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Are In-Cabin Pet Fees Waived for Elites?

by on October 20, 2013 · 3 comments

in American Express, Pet Travel, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

TPG reader Mike will be traveling with his dog over the holidays and wants to avoid the in-cabin pet fee:

“I’m flying from LaGuardia to Dallas/Fort-Worth on American Airlines for Christmas with my dog, Edie, and she’s going to be in the cabin. Do elite members get the pet fee waived? I’m Gold on American so I thought it might be a tiered benefit if it exists. Also, will the Platinum Card from American Express airline rebate cover the fee? The fee is $125 each way.”

 Mike wants to know, since he is an elite member with American, if that $125 fee each way for having an in-cabin pet will be waived, and unfortunately it will not. I have paid that fee numerous times and I am an Executive Platinum member and they sure didn’t waive it for me!

Miles travel case feat

I have had to pay the fee for Miles many times when he flies.

However, as he mentioned, if you do have the Platinum Card from American Express then you can select American Airlines as your rebate partner and receive up to $200 a year in statement credits when incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline that you enrolled. That pet fee should then get rebated, but just make sure that you select AA beforehand. If you are paying out of pocket, I recommend paying for that fee with your Premier Rewards Gold, so you get 3x points per $1 as this does show up as an airfare charge.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred also gets you 2.14x points per $1 on every dollar spent on airfare, so if you are going to get hit by this fee, you might as well try and maximize your points earning, and if you do have to spend anything then you should maximize that purchase. The card earns 2 points per $1 spent on travel, including airfare – and that actually ends up being 2.14 points per dollar once you factor in the 7% annual points dividend.

Another option it the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard because if you use it to pay for incidental airline fees – such as the pet charge – then you can redeem your miles for those fees once they hit your statement at a rate of 1 cent per miles and remember, you get a 10% miles refund on travel redemptions with the card.

So safe travels with your dog and I hope that helped!

For more details on traveling with a pet, check out experiences with Miles:

Using Miles To Fly With Miles My First Time Flying With A Dog On American Airlines In Business Class
Top 10 Things I’ve Learned So Far About Flying With A Dog Learning To Travel With A Pet

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • ccm

    What exactly is this fee for? It’s always irked me as one of those throw-away fees.

  • Sam Wolfe

    Agreed, ccm. My dog smells better than the disgusting Cinnabon or Hot Dogs most customers bring on board!

  • Trav

    How tall is Miles, and is that the bag that you carry him on in? I thought the rule was that the dog needed to be able to stand up and turn around in whatever carry on bag they were in. I have a couple of boston terriers, and I have never tried to bring them with me, because I thought they would be denied for size. But they are about the same size as Miles in that pic.

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