The Complete Guide to Air Travel With Pets, Broken Down by Airline

So you want to travel somewhere by plane, but you can't fathom leaving your pet behind at home? If you're looking to take a pet on an airplane, it's important to educate yourself on the policies and guides of the specific airline you're traveling with—because, sadly, the rules of pet travel are not one size fits all.

Overwhelmed? Don't be. We have you covered. Here's a handy guide to the pet policies of the major U.S. airlines.

American Airlines

LaGuardia Airport, New York City
credit: Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/GettyImages

The official policy:

"Depending on the animals' breed, size and requirements, they can travel as a carry-on, be checked or transported with American Airlines Cargo. With the exception of a few breed restrictions, you can only travel with cats and dogs.

Please contact Reservations in advance so we can notify you of any requirements or travel changes that may affect you and your pet."

Cost:

The cost of traveling with a pet on American Airlines depends on how you want to transport the animal.

  • Checked pets within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean: $200 per kennel ($150 to/from Brazil)
  • Carry-on pets within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean (based on specific country's entry policy): $125 per kennel
  • Service animals to and from all destinations: No charge.

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on American Airlines:

  • How many carry-on pets can passengers bring on American Airlines? 1 per customer
  • How can pets ride in-cabin on American Airlines? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a kennel, under the seat in front of their owner throughout the entire flight.
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on American Airlines? $125 per kennel.
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on American Airlines? The animal must fit inside of a kennel that fits under the seat in front of the passenger with whom they're traveling. The animal must also be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down in a natural position in their kennel, without touching any side or the top of the kennel.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on American Airlines? AA doesn't require a specific kind or brand of kennel, but does require that non-collapsible kennels not exceed the under seat dimensions of any aircraft included in the passenger's journey and that soft-sided collapsible kennels "fit under the seat without having to excessively collapse the kennel" and soft kennels must also "be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides." American Airlines recommends that passengers contact reservations to verify maximum dimensions for their trips.
  • How many pets can ride in-cabin on a given flight? AA limits carry-on pet travel to seven kennels per flight on American flights (excluding service animals) and five kennels on American Eagle flights (with a max of one carry-on pet in First Class).
  • Can pets fly carry-on in First and Business Class on American Airlines? Yes, but there are additional restrictions involved. "Pets need to remain in their kennel during your flight and will need to be placed in a dedicated animal friendly compartment at the front of the plane during taxi, take-off, landing and turbulence," AA explains of its First/Business Class policy. Additionally, the combined weight of the carrier and your pet can't exceed 20 pounds, and the pet and kennel will be weighed at check-in.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on American Airlines:

  • How many checked pets can passengers bring on American Airlines? 2 per customer, as long as the animals meet the airline's other age, health, and size requirements.
  • How many checked pets does American Airlines allow on a given flight? While there aren't strict maximums on the number of checked pets per flight, like there are on carry-on pets, AA does note that capacity is limited and that checked pets are accepted on a first-come basis, so it's important to make arrangements early. Passengers wishing to check pets must notify reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel.
  • What documentation is required to check a pet with American Airlines? AA requires passengers traveling checked animals to provide health certificates for each animal. The certificate must be issued by a vet within 10 days of your travel date and within 60 days of your return for travel on the same ticket—the 10 day rule applies if your return travel is booked on a separate ticket). Passengers traveling with checked pets must also provide written certification that their pet has been fed and offered water within four hours of the time they're dropped off with the airline and that the animal is "securely and visibly attached to the outside of the kennel."
  • What kinds of instructions should you prepare if you're checking a pet on American Airlines? Anyone checking a pet with AA will also be required to provide feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period—and the airline won't accept "no food or water" as instructions unless that note comes directly from a vet.
  • What size requirements does American Airlines have regarding kennels for checked pets? Any kennel for a checked pet must be large enough for the animal to stand, turn, sit and lie down in a natural position (without touching any side or the top of the container) and must not exceed maximum size requirements of the aircraft the passenger is traveling on.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed for checked pets on American Airlines? AA requires that kennels for checked animals be made of wood, metal, plastic, or similar materials and have a door made of welded or cast metal that is secured and fastened. The kennel must also be secured at the top and bottom with bolts or screws and "rigid and secure enough so the animal cannot escape through gaps or poke any body part through the container." The airline also requires that passengers traveling with checked animals personally secure all four corners of their animal's kennel with release cables (which the airline provides). The kennel must also have ventilation on at least three sides for domestic U.S. travel and on four sides for international travel. On a practical note, AA also requires that kennels be leak-proof, clean, and lined with some kind of absorbent material.
  • What else will I need to "pack" for a checked pet on American Airlines? AA requires passengers checking a pet to include separate dishes for food and water securely attached inside the kennel and that they attach a small bag of food (enough for a 24-hour period) to the top of the kennel.
  • Can multiple animals travel in the same kennel when checked on American Airlines? AA allows passengers to travel with up to two pets in the same kennel when transporting young animals (between 8 weeks and 6 months old) as long as they are of the same species, are similar in size, and weigh less than 20 pounds each.
  • Should you sedate your pet before checking it for travel with American Airlines? AA notes that the American Veterinary Medical Association advises against giving pets sedatives or tranquilizers before flights due to respiratory and cardiovascular problems caused by altitude pressures. If passengers do decide to sedate their checked pet, they will need to provide the agent with the name of the medication, the amount given, and date and time the animal took it.

