Plan on flying with pets this winter? The chill in the November air is a reminder that cold weather and pet travel don't always mix. Flying with pets as checked baggage in the winter is not a given due to airlines' temperature restrictions based on either locations and the time of year or temperature for that day. Weather does not affect in-cabin pets.
Temperature restrictions are in place not to cause you grief but to help protect your pet even though your pampered pooch is in the climate-controlled baggage compartment. Airlines don't want to expose your precious cargo to extreme cold in the animal holding areas, terminal facilities, when moving your pets from the terminal and aircraft or on an aircraft awaiting departure. Therefore, if you're planning on checking your pet as baggage in the coming months, first make sure it is allowed on your preferred carrier.
Below are just a few of the airlines' pet policies in regards to flying with pets in cold weather. For a more complete list, visit our Airline Pet Policy section and contact each airline since policies relating to flying with pets may change.
Pets cannot be accepted when the ground temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary. The restriction for cold temperature restriction may be waived with a written veterinarian statement. When temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees C), pets may not be checked even with a statement of low temperature acclimation.
Delta Air Lines
Winter Embargo - Nov. 1 through March 31
Animals will not be accepted as checked baggage on flights operated between Salt Lake City, UT (SLC) and Sun Valley, ID (SUN), Twin Falls, ID (TWF), or Jackson Hole, WY (JAC).
Delta will not accept animals as checked baggage during extreme weather, if at any point (origin/transit/destination) during the animal's trip the high temperature for the day is forecast to be (no exceptions to the temperature restriction): Below 10° Fahrenheit (-12°C)
Pets may be shipped as cargo during this time.
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Alaska recommends that in winter, choose mid-day flights. Whenever possible, book nonstop or direct flights. If temperatures at the origin, destination, or connecting airports exceed certain limits, Alaska Airlines may decline acceptance for the animal's welfare.
Some carriers, such as Southwest, Virgin America, JetBlue, USAirways and Frontier, only allow pets to travel in cabin. Neither The Jet Set Pets nor The Humane Society of the United States recommends transporting animals in baggage compartments unless absolutely necessary. Every month the Department of Transportation issues an Air Travel Consumer Report that details airline animal incidents reports. There are alternatives to checking pets as baggage.