dreamsneverend: Would you rather them be in the luggage hold where there is no temperature control or noise insulation? You really do must “love” animals…

    • nakedscience says:

      @dreamsneverend: You’ve probably already BEEN On a flight with pets since Southwest is not the first airline to allow them.

    • Anonymous says:

      @dreamsneverend: Really… I bet you have already flown with pets and never known it. I fly regularly with my small dog and people never know. Even the ones sitting right next to me!

      Well trained dogs you will not notice. Mine just sleeps the whole flight. And for that I usually have to pay $100 each way (AA)

      I have never seen anyone on a plane with a barking dog. Dog owner know what dog can fly and which cant. Plus they check your dog well before getting a boarding pass. They wont let nervous or fidgeted and certainly not a barking dog on the plane…

    • CFinWV says:

      @speedwell, avatar of snark: Tell mommy’s little miracle “no.”

  13. shadax says:

    I think this policy will result in more humorous Consumerist posts. I’m waiting for the one where the dog drops a deuce on somebody’s laptop…or eats their lunch? How about sheds all over the place? Bring it. That said, I wouldn’t want to be sitting next to a cat/dog while I am in a suit and on my way to an important meeting. Will SWA provide complimentary lint rollers/febreeze? :)

    • pop top says:

      @shadax: It’s not like the animals won’t be required to be under their owner’s control at all times. Like someone is going to let their animal run around the plane and shit on everything. That’d be an automatic tazering when they land.

    • azsumrg1rl says:

      @shadax: Nice try. ;-)

      Animals have to remain in their airline approved carriers and under the seat at all times.

      • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

        @azsumrg1rl: I know this, and you know this, but does the sweet, compassionate little eight-year-old who thinks her Fuzzy would like to see out the window know this?

        • West Coast Secessionist says:

          @speedwell, avatar of snark: My god, are we talking about the same animals here? We’re talking pets, not 100-pound attack dogs, sheep, and horses.

          I assume that if what you say happened, and nobody noticed before the kid finished getting the animal out, that the stewardess would spot it and help them put the animal back if necessary, along with the PARENTS, and since it is probably sedated it would be no challenge. But also, keep in mind that little dogs and cats aren’t lethal weapons, they’re small mammals which are easy to control.

          The same little kid could go nuts and pee/puke on everyone but we don’t ban kids from planes. ESPECIALLY sedated, a cat or small dog is ten times more pleasant to have on a plane with you.

          • subtlefrog says:

            @West Coast Secessionist: However, a child-free section wouldn’t be a terrible thing…

            I’d much rather have a dog barf on me than a kid.

            /no offense intended to those with kids, just phobic of people barf

        • azsumrg1rl says:

          @speedwell, avatar of snark: That’s why said 8-year-old has parents.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @shadax: Many animals are very quiet and well behaved. For instance: [www.guzer.com]

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @shadax: i’m looking forward to the story about the bride checking her wedding dress in with the flight attendant, it gets stuck in the closet and gets shed on by a disability assistance dog who was also stuck in the closet by a flight attendant who is afraid of dogs!

    • econobiker says:

      @shadax: “I’m waiting for the one where the dog drops a deuce on somebody’s laptop…”

      A dogs got nothing on a 15 month child’s disposable diaper getting changed in the same row…

  14. Scuba Steve says:

    I think this is fine, and I’m sure the animals are kept away from other passengers.

    If not, then obviously there will be problems.

  15. Snakeophelia says:

    A friend of mine from Arizona posted this with glee to her FB page a couple of days ago. I love her little chihuahua, but I don’t know what it would be like to be stuck next to her on a plane…

    I had another friend move to CA a couple years back and she and her husband had to be on different planes – only one cat on each. She said the worst part was going through security because they make you take the cats out of the carrier and walk through the metal detector holding them. My friend walked through with the cat whose medical condition precluded him being sedated, and she said trying to get him out of the carrier in the security line was similar to trying to get a person on PCP out of the back seat of a police cruiser.

    After the cat struggled so much he knocked my friend’s glasses off, the TSA staff took pity on her and helped her get the cat back in the carrier quickly.

    • edwardso says:

      @azsumrg1rl: I’m with you on the allergies. I hate sitting next to people wearing several ounces of Jean Nate

    • Clobberella says:

      @Snakeophelia: Yeah, that’s the little detail they don’t bother to tell you when you’re making arrangements for the pets. We moved across the country with two cats a few years ago and had to deal with that as well; in our case, we were able to get them out of their carriers and thankfully, the cats were so freaked out that they just dug into our flesh and clung on for dear life. If it had occurred to me we would have had to do that, I would have put collars on them and brought leashes.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Snakeophelia: The cat reminds me of my rabbit. Whenever I get him ready to go in his carrier, he’ll brace his paws against the top of the carrier so I can’t put him into it. When we reach our destination, he’s gotten so comfortable in the carrier that when I try to take him out of it, he digs his claws into the furry bottom and refuses to come out.

