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International Travel

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PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

AListPreferredD
New Arrival

I'm bummed.   We're traveling to Puerto Vallarta for Thanksgiving week, booked our tickets and planned to take our canine family member along.   When I called to make the pet reservation, I was informed that Southwest doesn't allow pets on any international flights. 

 

Why!?!

 

Every other carrier on this route (American, United, Frontier, Aeromexico ...) allows pets in the cabin on flights to Mexico.    Why doesn't Southwest?

 

Anyone know a good reason for this?   I'm A-List Preferred and love Southwest.   But vacation plans now mean switching to one of the other carriers.   

8 REPLIES 8
Highlighted

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Lindsey Employee
Employee
Solution

Hi @AListPreferredD,

 

 

On Southwest, pets are accepted for travel on flights within the United States and to/from U.S. cities in the contiguous 48 states and Puerto Rico. Southwest Airlines does not accept pets on international flights. Most countries have animal health regulations that require certain health conditions to be met before an animal can be legally admitted to the country. As a result, we made a business decision not to accept pets on international itineraries.

 

Lindsey
Community Manager
The Southwest Airlines Community

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

AListPreferredD
New Arrival

Too bad.   I wish Southwest would revisit this decision.  

 

As a result, we're having to fly American and Frontier to/from Puerto Vallarta in November.  

 

Interestingly, I haven't been able to locate any other carrier that doesn't allow pets to travel to Mexico.  Yes, there are pet entry requirements, but all that's required is a simple veterinarian certificate issued two weeks before travel.   

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Aarnspiger
New Arrival

Hi, 

I saw this post from a couple years ago and wanted to ask if SW might change the small pets in cabin rule at some point for travel to/from Mexico?

 

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

maruke57
New Arrival

Sorry, but as customer oriented that your company always has been, it is a sad decision made for  not a strong reason. You have a huge market of customers traveling to and from Belize. IN DROVES....they truly need a safe passage for their carry on pets.  

 

BAHA in Belize is extremely easy to work with, and it is less than a 2 hour flight from Fort Lauderdale and about the same from Houston...easy for pet under the seat travel...'

 

 

Help us, please, we need Southwest to come throught with this one. 

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

amelia14
New Arrival

Had I seen this post last week, our vacation might not have been totally detailed. Since I know Mexico accepts dogs through customs without issue and had traveled previously with our dog on Southwest domestically, I didn't know it was an issue. Apparently, multiple Southwest employees didn't either.. 

 

I called Southwest’s main line prior to our flight on 4/6/18, connecting specifically with the line for updating **international** travel reservations, in order to book our 9 lb dog Ollie on our upcoming flights to/from Cabo (SJD). After entering the info into the system, the Southwest agent on the phone politely confirmed Ollie was booked on the fights both two and from SDJ and that it would cost $95 each way, which we would pay at the airport.  WIth Ollie "successfully" booked on our flights, we paid the vet $139 to get the necessary health docs within 10 days of traveling. 
 
Upon arriving at our departing airport, we checked in for our flight and paid the $95 pet travel fee to have Ollie accompany us to Cabo (SDJ). We provided all the paperwork provided by the vet confirming Ollie’s ability to travel to Mexico which was reviewed by the agent, and we also answered the agent’s question that yes, we had booked a dog friendly hotel near Cabo and Ollie’s travel arrangements we accounted for. She gave us the dog tag ticketed to SDJ, and from there we proceeded through security without issue. 
 
Then - arriving at the departure gate - we were informed there had been a mistake. Despite the fact that Ollie was 1) booked on the flight by a Southwest phone agent days before and 2) paid for and ticketed at the check in desk less than 30 min prior, she informed us that Southwest actually does not permit in-cabin pets to travel internationally unless the dog is documented Emotional Support Animal. We were devastated. It had taken us months to finally get the time off for a short 3-day / 4-night vacation and now - with less than 30 minutes before our flight was to depart - we were told that we couldn’t board the flight unless someone could come pick up the dog. Impossible, since we live more than an hour away from the airport. 
 
I'm trying to work through the correct channels to redeem the promised ticket and pet fee refunds need to route through Customer Relations, but I can't find a Customer Relations email address to send an email with attachments (can't send via webform).
 
If anyone has any leads, please let me know - otherwise am just posting to say DO NOT take Southwest agent's word for it over the phone if she books your dog on your itinerary to SDJ. The policy, unfortunately, has not changed. 
 
Southwest - if you're out there - I understand mistakes happen but this was a huge blow to us. I'm hoping to send a full accouting of what happend (already typed) along with documentation and receipts to the correct department, rather than split it all up for the web form. Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated. 

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

If you are unable to use the webform to submit your message I would suggest contacting Southwest via Twitter to see how you can provide the information. Send a brief direct message to @SouthwestAir asking how you can submit all the details and documentation. It's worth signing up for Twitter just to do this if you don't already have an account. Good luck! 

 

--TheMiddleSeat 

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Yolyc64
New Arrival

So, does this means I can travel from BWI to San Juan, PR with my small dog. 

Re: PETS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

franktravel
Rising Star

Flights to Puerto Rico are considered domestic flights for US citizens from the US and are not international flights.  Yes, you can bring a small dog.