Pet Travel: The Cheapest Hotels and Airlines for Your Fur Baby

Hard to leave those cute puppy eyes behind. (Photo: LuAnn Snawder Photography)

There are few things more irritating than arriving at a supposedly “pet-friendly” hotel only to find the fee for bringing along your animal companion is almost the same cost as the hotel room itself.

We feel you. That’s why, in honor of National Pet Month, and out of our sometimes irrational love for our four-legged family members, we’ve created this quick and dirty guide to the cost of traveling with pets.

Read on for details on how much you have to shell out to bring Fido or Mrs. Furrbottom along on your next trip.

As always, exceptions and exclusions may apply, so be sure to contact the hotel or airline prior to booking.


(Price per stay unless otherwise noted)

Four Seasons hotels around the U.S. charge no additional fee and have a limit of two small (under 15 pounds) trained pets. Guests are required to sign a pet waiver upon check-in.

Kimpton Hotels charge no fees, with no limit to number of pets or weight. There’s a Director of Pet Relations on staff at select locations and pet amenities include: pet beds for loan, food and water bowls, and snacks in the lobby.

Comfort Inn has a three-dog limit and no fees. Pet-friendly rooms are also available.

Days Inn charges $10 per pet per night. There are pre-selected pet-friendly rooms. Be sure to call ahead for availability.

Hampton Inn charges a fee that varies by location ($25-50), and the weight limit is two pets up to 50 lbs. each.

The fees at Loews hotels varies by location ($25-50). There is a two-pet limit, and pet amenities include pet-walking, dog and cat beds, and dog treats.

Hyatt hotels charge a $75 non-refundable cleaning fee with a limit of one dog weighing 50 lbs. and under, or two dogs under a combined weight of 75 pounds. Pet amenities at select Hyatt locations include a special dog bed, bowl, ID tag, and welcome card. Also, some locations offer a designated dog walk area complete with convenient, fully stocked cleanup stations.

Hilton hotels charge a $75 non-refundable cleaning fee with a limit of two pets weighing up to 75 lbs. Private in-room pet care service is available at select locations.

DoubleTree hotels charge a $75 non-refundable service fee. Only dogs are allowed, and there is a limit of two per stay.

W hotels charge a $100 non-refundable cleaning fee in addition to the $25 extra you’ll pay for a “pet-friendly” room rate. Pet amenities are provided through the P.A.W. program and include: Pet welcome kit, toys and treats, custom W pet bed, dog-sitting, walking, and vet and grooming services.

Le Meridien charges a fee of $150 per pet, per night. Two pets maximum per room are accepted, and a pet policy waiver must be signed upon arrival.

Ritz Carlton has a fee that varies by location ($125-250). Weight limits range from 10 to 30 lbs., and certain locations will only accept dogs. Several locations offer special pet packages including pet hikes, beds, treats and toys.


Prices are per pet carrier (required from all airlines) and one-way unless otherwise noted. As a general policy, all airlines require carry-on pets to remain in their carriers stored under the seat during the flight. Also, carriers in the passenger cabin must be leak-proof and rigid (non-collapsible), ventilated on at least 2 sides, and give ample room for the animal to stand up and turn around.

American Airlines charges $125 for bringing your pet on board as a carry-on. Pet carriers checked as cargo cost $175 between US and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. Prices to other destinations vary. Pets are not allowed on flights to Hawaii.

Delta Airlines charges a carry-on fee of $125 for domestic travel and $200 for foreign travel. Pet carriers checked as cargo are $200 each way. Your pet must be at least 10 weeks old, and household birds are only permitted on domestic U.S. flights.

United Airlines charges a carry-on fee of $125, and the fee for checked carriers varies by weight. There is an additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside of the U.S.

Southwest Airlines allows pets to board as carry-on items for a fee of $95. Travelers may purchase an official Southwest Airlines pet carrier for $48 at the ticket counter. No furry friends are allowed on international flights.

Alaska Airlines has identical rates for pets as carry-on and checked cargo: $100. Animals that are too large to travel in-cabin will be kept in the baggage hold. If your pet is checked as baggage, you’ll receive a “Relax, I’m on board too” card to confirm that Fido has been loaded onto the plane.

US Airways allows one small domestic dog, cat or bird per passenger to board as carry-on items only at a fee of $125.

Frontier Airlines allows pets as carry-on only. The fee varies from $75 for Classic Plus, Classic, and Economy fare options to $125 for Basic fare. Pets cannot be booked online. Call ahead and reserve a spot, as only ten pet carriers are allowed onboard per flight.

JetBlue only allows pets as carry-on items at $100 each way. It will cost you an additional $25 to book by phone. The JetPaws Program is free for TrueBlue members and provides carrier bag-tag, travel Petiquette guide, and access to the JetPaws online store. In addition, you can earn 300 TrueBlue points for each segment of travel. Members of the TrueBlue Badges program also earn a badge for traveling with pets.

AirTran Airways only allows pets as carry-on items for a fee of $95. Pets are not allowed on international flights.

Virgin America only allows pets as carry-on items for a fee of $100. Virgin allows one pet carrier per purchased seat and one pet per carrier. Puppies and kittens must be at least 8 weeks old and weaned. Pets are not allowed in First-Class.