      • edwardso says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: My cat had to go to the vet twice in two days. After being examined he crawled right back in his carrier. The vet was amazed.

        • pop top says:

          @edwardso: Hahaha, my rat did the same thing this week. He hated being in the carrier and kept scratching to get out, but when I let him out onto the examination table, he immediately ran back in because he didn’t like the bright lights and large, open space.

        • HogwartsAlum says:

          @edwardso:

          Oh GOD, I hope that happens Saturday. I have to take the Crazed Kitteh to the vet for her shots. At 8:15 in the morning.

          I’m taking the whole bag of Whisker Lickin’s treats with me.

  16. SkokieGuy says:

    But if your pet chicken can fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment, why is it not part of the carryone / 1-personal item limit?

  17. JeffM says:

    That small pet thing always pisses me off- I understand why it is there, but if you have a large dog that is well behaved you should be able to buy him a ticket and pay the $75 so he can have some dignity too.

    • aedude01 says:

      @JeffM: Not everyone wants to sit next to your @#$@%^$$@#$ dog.

      • edwardso says:

        @aedude01: I would prefer to sit next to a dog than a person

      • JeffM says:

        @aedude01: I’d rather sit next to a friendly dog than a lot of stinky/furry/snoring/fat people I’ve ended up with long airplanes.

        My large dog isn’t well behaved enough to hang on a plane- but the only metric used to allow a small-yippie dogs is being small.

        • floraposte says:

          @JeffM: Right, because they can fit in legal carriers under the seat. It’s about where he fits on the aircraft; it’s not a judgment on his soul.

    • floraposte says:

      @JeffM: How much dignity is a wolfhound going to have being squashed under a seat?

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @floraposte: you ought to see my 70 pound blue heeler squeeze himself under my chair [at home, not on a plane] i never would have thought he’d fit but somehow he gets his whole body under there. that is not to say i would ever try to take him on a plane!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m a little surprised at all the pet hate here. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be next to a caterwauling animal anymore than the rest of you, but I know from the surprised looks on other passengers’ faces when they realize there’s been a cat travelling with them the whole time, that many pets can travel by air silently. (and no, no sedation.)

    • Mikael Vejdemo Johansson says:

      @TessaMacGuyver: My such surprised looks would have come in a context of “Oh, so that’s why it has been so damned hard to breathe this flight!”

      I wonder how Southwest are going to be handling allergics. I can take about 20 minutes in the same room as a cat. 1 hour if I medicate heavily. A 4h flight with pets present may well end up a nightmare.

  19. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Can I bring Oliver, my pygmy pig, on the plane? Or will people fear he is a harbinger of the coming aporkolypse?

  20. azsumrg1rl says:

    What I think is ridiculous is that you have to spend nearly as much (sometimes more) on fees to travel with your pet as your carryon as you did on your own darned ticket. If I’m paying as much for my dog’s ticket as my own, she should have her own seat! (For the record, when we flew with our dog, it was on Petco’s dime. It was this very reason that we left our other dog with family for the weekend.)

  21. Michael Lerch says:

    Note: 25$ each way for unaccompanied minor is one of the lowest prices in the industry. Other airlines charge as much as $100 for that. Of course, Southwest didn’t use to charge *anything*, which was also one of the lowest prices in the industry.

  22. cleek says:

    terrible idea.

    what about people with allergies ?

    • azsumrg1rl says:

      @cleek: As I said earlier, other passengers wear perfume and cologne, which often stinks and can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. I don’t see much of a difference.

      • mocena says:

        @azsumrg1rl: The difference is that someone can smell cologne in advance of getting on a plane with it and the stinky person can wash it off. If I was unknowingly stuck on a Trans-Atlantic with a cat, I could die of an asthma attack mid-air and it isn’t like they can throw the cat out of the window or wash it in the airplane sink. Also, it is MUCH more likely for people to be allergic to cats than perfume.

        • ToddMU03 says:

          @mocena: My cat allergy causes vertigo because of all the congestion. If you want me to vomit all over you and Fluffy by all means bring him along.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @mocena: One of my former teachers was extremely allergic to many, many kinds of perfumes and lotions. I think she had a hard time on flights because even if the person wearing it was far away, scents distribute, just like cat and dog dander.

