ūüöö FREE SHIPPING - ORDERS OVER $99* | ūüďě1-855-PET-PRO1 or (908) 989-0066 | ‚úČ cs@petprosupplyco.com
Menu
Cart

Choosing the best airline to fly with your dog (or cat)

 

We know that traveling with your dog or cat can be stressful. With the pages and pages of restrictions each airline may have, its hard to know, much less decide, which airline to take when you need to take your furry friend with you. That's why we've researched all the four major domestic airlines and written an in-depth guide summarizing the information you need to know for pet travel with each of these airlines.

Below are the general policies, regulations, and restrictions that American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines have for pet travel. This way you can see all at once which airlines can cater to your travel needs with your pet. Check out each of these airlines' policies and see if they're the right airline for you (and Fido). 

For a general guide to Air travel with your dog see our previous post here:

Making Sense of Air Travel with your Dog

For some of the great Airline Approved Dog Crates we have to offer (including reinforced IATA CR-82 compliant crates) see our store's Airline Crate collection:

Airline Approved Dog Travel Crates

Table of Contents:

Use the table of contents to jump to the section of the page for each airline.

 

*Important Disclaimer

This guide contains general regulations for each airline that you might want to know beforehand. Before you travel, we still absolutely recommend you always contact the airline you are looking to take your pet traveling with, even for these 4 major airlines.  Always contact the airline to make sure there aren't any issues with transporting your pet or the crate you are using, and check that everything is set for your booking.  

Of course, as with any travel plans, please check that the destination country and airport allow pet travel. Some countries only allow travel by checked baggage, cargo transport, or none at all. Some locations also require health certificates, and other documentation and may require a quarantine period. Always be sure to check your destination's regulations. Even service animals may be prohibited from some destinations. 


American Airlines

American Airlines allows you to travel with dogs and cats as carry-on in cabin or be checked-in. There are a couple of breed restrictions we will get to later, but in general you can travel with your pet on flights less than 12 hours long. This includes flights to:

This 12 hours also includes the amount of time customs at the arriving city will take

American Airlines Carry-on Pets Policies:

You may bring 1 kennel as your carry-on bag. As long as your pet meets these requirements:

The carry-on kennel you use must allow your pet to stand, turn around, and lie down. Non-collapsible kennels can NOT exceed 19" x 13" x 9". 

Kennels that are Soft-sided and collapsible can be larger than 19" x 13" x 9", but they still need to be able to fit under the seat in front of you. Make sure they are secure enough, include padding, and is made from water resistant or repelling material with nylon mesh ventilation on 2 sides or more.

However, you should contact American Airline Reservations well in advance as they can only accept 7 kennels on American flights (excluding service animals) and 5 kennels on American Eagle flights.

In First or Business class on an A321T, the weight of the carrier and pet combined cannot exceed 20 lbs and will be weighed at check-in. Pets will need to be secured in their kennels and need to be stored in a compartment at the front of the plane during taxi, take-off, lading, and turbulence. 

American Airlines Checked-In Pets Policies

American Airlines allows up to 2 checked pets that are at least 8 weeks old. Capacity is limited, so they do this is on a first come first serve basis.

  1. Make sure to contact reservations at least 48 hours prior to your flight to check that everything is good to go.
  2. Arrive early to the ticket counter to check in. However, don't get there too early as pets can't be checked in more than 4 hours before your flight.
  3. Complete a checklist with the check-in agent and provide them with any required documents and appropriate health certificate(s).
  • These health certificates must be issued by your veterinarian within 10 days of your travel and 60 days of your return (or 10 days of your return if it is on a separate ticket).
Kennel/Crate Requirements & Restrictions for Checked Pets

American Airlines will allow kennels in checked baggage up to 40" x 27" x 30" in size. Please make sure there is enough room for your pet to stand, turn, sit, and lie down in a natural position. 

American Airlines Kennels Requirements:

Food & Water for checked pets on American:

You'll need to provide certification that your pet has been fed and offered water within 4 hours before delivery to the aircraft. This certification must also be security and visibly attached to the outside of the kennel and must be signed and dated with the time of day.

A feeding and watering instruction must be provided for a 24 hour period as well, unless otherwise specified by a veterinarian. American Airlines will not accept "no food or water" as instructions.

Sedation Restrictions:

Due to respiratory and cardiovascular problems from high altitude pressures, sedatives or tranquilizers are not usually be permitted by the airline. If your pet is sedated, you'll need to provide the name of medication and the amount and date/time it was taken to an agent at check in.

Breed Restrictions for Checked pets:

American Airlines will not accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed breeds of any kind or "mix" as checked luggage.

