Are you thinking about bringing your pet with you to your next destination when flying on Spirit Airlines?
If so, make sure that you are familiar with all of the different rules and fees of the Spirit Airlines pet policy.
In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the pet policy and answer a lot of frequently asked questions.
What is the Spirit Airlines pet policy?
You can travel with your pet as a carry-on as long as you provide adequate carriers for your pets, supply any needed documentation, and pay the fees below.
Spirit Airlines pet fees
The pet fees for Spirit Airlines are $110 per pet container, each way. So for one round trip you would pay $220.
These fees only pertain to carry-on pets as Spirit Airlines does not allow pets to be transported in checked baggage.
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How to avoid Spirit Airlines pet fees
One of the easiest ways to avoid pet fees is to use the right credit card. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a good card for general travel expenses and its points can be used to offset airline pet fees since they will often code as travel.
You can also use an incidental credit attached to a travel credit card. For example, the Platinum Card has a $200 incidental credit.
Other cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve have a $300 travel credit that could be used on virtually any type of travel purchase including pet fees.
Need tips for bringing pets to a hotel? Click here to read more.
Adding a pet to your reservation
If you would like to add a pet to your reservation, simply contact the reservations center at the following phone number: 801.401.2222.
It’s highly recommended to make your reservations for your pet in advance because there is limited capacity for pets on each flight.
Spirit Airlines will only allow a maximum of 4 pet containers on each flight.
Once you show up to the airport, you will need to check in at the ticket counter. As someone flying with a pet, you cannot use the self-service check-in kiosks.
Spirit Airlines also recommends that you arrive at the airport extra early to give yourself enough time to process everything for your pets.
Spirit Airlines pet rules
Only certain type of pets or allowed to be flown on Spirit Airlines. These pets include the following:
- Domestic dogs
- Domestic cats
- Small household birds (except to / from Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I. )
- Small domestic rabbits (except to/from Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I)
The pet should be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned. Spirit Airlines, just like other airlines, also have rules on the temperament and condition of your pet.
For example, your pet must be harmless, not offensive, odorless, and not require any attention during the flight.
It’s a good idea to give your pet a bath or take them to the groomers a couple of days before your flight so that they are fresh and clean.
If your pet becomes offensive or causes disturbances prior to leaving the gate, it will be removed.
So basically, if your pet is the type that goes crazy sometimes with nonstop barking and things of that nature, you run the risk of your pet not being allowed.
And finally, if the pet becomes ill, violent or gets in physical distress it will not be allowed to fly.
You as the pet owner know your pet’s temperament the best, so you need to exercise good judgment when deciding if your pet is fit for travel.
Birds have special restrictions. For example, household birds do not include: farm poultry, waterfowl, game bird, birds of prey, and flightless birds.
Birds are not allowed to and from cities in Puerto Rico or the U.S.V.I.
Requirements for pet carriers
Dimensions of your pet carrier cannot exceed 18 x 14 x 9 inches (45.72cm x 35.56 cm x 22.86cm) in total dimensions (L x W x H) and it must be able to fit under the seat.
The combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 40 pounds (18.14KG).
Only one container is allowed per guest but you can keep up to a maximum of two pets in the container.
Something important to note is that the pet must always remain inside the container and be able to stand upright and turn around in the container.
So make sure that your pet or pets are not cramped inside the container.
Spirit Airlines will have to approve your container before it is allowed on the plane.
Only soft containers will be allowed in the cabin but they prohibit containers that allow pets’ heads to remain outside.
The pet will count as one-plus-one carry-on luggage.
Pets are not allowed to be transported on international flights with Spirit Airlines. You can, however transport them to territories like Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (and St. Thomas).
The exception to this is that service animals are allowed.
You should always keep in mind that some international destinations may require specific documentation regarding service animals.
Your best bet is to first contact Spirit Guest Service at 801.401.2222 to verify any possible regulations that might apply to your itinerary.
Unlike some other airlines, Spirit Airlines does not allow your pet to fly in the checked baggage area. Therefore, they must accompany you in the cabin.
Spirit Airlines does not require a health certificate if the pet is traveling in the aircraft cabin except for guests traveling to the Virgin Islands.
If you are traveling with your pet to Puerto Rico, you must have a rabies vaccination certificate with you.
If you are trying to transport an exotic pet, they will not be excepted. Exotic pets include animals like snakes, spiders, rodents, lizards, etc.
If you were traveling with a pet, you can choose to sit in any seat except for the first row of seats and the emergency exit rows.
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As stated above, it is recommended but not required that you give advance notice regarding your pet traveling. The biggest reason is that there are limits on how many pets can fly on each flight so you want to make sure that you are guaranteed a spot for your pet before arriving at the airport.
You can read up more on the pet policy rules here.
Note: As of January 11th, 2021, emotional support animals (ESAN) will be required to travel as pets per updated Department of Transportation requirements
Spirit Airlines pet policy FAQ
The pet policy fee is $110 per flight, per container.
You can use airline credits to avoid the fee with some credit cards such as the Amex Platinum Card.
No, Spirit Airlines only allows pets to fly as carry-ons.
You can add a pet to your reservation by calling the customer service phone number: (801) 401-2222.
Small household birds (except to / from Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I. )
Small domestic rabbits (except to/from Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I)
Yes, you can bring multiple (two) pets but they must fit in the same container as you are only allowed one container per passenger.
Yes, your pet will have to go through airport security.
No, pets are not allowed to be transported on international flights.
No, your pet will not need a health certificate unless you are traveling to specific destinations like the Virgin Islands.
You can choose a seat anywhere except for the emergency exit rows and the first row of seats.
Overall, the Spirit Airlines pet policy is pretty straightforward. It’s simple because pets are not allowed to fly in checked baggage or on international flights to most destinations. You just have to remember to make a reservation in advance and remember to account for the fee.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.