          More people may be allergic to cats than perfume…but there are more people wearing perfume on flights than there are cats. Ten people wearing perfume can be hell for the people who are allergic.

        • Waiting4Vizzini says:

          @mocena: Yeah, let me know how it works out for you when you ask said “stinky” person to wash off their cologne/perfume.

        • floraposte says:

          @mocena: Kind of a moot point on Southwest, since they don’t fly transatlantic. However, as is noted several times upthread, other airlines have allowed pets for some time; Southwest is just late in the game. So if you have serious health issues flying near something that’s allowed on the plane, you should probably take precautions such as bringing medication and consulting with flight attendants. (Also, air in planes tends to go from front to back, so sitting as far forward as possible will put you closest to the filters in most.)

        • Megan Squier says:

          @mocena: So would my husband because Benadryl doesn’t work that great until you take enough to make yourself completely non-functional.

        • West Coast Secessionist says:

          @mocena: “someone can smell cologne in advance of getting on a plane with it and the stinky person can wash it off”

          Oh my you’d be a joy to have in the gate area: “Excuse me, my disability should dictate the grooming habits of everyone around me. I don’t like the deodorant on this guy, and this woman’s perfume is too strong. I demand that these two strangers go and wash up. Everybody line up for smell-inspection! Mocena is flying on this flight!!

          I assume that if you had a psychological condition where you freak out on seeing the color red, that you’d force everybody to change clothes so that you could be accommodated, too.

          Or maybe if you weren’t so entitled YOU would ask to be bumped instead of demanding that other people conform to YOUR disability.

          • West Coast Secessionist says:

            @West Coast Secessionist: PS: If cats are so deadly to you, you’ll smell/detect them in the gate area before you get on the plane as well and hopefully you’ll do us all a favor and cancel your ticket right then and there.

          • edwardso says:

            @West Coast Secessionist: Right, If you a condition that is agrivated by things that are common (perfume, pets, foods) then perhaps you need to consider another mode of transportation Air travel is for the masses

            • arikmoon says:

              @edwardso: Wrong. There are laws that accomodate people with disabilities, and public services must accomodate people with disabilities.

              Tell someone in a wheelchair they can’t fly. Go ahead.

              Telling someone with allergies is the same. I’ve never really considered my allergies a disability, but it actually has more weight when I describe it like that.

              Thanks guys, now I have a disability.

              • edwardso says:

                @arikmoon: I was really addressing that to people with “sensitivities” that cause them to be irritated, not people who need reasonable accomodations, such as those in a wheelchair. But if you are very allergic to cats to the point where hair on a sweater is going to send you into shock, you probably shouldn’t fly because the majority of people on the flight are likely to have had some exposure to pet dander

              • nakedscience says:

                @arikmoon: Allergies aren’t disablities.

                Also, you’ve probably been on a plane where pets were present.

              • Corporate_guy says:

                @arikmoon: They won’t make allergies a disability because it’s not controllable enough. A business has to comply with the ADA, but a private citizen does not have to. And it is the actions of private citizens that trigger allergies. They wear the perfume, they take their animals everywhere, etc. Granted an airline should have a policy that people flying not wear perfumes and they should ban pets in the cabin. But I guess when they can charge 75 bucks a cat, it’s not worth it for them to make animals ride in storage.

          • Mari Walker says:

            @West Coast Secessionist: Yeah, it’s totally unreasonable to ask for accommodation when something could KILL you. Awwwww, you have to wash your perfume off? I’ll try to feel sorry for you when I can breathe again.

      • Mari Walker says:

        @azsumrg1rl: Allow me to explain something to you. After about 10-15 minutes of cat exposure, my inhaler will stop working. At worst, I could die. At best, I’ll end up suffering a terrible asthma attack for 2+ hours because someone couldn’t leave Fluffy at home.

    • JRules says:

      @cleek: Completely agree, I am big time allergic to cats. This would suck. I fly southwest a lot too.

  23. albokay says:

    i wonder how much it will cost to build toilets that pets have to contort themselves to use.

    • pepelicious says:

      @albokay: They’re called sedatives and they should prevent your pet from needing to use the bathroom during your flight. I drove with my two cats sedated in carriers for 12 hrs and had no problems at all. You should read up before you post.

      • Clobberella says:

        @pepelicious: And even if you don’t sedate them for a flight (my vet advised against it), cats in particular can go quite awhile without food or water and be fine. No food or water for twelve hours before the flight, no need for the litter box in the middle of it.

        • edwardso says:

          @Clobberella: it’s true, my cat will go for 7-8 hours without eating, drinking or moving everytime we bring home a paper bag or box. Once he gets in he stays, not matter what time of day or how many feedings go by

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @pepelicious: If you are sedating the cat, why can’t the cat be in storage?

