Puppy Found in Owners' Suitcase When Checking into a Southwest Flight

·2 min read
Kristi Owens dog at Southwest security
Kristi Owens dog at Southwest security

Courtesy of Kristi Owens

A small Chihuahua recently became the world's cutest stowaway after it snuck into its owners' suitcase only to be discovered thanks to an overweight bag.

The dog, named Icky, was found when the couple tried to check their bag for a Southwest Airlines flight from Lubbock, Texas, to Las Vegas on Sept. 26, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Travel + Leisure.

Bags on Southwest fly free under 50 pounds, but this one weighed just about 5 pounds over.

Kristi Owens and husband with the dog
Kristi Owens and husband with the dog

Courtesy of Kristi Owens

Cathy Cook, a Southwest employee for more than 24 years, suggested the couple rearrange some items to avoid the hefty overweight bag fee. That's when they discovered Icky had crawled in unbeknownst to them.

"Just coming out of the boot is Icky's little bitty head bobbing up and down with her tongue out," owner Jared Owens told The Washington Post. "I wish there would have been a picture of our faces when we opened that up and saw that."

See, Icky (who was rescued from the side of a road in Texas five years ago) has a habit of hiding and was definitely not supposed to be a plus-one to their Vegas getaway.

Southwest said Cook, a dog person herself, jokingly offered to watch Icky for the couple, but a relative rushed to the airport to take her home. And the couple — luckily — did not miss their flight.

"We are really grateful for Cathy for showing her Southwest hospitality that we're all known for to our customers, whether they have two legs or four legs," the spokeswoman for Southwest told T+L.

Kristi Owens dog at Southwest security
Kristi Owens dog at Southwest security

Courtesy of Kristi Owens

If the pup had wanted to see the Strip, Southwest does allow small dogs to travel in the cabin under the seat on domestic flights for $95, according to the airline. Dogs must travel in pet carriers (there's a bunch of great airline-approved ones for sale).

While the airline allows some pets, Southwest — like many carriers in the United States — has banned emotional support animals on board.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.