The Best Airlines for Pets

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According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pets' popularity continues to grow and they are considered more and more to be full-fledged members of the family. It's no surprise, then, that when families move or take extended vacations that furry family members also are making the trip. If your mode of transportation is flying, considered these choices as the best airlines for pets.

Pet Airways

  • This is the first airline dedicated exclusively to pets who fly in the main cabin instead of in cargo. Flights arrive and depart from nine airports across the United States where pets are dropped off and picked up at pet lounges. "Pawsengers" are checked on every 15 minutes during the trip, with stops being made on longer journeys for potty breaks.

    Pet Airways
    888-PET-AIRWAYS
    petairways.com

United Airlines

  • The airline's 12-point handbook on customer satisfaction outlines its commitment to make United flyers feel "relaxed, respected and rewarded". That means customers will further feel that way if they know their pets are also accepted, and United doesn't discriminate. Small dogs, cats and birds can come on board as a carry-on or checked baggage, while hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs are checked baggage only. All other animals ride in cargo.

    United Airlines
    800-United-1
    united.com

American Airlines

  • This carrier is popular with zoos across the country because its animal-trained staff has successfully transported many inhabitants from one zoo to another. With resumes geared toward animals that have extreme special needs and are highly sensitive to travel, American's animal handlers also are well-suited to get family pets to their destinations safely.

    American Airlines
    800-433-7300
    aa.com

JetBlue Airways

  • This carrier's name has become synonymous with offering economical flying options, and its exclusive JetPaws program gives pet-loving travelers further incentive to fly with them. Besides a free bag tag to keep pets well-identified and free pet travel guide, you'll earn TrueBlue points (JetBlue's member advantage program) each way when traveling with your pet.

    JetBlue Airways
    800-JETBLUE
    jetblue.com

Continental

  • Small dogs, cats, rabbits and birds are allowed to be carried on into the cabin, but for all others traveling in cargo the area is climate-controlled with a designated staff. Also, Continental's PetSafe program offers a 24-hour live animal desk, and owner's can track their pets from departure to arrival.

    Continental
    800-523-FARE
    continental.com

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