Traveling with pets can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration. When it comes to flying with a large dog, many pet owners wonder about the feasibility and logistics involved. Unfortunately, many public airlines will only allow very small and light dogs to fly in the cabin. However, fortunately, there are some semi-private airlines that will allow flying with a large dog in cabin. This of course will cost you a little more, however it may be worth it for stress-free travel.
In this article, we will list the airlines that allow flying with a large dog in cabin and provide some travel tips.
Which airlines allow flying with a large dog in cabin?
The following luxury, semi-private airlines will allow flying with a large dog in the cabin. However, as expected, they will cost you a lot more than commercial airlines, which sadly often only permit very small and light dogs in cabin.
1. Aero Pet Policy.
Aero is a US based semi-private airline that currently books flights from L.A. to Aspen, Las Vegas, Jackson Hole and Sun Valley.
Well-behaved dogs are welcome to fly on all Aero jets flying in the US. Medium or large dogs are considered those weighing over 20Ib. When flying with a large dog in cabin, you must purchase an extra full-priced seat next to you. Bookings can be made via their Concierge team.
Following are the Aero’s pet policies for flying with a medium-to-large dog in the cabin:
- There is no maximum weight limit for large pets however you must ensure they can remain in their seat for the duration of the flight.
- Dogs must be at least 4 months old.
- Dogs must be capable of not relieving themselves for the entire duration of the flight.
- Each guest may only bring one pet on board (maximum two per household), and they only permit two pets per flight.
- Pets will be booked on a first-come, first-serve basis until the limit is reached on board. Should the pet capacity be reached, this will be communicated on the website or by Concierge during booking.
- One passenger may not bring both a pet and an infant onboard without the assistance of a travel companion.
2. BLADE Pet Policy.
BLADE is a semi private technology-powered, global urban air mobility platform that flies helicopters, seaplanes and jets.
They have services that fly between Manhattan and JFK or Newark airports, between Vancouver and Victoria in Canada and between Nice and Monaco in Europe. Alternatively, you can charter or crowdsource a flight anywhere in the world.
a) Pets on BLADE Helicopters, Seaplanes and Turboprops.
On by-the-seat BLADE Airport flights, dogs under 25 pounds can sit in a carrier on their owner’s lap for a pet fee of $50. On all other by-the-seat rotorcraft flights, dogs under 25 pounds can sit in a carrier on their owner’s lap for a pet fee of $95.
When flying with a large dog, heavier than 25 pounds, in cabin the owner must purchase the dog an additional seat.
There is a maximum of two pets per passenger. For a single passenger with more than one pet, an additional seat must be purchased for the second pet, regardless of the pet’s weight.
If there are two unrelated larger dogs boarding a flight, the pilot may request that the two dogs stand leashed on the tarmac prior to boarding to familiarize themselves with each other, as to not cause any in-flight issues.
On chartered flights, pets can fly at no additional cost.
b) Pets on BLADE Jets.
On Jet flights like BLADEone, each passenger is entitled to bring one dog under 35 pounds for an additional $300 fee. For a single passenger with more than one dog under 35 pounds, an additional seat must be purchased (maximum of two dogs under 35 pounds per additional seat purchased).
An additional seat must be purchased for each dog over 35 pounds. Dogs do not require a carrier, but must be on a leash.
On chartered land plane flights, pets can fly at no additional cost.
3. JSX Pet Policy.
JSX is an independent air carrier in the US. They have domestic flights concentrated in the southern region of the country, but also have flights from the east to west coasts. Currently, there are flights to/from Arizona, California, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
JSX allows flying with medium to large dogs in-cabin with their owners. Customers are responsible for complying with any applicable laws and/or governmental regulations for both the departure and arrival destinations, including furnishing valid health and rabies vaccination certificates when required.
For dogs that are too large to occupy an approved under-seat pet carrier, customers are required to purchase an adjoining seat at the advertised rate, and the dog will be permitted to lay on the floor directly in front of the seat. To purchase your seat and your medium-to-large dog’s space, you can call their customer support line on (800) 435-9579. You must inform the Airport Services Concierge upon check-in if you are traveling with a dog that requires an adjoining seat.
Customers with big dogs must fill out the attached form. A printed copy is required at check in.
Following are the JSX’s pet policies for flying with a medium-to-large dog in the cabin:
- One additional seat must be purchased by the customer, and one dog is permitted to occupy the floor space in front of an adjoining seat. Seat pricing varies by market and must be purchased at the current available rate for both Hop on and All in fares.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times.
- Dogs must weigh 79 pounds or less.
- Dogs must be well-behaved; and the JSX Pet Acceptance Liability Form must be presented before boarding. ASCs are to keep one copy with the flight paperwork. Customer must provide one completed form for booked segment of travel.
- Any aggressive or disruptive behavior may result in denying travel to the dog and customer. Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to the following:
- Barking excessively and not responsive to an owner’s commands
- Aggressive behaviors towards other guests or animals (e.g. biting, growling, snapping, lunging, etc.)