See American Airlines' pet policy website for aircraft and connection restrictions for checked pets.

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals on American Airlines:

  • How does American Airlines define an ESA or PSA? Emotional support / psychiatric service animals assist individuals with emotional, psychiatric or cognitive disabilities.
  • Do you need to notify American Airlines in advance if traveling with an ESA or PSA? Yes. AA requires advanced notice from passengers traveling with ESAs or PSAs.
  • How many ESAs or PSAs can travel with a passenger on AA? American Airlines limits ESAs and PSAs to one per passenger.
  • What species are allowed as ESAs and PSAs on American Airlines? Generally, AA recognizes cats and dogs as ESAs and PSAs and requires that other species of animals used as ESAs and PSAs "comply with the US Department of Transportation requirements for health and safety including documentation of the animal's up to date vaccination records and may not cause significant cabin disruption."
  • How old does an animal have to be to travel as an ESA or PSA on American Airlines? ESAs and PSAs must be at least four months old to travel on AA.
  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs on American Airlines? The animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child). If the animal is traveling in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of the passenger. If the animal is too large to fly in-cabin, the passenger may be asked to rebook on a flight with more open seats, buy a ticket for the animal, or transport the animal as a checked pet.
  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA or PSA on American Airlines? Passengers flying with an ESA or PSA must complete, submit, and receive approval for three separate forms prior to travel: a Medical / Mental Health Professional Form, a Veterinary Health Form (or vaccination record with current rabies vaccination information), and a Confirmation of Animal Behavior Form. You can access all three documents here.

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on American Airlines:

  • How does American Airlines define trained service animals? According to AA, "Trained service animals have been specifically trained to perform life functions for individuals with disabilities, including but not limited to visual impairments, deafness, seizures, mobility impairments."
  • Do you need to notify American Airlines in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? No, but they do encourage it whenever possible. AA also recommends that service dog handlers travel with current vaccination documentation for their service animal.
  • What species are allowed as trained service animals on American Airlines? Under the ADA, only dogs and, in some cases, miniature horses are permitted as service animals.
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on American Airlines? The animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child). If they do not, the passenger may be asked to rebook on a flight with more open seats, buy a ticket for the animal, or transport the animal as a checked pet.

Other restrictions and considerations:

Destination restrictions: If you're planning to travel with a pet on American Airlines, make sure that your destination is eligible for pet travel. In general, the airline accepts pets most flights up to 11 hours and 30 minutes or flights to/from:

  • The U.S. and Canada
  • Alaska
  • Central America
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • St. Croix
  • St. Thomas

For a more detailed list of destination restrictions, see American Airlines' full pet policy.

Dog breed restrictions: AA doesn't allow passengers to check brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs of any "mix." This includes Boxers, Pit Bulls, Pugs, and Mastiffs, among other breeds. A full list is available here.

Dog age restrictions: American Airlines requires that dogs traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico to be at least 8 weeks old. Dogs entering the U.S. on the airline from elsewhere must be at least 16 weeks old.

Cat breed restrictions: AA also prohibits checking brachycephalic cats of any "mix," a category that includes Burmese, Persian, Himalayan, and Exotic Shorthair cats.

Cat age restrictions: Cats must be at least 8 weeks old when traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico on American Airlines.

