Home Service Dog Which U.S. Airlines Are Dog-Friendly?

Which U.S. Airlines Are Dog-Friendly?

written by familyadhd

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Dog-Friendly Airlines in the U.S.

 

Dog-Friendly U.S. Airlines Pet Policies

Flying somewhere and hoping to bring your favorite pup along? We’ve done some research to help you figure out which airlines allow dogs onboard! Believe it or not, not all airlines do and the ones that do often have restrictions as to the size and/or weight of the pets allowed in the cabin. We focused primarily on flying with dogs, but you can find some general info on flying with pets below as well.

Keep in mind, advanced booking is generally required and fees are taken upon arrival at the airport in most cases, so be sure to plan ahead! Some breed restrictions apply, especially to breeds with shorter noses.

It goes without saying, but well-behaved pups are generally a must, especially if flying in the cabin. 😉

Note: The information in this post was provided through a combination of phone interviews and research on each airline’s website. This could change at any time, so we strongly suggest contacting any airlines you’re considering flying with prior to making arrangements.

Dog-Friendly Airlines in the U.S. Chart Infograph

Detailed Info on Dog-Friendly Airlines

We created the chart above to give you a quick way to reference which airlines allow dogs to travel on them, but there are lots of details and fine print, so we’ve gone into greater detail on each airline below!

 

Southwest Pet Policy

International Flights – No

Domestic – Yes

Reservations Required in Advance – Yes, reservations must be made in advance as the number of pets on each flight is limited.

Pet Airline Fee – $95 each way (non-refundable)

Pet crate count as carry-on? – Yes

Pets allowed in cargo? – No

Number of pet carriers per flight – 6 (possibly less depending on circumstances)

Number of pets per carrier – 2 of the same species per carrier

Number of pet carriers per passenger – 1

Maximum pet carrier size – 18.5” long x 8.5” high x 13.5” wide

Do pets require any vaccines or documentation? – No

Restrictions on seating for passengers with pets? – No exit row or seat without under seat storage

Additional Notes – Southwest staff are able to inform passengers with pets of elimination areas in destination airports. See Southwest’s site for more info.

 

JetBlue Pet Policy

International Flights – Yes (with the exception of flights to Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Cayman Islands and Trinidad & Tobago, and interline bookings)

Domestic – Yes

Reservations Required in Advance – Yes

Pet Airline Fee – $100 each way

Pet crate count as carry-on? – Yes

Pets allowed in cargo? – No

Number of pet carriers per flight – 4

Number of pets per carrier – 1 (some exceptions occasionally)

Number of pet carriers per passenger – 1

Maximum pet carrier size – 20 lbs combined weight (pet + carrier) and no larger than 17″L (43.18 cm) x 12.5″W (31.75 cm)  x 8.5″H (21.59 cm)

Do pets require any vaccines or documentation? – Appropriate documentation, tags and vaccines required for international destinations

Restrictions on seating for passengers with pets? – No exit row, bulkhead seat, Mint® seat or any seat restricted for under seat stowage

Additional notes – Carriers must have a leak proof bottom and must be well ventilated. Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers are acceptable. Containers in such physical condition as to allow possible escape by an animal will not be accepted for transportation. See JetBlue’s site for more info.

 

United Pet Policy

International Flights – Varies ( contact United for more info)

Domestic – Yes

Reservations Required in Advance – Yes

Pet Airline Fee – $125 each way (additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside of the U.S.)

Pet crate count as carry-on – No

Pets allowed in cargo – United’s PetSafe program ships pets unable to fly in-cabin https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/animals/petsafe.aspx

Number of pet carriers per flight –  2 in premium cabins on select aircrafts (not allowed on aircrafts with smaller under-seat storage); 4 in United Economy on all United flights

Number of pets per carrier – 1

Number of pet carriers per passenger – 1

Maximum pet carrier size – 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm) for hard carrier; 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm) soft carrier

Do pets require any vaccines or documentation? – See the following page: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/animals/in_cabin.aspx

Restrictions on seating for passengers with pets? – No exit row or bulkhead seating

Additional notesSee United’s site for more info.

 

Delta Pet Policy

International Flights – Yes, restrictions with some destinations require all pets to travel as cargo. See Delta’s site for more detail.

Domestic – Yes

Reservations Required in Advance – Yes

Pet Airline Fee – $125 to domestic destinations, $200 to international destinations, $75 to Brazil

Pet crate count as carry-on? – Yes

Pets allowed in cargo?Yes, Delta ships pets via cargo. 