    • trujunglist says:

      @albokay:

      Oh my, hilarious! I don’t think the other comments got the joke? Maybe it’s because they’re not freakishly tall?

  24. Tambar says:

    Bah, they don’t fly out of ATL! :(
    And the 2 times I’ve been on the same plane as a pet, they were very quiet. I know what you mean about yowling cats being unbearable, tho.

  25. pepelicious says:

    I have to shake my head when I read comments from people who have probably never owned a pet in their lives, yet purport to be an authority on pets.

    Pets can be sedated before you take them on the plane. This is really common and your vet can give you the proper medication based on your pet’s size. Make sure to give the sedative a good couple of hours before you get to the airport so it has time to take effect before you get to the security line.

    Think about everything you put up with when you fly. You’re not going to die if there’s a cat in a carrier tucked beneath the seat next to yours.

    Use your brains, folks. Don’t let your ignorance and hurt feelings from mommy and daddy not letting you have a pet cloud your judgement.

  26. Josh Craig says:

    somebody will bring snakes on a plane

  27. Megan Squier says:

    My husband is violently allergic to cats; any more than 3 or 4 hours in the same house as one, let alone an enclosed space, he gets an asthma attack. He has several relatives he can’t visit for too long because of that fact. Is there any way one can pick a flight no one is traveling with a cat on? Or at least reserve a seat far, far, away from the cat person? He’d sue Southwest if he had to sit next to someone with a cat on an hours long flight! The risk for a medical emergency is too high for him to tolerate sitting next to a cat. Maybe on the other side of the plane, but not within a few rows. If he wears his lawn mowing respirator he’d probably freak the whole plane out so that’s out of the question.

    I can understand putting up with a service animal (he’s allergic to most dogs, but its not near as bad as cats) because that animal is performing an essential service to its human but a pet seems a little silly.

    There need to be alternative arrangements conveniently available to people with severe allergies before this can be implemented fully.

    • pepelicious says:

      @Megan Squier: It sounds like your husband is the problem, not animals. Instead of expecting the world to change for him, he should take an antihistamine if he’s that “violently” allergic.

      • lawndart says:

        @Megan Squier: Your husband may end up next to someone like me on a flight already. I have 2 cats at home that enjoy sleeping on my clean laundry and generally ensure I travel in a small cloud of Cat throughout the day, even if I lint roller myself. I would hate to kill my seatmate.

        • Megan Squier says:

          @lawndart: He’d be okay if he could trade seats with someone else. Its mainly direct exposure to the animal itself that bugs him the worst. It also depends upon how bad his other allergies are at the time too. When the pollen is up he’s already using his inhaler so the cat just makes it worse.

          My parents had cats and when we were dating I had to wash my clothes and immediately put them away before the cats could get to them. I also kicked the cats out of my room and tried to keep everything I owned cat-free. I freaked when my mom borrowed my car to take the cat to the vet once! To this day my mom makes sure the cats don’t get to her clothes before she makes the interstate trip to see us.

        • arikmoon says:

          @lawndart: That’s disgusting.

          • lawndart says:

            @arikmoon: Yes, yes it is, but so is having trays of poop out in my house and I’ve evidently decided that’s not a big deal either. No one said people with pets were rational.

            • edwardso says:

              @lawndart: it’s really not that gross. I shed more than my cat and i don’t clean my hair nearly as often as he does. Also, he buries his waste to the point where it is barely recognizable as anything other than a clump of clay. But I’m sure i don’t have to tell you that :) The rewards of pets outweigh the hassles by a longshot

          • nakedscience says:

            @arikmoon: Uh, not really. If you have cats, you likely have pet hair on your clothing. Cats are VERY clean animals.

      • Megan Squier says:

        @pepelicious: He does but it doesn’t work that well, plus he’s too drowsy to drive after the flight. All I was saying was that alternative arrangements should be made available to people with allergies. If he could trade seats with someone who wasn’t allergic so he was as far away from the cat as possible it would be cool.

        You must really LOVE cats if you’re that much of an allergic hater. Cat people automatically don’t like him when he says he’s allergic to their precious “babies”. Or maybe they’re freaked out by a 6’3” Burt Reynolds lookalike biker, I don’t know. He’s also allergic to cigarette smoke and has friends that smoke; when he goes to their houses he stays outside or they come over to our place. The smokers are fine with that but cat people can get a little weird about the same thing. I’ll never understand that.

        • floraposte says:

          @Megan Squier: I suspect a flight attendant would be willing to help arrange things. However, I’d doubt he’d have grounds for a lawsuit just because there was an animal on there–he knows that it’s a possibility, after all, and he’s chosen to expose himself to the risk.