This includes these dog breeds:

 
  • Affenpinscher
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffo style="width: 46.0259%;"n
  • Bulldog (all breeds)
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Pekingese
  • Pit Bull
  • Presa Canario
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel


And these cat breeds:

Aircraft and Connecting flight restrictions for American Airlines Checked pets:

American Airlines Pet Charges & Fees

You can pay for the pet transport charges at the airport or at a travel center. Please note that American Airlines does not collect charges for other operating or partnering airlines on your itinerary (this includes partnering airlines with AA flight number). You'll need to pay for partnering airline(s) fees separately. Make sure to check-in with each airline and pay the charge for each at check-in. 

The charges for American Airlines are below:

Service Charge*
Checked pet $200 per kennel

$150 to/from Brazil
Carry-on pet $125 per kennel
Service animals No charge

 *These charges may be different for international flights, depending on the arriving destination and country. Please contact American Airlines directly for specific fees for your travel plans

Other restrictions:

Destination:

American Airlines will allow dogs to travel in the Continental United States as long as they meet government regulations on vaccinations.

For travel to Hawaii, pets are not allowed to travel in-cabin. Carry-on pets are prohibited to and from Hawaii. Checked pets can travel to Hawaii with you if you connect via Honolulu and follow the state's quarantine rules. Pets must also not be pregnant past 45 days of gestation.

Please contact American Airlines for specific regulations for international flights and check the regulations of destination countries for pet travel. 

Temperature:

For safety of your pets, they cannot travel with you if any locations of your itinerary is too hot or too cold as it may be dangerou for your pet. Heat restrictions includes destinations with current or forecasted temperatures above 85 F (29.4 C). Cold restrictions include ground temperatures below 45 F (7.2 C). Cold restrictions may be waived with a written letter from your veterinarian.

Cargo:

American Airlines can also transport pets via American Airlines Cargo. For certain situations, breed sizes, or destinations, this may be your best option. Please see American Airlines Cargo's site for more information:

American Airlines Cargo - Transporting Animals

 


Delta Airlines

Delta allows you to travel with you in their cabin as carry-on, but no longer allows pet travel in checked baggage (except for US Military Personnel & foreign service officers). Delta Airlines still allows you to transport your pet through Delta Cargo. Please call delta in advance to arrange bringing your pet with you in-cabin. Delta generally allows pet travel in cabin to these destinations (with some restrictions):

As with any airline, Delta will not allow pet travel if the country or destination's regulations prohibit pet travel and will adhere with whatever regulations they require. For example, Delta specifically prohibits cabin pet travel to South Africa, Hong Kong, and the United kingdom (with the exception of service animals). Pet travel through Delta to these countries must be done through cargo and are not allowed in the cabin. 

Delta Airlines Carry-On Pets Policies

Delta Airlines allows you to travel with a pet in a kennel in cabin and they consider your pet and kennel as one of your carry on luggage. Make sure your pack and plan accordingly! Your pet must meet these requirements:

Delta limits the number of pets total on a flight and accepts pets on a first come first serve basis. Only 4 pets total are allowed in the main cabin of any flight. 2 pets total in first class. However, No pets are allowed in the first class, business class, or Delta One cabins of any international flight.

Kennel Requirements for Delta In-cabin Travel:

Kennels can be made of soft or hard material, but must be leak proof and ventilated on at least 2 sides with a secure door. The Maximum carry-on kennel size is dependent on the aircraft of your flight. Please check with Delta reservations to see what size kennels are allowed on your specific flight and can fit in under the seat in front of you. The kennel must also have enough space for your pet to fit comfortably and move around without touching or protruding out the sides.  

Delta in Cabin pet restrictions:

Delta will not allow pet travel in-cabin to Hawaii as the state requires all live animals travelling by air to be shipped.

Delta also no longer accepts warm blooded animals on flights with an average flight time of more than 12 hours. 

Other Countries/destinations that Delta will not permit in-cabin air travel (Service dogs may be permitted to some of these destinations, but may require additional regulations):

 This list does not include all countries that do not permit in-cabin travel. Additional countries may have regulations that do not permit in-cabin pet travel.

Delta Airlines Checked Pets Policies

Delta Airlines only allows US Military Personnel and foreign service officers to transport pets as checked baggage. These pets must comply with any federal regulations and have the proper documentations and follow any required procedures. Pets must be booked at least 48 hours before departure.

Delta will not allow pets to travel on any flight with an average flight time greater than 12 hours. 

Delta allows military personnel two kennels per flight with restrictions on the breeds of cats and dogs allowed. The pets must also have the appropriate health certificates signed by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of departure. 

