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Spirit Airlines' pet policy: Here’s how to fly with your pet on Spirit

Aug. 13, 2022
4 min read
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Looking to take your pet with you on your next trip? If so, the Spirit Airlines pet policy lets you travel with more pet types than most other airlines. Specifically, the Spirit pet policy allows you to bring domestic dogs, domestic cats, small household birds and small domestic rabbits on board.

But before you book your flight and take your pet to the airport, know that you must follow certain rules and regulations. Here's everything you need to know about flying with your pet on Spirit Airlines.

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Spirit Airlines' pet policy

(Photo by GabrielPevide/Getty Images)

According to the Spirit pet policy, domesticated dogs and cats can fly on Spirit Airlines flights throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And while small "household birds" (excluding such things as chickens and ducks) and small domestic rabbits are allowed to fly in-cabin on Spirit, these pets can only fly domestically (not to or from Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands).

Additionally, Spirit doesn't allow any animals to fly as cargo. So, unfortunately, larger dogs can't fly on Spirit according to the Spirit Airlines dog policy.

All pets must be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned from their mother. Additionally, health certificates are required for pets flying to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a rabies vaccination certificate is required when traveling to Puerto Rico.

While Spirit doesn't allow any pets to fly on international flights, service animals can fly internationally.

When flying with an approved pet on Spirit, you may choose any seat except the first row and the emergency exit row. Your pet must remain in its carrier for the entire flight, can't require attention and must be "harmless, inoffensive and odorless."

Related: Everything you should know before flying Spirit Airlines

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Booking your pet on a Spirit Airlines flight

(Photo by Bread and Butter Productions/Getty Images)

Spirit Airlines charges a fee of $125 one-way to bring a pet with you in the cabin. Reservations are recommended but not required. However, it is probably best to reserve a spot for your pet on the plane as soon as possible since Spirit doesn't allow more than six pet carriers per flight. To add a pet to your reservation, contact Spirit directly.

When checking in at the airport with your pet, the Spirit Airlines pet policy states you'll need to visit the ticket counter (curbside or self-service check in isn't allowed). When you visit the ticket counter, a Spirit agent will inspect and approve both your pet and its carrier.

Related: 8 things to consider before flying with your pet

Spirit Airlines' pet carrier requirements

(Photo by vasiliki/Getty Images)

When traveling on Spirit, you may bring two similar pets if they can fit in one pet carrier. The carrier must be large enough to allow the pet (or pets) to stand and turn around. Only soft-sided carriers are allowed — although the type that allows the pet's head to poke outside is prohibited — and the dimensions cannot exceed 18 inches by 14 inches by nine inches.

You must place the carrier under the seat in front of you and keep it there for the entire flight. Additionally, per the Spirit pet policy, the pet and carrier have a combined weight restriction of 40 pounds.

Due to Spirit's baggage policy, your pet carrier will count as one of the items you're allowed to bring on board. So, you can only bring a personal item (for free) or a carry-on item (with the associated fee) — not both — in addition to your pet carrier.

Related: How to change or cancel a Spirit Airlines flight

Bottom line

Thanks to the relatively generous Spirit Airlines pet policy, you can bring your dog (as long as it's small enough), cat, rabbit or bird with you on most flights. And despite Spirit charging a pretty penny for anything "extra" during your travels, the fee to bring your pet with you is similarly priced to the other major U.S. airlines (although on the higher end of the scale).

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023