The Carrier Introduces new Pet Policy; Modifies Unaccompanied Minor and
Third and Overweight Bag Policies
DALLAS, May 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Pets will now have the "Freedom
to Fly" on Southwest Airlines. Southwest will soon allow Customers to bring
along small cats and dogs in the aircraft cabin for a special low "pet fare"
of $75 each way. All pets must be in a carrier that fits under the airplane
seat, and the carrier will count as the Customer's carryon bag. Customers can
begin purchasing tickets for their small cats and dogs on June 1, 2009, for
travel beginning June 17, 2009. For more information and a video on
Southwest's new pet fare, visit www.blogsouthwest.com.
"We know from Customer and Employee feedback that our new 'pet' Customers
will be a welcomed addition to any flight," said Southwest Airlines Chairman,
President, and CEO Gary Kelly. "Our enhanced boarding process has opened the
window, allowing us to accommodate small pets comfortably on a Southwest
flight - without impacting our efficiency."
The new pet policy is one of several programs and processes that Southwest
Airlines is implementing in an effort to enhance the service the Carrier
provides, and at the same time, create opportunities for incremental revenue
growth. Read more on these programs and processes in a blog post by Kelly at
"These new programs and processes are just the starting point with
additional initiatives planned for later this year," Kelly said. "It is
always our goal to be upfront with our Customers and to set the right Customer
expectations. Our changes today associate a charge for items that are truly
an extra service."
Southwest Airlines has long absorbed the additional cost associated with
the administrative work and extra care necessary to safely transport
Unaccompanied Minors (Customers ages five through 11 traveling without an
adult), which represent less than one percent of our Customers. Southwest
will soon implement a $25 each way service charge, in addition to the fare or
Rapid Rewards Award ticket, for Customers who are traveling as an
Unaccompanied Minor. The Unaccompanied Minor service charge will apply to
tickets purchased June 1, 2009, and later, for travel beginning June 17, 2009.
Unaccompanied Minors may only travel on nonstop or direct flights (no change
"We are proud to offer an outstanding service for our young Customers
traveling alone but realize that the extra service does come at a cost to the
Company," Kelly said. "This service charge will help us cover our added costs
and still maintain our competitive Low Fare advantage."
Additionally, Southwest will increase its already existing service charge
to check a third and overweight bag (weighing 51 to 70 pounds). Currently,
Southwest Customers pay $25 to check a third or overweight bag on the airline.
Customers traveling on or after June 17 will be charged $50 to check a third
or overweight bag. Southwest continues to be one of the only airlines that
allows Customers to check their first two bags without a fee.
"We continue to allow our Customers to check two bags on Southwest for
free, making our baggage policy far and away the most generous in the
Industry," Kelly said. "The increase in the baggage charge impacts
approximately one percent of our Customers."
For additional information on Southwest's Pet; Unaccompanied Minor; and
Bag Policies, visit the www.southwest.com/pets. You can also check out the
Company's blog at www.blogouthwest.com.
After almost 38 years of service, Southwest Airlines, the nation's leading
low-fare carrier, is the most productive airline in the sky and offers
Customers a comfortable traveling experience. Southwest offers all premium
leather seats and plenty of legroom with a young all-Boeing 737 fleet.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) currently serves 65 cities in 33 states, with
service beginning to New York LaGuardia, Boston Logan, and Milwaukee later
this year. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,300
flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide.
Southwest Airlines Public Relations, +1-214-792-4847