Airlines: Pet-friendly or money-hungry?
According to her experience, Delta's fee for pet travel was only $50 two years ago (it's now $150 each way). So it appears the airlines are also raising pet travel fees in their quest to cover rising costs (read: make more money).
The fees and rules for pet travel are varied and arcane for different airlines, so I advise you to research your preferred airline in depth if you plan to travel with your pet. For example, some airlines don't allow pets as checked baggage during the hot summer months, and many restrict the total number of animals on any given flight.
Following is a summary of the one-way fees (as of this writing) that some of the more popular airlines charge for pet travel. It's clear that, other than pet-unfriendly Southwest, the airlines are making a lot of money on pet travel.
|Delta||$150 in cabin / $275 as checked baggage|
|Continental||$125 in cabin (does not allow pets as checked baggage)|
|United||$125 in cabin or checked ($250 checked for large kennels)|
|American||$100 in cabin / $150 as checked baggage|
|U.S. Airways||$100 in cabin (does not allow pets checked as baggage)|
|JetBlue||$100 in cabin (unclear on whether they accept pets as checked baggage)|
|Northwest||$80 in cabin / $139-$359 as checked baggage, depending on size of kennel|
|Southwest||No pets allowed (except service animals)|