Please make sure to offer dogs food and water within 4 hours of check-in. You will be asked to complete and sign a live animal checklist that includes this. On the checklist you will also need to provide feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period and provide the appropriate amount of food.

Checked pets Kennel Requirements:

The kennel used must provide enough room for the pet to stand and sit up comfortably without touching the top of the container. They must also be able to turn around and lie down in a natural position. The kennel must also be able to be loaded upright. Additional Kennel requirements:

Delta allows kennel sizes up to a 700 series size, but 500 series and 700 series are not permitted on certain aircrafts. Please check with Delta to ensure the aircraft will allow your kennel size. Some of the crates that Pet Pro Supply Co. carries that fit these requirements are:

Delta Checked Pets Breed restrictions:

Delta will not permit snub-nosed or pug-nosed dogs or cats in their checked baggage transportation. These breeds include but are not limited to:

Dogs:

  • American Bulldog
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffin
  • Bulldog*
  • Chinese Pug
  • Chow Chow
  • Dutch Pug
  • English Bulldog
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • French Bulldog
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Japanese Boxer
  • Japanese Pug
  • Japanese Spaniel (Chin)
  • Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Pekinese
  • Pit Bull
  • Pug
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel


 Cats:

Delta Airlines Pets in Cargo Policies

Delta also allows you to transport pets via Delta Cargo. Certain breeds from their checked baggage restricted breeds may be allowed to travel via cargo, please contact Delta to see what breeds may be permitted.

Please note that pets shipped by Delta cargo cannot be booked until 14 days prior to departure date. Pets are also not guaranteed to be shipped on a customer's same flight or schedule and you will need to pick up your pet at a Delta Cargo location. For international pet cargo transport, Delta only accepts bookings from a known pet shipper that is approved by IATA (International pet and Animal Transportation Association). 

You can contact Delta Cargo to find out more about transporting and booking your pet.

Delta Airlines Pet Charges & Fees

Carry-On pet transport:

Delta charges a one-way fee for in-cabin pet travel

Region(s) of Travel  One-way Fee
US/Canda $125
Virgin Islands $200
Puerto Rico $125
Outside the US $200
Brazil $75


Checked-in Baggage Transport:

Region(s) of Travel  One-way Fee
US/Virgin Islands/Puerto Rico $200
International/Canada/Caribbean $200
Brazil $200


Cargo Transport
:

Please contact Delta Cargo to find the specific cost for booking your pet for transport to your specific destination

Other Restrictions

Delta no longer permits pets to travel on flights with an average flight time greater than 12 hours. This includes Delta and Delta Cargo flights

Temperature restrictions:

Delta does not accept animals as checked baggage during extreme whether, so if the weather forecast at any point of travel for your flight is below 10 F (-12C) or above 85 F (29.4 C) Delta will not allow the animal to travel on that flight. 

During Summer months May 15 to September 15, Pets cannot travel by checked baggage on Delta flights

During Winter months November 1 to March 31, animals may not fly as checked baggage on flights operated between Sun Valley, ID, Twin Falls, ID, or Jackson Hole, WY. 

Aircraft Restrictions:

Pets are not allowed in the First class, Delta one, and Business class cabins of any international flight.

Animals will not be permitted to travel as checked baggage or cargo on 767 or Airbus 330-200 aircraft flights. 


Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is a little more straightforward with their regulations. They only allow pets to travel with you in cabin. No pets can be transported in checked baggage and they do not offer any form of cargo transportation for pets. Pets are not permitted to travel on any international flights or any itinerary that includes an international flight. 

The one exception to the international flight restriction is service and support animals. However, these animals are subject to comply with safety and documentation requirements and any other government regulations of the destination. This includes, but is not limited to, health certificates, permits, and vaccination requirements of the country, state, or territory from and/or to which the animal is being transported.

Southwest Airlines Carry-On Pets Policies

Southwest allows pets to travel with you in cabin on a first come first serve basis. Only a total of 6 pets are allowed per flight with a limit on one kennel per customer. However, certain circumstances may allow for more or fewer than 6 pets on a flight. Pets must be at least 8 weeks old to be allowed on the flight.

Southwest has the right to refuse any cat or dog that portrays any sign of aggressive behavior or any other characteristic that may pose a risk to air travel.

Southwest Carry-on Pet kennel Requirements:

Southwest sells their own Southwest Airlines Pet Carrier for $58 that is 17" L x 9.5" H x 10" W. As long as your pet can fit comfortably in this kennel, Southwest will allow pets to travel in their kennel. This can be purchased online or any any Southwest airport ticket counter. 