Delta Airlines

Delta Announces Quarterly Earnings And Reductions In Capacity Over Brexit
credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/GettyImages

The official policy:

"Take off with your favorite friend, even if they've got fur. Some pets can travel with Delta as a carry on or shipped as (very special) cargo, depending on their size. Review the requirements, then call us in advance at 800-221-1212 to arrange to bring your pet."

Cost:

  • Carry-on pets to and from the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico: $125
  • Carry-on pets to and from the U.S. Virgin Islands: $200
  • Carry-on pets on international flights: $200
  • Carry-on pets to and from Brazil: $75
  • Checked pets to any destination: "Additional fees may apply"
  • Service animals and emotional support animals: No charge

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on Delta Airlines:

  • How can pets ride in-cabin on Delta Airlines? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a kennel, under the seat in front of their owner throughout the entire flight. Delta also requires pet owners to keep their animals in kennels while in the boarding area and Sky Lounge at the airport.
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on Delta Airlines? It varies, depending on your destination. See "cost" above.
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on Delta Airlines? A carry-on pet must be small enough to fit comfortably and move around in a kennel without touching or protruding from the sides of the enclosure.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on Delta Airlines? Delta requires that carry-on kennels fit under the seat directly in front of the passenger and that soft- or hard-size kennels be leak-proof and ventilated on at least two sides. Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by a passenger's flight and Delta encourages passengers to check with reservations for specific size requirements.
  • Can more than one animal share a carry-on kennel on Delta Airlines? In general, Delta allows only one animal per kennel, with two exceptions: One female cat/dog may travel with her un-weaned litter if the litter is between 10 weeks and 6 months old and two pets of the same breed and size who are between 10 weeks and 6 months old can share a kennel if they are compatible and small enough to comfortably share the space. Animals permitted to share a kennel will be charged as one pet.
  • Does a pet kennel count as your carry-on luggage on Delta Airlines? Yes. A passenger traveling with a carry-on pet must count their animal's kennel as their carry-on item. They will still be allowed to bring one small personal item (like a purse or briefcase) in addition to the kennel.
  • How many pets can ride in-cabin on a given Delta flight? Delta flights limit pets to a maximum of two pets in First/Business Class and four in in main cabin on domestic and international flights.
  • Can pets fly carry-on in First and Business Class on Delta Airlines? On domestic flights, yes—but no more than two per flight and not in cabins with flatbed seats. Pets aren't allowed in First or Business Class on international flights.
  • How old does an animal have to be to fly carry-on on a Delta flight? Pets traveling carry-on must be at least 10 weeks old for domestic flights and at least 16 weeks old for international travel from the United States.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on Delta Airlines:

  • What is Delta Airlines' policy regarding checked pets? Delta does not transport pets as checked luggage and instead transports them via the Delta Cargo shipping service. "Our specialized shipping service Delta Cargo provides safe, reliable, year-round transportation, with service to address the needs of all pets that are shipped without their owners."
  • Does Delta Airlines recommend transporting pets via cargo? The decision is ultimately up to the pet owner, but Delta outlines some of the risks cargo travel poses for animals and encourages customers to consult a vet before booking travel. "Transport via cargo can be stressful for animals," the company writes. "Exposure to unfamiliar environments, people and movements impacts each animal differently and poses risks that could lead to illness, injury, escape, or death. While obtaining a health certificate, please discuss the risks of air travel with your veterinarian. Consider your animal's age, medical history of pre-existing conditions, and/or whether it has anxiety disorders that may be exacerbated during travel."
  • Are there exceptions to Delta's policy of shipping animals through Delta Cargo? Yes. Military members and U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officers are able to check their pets as baggage for a fee when traveling on active transfer orders, but must book the animal as checked baggage at least 48 hours prior to travel and pets checked as baggage must comply with federal regulations. This service costs $200 on both domestic and international flights ($150 for travel to and from Brazil). More details about Delta's pet policy for active duty military and State Department Foreign Service Officers are available here.
  • Can passengers book pet shipping on their travel ticket? No. Delta requires separate booking for pets shipped as cargo—it's not included as part of a passenger's flight itinerary—and additional fees and charges may apply.
  • When can passengers book pet transport on Delta Cargo? Domestic pet shipping on Delta Cargo can't be booked until 14 days prior to departure.
  • Are pets flown on the same plane as their owner when they're shipped through Delta Cargo? It's not guaranteed. Pets traveling through Delta Cargo have to be dropped off at a Delta Cargo location (which is separate from passenger check-in) at least three hours before departure time and then picked up at a Delta Cargo location on arrival in the passenger's destination.
  • Can you ship pets internationally through Delta Airlines? Per Delta's website, "Delta Cargo only accepts international pet shipments from known shipping companies. Delta requires international customers use a pet shipper, approved by the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association. Customers would then need to follow acceptance procedures set by the shipper."
  • What documentation is required to ship a pet with Delta Airlines? Delta requires customers shipping pets at cargo to provide a health certificate for the animal. The dated certificate has to be be issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of transport and must include the shipper's name and address, tag numbers or tattoos assigned to the animal, the age of the animal being shipped (animals must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned for domestic shipping travel), a statement that the animal is in good health, a list of administered inoculations, when applicable, the signature of the veterinarian.
  • What kinds of instructions should you prepare if you're shipping a pet on Delta Airlines? Customers hoping to ship their pet through Delta Cargo must complete a live animal checklist and confirm that their animal has been offered food and water within 4 hours of check-in. Customers shipping animals must also provide Delta with feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period and food for in-transit feeding, if necessary.
  • Should you sedate your pet before shipping it for travel with Delta Airlines?Because the use of pet tranquilizers at high altitudes is unpredictable, Delta requires written consent from a vet to sedate any animal shipped through Delta Cargo. What's more, the airline doesn't allow the sedation of shipped household dogs and cats at all.

