While many airlines around the world allow pets to fly on them, whether in the cabin or the hold, there are some airlines that are extra pet-friendly. I’ve picked these ten airlines out as the most pet-friendly airlines around the world, including European, American and Asian airlines.
What Makes an Airline Pet-Friendly?
At a minimum, I’ve only selected airlines that allow pets to fly in the cabin. If pets are only permitted to fly in the hold on the airline, no matter how good the reputation of the airline and their pet facilities, I’ve left it off this list.
However, in addition to allowing pets in the cabin, I’ve looked for airlines that go at least one step further. They may have generous weight allowances for pets, offer options for larger pets to fly in the cabin, allow you to buy an extra seat for pets, let you bring on a pet stroller for free, or make it easy to make a booking for your pet.
Some of these airlines I’ve flown on myself, while other airlines are regularly praised by other pet owners.
The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines
Based on this criteria, I’ve selected the following ten airlines from around the world as the most pet-friendly. For each airline, I’ve listed the extra pet-friendly features that the airline offers.
Le Compagnie (France)
Pet-friendly Features: Generous weight allowance on Trans-Atlantic flights
A boutique French airline, La Compagnie offers all-business class flights between France and the USA. A far from typical airline, their pet policy is also unusual, making them a popular option for pet owners flying their pets in between the USA and France.
The maximum weight for pets to fly in the cabin with Le Compagnie is a very generous 15kg (33 lbs), with no mention that this includes the carrier – one of the most generous anywhere in the world. Your pet’s carrier should not be larger than 55 x 35 x 25cm, although I’ve heard they can be slightly flexible, although this can vary depending on the check-in staff.
Advance reservations are required for your pet, at least 48 hours before departure, with a limit of three pets on each flight. The pet fee is variable – 10% of your own ticket price.
Click here to view their full policy.
JSX (United States)
Pet-Friendly Features: Larger dogs out of a carrier allowed in the cabin
JSX describes itself as a “hop-on jet service” that operates between a short list of airports in the United States, plus Baja California Sur in Mexico. While not a major US airline, they are by far the most pet-friendly airline in the USA.
In addition to transporting small dogs and cats in the cabin, they also make allowances for flying medium-to-large dogs in the cabin, with up to five pets permitted per flight. Until recently there was also a policy for emotional support animals, but this is no longer offered.
Currently, small dogs and cats can fly free-of-charge, as long as they are in a pet carrier, that fits underneath the seat in front of you. The maximum size of their carrier is a fairly generous 17 x 13 x 11 inches (43.2 x 33 x 27.9cm), with no weight limit. Only one carrier is permitted per passenger, replacing your personal item. However, for new bookings from 10th July 2023, a $100 fee each way will apply.
For medium-to-large dogs that are too large for a carrier, but still under 79 lbs (35.8kg), you can purchase an adjacent seat. During the flight, your dog will need to remain leashed, lay on the floor directly in front of the seat and of course be well-behaved. Call the call centre to purchase this option.
Click here to view their pet policy.
Etihad Airways (UAE)
Pet-Friendly Features: Buy a seat, with a larger carrier permitted
The Middle Eastern airline Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, operates an extensive network of flights throughout the Middle East and the world. Two options are available when flying with a small pet on Etihad.
Firstly, if flying in economy, you can fly with your pet at your feet, in a carrier no larger than 40 x 40 x 22cm. However, there is also the option to buy an adjacent seat for your pet, in which case their carrier can be a far larger 50 x 43 x 50cm.
In both cases, an 8kg weight limit applies. And if flying in business or first class, due to the seat design, the only option is to buy an adjacent seat, with the higher carrier dimensions applying.
The only thing that makes me reluctant to call them a truly pet-friendly airline, is that in October 2022 they substantially increased their pet fees. Previously the charge was a set $200, but it is now an astronomical $1500. This is in addition to the cost of buying an extra seat, if selected.