If you are bringing your own kennel they must meet these requirements:

Kennels/Carriers are considered one of your carry on items due to limited space in the cabin. As such, you are only allowed to bring 1 additional carry-on item when bringing a pet.

Restrictions:

These restrictions do not apply to support or service animals accompanying a person with a disability

Southwest Airlines Charges & Fees

Southwest Airlines charges $95 pet fee each way per pet carrier. Please make sure to make your reservations in advance. On the day of departure you will need to go to the ticket counter to check-in with the pet and pay the pet fee before being allowed to your departure gate.

Southwest Airlines - NO Checked Pets

Southwest does not permit any pet to travel through checked baggage.

Southwest Airlines - NO Pets in Cargo

Southwest does not offer any cargo transport service for pets or animals.


United Airlines

United Airlines allows pets to travel in-cabin. For pets that are not eligible to travel in the aircraft cabin with you, United offers their PetSafe program for transporting pets (cats and dogs only). As of June 2018, United has implemented new policies to their PetSafe transporting program. Some of these policies are new to 2018 and United will be continually updating their policies through the remainder of 2018. PetSafe can transport your pet alone or on the same flight as you.

Service animals are allowed in the cabin to accompany those with disabilities. The requirements differ from normal pet transport. Please see United's regulations on service animals here.

United Airlines Carry-on Pets Policies

United Airlines allows dogs and cats to travel with you on board the cabin on most domestic flights within the US and may be carried in addition to one carry-on bag. They charge an additional service fee for each stopover of more than four hours. United's policy only applies to flights operated by United, for codeshare flights, please check with the operating carrier's policies. 

Pets must remain in their kennel while at the airport and while on the aircraft. The kennel needs to remain on the floor space below your seat and the door must be secured at all times. Pets must be at least 2 months (8 weeks) old to be permitted to travel on flights within the US and at least 4 months (16 weeks) old for international flights. Pets are not allowed with an unaccompanied minor. Please make sure your pet has all the required vaccinations if entering the US and including all certifications signed by a veterinarian and additional documents. 

Kennel requirements for United in-cabin travel:

 United requires you to carry your pet in-cabin in an approved hard or soft sided kennel. The kennel must be able to fit completely under the seat in front of you and remain there for the duration of the flight. Only one pet per kennel is permitted and your pet must be able to stand up and turn around comfortably.

The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels is 17.5" L x 12" W x 7.5"H. 

For Soft-sided kennels the recommended maximum dimensions are 18" L x 11" W x 11" H. Soft sided kennels/carriers may exceed these dimensions, as long as they are able to conform to the space underneath the seat infront of you without blocking the aisle. 

Restrictions:

Pets are not allowed on flights to, from, or through these locations:

Pets are booked on a space-available basis and you can not be booked on an emergency exit or bulkhead row. Certain premium cabins on select aircraft do not permit pets, these include Boeing 757, 767, 777, and 787 aircraft. Other aircrafts only allow 2 pets per flight in Premium cabins. In economy cabins, 4 pets are allowed. 

United Airlines PetSafe Transport Policies (Checked baggage/Cargo)

United Airlines provides the PetSafe program specifically for transporting your cat or dog. The members in this program have been trained to ensure your pet travels safely and comfortably to their destination. You may book your pet's travel up to 30 days in advance, but reservations must be made at least 5 days prior to departure. 

Puppies and kittens must be at least 8 weeks old to be permitted for travel. If they weigh less than 2 pounds, they must be at least 10 weeks old. For international flights, United recommends you contact IPATA for assistance. Pupplies imported to the US must be at least 16 weeks old and fully immunized prior to their flight. Pregnant cats or dogs more than 2/3 into their pregnancy will not be permitted to fly. 

Comfort Stops

United will only allow pet travel itineraries with 3 or less flight segments (two connections). If the total duration of their travel is more than 24 hours, pets will require comfort stops where they will be taken to designated kennel facilities. You may also choose to include an optional comfort stop in your pets itinerary. You will be charged a fee for comfort stops based on the connection city.

During the comfort stop:

PetSafe Crate Requirements:

 To be permitted to travel via United's PetSafe, your pet needs to have a kennel that is large enough for them to move freely, and stand with their head up. They must also be able to turn around and lie down in a natural position. The crate needs to be tall enough so when your pet stands and sits, their head or ear tips (whichever is higher) is not touching the top of the crate.

As of June 2018, United no longer accepts crates that exceed 30 inches in height. United/PetSafe will allow crates up to the 500 series size. On United Express flights the 400 series size is the maximum size allowed. 