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals on Delta Airlines:

  • Do you need to notify Delta Airlines in advance if traveling with an ESA or PSA? Yes. Delta requires advanced notice from passengers traveling with ESAs or PSAs.
  • How many ESAs or PSAs can travel with a passenger on Delta Airlines? Delta Airlines limits ESAs and PSAs to one per passenger.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as ESAs and PSAs on Delta Airlines? Delta does not permit any of the follow species to travel in-cabin as ESAs or PSAs, citing safety and/or public health concerns:
  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs on Delta Airlines? The animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child). If the animal is traveling in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of the passenger. If the animal is too large to fly in-cabin, the passenger may be asked to rebook on a flight with more open seats, buy a ticket for the animal, or transport the animal as a checked pet (free of charge)
  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA on Delta Airlines? Passengers flying with an ESA or PSA on Delta must provide "documentation that is no more than a year old (prior to the first flight in the itinerary) from a certified mental health professional indicating need for an emotional support animal, plus certification of the animal's health including rabies shot verification." Delta accepts digital copies of required documentation and recommends—but does not _require—_including the health provider's professional license number. Customers can download Delta's required documentation here and upload the forms through the Accessibility Service Request Form located in My Trips on the Delta website.

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on Delta Airlines:

  • Do you need to notify Delta Airlines in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? No, but it's always helpful when possible.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as trained service animals on Delta Airlines? Under the ADA, only dogs and, in some cases, miniature horses are permitted as service animals. Delta's website says it does not accept pit bulls or pit bull mixes as service dogs.
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on Delta Airlines? The animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child). If they do not, the passenger may be asked to rebook on a flight with more open seats, buy a ticket for the animal, or transport the animal as a checked pet (free of charge).
  • What documentation is required to fly with a trained service animal on Delta Airlines? Delta says it reserves the right to request and review a service animal's current veterinary health form at any time.

More information about Delta Airlines' service animal policies and FAQs are available here.

Other restrictions and considerations:

Destination restrictions: Pets aren't allowed to travel in cabin on Delta Airlines flights to (this does not include trained service animals):

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Dakar
  • Dubai
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Ireland
  • South Africa
  • United Kingdom
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Hawaii

See a full list of destination and connection restrictions on Delta Airlines here.

Species restrictions: Delta allows household birds on domestic U.S. flights only excluding Hawaii, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Age restrictions: Delta doesn't impose a maximum age limit for animals traveling by air, but notes that impaired vision or hearing, heart, liver or kidney disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, senility, and weakness can often impact older animals and strongly encourages passengers traveling with older animals to consult a vet.

Breed restrictions: Delta does not permit brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs and cats and their mixes on Delta or Delta Connection flights. See deltacargo.com for a full list of restricted dog and cat breeds.

Weather restrictions: Delta imposes seasonal restrictions on pet travel for the animals' safety and doesn't ship animals during extreme weather, including temperatures that exceeds 80˚F (27˚C) or fall below 20˚F (-7˚C). Delta also requires a Certificate of Acclimation for animals traveling when temperatures fall between 20˚F (-7˚C) and 45˚F (7˚C).