        • pepelicious says:

          @Megan Squier: Thanks for the heads up on your husband’s stature, Burt Reynolds look-alike status, and choice of vehicle. I’ll be sure to keep a cat handy if I see him coming at me.

      • sigsegfalt says:

        @pepelicious:

        I think it is totally reasonable to expect to not have to suffer health consequences because someone in a neighboring seat has to travel with Fluffy. Your attitude is like me telling a non-smoker next to me to stop complaining and wear a gas mask if they have a problem with me smoking cigarettes throughout the flight.

    • c_c says:

      @Megan Squier:
      First of all, chill.

      Second, all the other major airlines have always allowed this. In fact I’d bet your husband has been on a plane with a cat/dog and not even known about it, because usually they’re stowed under the seat in a carrier and you never hear a peep out of them.

      Third, what happens if someone is wearing a sweater on a plane that their cat had been previously laying on? Are you going to sue them too?

    • nakedscience says:

      @Megan Squier: :Newsflash: This isn’t the first time pets have been allowed inside airplanes. If your husband flies, he’s probably already been on a plane with a pet. This is only SOUTHWEST’S first time allowing pets inside the plane.

      @sigsegfalt: Smoking is not the same as a pet, and you know it.

      • sigsegfalt says:

        @nakedscience: I guess the point is that while something may seem like no big deal to you, it can cause significant problems for others. What I said was a response to @pepelicious‘s earlier comment of “Think about everything you put up with when you fly. You’re not going to die if there’s a cat in a carrier tucked beneath the seat next to yours.” For me, this is true. My allergies are nowhere near that severe. However, I have two options when I know i will be in a confined space with a cat for more than 20 minutes: 1) take an allergy pill and use my inhaler to relieve *most* of the symptoms and feel tired for the next 12 hours (which would be a problem on morning business trips) or 2) feel like I have a cold for the rest of the day.

        I’ve done a considerable amount of business travel and have done it almost exclusively on Southwest, so it’s not likely that I’ve ridden near an animal before. It’s certainly possible that a sedated animal several rows away from me would go unnoticed, but it’s also a possibility that it would cause problems for me. I just don’t think the attitude of “Deal with it” or “just take some medicine” is very fair when it comes to something that can be prevented.

        • nakedscience says:

          @sigsegfalt: …since this isn’t the first time airlines have allowed pets on a plane, and since I don’t remember EVER hearing about someone dying from a pet allergy on a plane…your point is, well, pointless.

          Y’all are just grabbing at, well, hair right now.

          • sigsegfalt says:

            @nakedscience: I never said that sitting next to a cat would kill me. I said it would make me feel like crap for the rest of the day. See above.

            Just because an allergy sufferer won’t die doesn’t make everything OK. Going back to what you said about smoking, I can guarantee no one has ever died exclusively from inhaling cigarette smoke on an airplane. That doesn’t mean it belongs there, though.

        • floraposte says:

          @sigsegfalt: And the pet owners will say the attitude of “just drive with the critter” isn’t very fair when it comes to something that can be prevented. There’s no defined right here on either side; without that, all you’ve got is a group that likes things the way they are and a group that wishes it would change, but not enough to stop spending money with the airlines. So why would the airlines change?

        • trujunglist says:

          @sigsegfalt:

          I’ve seen pets on Southwest flights before actually. The thing is, you’d never know they were there unless you were really looking for it, because most of the time the ladies will keep them hidden in a purse or special carrier designed just for that sort of thing. Obviously you wouldn’t be able to get away with this with a feisty dog or cat, but I’ve definitely seen it multiple times, even with people next to me having toy dogs that I didn’t notice until I saw the lady talking into her bag, feeding crackers to her bag, and then a little head popped out to take a peek at what was goin on.

        • Mari Walker says:

          @sigsegfalt: There are also people, like me, whose allergies are so severe that medicine isn’t going to help. It would take a lot of caffeine, allergy pills, and puffs of my inhaler to keep my cat allergy at bay… probably a dangerous amount.

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @nakedscience: Smoking is the same as a pet.

  28. oceanstate says:

    Southwest has been allowing “companion” pets on their flights for years now. I’ve sat next to the animal and sat away from the animals. I’ve never seen one of them cause an issue, or any of the customers have an issue with them.

    The screaming child, on the other hand…….

  29. RobertBaron says:

    re: people with allergies…

    Someone with allergies will fly and get violently sick and sue. Southwest will then put an end to it.

    Also why don’t airlines start creating different flights for different customers? Like a kid-friendly flight where… I don’t know… the stewardess dress like clowns and they show Finding Nemo and Shrek on a loop.

