Pet owners, according to most American airlines, have deep pockets. How else to explain the exorbitant fees they charge so that you can substitute your one carry-on bag for a bag that contains your small dog or cat? And the oligopolistic nature of the business comes through loud and clear when you examine the variance (or lack thereof) in the in-cabin pet fees.
It was not that long ago (say a couple of years) that pet fees were $50 to $75. Now they are almost universally $125. Each way. Notable exceptions: regional airlines AirTran, Frontier and Southwest. And in-cabin pets get no frequent flier points!
Read on for pet and baggage fees (domestic flights) for the major U.S. airlines: AA, AirTran, Alaska, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, United and US Air.
|Airline||In-Cabin Pet Fees||Checked Pet Fees||Baggage Fees|
|AA||$125 each way||$175 each way||$25, $30, $100|
|AirTran||$69 each way||n/a||$20, $25 (2 only?)|
|Alaska||$100 each way||$100 each way||$20/bag, 1st three|
|Continental||$125 each way||call for info||$25, $35, $100|
|Delta||$125 each way||$200 each way||$25, $35 (2 only?)|
|Frontier||$75 each way||n/a||$20, $30, $50|
|JetBlue||$100 each way||n/a||1st free, $35 for 2nd|
|Southwest||$75 each way||n/a||1st two free, then $50|
|United||$125 each way||$250 each way||$25, $35 (2 only?)|
|US Air||$100 each way||n/a||$25, $35, $125, $200|
Keep this chart handy the next time you are price-shopping for airline tickets, especially if you are flying with a pet.. Had I had it in hand last month, I would have flown AirTran to Georgia instead of Delta. (AirTran makes the flight seasonally and I tend to forget about them. Even at this late date, we could fly for $100 less — even before the pet fees — if we were on AirTran.)