United Airlines

Ground crew members for United Airlines...
credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GettyImages

Cost:

  • Carry-on pets: $125
  • Checked pets to any destination: Varies, but you can get an estimate here.
  • Service animals and emotional support animals: No charge

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on United Airlines:

  • What animals are eligible to ride in-cabin on United Airlines? Per United's website, "In-cabin pets are domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds (excluding cockatoos) that travel in the aircraft cabin with a customer. There are no breed restrictions for in-cabin pets."
  • How can pets ride in-cabin on United Airlines? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a kennel, under the seat in front of their owner throughout the entire flight.
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on United Airlines? $125
  • Can a passenger fly with more than one pet on United Airlines? Yes, technically—but they would have to buy an extra seat and pay the additional $125 pet fee. Even then, the second pet would have to stay under the extra seat, not in the seat next to its owner.
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on United Airlines? A carry-on pet must be small enough to fit comfortably and move around in a kennel without touching or protruding from the sides of the enclosure.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on United Airlines? United allows both hard-sided and soft-sided kennels, but either way, the kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times. The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm). The recommended maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm). Soft-sided pet carriers may exceed these dimensions slightly, as they are collapsible and able to conform to under-seat space without blocking the aisle (on Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, soft-sided kennels must be no higher than 10 inches).
  • Can more than one animal share a carry-on kennel on United Airlines? United allows two birds to travel in the same kennel, but otherwise, the airline enforces a one pet per kennel rule.
  • How many pets can ride in-cabin on a given United flight? United only notes that pet travel is booked on an "as available" basis.

More details about United Airlines' in-cabin pet policies are available here.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on United Airlines:

  • What is United Airlines' policy regarding checked pets? United, as a general rule, does not transport pets as checked luggage and instead transports them via its PetSafe service. "Pets are an important part of your family, and PetSafe is here to get your dog or cat where they need to be safely and comfortably," United explains on its website. "If your pet can't travel in the cabin with you, you can use PetSafe to transport them to nearly 300 destinations. Our team loves animals as much as you do and will care for your pet throughout their entire journey."

  • Are there exceptions to United's policy of shipping animals through its PetSafe program? Yes. Active duty U.S. military personnel on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) and their spouses, along with State Department Foreign Service Personnel (FSP) and their spouses are allowed certain benefits for transporting their pet dogs and cats when traveling on assignment to and from international destinations—this exception does not apply to military personnel who are on leave or traveling for leisure, however.
    Under this program, qualifying pets still receive the specialized handling provided by United's PetSafe program but are issued a special tag during check-in that exempts them from a third-party shipping agent or customs broker clear them in customs, which saves on additional fees. One of the biggest perks is that pets flying as a part of this program do not need to be dropped off with the cargo facility and can, be conveniently dropped off at airport check-in More details about United's pet policy for active duty military and State Department Foreign Service Officers are available here.

  • Are there any health restrictions for pets flying through United's PetSafe program? United encourages pet owners to talk to their vet if their animal is overweight or has a pre-existing health conditions, as these animals are more likely to have a difficult time during air travel. United prohibits pregnant cats and dogs that are more than two-thirds of the way through their pregnancies from travel.

  • Are there breed restrictions for pets flying through United's PetSafe program? United reports that there have been incidents of larger, high-energy breeds like Labrador and Golden Retrievers, and dogs with separation anxiety injuring themselves while trying to escape from travel kennels during transit. United recommends such dogs be transported in reinforced crates and reserves the right to deny travel to dogs that continuously claw and/or chew at their crates. While hairless pets are allowed to wear lightweight pet clothing and nervous pets can wear anti-anxiety shirts, United representatives might ask owners to remove these items at check-in so the animal can be inspected for injuries.

  • Is every travel booking eligible for PetSafe? For the safety of the animals who use the service, United doesn't accept PetSafe itineraries with more than three flight segments (or two connections).

  • What kind of crate is required when shipping pets through United's PetSafe problem? United requires animals traveling through PetSafe to use an approved crate that meets United Airlines, USDA and International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements and recommends purchasing one directly through Petmate. United requires PetSafe users to submit photos of their kennel for pre-approval after booking. Crates cannot be larger that 34 inches high and must be large enough for the animal inside to stand, turn around normally while standing, sit up and lie down in a natural position.