    Maybe it’s time airlines starting changing the way they do business instead of just offering flights bases on prices and time.

  30. itsgene says:

    Amazing – the comments here would make one think that this was a completely new thing, that animals hadn’t been allowed in the cabin of airlines ever before! All the major carriers have allowed this since time immemorial, Southwest was one of the few who DIDN’T.
    And I don’t recall hearing about any issues with cabin-traveling animals up until now… unless, of course, you count those snakes on that plane. :)
    I would never put my dog into a cold, dark luggage hold anymore than I would put a child there. The one time I’ve flown with him the flight was delayed 3 hours, we were stuck in an airport where he couldn’t get out to relieve himself, and still had a 6 hour flight ahead of him — I can’t imagine what torture it would have been if he’d been locked in a carrier sitting on a tarmac and in a hold for 9 hours instead of in my lap.

    • Princess Leela says:

      @itsgene: THIS. I was thinking that some of these commenters must not travel much. I’ve flown on numerous occasions in which fellow passengers have had cats or small dogs along for the ride.

      Though rare, I have heard enough stories of pets escaping their carriers in the cargo hold and being lost (or holed up hiding in the belly of the plane for days, then emerging dehydrated and terrified) to make me quite certain that I would never force a cat or dog of mine to fly cargo.

      • floraposte says:

        @Princess Leela: I think there’s an attribution error–people who think pets are a pain on a plane assume they must never have flown with them because they didn’t know.

  31. pepelicious says:

    If you feel like you’re going to “die” (ohh the drama!)because of a cat being inside of a carrier and under a seat, then the problem seems to be you, and not the animal. Use your brain and grow up. Bring your antihistamine and asthma inhaler with you if you fear for your life that much.

    • floraposte says:

      @pepelicious: And I think that’s a little harsh. I’m a pet lover and I don’t think the current arrangement is unfair, but that doesn’t mean people can’t be put in genuine respiratory distress that takes more to deal with it than a simple “remember your medicine.”

      • pepelicious says:

        @floraposte: If I know that I could fracture my skull with the slightest tap to my head, I make sure to wear my helmet at all times. Similarly, if you know that you could literally die by just having a harmless fluffy kitty near you, then perhaps you should take that extra responsibility to carry the proper medicine/medical device with you at all times. After all, you never know where a cat might be lurking…

        • floraposte says:

          @pepelicious: I’m not disagreeing with the notion that it’s best for people to be as prepared as possible. However, you said considerably more than that, and that’s what I’m objecting to. (And I love cats, but they’re not “harmless fluffy kitties” even if you’re not allergic to them.)

        • Mari Walker says:

          @pepelicious: No matter how prepared I am, a cat could still cause a serious (maybe even life-threatening) allergic reaction. I take my inhaler everywhere with me, with a spare in my purse. I’m not supposed to take it more than twice in a four-hour-period… and those two puffs do NOTHING.

          Antihistamines? Oh, don’t make me laugh. A runny nose is the least of my worries once my crappy lungs start spazzing out.

          I suppose it would help some if there were a place for me to plug my nebulizer in (which also comes traveling with me), but (again) I can only use that once or twice every four hours, and do you really want to listen to the drone of the air compressor?

          What is the airline going to do when my allergic reaction constitutes a medical emergency a few miles in the air?

    • Mikael Vejdemo Johansson says:

      @pepelicious: As if I don’t bring those everywhere I go. Always.

  32. tvh2k says:

    worst. idea. ever.

  33. bigmac12 says:

    So, if you step in “it” will the Attendant clean off your shoes?
    How about a dog chasing a cat all over the cabin?
    It’ll take your mind off all that lightning striking the plane.

    Mac

  34. Featherstonehaugh says:

    Why should the pet have to go under the seat? If the owner is willing to pay for an extra seat for their pet, the pet should be allowed to use a full seat.

    If we are going to allow children and people who use perfume on airplanes, why not pets? I guarantee post people won’t even realize they are on the flight.

  35. Waiting4Vizzini says:

    I’m starting to think a lot of the people complaining about pets on a plane here rarely ever fly.

    • edwardso says:

      @Waiting4Vizzini: same with people who see a baby on a plane and automatically think “oh shit, crying baby” I find that people who are so concerned about dosing children and pets on planes are the ones most in need of sedatives on flights. I fly 3-4 times per year, usually out of the tourist mecca of DC, and I rarely encounter any flight horrors

    • cleek says:

      @Waiting4Vizzini:

      well, you’re wrong.

