Welcome to SWATT!

We are a group of Southwest Airlines employees volunteering our time and benefits to help rescues, fosters and shelters relocate small dogs and cats. Please review our page for more information.




Southwest Animal Transport Team-

is a group of Southwest Airlines employees who volunteer their time to rescue animals - one flight at a time! Using non-rev benefits, we collaborate with DART (Delta Animal Rescue Transports), fosters, shelters, rescues who pull from high kill shelters and sanctuaries to transport rescued animals to their FURever home.

This is strictly a volunteer service. Flight Angels (transporters) are willing to use their benefits to transport animals in the cabin of the plane in the continental United States. (Transports are subject to SWA Pet Policies).

All requested transports are approved by the administrators of this volunteer based group. An application must be submitted by either the sending or receiving rescue org and approved. Once approved, a TRANSPORT REQUEST will be posted to locate a Flight Angel. Once FILLED, post will be deleted and coordination between organizations, admins and Flight Angels will be communicated thru group message.

SWATT participates in the Southwest Airlines volunteer program called Tickets for Time (T4T) - Putting Our Hearts into Action. 

For every 40 hours of volunteer time SWATT contributes to a qualified 501c3 nonprofit organization, that organization is eligible to receive domestic travel for one round trip flight in the form of Southwest Flight e-Passes, with a maximum of six Tickets for Time awards per organization per year.


Hello! and welcome to SWATT! We are a group of passionate, animal loving

Southwest Airlines employees and retirees who volunteer our time and

non-rev travel to transport rescue animals across the U.S.

Are We Right For Your Rescue? 

​Our company is gracious to give us free travel benefits. However, we fly standby. Standby means we do not have a confirmed seat. We are given empty seats on a flight. We are pretty good at routing, schedules, and choosing the best day and flights for a transport. Everyone involved needs to be flexible and available on the best travel day chosen for the transports to be successful. If you have an urgent situation, we may or may not be able to accommodate you. We are a passionate group and strive to help you and your rescue. Southwest Airlines charges a "pet in cabin fee" of $95. This Pet Fare will be paid prior to the flight.


First, approval is needed.  Please fill out our application on this website.  A SWATT administrator will notify you of your status.  Once you are approved, you may email us at: swattrescue@gmail.com and fill out a Transport Request form. We will notify you once a volunteer is found. We will then seek and arrange transport. We coordinate transports via Facebook messenger and group chats. The rescue or approved transport coordinator will be added to the group Facebook message to help coordinate transport. Administrators will oversee all transports. They are there to help instruct, coordinate, answer questions and help everything go as smoothly as possible. 

 Criteria to be met: 

Jet-Set Pets Must:

  • Be 8 weeks old and fully weaned.

  • Be in good health and updated on all vaccinations and treated with flea, tick and heart worm medication.

  • Fit comfortably in soft carrier underneath the seat.

  • Be out of a shelter and okay with people handling him or her.

  • Be easy to handle and not aggressive as our volunteers will be strangers to them handling them all day. Volunteers must take them in and out of their carrier for security at the airport.

  • Two animals of the same breed (2 dogs or 2 cats) may travel together as long as they both fit comfortably in the carrier together.

The rescue must provide:

  • $95 Pet Fare paid in advance via PayPal

  • All documentation including CVI/Health Certificate signed by a USDA accredited veterinarian

  • Any medication, including natural (supplemental) calming chews or sedative

  • Airline approved pet carrier (soft sided 18X11X10.5 - no larger)

  • Small blanket 

  • Harness and leash

  • Small amount of food and treats

  • Pee pads

  • Waste bags

  • Toy or something small that belongs to the pet 

For some transports, our volunteer may be able to transport the animal in a carrier provided by SWATT. Any provided carrier will be used for a SWATT transport only and remain with animal being transported. Volunteers will not be responsible to return any items after a transport is completed.

Miscellaneous Requirements and Comments:

  • Everyone involved in transport must have a working cell phone. 

  • Health Certificate must be submitted along with contact information on the FB Group Message for each individual transport for admins and Flight Angels/Volunteers to have access too prior to the day of the flight.  

  • Rescue/responsible and approved transport coordinator must be involved at all phases, from the beginning of the transport until the end. 

  • Communication is through Facebook Group Message and cell phones.

  • Group messages must pertain to transport. No side conversations. This will help avoid confusion and keep our group threads clean.

  • Drop off and pick up person must be flexible during the day of the transport.

  • If you have an urgent situation, please be advised that there is no guarantee we can transport in the time frame needed if urgent. We do our best according to volunteers schedules, routes, and seat availability. 

  • Pets will remain in the carrier during the transport and taken out while going through security.

* We only transport for rescue groups, no personal animals.

No money or compensation is to be exchanged, we are an all volunteer group. 





Erica Plowman and Elaine Brown


Erica Plowman and Elaine Brown are Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants based in Dallas and Houston, Texas and operate a volunteer organization called SWATT - Southwest Animal Transport Team.


Cofounded in September of 2017, SWATT is a group of Southwest Airlines employees who volunteer their time using non-rev benefits to transport rescued animals.

Erica and Elaine are both animal advocates and devote their time to coordinating transportation for rescued animals to their forever home. Both are strong supporters of the No-Kill movement.


Erica was inspired by the huge need to help animals during hurricane Harvey and started a group on Facebook. Elaine is in animal rescue and was transporting animals using non-rev benefits with several groups and 

organizations. Together, they combined their passion and expertise and co-created SWATT. 


SWATT collaborates with shelters, sanctuaries and organizations that rescue animals and pull from high kill shelters. SWATT also partners with DART (Delta Animal Rescue Transport).


SWATT has more that 3,100 Flight Angels/Volunteers in all work groups as part of the Team and has helped rescue more than 750 animals. SWATT continues to grow with activity throughout the continental United States. SWATT has an active social media presence with public Facebook and Instagram pages called SWATT Rescue. 

Rescuing animals. One flight at a time.