Can I Use My Southwest Companion Pass for My Dog?

Jun 14, 2017

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“Reader Questions” are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

It might not be as easy as it used to be to get a Southwest Companion Pass, but it’s still possible, and TPG reader Ben wants to know if he can use one for his furry friend…

This question is somewhat silly, but can you use a Southwest Companion Pass on a dog?

TPG Reader Ben

First of all, let’s clear up something right off the bat — this is not a silly question as far as I’m concerned. Man’s (and woman’s) best friend should absolutely be Companion Pass-eligible in my opinion, and if they happen to also slobber on the in-flight peanuts, then that’s just part of how h*ckin’ awesome they are. Besides, I have human friends who slobber on the peanuts as well.

Of course, if your dog is an emotional support animal — and we’re not going to get into the controversial question of emotional support animals here today — then there’s no charge to bring them into the cabin in any case. But what if they’re not? If you’re not able to add your dog to your Companion Pass, how much can you expect to pay for an in-cabin pet?

As you might expect, it differs depending on the airline, but here’s a list of the basic in-cabin pet fees for domestic travel on most major US carriers:

Airline in-cabin kennel FEE NOTES
Alaska Airlines $100 Pets allowed in the passenger cabin are dogs, cats, rabbits and household birds.
American Airlines $125 With the exception of a few breed restrictions, you can only travel with cats and dogs.
Delta $125 Dogs, cats, household birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, and marmots. Yes, marmots.
Hawaiian Airlines $35 for travel within the state of Hawaii

$175 for travel from Hawaii to North America

Permitted only on inter-island flights and flights leaving the state of Hawaii. Not allowed on flights arriving into the state of Hawaii due to quarantine requirements, with exceptions made for service animals.
JetBlue $100 You’ll earn 300 TrueBlue points on each flight segment when traveling with your pet.
Southwest $95 Cats and dogs only. Unlike many other Southwest charges, the pet fee is non-refundable.
United $125 Domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds (excluding cockatoos) can travel accompanied in the aircraft cabin.
Virgin America $100 Cats, dogs, household birds and domesticated rabbits are accepted in the main cabin.

There are many more details and some additional restrictions on in-cabin pets, so if you’d like to read more extensively about bringing your pet either on an airline or to a hotel, check out our post on Tips for Traveling With Pets: Airline and Hotel Policy Roundup.

But what about Ben’s original question — can a dog be a free Southwest Companion? Well, when I called to inquire on this topic, I was informed by a friendly yet firm Southwest customer service agent that neither doggos nor puppers can be named as companions on the Companion Pass.

So even though they’re good dogs, Brent, it would seem they’ll need to pay to fly. Thanks for the question, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook  or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image courtesy of mauinow1/Getty Images.

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