  36. The_Red_Monkey says:

    I do not want to sit next to you and your stinky dog. I don’t care about allergies but how about some courtesy to others on the plane. People can’t control their kids but you think they could control their pet?

    I have already dealt with this on a flight, I fly frequent short flights for work. A lady with her dog in a little doggy purse. It howled and crapped and pissed so that the whole cabin was rank. Inconsiderate self important bastards who can’t leave home without their pets should drive there.

    • nakedscience says:

      @The_Red_Monkey: You can sedate pets.

      Many pets are already on flights and you probably didn’t even notice

      • Corporate_guy says:

        @nakedscience: No one cares that you can sedate pets. If sedation makes everything better, why can’t you send the pets to the cargo hold? They are sedated so everything will be perfectly fine using your sedation logic.

        • trujunglist says:

          @Corporate_guy:

          Except not safe at all really. I guess you may not understand that to a real pet owner, the pet is like a member of the family. Would you stuff grandma in the cargo hold? Just because it’s an animal does not make it any less of a family member (imo and many others as well). I can’t imagine a worse feeling than to be say, moving to a new city with your only friend, only to have that friend die because it *had* to be in cargo.

          • Corporate_guy says:

            @trujunglist: Actually it does mean it is not a family member. You can see a pet any way you want, but you have no right to expect anyone else to see it as more than an animal.

            If you can’t handle the pet being in cargo, then drive. I saw many people telling the person with allergies to drive. See that is a person with rights. An animal is not a person. A airliners are in the business of transporting people.

    • PrincessSparkle says:

      @The_Red_Monkey: “People can’t control their kids but you think they could control their pet?” If people were required to keep their kids contained in a carrier under the seat in front of them, then yes. It’s not like SW is allowing pets to roam free in the cabin and enjoy beverages & peanuts.

  37. shibainu33 says:

    What about airport policies on animals in the terminals?

    • Princess Leela says:

      @shibainu33: Have you really never seen any? Pets properly secured in carriers are allowed in airport terminals. And as far as I know, Seeing Eye or Hearing Ear dogs would be allowed without carriers. (I’m guessing the Americans With Disabilities Act covers the latter, but can anyone shed light? I actually don’t ever recall seeing a working dog on a plane, but it would seem that provision would have to be made for this.)

      • floraposte says:

        @Princess Leela: ADA allows service animals in airports, and ACA allows them on airplanes. All the U.S. airports I know of allow non-service animals only in approved carriers–in other words, in the container they’re going on the flight in.

  38. c_c says:

    Every couple of flights I’m on seems there is someone with a mini-dog in carrier, they typically are much better behaved than kids on planes or that annoying woman who talks too loud.

  39. Liz Ayliffe says:

    Yay now I can bring my Bunny’s on board

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Liz Ayliffe: Rabbits shouldn’t travel on planes at all, actually. Many vets advise against long road trips either. My rabbit spends at most, 4 hours in the car at any given point. Rabbits are prone to be more nervous, and are more sensitive to conditions around them. It is not a good idea to fly a rabbit unless you absolutely have to – like if you’re relocating permanently.

  40. Princess Leela says:

    This thread makes me weep for the reading comprehension skills of America.

    • specialista says:

      @Princess Leela: and the compassion skills. i feel like commenters would rather shoot folks with allergies instead of help them. but if they develop allergies they will be WHINING. can’t wait, ugg.

  41. barb95 says:

    Can I bring my 70 lb Basset/Beagle dog? He pees when he gets excited and howls when he is worried. What a fun flight it would be!

  42. Shandog says:

    Two things come to mind. Disturbing noises and peope with allergies… I think this is a stupid move.

  43. Triterion says:

    What about people with ALLERGIES?!?! Do I have to pay more NOT to be on a plane with Cats???

  44. Howie411 says:

    I think AirTran only charges $50 to bring your pet onboard.

  45. djkatscan says:

    My cats react horribly to sedation medications, it actually *causes* them to howl and they have almost hurt themselves trying to escape the carrier. I did this during a 2 day drive for a move. The second day of the drive, no drugs and they were quiet as a mouse and didnt do much more then sleep the entire time. Also they didnt use the litterbox either time.
    That being said, I would only take my cats on a plane if I was relocating somewhere too far to drive, and I would welcome the opportunity to fly them in the cabin. I have heard too many stories about pets dying in the cargo hold.

  46. Ilovemygeek says:

    I have issues with this just because being near a cat makes my eyes swell shut. I wonder if Southwest will be able to accommodate those will allergies, its not like they have reserved seating so how would you prevent getting sat next to something that can trigger an asthma attack?

  47. nocturnaljames says:

    I won’t ever be flying with southwest then, I don’t want to be stuck with people’s disgusting pets in a confined area for a long flight. Show some respect for people who are allergic to pets, and/or flat out grossed out by them.

    • floraposte says:

      @nocturnaljames: Okay, what airline do you plan to fly? American, United, Northwest/Delta, and US Air all allow pets in the cabin.

      Here, by the way, is the FAA on whether you can be guaranteed an animal-less flight: [www.faa.gov]

  48. Ms. Pants says:

    Every vet I’ve ever had has told me specifically NOT to drug my cats when travelling, as often the sedatives have far more adverse reactions–you know, like death. Cats tend to kinda “shut down” after a while when travelling. While I don’t plan on a big feline-family-vacation anytime soon, I’m willing to bet that they’d be freaked enough by the time we got to the airport that they wouldn’t make a peep.

    Reading these comments has given me more insight to some Consumerist readers than any other post. A lot of you kinda suck.*

    *I realise that because I have cats, I also suck for those of you who hate animals. I believe in equal suckitude.

  49. VikingP77 says:

    Another reason to fly Southwest!

  50. VikingP77 says:

    And for the record I have a very well mannered sleepy pug and the only problems I had in the past were rude flight attendants :-( (not Southwest attendants).

  51. trujunglist says:

    I’ve seen plenty of pets already being taken on airplanes by their owners and I’ve never had any issue with any of them. Not one of them acted up. Not one of them made nasty smells.
    Now, if that could only apply to little kids and their parents, then I’d be much happier to fly. I think that airlines should charge $75 to bring kids and pets should be free. Cats can’t kick my seat for 4 hours, dirty up diapers that the parents leave on the seat next to me, or spill soda all over me. Cats won’t lean their seat back when they’re just over 4 feet tall and I’m 6’4″ (although they might if they could, because I think cats are kinda jerks on occasion). Most importantly, any noise a cat or dog makes is usually not 3 kHz, the resonant frequency of the human ear canal. You ever wonder why babies crying is so incredibly shrill that it makes you want to rush over and help just to shut them the hell up? That’s why; it’s built into every human to ensure survival of their young. If that doesn’t tell you that the meaning of life is to reproduce then I dunno what does, but I digress…
    I vote puppies and kitties in and kiddies out.

  52. Mary says:

    Say it with me everybody: ALLERGIES.

    I am ALLERGIC to dogs. It’s all well and good that you think your little snookims is a perfect little angel but that doesn’t change the fact that he makes me ILL.

    I know people who can’t even be in a house where a cat used to live, let alone be trapped in a cabin with one. Are they going to make me pay a surcharge to actually be HEALTHY on their flights?

    I’m so sick of people thinking it’s their God given right to take their pets everywhere. It’s a health issue people, get over it.

  53. Kimberly Gist-Collins says:

    I guess I won’t ever be flying SW again. I am SEVERELY allergic to cats. This should not be something I have to think about before flying. I am really disgusted that people actually care so little about a very common allergy to pets cart cart their stupid cat or dog in the cabin.

    • floraposte says:

      @Kimberly Gist-Collins: Okay, of the the thirteen major American airlines listed here [search.ezilon.com] they all, with one exception, allow pets in the cabin.

      So if you’re firm about refusing to fly with any airline that carries cats, your only choice is Frontier Airlines.

      • Mari Walker says:

        @floraposte: Which presents a big problem to people with pet allergies. What the hell are we supposed to do? The rampant “well, fuck you allergic people!” attitude here disgusts me.

  54. __Ken__ says:

    So are they offering free Claritin for those with allergies or those with pet dander problems just SOL?

    Maybe the person taking their pet needs to reimburse all those without pets at 75 bucks a pop.

    There goes the last airline I could stand.

  55. vladthepaler says:

    Good idea. It’s a desirable service, and i donno, the price seems outlandish to me but it probably is lower than other airlines charge. It also fits with the company image I think: Southwest is generally friendly and helpful, so it’s probably the airline equivalent of a pet-person.

  56. djkatscan says:

    I’m allergic to screaming kids.

  57. Mari Walker says:

    So… what about the customers who have pet allergies? I’m very allergic to cats – what are they going to do when I board one of their planes to find a cat on board?

  58. anduin says:

    bad idea, once took a flight where someone brought their dog on the plane…one of those little yappity dogs. It didn’t shut up so the flight attendants fashioned a muzzle to keep its mouth shut…yup thats how annoying it was.

  59. donovanr says:

    You may love your dog; but I hate your dog. I will not fly on any airline that allows dogs in the cabin. Until this moment I thought Southwest was so cool.
    Crap so now I have to look for another airline that doesn’t allow dogs.