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Can I Buy My Dog a Seat on an Airplane? (2023 Guide)

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

french bulldog on the plane

If you’re planning on traveling with your dog, we know how stressful the idea of bundling them into a carrier and stowing them under a plane seat can be—especially if your dog isn’t used to flying and you’d like them to be able to see and hear you throughout the flight. This begs the question “Is it possible to purchase a plane seat for a dog?”. It’s possible, but not many airlines allow it, and those that do require your dog to carrier while on the seat or your lap.

In this post, we’ll explain how airlines typically approach flying with dogs and share some tips on making flying with your dog a success.

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Can I Buy My Dog a Plane Seat?

On some airlines, dogs are allowed in the cabin with their owners. Most of these airlines stipulate that the dog must remain in an approved, well-ventilated pet carrier with enough room for the dog to comfortably stand up and turn around.

You typically have to put the carrier containing your dog under the seat in front of you and are not allowed to remove your dog from the carrier at any point during the flight. However, it appears that some airlines do allow you to purchase a seat that you can then put your dog’s carrier on. JetBlue is one such airline.

dog inside pet carrier
Image Credit: Monika Wisniewska, Shutterstock

JetBlue’s pet policy states that during taxi, takeoff, and landing, the dog must remain in the carrier under the seat in front of you. During the flight, you are welcome to put the carrier on your lap or the seat next to you if you purchased an extra seat for your dog. The rule about keeping your dog in the carrier at all times is the same as other airlines, though.

What About Service Dogs?

Trained service dogs are allowed in the cabin under U.S. law as long as they’re well-behaved and do not “pose a threat to the health or safety of others”. Rules tend to vary by airline, but service dogs typically have to either sit on the floor in front of their owner or on their owner’s lap if they’re small enough to do so. They are not typically allowed to sit on the seat next to you.

As for emotional support dogs, U.S. airlines are no longer required to accept them in the cabin as of 2021. Airlines that no longer recognize emotional support animals now enforce the same rules for them as for any other dog in the cabin. If you’re unsure whether your airline will accept an emotional support dog, please reach out to them to find out.

pomeranian dog on board in a plane with owner
Image Credit: nadisja, Shutterstock

How Much Does It Cost to Take My Dog in the Cabin?

This may vary by airline, but, to give you an example, it costs $125 to fly a dog in the cabin one-way on JetBlue.

Tips for Traveling By Plane With Your Dog

  • Always check your destination country’s laws on bringing in pets from abroad well in advance. Some are a lot stricter than others, and, in some cases, it can take several months to set up a pet for entering another country.
  • Consult your vet to make sure your dog is healthy enough to fly.
  • Talk to your airline as far in advance as possible—they impose limits on how many pets can be in the cabin at one time and this is arranged on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Research your departure airport—where are the pet “relief” areas located?
  • Help your dog get used to their carrier a few weeks in advance. Create positive associations by making it comfortable and cozy and rewarding your dog with treats when they go inside.
  • Check that your dog’s breed isn’t restricted by the airline—some airlines don’t take certain breeds (i.e. French Bulldogs) for health reasons.
  • Place doggy pee pads in the bottom of the carrier to absorb any possible “accidents”.
  • Give your dog a chew toy for landing—their ears might pop. Avoid squeaky or otherwise loud ones, though, as these might land you in hot water with other passengers!
man signing pet insurance policies
Image By: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Though you won’t be able to let your dog out of their carrier (unless they’re a service dog), some airlines like JetBlue do allow you to place your dog’s carrier on your lap or on an extra seat you’ve paid for. If you’re considering traveling with your dog by plane, we recommend contacting your vet and airline well in advance to make sure your dog is fit to travel and that there’s room for them in the cabin on the day you want to fly.

Featured Image Credit: OlgaOvcharenko, Shutterstock

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