Spirit Airlines Pet Policy: Your Guide for Flying With Pets

Spirit Airlines Pet Policy – Your Guide for Flying With Pets

Updated on May 8, 2024
Written by Brenda Mejia

fact checked by Andre Gregatti

Ready for your next adventure? Traveling with your furry friend just got easier with our guide to the Spirit Airlines Pet Policy. Whether planning a weekend getaway or a cross-country adventure, understanding the guidelines and requirements for flying with pets is essential for a smooth journey. 

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Spirit Airlines’ pet policy. With clear instructions and helpful tips about booking your pet’s ticket to preparing for the entire flight itself, you’ll be ready to take to the skies with your furry friend in no time.

Spirit Airlines Pet Policy

Spirit Airlines only permits small domestic dogs, domestic cats, other small dogs, household birds, and small domestic rabbits in the cabin. Larger pets or other animals are not allowed onboard. Pets must always remain in a full pet carrier container and fit comfortably under the seat in front of the passenger. Spirit Airlines does not offer cargo services for pets, so all pets must travel in-cabin with their owners.

Passengers must book their pet’s ticket at the same time as their own, as there’s a limit to the number of pets and animals allowed per flight. Pet fees for airlines vary depending on when the ticket is purchased and the route of travel. Owners must ensure their pets meet all necessary health requirements and have the required documentation, including health certificates and vaccination records.

Spirit Airlines Fees for Pet Travels

Spirit Airlines charges a fee of $125 per carrier for traveling with pets in the cabin. It’s important to note that while roundtrip tickets incur a fee of $100, one-way tickets will cost $125 per carrier. 

These fees contribute to the airline’s commitment to ensuring the safety and comfort of animals traveling with them on international flights. Spirit Airlines strictly allows animals to fly in the cabin, stowed under the seat in front of the passenger, as part of their safety measures.

ESAs are Exempt from Pet Fees for Housing

According to the FHA, Emotional Support Animals and Service Dogs are exempt from any housing pet fees, deposits or pet rents.

Learn More about Pet Fees

Spirit Airlines Standards for ESA and Service Animals

Spirit Airlines follows specific standards for emotional support animals (ESAs) and service animals. The airline permits ESAs and service animals in the cabin, subject to certain regulations. These animals must meet the airline’s requirements regarding size and behavior. 

Additionally, passengers traveling with ESAs or service animals must provide appropriate documentation, including but not limited to a letter from a licensed mental health professional for ESAs. Proper kennel sizes are required for transporting service animals, ensuring their safety and comfort during the flight. 

Spirit Airlines and the ACAA

Spirit Airlines complies with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulations concerning emotional support animals (ESAs). Under the ACAA, airlines must allow individuals with disabilities to travel with their service animals or ESAs, provided they meet certain criteria. Spirit Airlines adheres to these regulations by permitting ESAs to accompany passengers in the cabin, subject to specific guidelines and documentation requirements.

To ensure compliance with ACAA rules, Spirit Airlines has implemented stricter policies regarding emotional support animals. Passengers traveling with ESAs must provide appropriate documentation, including a letter from a licensed mental health professional, confirming the need for the ESA. Spirit Airlines may require passengers to provide advanced notice and additional documentation before allowing the ESA on board. 

Allowed Support Animals

Spirit Airlines allows a limited variety of animals to travel in the cabin under their pet policy. The airline focuses on ensuring that both pets and their owners have a comfortable flight. Here are the details on which animals are permitted and the associated costs travel restrictions and requirements:

  • Dogs:
    Permitted on Cabin
    $110 per container per flight
  • Cats
    Permitted on Cabin
    $110 per container per flight
  • Small household birds
    Permitted on Cabin
    $110 per container per flight (not allowed on international flights)
  • Small domestic rabbits
    Permitted on Cabin
    $110 per container per flight

Booking Your Pet on a Spirit Airlines Flight

Airlines limits the number of pets per flight, ensuring the safety and comfort of both passengers and their furry companions. Per their policy, Spirit Airlines allows a maximum of 2 pets in first class, 2 in business class, and 4 in the main cabin. This restriction helps maintain a manageable environment for all travelers and pets onboard.

Additionally, passengers should note that there are specific requirements and considerations when booking their pets on a Spirit Airlines flight. It’s essential to reserve a spot for your pet in advance, as there’s a limit to the number of pets allowed per flight.

