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Pet fee - why?

ljrosenberg
New Arrival

I don't understand the pet fee. My pet is my carry on. Southwest doesn't charge for carry ons. The pet is in a carrier under the seat in front of me, just like my backpack or purse. I understand that there might be some additional liability, but $95 each way? That adds almost $200 to my trip for what is basically a carry on! Boo! 😞

13 REPLIES 13
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Re: Pet fee - why?

LindseyD
Rising Star
Solution

Hi @ljrosenberg,

 

We're proud to offer our Customers the ability to bring their pets along for travel, but there are some additional considerations and costs associated with that service. Looking at the prices across the industry for pet travel, we feel that we are offering our Customers a very fair and competitive option.

 

Looking forward to seeing you and furry friend onboard soon!

 

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Re: Pet fee - why?

Ijhyde
New Arrival

You didn't address the question. Why a pet fee? When it's a carry on?  You stated that your fees were considered fair and across the board but didn't answer why you even charge a fee for a carry on ?

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Re: Pet fee - why?

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Pet fees are a deterrent.

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Re: Pet fee - why?

nutsoverSWA
New Arrival

@chgoflyer wrote:

Pet fees are a deterrent.


Not enough of a deterrent .... especially if headed to a 'pet obsessed destination' (Portland, OR...)

 

Fleas!  we had 3 rows all scratching last week when a 'lap dog' companionWoman Frustrated pet was 6" away breathing down my neck for 2 hrs.

 

50+ yrs at a pet owner... never a need to FLY with my pets... and to disrupt / make miserable the $200 experience of 200 others, and tio set them itching and sneezing for the remained of their 'vacation' / business trip.   PETS... A Very selfish way to commute.  (IMHO)

 

There are better options.

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Re: Pet fee - why?

lemonsupreme
New Arrival

Please inform me of the additional considerations and costs of having a carrier where my feet are going? It doesnt make sense. Bad enough you squish us 3 to a rown on the 700 series which is brutal for tall people. 

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Re: Pet fee - why?

jansywansy
New Arrival

As of 6/5/2017 there is a second request, which I also have, of asking for specific reasoning of why Southwest charges for putting our pets under the seat.  Saying that the rate is consistent with other airlines is not an answer.  And, BTW, I was going to travel with Southwest this fall to visit my brother because at least you had a low rate ($75) but now it has gone up.  So can we please have an honest answer?

 

Do you wonder why you see so many "emotional therapy" pets flying nowadays?  It's because people have figured out how to get around these fares.  Anxiety/depression are real, but there is not very much real science behind this trend.  And wouldn't it be better if the pet fee were low enough that people could travel with their pet and continue to be private about their maladies?  

I have to agree with the reply above that suggests the fee is to discourage people to fly with their pets.  And it is one more way that airlines can gouge us.   Also, folks who complain about dogs being smelly are just sad people.  I have never smelled a dog in 30+ years of flying.  My guess is that a pet-friendly airline would have far more customer loyalty that it would with the sorts of people who grumble about pets.

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Re: Pet fee - why?

dbcampb
New Arrival

Thank you for your straight forward assessment.  Given that there are those people that are allergic to pets or have other objections, I also agree with the comments that the high fee is intended as a deterant. I think the deterant is there to reduce the number of complaints from those that would prefer no pets on the flight.

 

I have on occasion taken a small dog with me on a flight and found the process quite difficult to navigate if you have a change of planes a would like to take the dog to an area designated area for potty breaks. I have not checked lately, but aren't all of those areas on the other side of TSA security check or nowhere to be found?

 

My specific reason for looking at the policy again now is that the fee increased from the last time I flew with a dog and I wanted to question the rate. I am looking at locating in San Diego and will need to take frequent trips to the Bay Area. On the surface, Southwests sales on travel within California look like a good solution. However, the $95 each way for my dog will end up being about twice the cost of my tickets. As dog owners know, the reason for flying with a dog are not so much not being able to be separated from the dog for that period of time but the lack of good affordable safe alternatives for the pet care while you are gone.

 

I'm not sure how whole heartedly I agree with this being an opportunity for price gouging. I have not seen enough pets on a flight that I think the airline makes much money that way. If you have ever bought a low fare ticket and then had to change it last minute, I do believe that Southwest is one of the most sinister in this regard to marketing and pricing schemes. However, I do not think that pet travel affects their bottom line enough that it had anything to do with how ridiculously high they set the pet fee.

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Re: Pet fee - why?

Dhbeloise
New Arrival

I have two sister in laws that decided to get a letter stating their dog is an emotional support dog just for the purpose of not having to pay the fee.  Neither one has emotional issues.   On top of that....one of the sister in laws uses that excuse to get "pre-board" status.  She winks and laughs about how she gets around the system.  This policy of letting dogs on for just anybody has gotten out of hand.  My husband was told by a Jet Blue attendant that they are changing their policy to require a letter from a mental health doctor and not your general practitioner.  Oh well......

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Re: Pet fee - why?

Rgc
New Arrival

I’m a retired (27 yrs) Veteran, female, and suffer from PTSD.  I recently acquired a small ESA, and registered her.  I made my reservation over the phone, and ensured the agent knew I would be traveling with an ESA animal.  The agent assured me I would only need her registration documentation.  When I went to board the plane, the gate agent asked for my registration, which I gave her.  She then, loudly, asked what my “mental disability” was and insisted I have a specific letter from my mental health provider specifically stating my “mental disability” and that I was ok “mentally” to travel on a plane.  She nearly yelled at me “anyone can go online and get this, it means nothing”.  I had an “A” boarding number so the entire boarding process was held up, and all boarding passengers heard, while she got on the boarding area intercom, THE INTERCOM, and announced in the boarding area (directed to the boarding area desk agent) that she was sending me to the desk to pay for my dog because I did not have the “mental health professional letter stating what is wrong with her mentally”! She then stated my full name over THE INTERCOM!  I can’t tell you how devastated I was, how humiliated I felt, and what the looks from the other passengers did to me.  I could barely breathe.  I paid the $95.  I got on the plane.  I completed the flight.  I broke out in hives, and trembled and quietly cried the entire way.    I feel nauseous now just typing this out.  I’ll never again fly Southwest.  The pet policy is ridiculous, discriminatory, a price gouge and in this instance, abusive and punishing.  Perhaps there are individuals that try to take advantage of the ESA certification, but I’m not one of them.  I was judged and publically humiliated seemingly on purpose.  Never again, Southwest.