View Full Version : Southwest Airlines

14th July 2009, 09:27 PM
Ragnar is going to make his first flight in a couple weeks on Southwest Airlines, which only this year began to allow pets. They list the seat dimensions as: 19"L x 19"W x 8.25"H.

A height of only 8.25 inches? I have a medium sized sherpa carrier that he fits inside, but its 10.5 inches high. It does have semi rigid sides though than can be squeezed somewhat. Sherpa's website says their S and M sizes fit 'most' airlines while one should check with the airline to see if their L size fits.

Has anyone here flown their cav yet on SWA? Any insights as to whether this size would fit.

Daisy's Mom
14th July 2009, 11:36 PM
I haven't flown with a pet, but at those dimensions, it's clear I could never fly with Daisy!!! She'd be way too big.

That isn't very much height when you consider even a toy poodle is 10 inches AT THE SHOULDER. Poor thing's head couldn't even be raised!

Love my Cavaliers
14th July 2009, 11:47 PM
I have flown with Riley on American Airlines using the medium Sherpa bag. It doesn't quite fit under the seat, so I have almost no leg room, but no flight attendant has ever complained. I push it as far back as it will go. Like you said the sides are a little flexible, but it won't allow you to put it totally under the seat. I don't know how American and Southwest dimensions compare though. I have also used the large Sherpa bag when I have known I was flying first class. There's a little more head room for the dogs as well as more leg room for me. Nice when and if I have miles I can use to upgrade. However, if I don't know ahead of time, I will use the medium bag. Riley weighs about 12.5 pounds and she is a dream on the plane. No one ever knows she is there. She's so quiet that I sometimes put my foot on the bag to make sure she's still moving around! Good luck.

15th July 2009, 12:23 AM
She's so quiet that I sometimes put my foot on the bag to make sure she's still moving around!


I'd think any of mine would be too squirmy to go in the cabin.

15th July 2009, 08:40 AM
i have flown from paris to copenhagen with sienna. the carrier did not fit under the seat (i think no carries will..). but i was allowed to store it in front of my seat, so i had no space at all for my legs.
sienna did not take kindly to being in the carrier at take-off. so i had to take her out of it and place her on my lap.
the flight attendant initially said this was not allowed, but seing this little frightened creature they gave in and let med have her there.

with frida and kandis i flew from prague to copenhagen.
their carrier was obviously too big to fit under the seat, and the stuardess made an enormous fuss about the safety issue of storing it in front of my seat. she said i had to leave the dogs behind, or not fly at all...!!:mad:
fortunately i was flying business class, and complained, demanding to speak with the flight captain who sorted things out and gave me special permission to store the crate in front of my seat.

i will not fly with my dog/dogs again.....

Daisy's Mom
15th July 2009, 03:27 PM
I can't imagine any U.S. airline allowing a bag to be stored in the footspace. I've seen major altercations regarding that, and I have to admit, I side with the flight attendant. If you think about it, it really isn't fair or safe for the other people in the row unless you are in the window seat because you are blocking their means of exit, too.

I absolutely love dogs and yet if I were blocked in the row by a bag in the walking space and felt I couldn't get out quickly if needed, it would send me into a claustrophobic fit, I have to admit. The bag or I would have to be moved or they would have a crazy woman on their hands. I move heaven and earth to try to get an aisle seat so I don't feel blocked in. I also take an anti-anxiety drug before I fly to stave off the claustrophobia-induced panic attacks. I'm usually OK if I'm flying with my family because I am distracted by the kids, conversation, etc., but if I'm flying alone, my thoughts are free to spiral into "I've got to get out! I've got to get out!" Ugh, not fun.

I think I know the answer to this, but I'll go ahead and ask. If you bought the dog a full-price ticket, could their bag sit in a seat? I would think that especially if the bag were designed with a way for the seatbelt to hook through, securing the bag to the seat, that it wouldn't cause any problems. Anyone know? (My guess is that there is some sort of rule against it, but I can't think of what the reason would be.) (Obviously, this would be very expensive, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and I KNOW Daisy would not be fitting under the seat in front of me if I ever have to fly with her.)

Love my Cavaliers
15th July 2009, 05:14 PM
I always try to get a window seat when I fly for the reason that Daisy's mom mentioned. I don't want anyone else getting inconvenienced if they need to get up during the flight. Also, on American Airlines the way the metal bars under the seat are configured give you more room. The small Sherpa would proobably fit totally under the seat, but there's no way I would put Riley in there - and she's a small cavalier. So I just put up with limited legroom.

Luckily, I am not a nervous flyer and like I said before Riley is a real trooper - just sleeps the trip away. I've only had one person complain about being seated next to a dog. She said she was highly allergic and the flight attendant moved her without a problem. Other than that, it's been smooth flying with her and she's flown at least six round trips between Chicago and Arizona. Wish I could get frequent flyer miles for her!!

15th July 2009, 05:35 PM
In Canada the airlines are very particular about making sure everything is stored under the seat. I've had to readjust my purse because it was encroaching into the foot space. Air Canada has just started letting dogs come in the cabin but their crates need to fit under the seat in front and I have no doubt they will enforce this rule strictly. Mindy is 12 inches at the shoulder and Max a bit taller so there is no way a crate in which they could stand up and turn around (another requirement) would fit. Mindy flew to Ontario in cargo when we moved here. She was treated very well.

We just flew American Airlines on our holidays and their rules appear to be less strictly enforced. I was allowed to take off with my purse in my lap and the lady beside me had a tube with drawings that she propped against the wall. Just be careful where you are flying and how seriously the airlines take their rules.

15th July 2009, 06:21 PM
Take a look at the SturdiBag pet carrier. Its different from the Sherpa bag in that the top is arched (and flexible) so when it slides under the seat in front, the top can flatten a bit but it doesn't collapse.

We just flew with our Cavalier from Michigan to Orlando in May and didn't have any issues with either of the planes were were on.

Good luck and have fun.