Small pets are permitted to fly in the cabin on most flights, both to and from Abu Dhabi, except for when flying to or from selected destinations – see their website for more details. For larger pets and other destinations, you will need to book your pet with the LiveAnimals service through Etihad Cargo.
Click here to view their latest pet policy.
JetBlue (United States)
Pet-Friendly Features: Buy a seat to bring a second pet, pet strollers checked for free
At first glance, JetBlue doesn’t seem like the most pet-friendly American airline. The weight limit for pets flying on JetBlue isn’t that high, a low 20lbs (9kg). Additionally, the maximum carrier size isn’t that large, 17 x 12.5 x 8.5 inches (43.18 x 31.75 x 21.59cm).
However, there are a number of pet-friendly features when you fly with JetBlue. Firstly, it’s possible for each passenger to fly with two pets in the cabin, thanks to the option to buy an additional seat.
Each pet will need to fly in their own carrier, one underneath the seat in front of you and the other in front of the adjacent seat, with the pet fee of $125 each way applying per pet. Luckily, up to six pets are permitted on each flight.
Additionally, JetBlue offers the option for pet strollers to be checked at no charge. You can choose between checking the stroller at the ticket counter, or later at the gate, so that you can use it inside the terminal.
Pet-Friendly Features: Buy a seat, with a larger carrier and higher weight limit
Belavia, the flag-carrier of Belarus, also offers the option to buy a second seat for your pet, with a larger carrier permitted, but also a higher weight limit.
The standard option when flying a pet in the cabin with Belavia is to travel with them at your feet, in which case a fairly standard maximum carrier size of 55 x 40 x 20cm and a maximum weight of 8kg applies.
However, there is also the option to buy an adjacent seat for your pet. In this case, the pet and the carrier can be up to 55 x 40 x 40cm, with a maximum weight of 23kg. Note that the carrier must be reliably secured during the flight, and confirm whether soft as well as rigid carriers are permitted.
The standard fee to transport a pet in the cabin is only €50 or equivalent, low even amongst European airlines. If buying a second seat, an additional baggage in the cabin fee applies.
For full details of their pet policy, click here.
S7 Airlines (Russia)
Pet-Friendly Features: Buy a seat, with a larger carrier and higher weight limit
One of Russia’s largest domestic airlines, S7 Airlines also has a similar policy to Belavia. S7 allows dogs, cats and birds to fly in the cabin as well as the hold, with two options for pets flying in the cabin.
You can reserve a seat for your pet, which must travel in a rigid container that is strapped in by the seat belt. A maximum weight of 23kg applies, including their carrier, which can be up to 40cm high. Alternatively, your pet can travel under the seat in front, in a soft carrier bag up to 25cm high, with a weight limit of 10kg.
The fee for flying a pet varies, starting at 2500 rubles. Pets travelling under the seat can be booked online as part of a regular booking, or added later. If booking a separate seat for your pet, this must be booked at the time of the initial booking, whether online, through the chat function or through a sales office.
Click here to view the full pet policy of S7 Airlines (only in Russian).
Pet-Friendly Features: Easy online booking, previously high weight limit
Spanish budget airline Vueling mainly operates out of Barcelona, although they also have some handy flights from Paris (Orly) to a wide range of Spanish and European destinations. During my years in Europe, I flew multiple times with Vueling thanks to their pet-friendliness.
Unfortunately, their weight limit of 10kg for pets flying in the cabin was reduced back down to 8kg in June 2023, applying to new bookings. Previously, their weight limit was one of the most generous in Europe. The maximum carrier size is 45 x 39 x 21cm, although this was never checked when I flew Vueling, with a soft carrier that was slightly taller (but able to be squished down).
It’s easy to add your pet when making an online booking with Vueling. Choose the Basic Fare option, then at the Customise Your Flight step add your pet to the booking. There’s no need to call the call centre!
Up to three pets are permitted on each flight, although only two on flights operated by Iberia. The fee for a pet flying in the cabin is €50 on domestic flights within Spain and €60 on international flights, including to the Canary Islands.