Crates must meet these construction requirements:

Crate Restrictions:

Crates carried by Pet Pro Supply Co. that meet these requirements:

PetSafe Breed Restrictions:

As of June 2018, United PetSafe no longer accepts any of these breeds of brachycephalic (short or snub nosed) dogs and cats, including "mixed" breeds:

Dogs:

  • ¬†Affenpinscher
  • American Bully
  • American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull
  • American Staffordshire Terrier/"Amstaff"
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog
    • American Bulldog
    • English Bulldog
    • French Bulldog
    • Old English Bulldogges
    • Shorty Bulldogs
    • Spanish Alano/Spanish Bulldog/Alano Espanol
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chow Chow
  • English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff
    • American Mastiff
    • Boerboel/South African Mastiff
    • Bullmastiff
    • Ca de Bou/Mallorquin Mastiff
  • Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff
  • Dogo Argentino/Argentinian Mastiff
  • Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff
  • English Mastiff
  • Fila Brasileiro/Brazilian Mastiff/Cao de Fila
  • Indian Mastiff/Alangu
  • Kangal/Turkish Kangal
  • Neapolitan Mastiff/Mastino Napoletano
  • Pakastani Mastiff/Bully Kutta
  • Pyrenean Mastiff
  • Presa Canario/Perro de Presa Canario/Dogo Canario/Canary Mastiff
  • Spanish Mastiff / Mastin Espanol
  • Tibetan Mastiff
  • Tosa/Tosa Ken/Tosa Inu/Japanese Mastiff/Japanese Tosa
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
    • Dutch Pug
    • Japanese Pug
  • Shar-Pei/Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Shih-Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier/"Staffys"
  • Tibetan Spaniel

 

Cats:

Large high energy breeds and dogs with separation anxiety that display behaviors like excessive chewing or even clawing may be denied travel. For these breeds or dogs with these characteristics, United Airlines strongly recommend you provide them with a reinforced crate for increased security, highlighted in the next section. These breeds can include Labrador and Golden Retrievers.

Reinforced Crates (IATA CR82)

For dogs that display behaviors such as excessive chewing or clawing, even after they are acclimated to a travel crate, United Airlines strongly recommends that you use a reinforce crate that complies with International requirements (IATA Container Requirement #82) for increased safety. Breeds like Labrador and Golden Retrievers often display these behaviors due to high energy or separation anxiety. 

These reinforced crates must meet these criteria:

 United does not allow crates over 30" in height (this includes 700 series sizes) even for reinforced crates. 

You can purchase reinforced crates from our Pet Pro Supply Co online store here: Airline Approved IATA CR-82 Dog Crates

We highly recommend the Zinger and Grain Valley crates, as they are reinforced and come with kits that make them fully IATA CR-82 compliant. 

Other United PetSafe Pet Travel Restrictions:

United PetSafe does not provide transport to and from India and Australia at this time. Please always check with United PetSafe to confirm travel locations will allow pet transport

For international routing, PetSafe requires it be arranged through an International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA) approved pet shipper only.

United may decline pets for travel if locations on their itinerary have current or forecasted outside temperatures that are deemed unsafe for air travel. Additionally, between May 1 and September 30, United will not allow reservations to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix, and Tucson due to high temperatures. 

Charges:

United charges a $125 service charge each way for in-cabin pets per kennel. An additional $125 will be charged for each stopover that is more than 4 hours within the US or more than 24 hours outside the US 

For United PetSafe transport rates, please contact United PetSafe for rates for your travel plans: 1-800-575-3335

‚ėÖReviews

Let customers speak for us

574 reviews
88%
(504)
12%
(67)
0%
(2)
0%
(1)
0%
(0)
Love it

The best dryer I have ever owned. The customer service was even better, I was notified when it came to shipment progress and didn't have to check every now and then. Keep up the great work!!

Hale doors

These are incredibly great doors, been using for years. Had addition done so needed another. Was great I could use amazon account to pay, makes it so much easier to process order.

Perfect

We installed the Hale pet door when we build our home 13 years ago. It truly is the best dog door I’ve ever seen. So after 13 years of two dogs going in and out all day we needed a replacement flap both inside and out. Now it looks just like the day it was first installed and we are very pleased that we could get the same replacement flap. Great service.

Endemic 3002

This dryer is awesome.

Double MIM Variocage

Awesome product. Our giant breed puppies would alway whine when taking trip in car with regular travel kennels. In the Variocage they are totally silent and go to sleep right away. I think the bumper cover which folds up over the back to block direct sun light also makes a difference as they are not confused when looking out by the trees flying by or other cars behind us.
I erroneously did not order spill proof water bowls nor a large ramp at the time and realized it after the fact. All the equipment is well engineered as you would expect from the Swede’s.