Do Airlines Impose Fees for Soft Sided Pet Carriers Under the Cabin Seat?

Traveling with pets can be a delightful but complex experience, particularly when it comes to understanding the various fees and regulations set by airlines. For those planning to bring a pet on their next flight, it’s essential to know whether airlines charge for a soft airline pet carrier that fits under the seat in the cabin.

In this article, we will explore the policies of several major international and local airlines regarding pet travel fees.

Delta Airlines

Dog under the seat of the airplane
Dog under the seat of the airplane

Delta is known for its pet-friendly travel options. For passengers wishing to bring their pets in the cabin, Delta permits small dogs, cats, and birds on most of their flights. The pet must be kept in a small, ventilated soft-sided pet carrier airline approved that fits under the seat. The Delta Airlines pet fees for this service vary depending on the destination but generally range from $125 to $200 per one-way trip.

It’s important for pet owners to make reservations in advance as Delta limits the number of pets allowed in the cabin on each flight.

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Cat in the airplane cabin using JetPaw Pet Carrier


United Airlines

United Airlines allows pets in the cabin on most of their flights within the United States, excluding Hawaii, and on some international routes. Like Delta, the pet must be in a soft pet carrier airline-approved that can fit under the seat. United charges a fee of $125 each way, and an additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside of the U.S.


For international travelers, Lufthansa is a popular choice that accommodates pets. Small dogs and cats can travel in the cabin if the combined weight of the pet and airline-approved soft pet carrier does not exceed 8 kilograms. The fee for pet travel within Europe is approximately €50, while international travel outside Europe can cost around €100. Lufthansa emphasizes that the carrier must fit under the seat and requires advance notification and approval.


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British Airways


British Airways has a more restrictive policy, as it generally does not allow pets to travel in the cabin, with the exception of service animals. Pets that cannot travel in the cabin must go into the hold, treated as cargo, and the costs can vary significantly based on the size and weight of the pet and soft-sided airline-approved pet carrier. However, for those traveling with service animals, there are no additional charges.


Southwest Airlines


Cat inside the airplane cabin
Cat inside the airplane cabin

For domestic flights within the United States, Southwest Airlines offers a competitive option for pet travel. Pets are permitted in the cabin on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as they are kept in an airline-approved soft-sided pet carrier.

Southwest charges a reasonable pet fare of $95 each way per airline-approved soft pet carrier, which is among the lower fees in the American airline industry. Make sure your pet stays inside your carrier or they will be banned from riding with Southwest Airlines in the future.



Heading down under, Qantas stipulates that pets can travel in the cabin only on domestic flights, and not on international flights except for service animals. The cost for pet travel depends on the weight and size of the pet and soft airline pet carrier, with fees calculated based on the travel route. It is crucial for travelers to contact the airline directly for detailed information and to make a booking.



Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines allows small pets to travel in the cabin on domestic flights. The fee is determined by the size of the small soft-sided pet carrier airline approved but typically starts at around ¥5,000 (approximately $45 USD) per segment. Similar to other airlines, pets must stay in their carriers underneath the seat during the flight.


Traveling with a pet requires careful planning, especially when it comes to understanding and budgeting for airline fees. Most airlines that permit pets in the cabin charge a fee, and these can vary based on the airline, the size of the pet, the travel route, the size o f the small soft-sided pet carrier airline approved, and specific travel conditions. Always check with your airline well in advance of your travel dates to ensure you meet all requirements and have all necessary reservations made for your pet. This proactive approach will help ensure a smooth and stress-free journey for both you and your furry friend.



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