American Airlines' New Pet Policy Is a Welcome Change for Flyers

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Flying with your pet on American Airlines just got a little easier. The airline just announced they changed their policy on flying with a pet and a carry-on bag. Much to the delight of flyers, who for years have been complaining that the old policy was unfair.

The new policy will allow passengers to bring both their pet (for a $150 fee) and a full-sized carry-on bag into the cabin.

If you've ever traveled long distance with an animal than you know it's far from easy. Before you even get to the airport, certain parts of your pet's comfort has to be accounted for; carriers have to be tested, treats have to be secured, and walks around the block have to have been made. But here's hoping this latest policy change will make things just a little bit easier everywhere.

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According to NBCDFW, the old policy was much more limiting. Before passengers had to pay the fee to bring their pet on the plane and were only allowed one small personal item that had to fit under the seat. If you wanted to bring a full-size carry-on, you had to pay to check the bag —another $35 fee.

Now if you've ever flown with an animal you'll know it can be a real bummer to have to pay an additional fee to travel together. The only other option pet owners had if they wanted to bring the full-size carry-on item was to board their animal in the cargo hold, which is not always ideal.

Many passengers felt it was unfair that they had to pay the pricy pet fee and still not get the benefit of bringing on a full-size item.

"It was always frustrating that the dog counted as the carry-on even though I was paying the extra (pet) fee that was sometimes more than the ticket for me,” travel blogger, Gary Leff, who first wrote about the change, told the news outlet.

After years of complaints, American Airlines has relaxed their policy. A move which Leff pointed out might also help another problem the airline had — people pretending their pet was a service animal to get out of paying the fee.

A representative for the company spoke with the news outlet on Thursday, March 28 and confirmed the change.

“We made the change to provide a more convenient and comfortable experience to customers whose pets fly American," she said.

No word on when the policy change will go into effect, but this is possibly great news for those of us looking ahead towards our summer travel plans.

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