Flying with your pets? You’re not alone.

Between January 2015 and December 2020, Delta Airline, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines transported a combined total of over 1.9 million animals. In 2015, over half a million animals flew on U.S. Airlines. By the end of 2019, that number had decreased by 25%, with only 404,556 animals flying that year. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number dropped another 24% in 2020, with only 311,149 animals boarding flights.

And those are just a few of the many statistics published in a recent study published by, which took many of their statistics from the US Department of Transportation. Through their extensive study, which analyzed consumer report data from January 2015 through December 2020, they were able to determine which airlines were the best and worst for pets.

“Not all pet-friendly airlines have the same policies and procedures when it comes to transporting pets,” reports the study. “Always contact your airline of choice for the most up-to-date information on travel guidelines and requirements (such as airline pet fees and/or the mandatory use of an airline pet carrier) so that you’re appropriately prepared to fly with your dog or cat.”

Before you pack Fido and Fluffy up for a trip, consider the best and worst airlines.

Which are the best airlines for pets?

The study revealed that when it comes to commercial airlines, some brands are far better than others. Alaska Airlines, for its part, is standing out as the superior commercial airline in its class. Alaska Airlines transported over 730,000 animals between January 2015 and December 2020 while maintaining an average incident rate of 0.26%, the lowest of all the airlines.

Even more impressively, Alaska Airlines transported 107,042 animals with zero reported incidents in 2020.

Other airlines that transported over 10,000 animals in 2020 while maintaining a 0% incident rate include Horizon Air, Skywest Airlines, and Envoy Air.

Which airlines transported the most amount of pets?

Experience is everything when it comes to transporting your furry friends. And based on the sheer volume of pets transported, there are some that do far better than others.

As can be expected, Alaska Airlines transported the most number of pets in 2020. They transported more than 107,000 pets last year. That’s followed by American Airlines (who transported more than 80,000 pets), Horizon (who transported more than 37,000 pets), Delta (who transported more than 18,000 pets), and SkyWest (who transported more than 16,000 pets).

Which are the worst airlines for pets?

By far, the worst airline for pets is Hawaiian Airlines, according to the study. Hawaiian Airlines got the highest average incident rate of 2.03% (out of a total of 55,906 animals transported), making it the worst airline for pets.
United Airlines got an average incident rate of 1.6% (out of a total of 448,654 animals transported) making it the 2nd worst airline for pets. Envoy Air is the airline with the highest incident rate of all time, which reported one pet injury out of 1,673 total animals transported in 2015.