Air Malta (Malta)
Pet-Friendly Features: Higher weight limit, pet strollers carried for free
Thanks to being an island, many visitors to the European country of Malta fly to the country, including on the flag-carrier, Air Malta. During my time in Europe, I flew to Malta on Air Malta with my dog in the cabin.
Air Malta offers one of the higher weight allowances of European airlines. While many European airlines have a maximum weight allowance of 8kg for pets flying in the cabin, including their carrier, Air Malta have a higher weight allowance of 10kg. Note though that the maximum dimensions of the carrier are still small.
Another feature that makes Air Malta stand out as a pet-friendly airline in Europe is that they will carry pet strollers free of charge, handy when travelling with older and less mobile pets. The pet fee is also relatively low, a flat €70. Note though that a health certificate is required.
Click here for more details.
Korean Air (South Korea)
Pet-Friendly Features: Asian airline allowing pets in the cabin, program for frequent pet travellers
When I reviewed the pet policies of Asian airlines, I found that not many Asian airlines allow pets to fly in the cabin. Only a few airlines across the entire continent, from the Middle East to East Asia, offer this option.
Two of the few airlines allowing pets to fly in the cabin are the two main South Korean airlines, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, both handy options to keep in mind when travelling to or from Asia with your pet.
For pets flying in the cabin on Korean Air, a relatively low weight limit of 7kg applies, including their carrier. The carrier should be no larger than 45 x 32 x 19cm, or 25cm high for soft carriers. In addition to a single pet per passenger permitted in the cabin, you can also fly with two pets in the hold.
What makes Korean Air more pet-friendly is that they also offer a SKYPETS program for frequent pet travellers. Stamps collected for flying with your pet, including by redeeming mileage, can be later redeemed for discounted or free pet flights.
Click here to find out more.
Southwest Airlines (United States)
Pet-Friendly Features: Low pet fees, check a pet stroller or crate for free
Southwest Airlines charges one of the lowest pet fees amongst United States airlines, a low $95 USD per pet carrier each direction. Additionally, a lower fee of $35 USD applies within the Hawaiian Islands. (Southwest flies pets on Hawaii Interisland flights, but not to and from Hawaii.)
There is no weight limit for pets flying on Southwest Airlines. Your pet though needs to comfortably fit within an carrier that is no larger than 18.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches (47 x 34 x 24cm). If you have a pet under 15lbs, you can buy a suitable branded carrier off the airline.
What makes Southwest Airlines also stand out as a pet-friendly airline is that they allow you to check either a pet stroller or crate for free. With an increasing number of older and less mobile pets using pet strollers, not to mention the advantages of crates when travelling in rental vehicles or staying in hotel rooms, this is a handy perk.
View more details of their pet policy.
More Airlines Highly Regarded by Pet Owners
In addition to the above airlines, there are a number of other airlines that are highly regarded by many pet owners, the go-to options to fly with your pet, even though they don’t offer extra pet-friendly features.
Also consider flying with your pet on Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Delta and United. These European and American airlines most frequently come up as recommended airlines to fly with your pet.
More Airlines That Allow You to Buy a Seat
In addition to the above airlines, there are a few other airlines that allow you to buy a seat for a pet, either so that a larger pet can travel on the seat or that you can fly a second pet in the cabin.
To view the full list, check out my guide to airlines that allow you to buy a seat for your dog.
More Airlines That Allow You to Take a Pet Stroller
In addition to the above airlines, there are also a few other airlines that have pet policies that mention carrying pet strollers on board. In some cases it’s stipulated that they can be checked for free, while other airlines transport pet strollers as part of your baggage allowance.
To view the full list, check out my guide to airlines that allow you to take a pet stroller.
More Airlines That Fly Pets in the Cabin
I’ve put together comprehensive lists of airlines around the world that allow pets to fly in the cabin, including information on their weight allowances, carrier sizes, pet fees and other quirks of their pet policies.
To view more airlines, check out my guides to: