Mari and her dog recently traveled by air. While neither of them was lost, traumatized, or killed, Mari found it odd that her dog’s ticket cost more than hers. While Mari got a bargain on her ticket for $240 round trip, passage for her dog cost $125 each way. We assume that her dog is a great traveling companion and surely worth every penny, but the animal still had even less legroom than Mari, being confined to a bag inside the cabin. And she didn’t even get snacks.
I was searching for flights and I found that American Airlines had the cheapest flight going from TX to CA. I got a great price of $109 each way. I always feel pretty good when I can get a round trip ticket back home for under $300, so imagine my surprise when I got it under $240.
After I made my purchase online and got my email confirmation, I made sure to call the reservations line to “book” my dog’s reservation. They only allow certain number of pets within the cabin and they advise to call to reserve their spot. When I was done making her reservation, I was advised of the new guidelines to provide a health certificate, which I was fine with and was informed that the cost would be $125 each way. Yeah, $125 each way. I didn’t press the matter with the rep, since I know it is not her doing but instead company policy.
When I hung up I ranted to my co-worker who advised I sent you all an email on this issue.
I can’t get my head around that fact that it cost more to take my pet with me than my own actual flight ticket.
Here is what I get for my dogs $125 fare. I have to carry her around in her bag on to the plane. I don’t get to board early or anything I have to wait with the rest of my group number. She then goes underneath the seat. She is considered my carry on so I can’t take anything else but my purse. She is not allowed outside of her bag and should the seat next to me be empty, she cannot be placed on the seat.
I can’t believe that my dog’s fare comes out to $250 round trip while mine came out to only $239.40.
Hey, I get it. They have to charge, I think a more reasonable price would be $50. I mean come on, the pet is in a bag under the seat. It isn’t taking up a seat, it isn’t running around the cabin nor consuming the free beverage. Southwest recently lifted their ban against pets and placed their cost at $75 per in-cabin pets. Which I find far more reasonable than $125. Never mind that I still have to pay for my baggage that is another $25 each way.
I just don’t think that it should cost more for your pet to fly than you. Makes it really hard for us pet owners that want to be responsible and take our pets with us instead of leaving them in a kennel for a week. I actually asked why they didn’t offer flyer miles when your pet flies, I mean I did pay. I should at least get points for it.
As you can image my happy dance of joy of finding a cheap flight has is quickly becoming a $539.40 flight nightmare dance. It’s like they really don’t want you to fly.
Pet fees are at least consistent, like checked baggage fees. If you paid $700 for a ticket, the $250 could seem more reasonable as a proportion of the flight costs. Keep in mind that a bargain ticket price isn’t always the bargain it seems: extra expenses like baggage fees can gobble up your savings like so many Beggin’ Strips.