  • Can more than one animal share a crate using United's PetSafe program? Generally, no. The only exception is that two kittens or puppies younger than six months can travel in a crate together as long as they're similar in size and weigh less than 20 pounds each, but the crate must be large enough for the animals to move around freely.

  • What documentation is required to ship a pet with United Airlines? United requires several documents for animals traveling via PetSafe, including:

    *   A scanned copy of their completed, signed and dated [Customer Acknowledgement Form](https://media.united.com/images/Media%20Database/SDL/Travel/animals/PetSafe-Customer-Acknowledgement-Form_March2019_ADA.pdf)
    • A scanned copy of their pet's original health certificate issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian who examined their pet within 10 days of travel (or a shorter timeframe if required by the destination country)
    • A digital photo of their pet's travel crate so United can give the customer guidance on how to make sure it meets PetSafe's crate requirements.
    • A digital photo of their pet clearly showing their face to verify the breed.
  • What kinds of instructions should you prepare if you're shipping a pet on United Airlines? United requires customers to attach certification stating the last time the animal was offered food and water to the outside of the crate. Owners are also required to attach any special feeding or watering instructions needed for their animal's care. More information about what's allowed and not allowed in the crate of an animal using PetSafe if available here.

  • Should you sedate your pet before shipping it for travel with United Airlines? According to United's website, "United supports the American Veterinarian Medical Association's recommendation to not accept pets that have been sedated. United will not accept a cat or dog that has been sedated or that United determines, in its sole discretion, appears to have been sedated. United accepts no liability for the death or sickness of a pet caused by any drug. Check with your veterinarian for alternative therapies to aid in calming your pet."

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals on United Airlines:

  • How does United Airlines define ESAs and PSAs? "Emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals provide emotional, psychiatric or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities, but may or may not have task-specific training with respect to a disability."
  • Do you need to notify United Airlines in advance if traveling with an ESA or PSA? Yes. United requires advanced notice and documentation from passengers traveling with ESAs or PSAs.
  • How many ESAs or PSAs can travel with a passenger on United Airlines? United Airlines limits ESAs and PSAs to one per passenger.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as ESAs and PSAs on United Airlines? United typically permits dogs and cats as ESAs and PSAs, but will consider other species on a case-by-case basis, provided they comply with DOT regulations.
  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs on United Airlines? The animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child). If the animal is traveling in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of the passenger. If the animal weighs more than 65 pounds, it may not be able to safely fly in-cabin.
  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA on United Airlines? Passengers flying with an ESA or PSA on United must submit the airline's required documentation at least 48 hours before their flight via United's secure portal.

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on United Airlines:

  • How does United Airlines define a trained service animal? "Task-trained service animals are animals that receive specific training to perform life functions for individuals with disabilities...Examples include animals that assist with visual limitations, deafness, seizures and mobility limitations."
  • Do you need to notify United Airlines in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? No, but it's always helpful when possible.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as trained service animals on United Airlines? Under the ADA, only dogs and, in some cases, miniature horses are permitted as service animals. United's website, however, suggests they also recognize cats as service animals: "These animals usually include cats and dogs (any other animal species would have to comply with DOT regulations and will be evaluated for accommodation on a case-by-case basis) and must be a minimum age of four months for acceptance on United. "
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on United Airlines? United's website doesn't specifically list size restrictions for trained service animals, but it's safe to assume that, as on other airlines, the animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child).

Other restrictions and considerations:

Destination restrictions: United only allows in-cabin pets on select flights and notes that they aren't permitted on "flights to, from or through Hawaii and some international cities."

United also reminds customers that they are responsible for complying with all applicable state and country entry requirements when traveling with a pet.

Passenger restrictions: United doesn't allow pets to travel with unaccompanied minors.

Species restrictions: Delta allows household birds on domestic U.S. flights only excluding Hawaii, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Age restrictions: United requires puppies and kittens traveling in-cabin as pets to be at least four months old at the time of travel.