Number of pet carriers per flight – 2 in First Class; 2 in Domestic Business or Domestic Delta One; 0 in International Business or International Delta One; 4 Main Cabin

Number of pets per carrier – 1 (exceptions for mother dog with un-weaned litters; 2 pets of the same species and size between the age of 10 weeks and 6 months may be allowed to travel in 1 kennel, providing they are small enough to fit into one kennel and are compatible. They will be charged as 1 pet.)

Number of pet carriers per passenger – 1

Maximum pet carrier size – Determined by flight. Contact Delta for details.

Do pets require any vaccines or documentation? – Some states may require a health certificate for your pet. Your veterinarian, the U.S. Department of Ariculture, or the Department of Agriculture for your destination state may provide you with more information.

Restrictions on seating for passengers with pets? – Contact Delta directly.

Additional notes – Your pet must be at least 10 weeks old for Domestic travel. Your pet must be 16 weeks old if traveling to the U.S. from other countries and must be at least 15 weeks old for European Union travel. See Delta’s site for more info.

 

Alaska Air Pet Policy

International – Yes, some restrictions

Domestic – Yes

Pet Airline Fee – $100 each way

Pet crate count as carry-on? – Yes, however, you may bring either a pet carrier and a personal item, or a pet carrier and a standard size carry-on bag. You may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a standard size carry-on, and a personal item.

Pets allowed in cargo? – Yes

Number of pet carriers per flight – 1 in First Class; 5 in Main Cabin

Number of pets per carrier – 2 of same species (if they comfortably fit)

Number of pet carriers per passenger – 2 if adjacent seat is purchased by same customer

Maximum pet carrier size – 17″ x 11″ x 7.5″ hard carrier; 17″ x 11″ x 9.5″ soft carrier

Do pets require any vaccines or documentation?Yes, see Alaska Air’s site for details.

Restrictions on seating for passengers with pets? – No emergency exit row seat, bulkhead, or any seat with an airbag safety belt (row 6 on flight numbers 001-999)

Additional notes – Must be fully weaned and at least 8 weeks old.

 

American Airlines Pet Policy

International Flights – Yes, some restrictions.

Domestic – Yes (under 12 hour flight)

Reservations Required in Advance – Yes

Pet Airline Fee – Not specified on site.

Pet crate count as carry-on? – Yes

Pets allowed in cargo? – Yes

Number of pet carriers per flight? – 7 (American Eagle flights limited to 5)

Number of pets per carrier? – Not specified

Number of pet carriers per passenger – 1

Maximum pet carrier size? – 19in x 13in x 9in hard carrier; soft carriers may be larger if they’re made of water-repellant material, are padded or have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides.

Do pets require any vaccines or documentation?Yes, see American Airline’s website for details.

Restrictions on seating for passengers with pets? – No specified

Additional notes – Must be at least 8 weeks old. Checked pets cannot travel on A321, A321S, A321H, A320, A319 aircraft and all flights operated by our regional partner Air Wisconsin. See American Airlines site for more details.

 

Virgin America Pet Policy

International Flights – Yes

Domestic – Yes

Reservations Required in Advance – Yes

Pet Airline Fee – $100 each way (due at time of booking or at airport)

Pet crate count as carry-on? – Yes

Pets allowed in cargo? – No

Number of pet carriers per flight – 5

Number of pets per carrier – 2 of same species

Number of pet carriers per passenger –  1

Maximum pet carrier size – Must not exceed 20 lbs combined (pet + carrier); 17 inches (long) x 11 inches (wide) x 7.5 inches (high) hard case; 17 inches (long) x 11 inches (wide) x 9.5 inches (high) soft case

Do pets require any vaccines or documentation? – In some cases. See Virgin America’s site for details.

Restrictions on seating for passengers with pets? – Main Cabin only, may not be seated in exit row, bulkhead or First Class.

Additional notes – Must be at least 8 weeks and weaned. Visit Virgin America’s site for more details.

 

Final Thoughts on Pet-Friendly Airlines in the U.S.

These are the major airlines we initially researched. Should we speak with any other airlines or get enough requests to add more we will update this post!

Have you ever flown with your pet? How did it go?

 

Note: This post may include information that is incorrect or outdated. Please contact the airlines you would like to travel with directly for currently information. 

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38 comments

Alli Smith July 12, 2017 at 6:02 am

It’s great to have all the info about dog-friendly airlines in one place. I’ve never flown with a dog but I did see a cute little dog in a cute little carrier on one flight and he was so well-behaved.

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:34 pm

Aw how fun! We’ve had a few dogs on our flights in the past a well. So cute!

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Jeanette July 12, 2017 at 7:00 am

This is really cool I did not know how many airlines are actually dog friendly! I fly Southwest all the time and it would be nice to actually bring my dog with me next time.

