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Editors' Choice Awards 2010: Most Pet-Friendly Airline for Carry-On Pets

by SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Choice Badge: Most Pet-Friendly Airline/Carry-on Pets
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 23, 2010. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, baggage, JetBlue, pet travel.

Winner: JetBlue

What matters most when picking an airline to fly with your pet in a carry-on container? Cost? Legroom? For our Most Pet-Friendly Airline for Carry-on Pets award, we took into consideration these these items and more, including any additional perks for the pet. Airlines that don't allow pets to be carried on were automatically disqualified.

Based on these criteria, JetBlue emerged as the top dog. Though the airline isn't the cheapest to fly, charging $100 each way, its JetPaws program is specifically designed for passengers traveling with pets, and that made up the difference. The program includes a pet bag tag, a "petiquette" guide explaining the social graces of pet travel, and a welcome email with important information. Plus, TrueBlue members receive 300 points each way when traveling with a pet.

Another thing we considered is that JetBlue doesn't charge for a first checked bag—a potential money-saver because your pet is considered your one carry-on. JetBlue also touts the most legroom in coach of any airline, so you won't be as cramped with your pet under the seat in front of you. Overall, JetBlue wins for offering the friendliest flight for you and your four-legged friend.

Honorable mention goes to Southwest Airlines, which recently started allowing pets onboard and is doing it the right way. Charging only $75 each way to carry-on your pet, Southwest is one of the cheapest airlines to fly. Plus, Southwest doesn't charge for the first two checked bags, so passengers can save there as well. The airline also offers the P.A.W.S (Pets are Welcome on Southwest) guide, but it doesn't include any extra perks at this time.

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See All Editors' Choice Winners

Most Customer-Friendly Airline | Best Free Airline Perk | Best Coach-Class Experience | Best Value Airline | Best Value Destination | Best Hotel Loyalty Program | Best Rental Car Loyalty Program | Best Travel Rewards Card for Domestic Use | Best Travel Rewards Card for Overseas Use | Best Travel Rewards Card for ATM Use | Best Airline Website | Best Use of Social Media | Most Pet-Friendly Airline for Checked Pets | Most Pet-Friendly Airline for Carry-On Pets | Most Eco-Friendly Airline | Best Airport for Layovers | Best Airport for Connections

 
 
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