November 1, 2023

New Upgraded Points’ Study Uncovers Costs and Preferences When Traveling with Pets

Upgraded Points, a travel company that helps to demystify the complex world of travel and credit cards, recently surveyed pet owners and non-pet owners on the complexities of traveling with pets. This latest report provides a comprehensive analysis of the difference in sentiment between pet owners and non-pet owners regarding pet-friendly travel and accommodations.

“Traveling with pets comes with a unique set of challenges and rewards,” said Alex Miller, Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points. “Our latest study offers insight into the balance Americans strike when traveling with their pets and what non-pet owning travelers think about it all, too.”

Study Methodology

The study was conducted in September of 2023 and surveyed 1,000 Americans who regularly travel, asking questions on pet travel preferences of pet owners and non-pet owners alike towards pet-friendly flights and accommodations. Although a small minority report having flown with their pets, a whopping 85 percent of pet owners have faced travel challenges or restrictions when they do.

Inflight Pet Passengers and Furry Encounters

  • One-third (34 percent) of non-pet owners are uncomfortable sharing cabin space with other people’s pets.
  • Generally, pet owners prefer to drive: 70 percent of pet owners would rather road trip with their pet for eight hours than take a 2-hour flight.
  • When they fly, pet owners typically leave their pet in their carrier: 26 percent let their pet out of its carrier while flying on a plane, while 59 percent leave it in a carrier the whole trip.
  • 57 percent of non-pet owners would rather sit next to a pet on a plane than a child, although when given the choice between a 2-hour flight next to a pet on a plane or an 8-hour road trip without any animals, 45 percent opt for the 8-hour trip.

Travel Accommodations for Pet Owners

  • 24 percent of pet owners don’t travel more with their pets due to difficulty finding pet-friendly accommodation.
  • 72 percent report altering their travel plans to accommodate their pet’s needs better. 37 percent do it occasionally and nearly 1 in 10 (9 percent) do it frequently.
  • 17 percent consider the pet-friendliness of a location to be their first priority when planning a trip. 59 percent prioritize it if it aligns with some of their other preferences.
  • Almost two-thirds of pet owners would bring their pet every time they traveled, if possible.
  • 33 percent of pet owners would choose to vacation anywhere with their pets rather than travel to their dream destination alone.
  • 25 percent of non-pet owners would never stay at an Airbnb marketed as “pet-friendly.” Another 1 in 5 would only do it as a last resort.

How Much Are You Willing To Pay?

  • 62 percent of pet owners will pay more for a pet-friendly hotel/Airbnb so their pet can accompany them on trips.
  • 64 percent of pet owners would pay an additional $50 per night for pet-centric amenities.
  • $94 is the average amount non-pet owners would pay to never be in the cabin of an airplane with someone’s pet again.

For the complete findings, including insights on how non-pet owners feel about airline policies and regulations and pet-friendly accommodations, please visit the full study online.

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