Pet Carrier Requirements

Spirit Airlines has specific guidelines regarding pet carriers for animals traveling in the cabin. The main requirements for pet carriers on Spirit Airlines include:

  1. Size Restrictions: Carriers must not exceed the dimensions of 18″ x 14″ x 9″ (45.72cm x 35.56 cm x 22.86cm) to fit under the seat in front of the passenger. This size limitation ensures that the carrier can be accommodated within the aircraft’s designated space.
  2. Adequate Space: Carriers must be spacious enough to allow pets to stand, turn around, and lie comfortably. This requirement ensures the pet’s well-being during the flight and prevents discomfort or distress.
  3. Approval and Inspection: Before boarding, Spirit Airlines personnel must inspect and approve the pet carrier. This ensures that the carrier meets the airline’s safety standards and is suitable for travel.
  4. Number of Carriers: Spirit Airlines typically allows one pet carrier per paying adult passenger. However, exceptions may be made for passengers traveling with multiple pets, with a maximum of two pets per carrier, provided sufficient room for each pet.

Breed Restrictions on Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines does not impose breed restrictions for pets traveling in the cabin of their aircraft. However, aggressive behavior from any pet breed will not be tolerated during the flight.

Allowed Cat Breeds in the Cabin

All domestic cat breeds are allowed to travel in the cabin of Spirit Airlines’ aircraft, provided they meet the airline’s pet policy guidelines.

Allowed Dog Breeds in Cabin

Similarly domestic cats, all domestic dog breeds are permitted to travel in the cabin of Spirit Airlines’ flights, as long as they adhere to the airline’s pet policy regulations. Spirit Airlines does not specify any breed restrictions for dogs traveling in the cabin.

Other Restrictions at Spirit Airlines Policy

  • Pet Weight Limit: Pets and their carriers must not exceed 40 lbs (18 kg) to be eligible for cabin travel on Spirit Airlines’ domestic flights.
  • Approval and Inspection: Spirit Airlines personnel must inspect and approve pet carriers before boarding to ensure they comply with safety standards.
  • Number of Pets: Spirit Airlines typically allows one pet carrier per paying adult passenger. However, exceptions may be made for passengers traveling with multiple pets, with a maximum of two pets per carrier.

Spirit Airlines ESA Requirements

Spirit Airlines allows passengers to travel with emotional support animals (ESAs) under certain conditions. These animals support individuals with emotional or mental health disabilities during air travel. However, specific guidelines and restrictions are in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers and crew members.


  • Acceptance of ESAs: Spirit Airlines permits passengers to travel with emotional support animals, such as dogs or cats, provided they meet the airline’s requirements and guidelines.
  • Credible Assurance: Passengers must provide credible verbal assurance at the airport that their ESA is trained to perform a task for their disability, as assessed by a Spirit team member.


  • Documentation: Passengers traveling with ESAs must submit appropriate documentation, which may include forms and letters from licensed mental health professionals, to Spirit Airlines in advance of their flight.
  • Form Submission: Spirit Airlines may require travelers to submit multiple forms related to their ESA, depending on the airline’s policies and regulations.

Spirit Airlines Guidelines for ESAs and Service Animals

When traveling with Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) or service animals on Spirit Airlines, pet owners should consider the following guidelines:

  1. Advance Preparation: Ensure all necessary documentation, including forms and letters from licensed mental health professionals, is submitted to Spirit Airlines well before the flight.
  2. Pet Carrier Requirements: ESAs and service animals must be kept inside an approved carrier underneath the seat in front of the owner for the flight duration.
  3. Pet Fees: ESAs are now treated as normal pets on Spirit Airlines, so owners must pay pet fees, typically $110 each way, and are subject to pet restrictions.
  4. Limited Availability: Spirit Airlines only permits a maximum of six pet carriers on board each flight, with a maximum of two pets per container and one container per passenger.
  5. Behavioral Expectations: Ensure that the ESA or service animal is well-behaved and does not display any aggressive behavior, as this can lead to denial of boarding or removal from the flight

Required Forms and Documents for ESAs

This section outlines the essential paperwork necessary for individuals seeking to designate their animals as Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). These forms and documents play a crucial role in obtaining official recognition and the associated benefits for ESA owners.

ESA Letter or PSD Letter

Individuals must obtain a valid ESA or PSD letter from a licensed mental health professional to qualify an animal as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD). These letters certify that the animal provides therapeutic support to its owner, alleviating symptoms of mental health conditions. 

While both letters grant certain privileges, they differ regarding rights and requirements. An ESA letter allows individuals to fly with their emotional support animal at no additional cost and provides housing rights under the Fair Housing Act. 

In contrast, a PSD letter permits individuals to travel with their service dog in an aircraft cabin and grants access rights in public places, such as restaurants and shops, under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Requirements for obtaining these letters typically involve a consultation with a mental health professional and a demonstration of the individual’s need for emotional support or psychiatric assistance.

