Fee to carry a pet with you on a plane

Emily and I are heading back to NC this year from December 22nd to January 1st. Since most of our friends will also be traveling, and 9 days is a long time to impose on someone anyway, we’ll be bringing Toro with us on our flights between California and North Carolina. He’s a 5lb 5 year old chihuahua who’s super cute and rarely barks. The fee for this varies by airline, but it used to be around $50.

But now it seems airlines have increased this fee:

American Airlines $100
Continental $125
Delta $150
JetBlue $100
Northwest $150
Southwest Does not allow pets
United $175
US Airways $100
Virgin America $50

I think these fees are ridiculous (except for Virgin, which is reasonable). I can think of only two costs incurred by the airline: 1. takes a few seconds longer to go through security and 2. if the pet pees on the plane it could be annoying to clean up, but the airline should just charge people when that happens (and $100 is a disproportionate amount to cover this cost anyway).

I think I’m going to ask airlines what their rationale is for charging that much… I suspect it’s “because we can.”

Edit: My updated version. Also see this.

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6 Responses to Fee to carry a pet with you on a plane

  1. terror_firma says:

    The checked baggage fees seem extortionary as well. $150 to check two bags?!

  2. salchichatu says:

    If they knew how cute Toro was, they’d be paying US to take him on the plane.

    • songchilde says:

      I agree with this totally! He’s so, so cute.

      • songchilde says:

        So I just realized that it’s very good that I put in the “,” after my first so. I really meant to emphasize how cute Toro is. Then I realized that without the comma, it might sound like I am saying “he is so-so cute, he is only a bit cute.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    stupid northwest

    I tried to make my reservation Nov. 30th as soon as I knew that I was getting the dog I wanted to adopt. At that time the fee was $80. The woman would not let me make the reservation because I need the exact weights and dimensions of the carrier. I still didn’t have hime (was getting him the next week). Of course she did not mention that by the time I could make the reservation it would double! I talked to one woman last night who said the company knew for 3 or 4 weeks and she (the original NWA rep) should have warned me. She gave me the customer care line and they were totally unhelpful and refused to let me pay the original fee of when I called. I am SOOO irate that I was trying to be a good passenger and do my duty as soon as I could and they are penalizing me. I wish I could totally boycott NWA but unfortunately they monopolize the flights out here.

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