- Freely wandering or running around without a leash
- Relieving themselves in the aircraft cabin or places other than designated pet relief areas
- Jumping on guests or JSX crew members
- Occupying an aircraft seat or seatback tray table
- Eating off seatback tray tables
- Leashed dogs may only occupy the space in front of the window seat (C), and the owner must sit in the adjoining aisle seat (B) of any row except for the bulkhead or emergency exit rows. Seats together must be available at time of booking.
- Dog carriers and pets are not allowed on aircraft seats.
- A maximum of five pets total may travel in cabin on any one flight. JSX reserves the right to deny boarding to any additional pets, or to any pets that do not meet the requirements stated here.
4. Surfair Pet Policy.
Surf Air is a jet membership service that flies all across the US. They include both scheduled semi-private flights and on-demand jet service. Memberships range from $199 per month to access their inventory of scheduled flights to $3,000 per month to unlock unlimited flight plans. Surf Air is LA-based, with many hubs in California and Texas, as well as a few in other states. They have plans to expand to Europe in the near future.
Flying with a large dog is permitted on Surfair as long as they are harnessed and well behaved. You will need to purchase an additional seat for your dog.
Following are the Surfair’s pet policies for flying with a medium-to-large dog in the cabin:
- All dogs must be at least four months old, weigh not more than 100 pounds, and be clean, well-behaved, and have current vaccinations, e.g., for rabies and distemper.
- If Surf and/or the Operator in their sole discretion permit a second animal on a flight arranged by Surf, the combined weight of both animals must not exceed 100 pounds.
- Approval for travel with a dog will not occur until the animal arrives at the airport and Surf personnel and the Operator’s representative(s) inspect the dog.
- You must ensure that your dog does not engage in any disruptive, threatening, damaging, destructive, or other inappropriate behavior.
- You must ensure that your dog are properly secured at all times.
- Dogs that are not secured within a kennel must be secured with a quick-release leash.
- On board the aircraft, animals may not protrude into or block aisles or exit routes.
- If a Single-Use Flight Pass has been purchased for a large dog, and if requested by the Passenger in writing at the time the Passenger books the flight for the animal, the animal may occupy a seat so long as it is harnessed.
- Unless kennelled in the baggage area of the cabin, a small animal must rest on the lap of its Passenger while on board the aircraft.
5. Tradewind Aviation Pet Policy.
Tradewind Aviation is a Connecticut-based air service that operates both on-demand and scheduled flights throughout the US and Caribbean. Within the US, they fly to a number of places such as Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Newport, Rhode Island and Stowe, Vermont. They also fly to more exotic locations in the Caribbean such as San Juan, St Barthes, Anguilla, Antigua and St Thomas.
Following are the Tradewind Aviation’s pet policies for flying with a medium-to-large dog in the cabin:
- They allow flying with pets of all sizes, including a large-breed dog.
- They limit one party with pets per flight.
- If flying with a large dog over 100 pounds, you must purchase an additional seat.
Do any commercial airlines allow flying with a large dog in cabin?
Unfortunately, the majority of commercial airlines only allow flying with small dogs in cabin. However there the following airlines allow more than the average 8kg/20lb threshold.
Spirit Airlines Pet Policy.
Spirit Airlines specifies that the combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 40 pounds (18.14 kg).
Spirit Airlines’s pet policies for flying with a dog in the cabin are as follows:
- Spirit Airlines does not require a health certificate for dogs traveling with guests in the aircraft cabin, except for passengers traveling to USVI.
- Spirit Airlines does require a rabies vaccination certificate for dogs traveling with guests in the aircraft cabin to Puerto Rico.
- A maximum of 2 pets per container is permitted, but only one container per guest is allowed.
- Dogs must be able to stand upright and move about comfortably in the container.
- Dogs must remain in the carrier for the duration of the flight.
- Your dog should be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned.
- Your dog must be harmless, inoffensive, odorless, and require no attention during the flight. If your dog becomes offensive or causes a disturbance prior to leaving the gate; it will be removed.
- Your dog cannot be ill, violent, or in physical distress.
- The combined weight of your dog and its carrier may not exceed 40 pounds (18.14 kg).
Spirit Airlines will deny boarding to any passenger accompanied by a pet that does not comply with all the above rules.
La Compagnie Pet Policy.
This French boutique airline, allows small dogs and cats (under 15 kg, or 33 lbs) who can travel with you in the cabin at a fee equal to 10% of your ticket fare.
La Compagnie’s pet policies for flying with a dog in the cabin are as follows:
- Your dog must be microchipped (this must be done before the rabies vaccination). All vaccination shall be up to date and effective. The anti-rabies vaccination is mandatory. In the case of a first anti-rabies vaccination, the vaccine is effective from 21 days after inoculation (vaccination counts as day 0 and not day 1) until 1 year.
- Your pet passport, including the certificate of good health, must not be issued more than 5 days prior to the outbound journey and more than 15 days prior to the return journey. The certificate of good health is included in the passport and shall be filled before departure.
- Dogs must follow a tapeworm treatment no less than 24 hours and no more than 120 hours (5 days) before entry.
- Your dog must travel in an aerated pet carrier (21 ⅔ /13 ¾/ 9 ⅚ in) that will be stowed in front of your seat and remain inside of it during the whole flight.
- A maximum of 3 pets are allowed on any given flight.
La Compagnie will deny boarding to any passenger accompanied by a pet that does not comply with all the above rules.
What commercial airlines do not have a weight limit for dogs?
There are a few commercial airlines that do not state a specific weigh limit. Instead, they specify that the dog must be able to fit in the kennel comfortably. This means that they must be able to sit, stand, and turn around comfortably. However, while the weight of the dog and carrier doesn’t matter, the size and dimensions do.
The following commercial airlines don’t have a weight limit for dogs and their carrier:
American Airlines Pet Policy.
- Pets must be able to stand up and turn around, fitting comfortably inside the closed / zipped carrier.
- Non-collapsible kennels can’t exceed the under-seat dimensions of any aircraft included in your journey. Please contact reservations to verify maximum dimensions.
- Soft-sided collapsible kennels are recommended and can be slightly larger but still need to fit under the seat without having to excessively collapse the kennel. They must be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on 3 or more sides.
Hard-sided kennel restrictions:
- Mainline flights on American: 19 x 13 x 9 inches / 48 x 33 x 22 cm
- Regional flights on American Eagle: 16 x 12 x 8 inches / 40 x 30 x 20 cm
Soft-sided kennel restrictions:
18 x 11 x 11 inches / 46 x 28 x 28 cm
Contact reservations to verify maximum dimensions.
Delta Airlines Pet Policy.
- Your pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.
- Be small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel without touching or protruding from the sides of the kennel and have the ability to move around.
- The soft- or hard-sided kennels must be leak-proof and have ventilation openings on three sides (four sides for international travel).
Kennel restrictions: 18” x 11” x 11” will fit most flights however maximum carry-on kennel dimensions vary on different flights as the space under seats will difer.
Please check your flight’s aircraft dimensions to ensure your kennel will fit.
Southwest Airlines Pet Policy.
- Your pet carrier must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.
- The cat or dog must be completely inside the pet carrier and be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease.
- Acceptable pet carriers must be specifically designed as pet carriers (can be soft or hard). They must be leak-proof and well ventilated.
Pet carrier restrictions are as follows:
- Southwest Airlines® Pet Carrier – dimensions: 17” x 10” x 9.5”
- Other pet carriers with maximum dimensions of 18.5” x 13.5” x 9.5”
United Airlines Pet Policy.
- Dogs must travel in either a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier.
- This carrier must fit under the seat in front of you or you cannot fly with your pet.
- There can only be one pet per carrier.
- They must be able to stand up and turn around while inside.
Hard-sided kennel restrictions:
17.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches / 44 x 30 x 19 cm
Soft-sided kennel restrictions:
18 x 11 x 11 inches / 46 x 28 x 28 cm
For a extended list check 15 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [Prices & Policies].
How do I prepare for flying with a large dog in cabin?
There are many things you can do to help prepare for flying with a large dog cabin. Remember, these airlines, whether commercial or not, will only allow well-behaved dogs on flights. You don’t want to risk being banned from flying with your dog, or having him shipped in the cargo area. Here are a few tips:
1. Get your dog used to it’s travel carrier.
2. Train your dog to stay calm.
Your dog will need to stay calm on the flight otherwise they risk being sent into the cargo area of the plane. Being obedient to orders is a requirement when flying with dogs.
3. Exhaust your dog before the flight.
Try to exhaust your dog a little by increasing the level of activity before your trip. A sleepy animal will be less prone to getting stressed out on the flight, and will likely be better behaved on the flight.
4. Limit access to food and water before the flight.
Limit your dog’s access to food. Therefore, it’ll be less likely that they will need to ‘defecate or urinate’ on the flight.
Additionally, some animals may experience motion sickness if they eat just before a flight. If you are flying in the morning, then feed them the night before.
Air Canada suggest feeding your dog four to six hours prior to departure, as a full stomach may cause discomfort during travel.
5. Familiarise yourself with the airport that you are departing from and arriving to.
Most airports will have a dedicated area for pets and service animals to rest. It is actually a legal requirement that all U.S. airports have pet-relief areas available for working animals and pets to rest. Take some photos of the airport maps, so you don’t have to wander around on the day trying to find a resting place.
Unfortunately flying with large dogs in cabin is rather tricky, as most commercial airlines will only allow small and light dogs in cabin. However, there are some semi-private airlines that will allow flying with a large dog in cabin. This of course will cost you a little more, but it may be worth it for stress-free travel.
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