Get your Official ESA Letter Consultation from a licensed therapist.

Get ESA Letter Now

Behavior Form

A behavior form is often required to assess the temperament and behavior of the emotional support animal or service dog. This form helps ensure that the animal is well-behaved and non-disruptive during travel or while in public spaces. 

ESA Pet, a service specializing in ESA letters, may assist in completing the behavior form as part of the letter acquisition process. By evaluating the animal’s behavior, airlines and establishments can maintain a safe and comfortable environment for all passengers airline staff and patrons.

Health Form

A health form is required to confirm that the emotional support animal or service dog is in good health and up-to-date on vaccinations. This form helps ensure the safety and well-being of the animal, other passengers, and staff during travel. 

ESA Pet may assist in obtaining the necessary health certificate form as an additional service during the ESA letter acquisition process. By verifying the animal’s health status, airlines, and housing providers can mitigate the risk of potential health issues and ensure compliance with regulations.

Getting an Official ESA Letter and Additional Documentation

Looking to secure a legitimate ESA or PSD letter hassle-free? Follow these three simple steps to obtain your essential documentation and ensure seamless travel with your support animal.

  • Pre-Screening: Take advantage of our free pre-screening process by answering a brief set of questions to assess your eligibility for an ESA or PSD letter.
  • Connect With a Licensed Therapist: Once you’ve completed the pre-screening, our team will promptly connect you with a licensed therapist specializes in emotional support and psychiatric service animals. Expect a response within 24 to 48 hours after your purchase to begin your consultation.
  • Receive Your Letter: Upon approval from the therapist, your official ESA or PSD letter will be swiftly uploaded to your user portal. Within 24 to 48 hours of your consultation, you’ll have access to your essential documentation, ensuring a seamless process for obtaining your legitimate support animal letter.

Reservations and Check-In on Spirit Airlines With Pets

Before flying with your pet on Spirit Airlines, it’s essential to understand the reservation and check-in process to ensure a smooth journey for you and your furry companion. Here’s what you need to know to make arrangements and check in for spirit flight with your pet.

  1. Advance Planning: Make reservations for your pet well in advance, as airlines often have limited space for pets on each flight.
  2. Pet Policies: Familiarize yourself with Spirit Airlines’ specific pet policies regarding pet size, carrier requirements, and fees.
  3. Required Documentation: Ensure you have all necessary documentation for your pet, including health certificates and vaccination records, per airline and destination requirements.
  4. Check-In Process: Arrive early at the airport to complete the check-in process for your pet. Spirit Airlines typically requires pets to be checked in at the ticket counter rather than online.
  5. Pet Comfort: Provide your pet with a comfortable, secure carrier that meets airline regulations. Consider adding familiar items, such as blankets or toys, to help calm your pet during the journey.

By following these steps and adequately preparing for your pet’s travel, you can minimize stress and ensure a safe and comfortable trip for your furry companion.

FAQs about Spirit Airlines Pet Policy

How Much Does Spirit Airlines Charge for Pets?

Spirit pet policy: Airlines typically charge a fee for pets traveling in the cabin. The fee may vary depending on the route and other factors. It’s essential to check Spirit Airlines’ pet policy for the most accurate information on fees before booking your pet’s travel.

Is Spirit Strict About Pet Carrier Size?

Spirit Airlines has specific requirements for pet carriers to ensure the safety and comfort of small pets even during travel. Pet carriers must meet size restrictions to fit under the seat in front of you. It’s crucial to adhere to these guidelines to avoid any issues during check-in and boarding.

Do Emotional Support Dogs Fly Free on Spirit?

Spirit Airlines treats emotional support dogs as regular pets, subject to applicable pet fees. Therefore, emotional support dogs are not typically exempt from pet fees on Spirit Airlines flights. Pet owners should review Spirit’s full pet fee policy for detailed information on fees and regulations. What Proof of Vaccinations Does My Dog Need to Fly on Spirit Airlines?

Spirit Airlines may require proof of vaccinations for dogs traveling in the cabin. While specific requirements may vary, it’s generally recommended to have up-to-date vaccination records for your dog, including a rabies vaccination certificate, as per Spirit’s pet policy.

Bottom Line – Spirit Airlines Pet Policy

In summary, familiarity with the Spirit Airlines Pet Policy is crucial for pet owners intending to travel with their furry companions. Comprehending the regulations concerning pet carriers, vaccination prerequisites, and associated fees ensures a seamless journey with Spirit Airlines. Adhering to these guidelines guarantees a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience for pets and their owners.

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