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm

That’s awesome! Yes, we were surprised how many were dog-friendly, too!

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robin rue July 12, 2017 at 7:04 am

This is great information for pet owners to know. We took my brother in law’s dog home with us to my MIL a few years back and flew United. They were very accommodating.

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm

That’s so good to hear!

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candy July 12, 2017 at 7:50 am

We have never flown with one of our pets, but I have seen many people with dogs on airplanes. We are talking from little ones to really big dogs. They have never caused a problem and you wouldn’t even know they were on board the plane.

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

That’s fantastic to hear!

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Sarah Honey July 12, 2017 at 8:13 am

This list is so helpful! We have flown with our two Yorkies when we are moving and had to buy a ticket for them ahead of time too.

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

I’m so glad!

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lisa July 12, 2017 at 11:10 am

This is really great info to have for us dog owners. I have never flown with my dogs, but in case I ever need to, this is good to know!

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Thank you!

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Gwendolyn M Mulholland July 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

This is really good information to know. With many families having pets it is nice to know which airlines make it easy to travel with your pets.

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Definitely! Especially since there are so many requirements 🙂

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Jenn July 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm

This is great to know. We have two dogs and have been kicking around the idea of taking them with us to visit my parents over the winter.

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Yay that’s awesome! I hope it goes well if you do 🙂

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Debra J Hawkins July 12, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I have honestly never tried to fly with my dog. I am glad to have the information if we ever decide to!

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familyadhd July 12, 2017 at 3:42 pm

Oh good! 🙂

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Liz Mays July 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

This is a really good guide. I’m not sure if I would consider shipping my pets as cargo but it’s good that there is that option on some airlines

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familyadhd July 13, 2017 at 2:02 am

Yes, cargo isn’t for us either. I know sometimes you have no choice and I suppose it’s good when you’re in that position, but we personally don’t ever plan to. 😉

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Pam July 12, 2017 at 10:01 pm

I had no idea there were so many pet friendly airlines. My son in law has flown with cats on Southwest before.

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familyadhd July 13, 2017 at 2:02 am

That’s fabulous! Yes, we were surprised as well 🙂

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Christy Maurer July 12, 2017 at 10:02 pm

This is really good to know! I have never had to fly with a pet, but it is great to know that if I do, I can find the info!

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familyadhd July 13, 2017 at 2:02 am

Yay, glad we could provide useful info for you!

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Cacinda July 13, 2017 at 7:48 am

These are really great informational tips. I’m not sure how my dog would do on a flight hopefully I won’t have to try and fly him anywhere.

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familyadhd July 13, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Dogs must be well behaved so it’d probably be easiest to fly with a dog that’s been trained to be able to do so in-cabin 🙂

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Amanda July 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

We have never flied with our dog before. I am a nervous flyer and I’m sure my sweet pup would be, too. But then again, I miss her so incredibly much when we go on vacation. Thanks for these great tips!

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familyadhd July 13, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Welcome! I’m sorry to hear that! We love to fly, but definitely feel horribly for anyone that struggles with it 🙁

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Carin Kilby Clark July 13, 2017 at 11:21 am

This is such great information for dog owners. I don’t have any pets but I can imagine that traveling with them is stressful enough. So it’s nice to have information like this to help make that process a little easier.

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familyadhd July 13, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Thank you! Just in case you end up with a canine companion in the future 😉

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Jenn @ EngineerMommy July 13, 2017 at 1:32 pm

We don’t have a dog yet, but my cousin has one. They fly often so I will share this post with them.

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familyadhd July 13, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Thanks so much! I hope they find it helpful 🙂

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Jenny July 13, 2017 at 11:46 pm

Good to know if we ever get a dog and need to travel by airplane. I figured all of them allow dogs but charge a fee and it looks like thats the case.

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familyadhd July 14, 2017 at 2:33 am

It’s actually surprising how many do allow dogs! But the requirements are pretty strict so it’s important to check those when/if the time comes 🙂

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Our Family World July 14, 2017 at 5:37 am

Thanks for the information you provided in this post. You saved me a lot time! I can just refer to this article instead of calling each and every airline to inquire.

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familyadhd July 17, 2017 at 1:10 am

Glad you found it helpful!

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Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen July 16, 2017 at 7:23 am

Wow! This is a lot of good information. I’ve never put a lot of thought into flying with a dog, but it’s a lot of work. I just assumed all airlines would allow it, but it looks like they all have different rules.

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familyadhd July 17, 2017 at 1:10 am

Oh yes, so many rules and restrictions and requirements to consider 🙂

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