Alaska Airlines named best airline for flying with your pet

A new study looks at the most pet-friendly airlines in the US

Flying with your fur baby? A new study reveals the best and worst airlines for flying with pets. 

In the report, released by travel points and rewards company Upgraded Points, Alaska Airlines is the most pet-friendly carrier in the US. 

The report is based on data from the US Department of Transportation regarding pet incidents recorded for 2017-2018. 

Incidents are defined as anything from injuries and losses of any animals. The DOT also tracks the number of pet deaths. 

For the purposes of the report, animals shipped by cargo are not included. Only domestic pets are considered.

In 2018, DOT numbers show that more than 400,000 animals traveled by air. 

Of that figure, Alaska Airlines transported 34 percent of all animals by air with 143,630 animals in 2018. Only one animal-related incident was reported. That makes the carrier's incident rate 0.0007 percent. 

The carrier also holds the best track record for 2017. 

At the other end of the spectrum, Hawaiian Airlines reported three animal deaths last year, but carried 9,505 animals. Their incident rate sits at 0.3 percent. 

The study also notes a significant drop in pets transported by United Airlines in 2018. The carrier experienced a drop of 27 percent in onboard pets.

Last year, a family dog died after being placed in the overhead bin during a three-hour flight. That and other pet-related incidents prompted the airline to make sweeping changes to its pet policies, including restricting the carriage of cargo animals to cats and dogs, and banning certain breeds like bulldogs, mastiffs and pugs which are at higher risk when flying. 

Earlier this year, the airline also announced that puppies and kittens under four months are also banned from the cabin. 

Here's how the airlines fared: 

Alaska Airlines, overall incident rate 0.0007 percent 
SkyWest Airlines 0.03 and American Airlines 0.03 percent 
United Airlines 0.07 percent 
Delta Air Lines 0.09 percent 
Hawaiian Airlines 0.3 percent