Breed restrictions: United does not allow the following breeds to fly as a part of its PetSafe program, citing health and behavioral issues as the reason for restrictions:

Dog breeds:

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Bully
  • American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull
  • American Staffordshire Terrier/"Amstaff"
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog – all types
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Chow Chow
  • English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiffs – all types
  • Pekingese
  • Pug – all types
  • Shar-Pei/Chinese Shar-Pei
  • Shih-Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier/"Staffys"
  • Tibetan Spaniel

Cat breeds:

  • Burmese
  • Exotic Shorthair
  • Himalayan
  • Persian

Weather restrictions: United's PetSafe program uses climate-controlled vans at most major airports and many other locations and keeps animals in holding areas within a temperature range of 45–85° F. For the animals' safety, PetSafe doesn't all animals to travel during extreme weather that could endanger them and may cancel pet travel if the weather conditions and/or temperatures are unsafe. United doesn't accept any PetSafe reservations to and from the following airports for travel between May 1 and September 30 because of high (and potentially dangerous) temperatures:

  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Palm Springs (PSP)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Tucson (TUS)

Southwest Airlines

San Antonio International Airport
credit: Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/GettyImages

The official policy:

"Southwest Airlines allows small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel with you in-cabin under the seat in front of you. All pets must be carried in an appropriate carrier. Southwest Airlines will not accept pet remains as carry-on or checked baggage."

Cost:

  • Carry-on pets: $95
  • Service animals and emotional support animals: No charge

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on Southwest Airlines:

  • How can pets ride in-cabin on Southwest Airlines? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a kennel, under the seat in front of their owner throughout the entire flight.
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on Southwest Airlines? $95
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on Southwest Airlines? A carry-on pet must be small enough to fit comfortably and move around in a kennel without touching or protruding from the sides of the enclosure.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on Southwest Airlines? Southwest limits pet carriers to maximum dimensions of 18.5" long x 8.5" high x 13.5" wide. Both soft-sided and hard-sided carriers are allowed, but must be leak-proof and well-ventilated and small enough to fit under the seat in front of the passenger. The airline recommends its custom Southwest Airlines Pet Carrier.
  • Can more than one animal share a carry-on kennel on Southwest Airlines? Yes. Southwest permits customers to transport two cats or dogs, as long as the animals sharing the carrier are the same species. Customers are limited to one kennel per passenger.
  • Does a pet kennel count as your carry-on luggage on Southwest Airlines? Southwest allows customers to count their kennel as either their carry-on luggage or their "small personal item." Per the Southwest website: "Pet carriers are considered either a personal item or a carryon item. A Customer may board the aircraft with either a pet carrier and a personal item or a pet carrier and a regular size carryon bag. A Customer may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a regular size carryon bag, and a personal item. The pet carrier must conform to all carryon baggage regulations."
  • How many pets can ride in-cabin on a given Southwest flight? Southwest's policy is not to book more than six scheduled pet carriers per flight.
  • Can pets travel in-cabin on international flights on Southwest? Southwest doesn't allow in-cabin pets to travel on any international flights.
  • How old does an animal have to be to fly carry-on on a Southwest flight? Dogs and cats traveling as carry-ons must be at least 8 weeks old to fly Southwest.
  • What are the health requirements for pets flying carry-on via Southwest? Southwest does not currently require any documentation or health records for animals flying as pets.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on Southwest Airlines:

  • What is Southwest Airlines' policy regarding checked pets? Southwest does not permit pets to travel as cargo.

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals on Southwest Airlines:

  • How does Southwest define an ESA? "An emotional support animal, typically a dog or cat, provides support for an individual with a mental health-related disability and is not trained to perform a specific task(s) or work."

  • Do you need to notify Southwest Airlines in advance if traveling with an ESA? It's not required, but is strongly encouraged.

  • How many ESAs can travel with a passenger on Southwest Airlines? Southwest Airlines limits ESAs to one per passenger.

  • What species and breeds are allowed as ESAs on Southwest Airlines? Southwest notes that ESAs are "typically" dogs or cats, but doesn't provide specific guidance about other species used as emotional support animals.

  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs on Southwest Airlines? The animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child). If the animal is traveling in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of the passenger. If the animal is too large to fly in-cabin, the passenger may be asked to rebook on a flight with more open seats, buy a ticket for the animal, or transport the animal as a checked pet (free of charge)

  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA on Southwest Airlines? Southwest requires current documentation (not more than one year old on the date of travel) on letterhead from a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor who is treating the Customer's mental health-related disability. Per Southwest, "the letter must state all four items below:

    1.  The Passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    1. The Passenger needs the emotional support animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the Passenger's destination
    2. The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, and the Passenger is under his or her professional care AND
    3. The date and type of mental health professional's or medical doctor's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued."Here are printable instructions for Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal on Southwest Airlines.

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on Southwest Airlines:

  • How does Southwest define a service animal? "A fully trained service animal, typically a dog, cat, or miniature horse, is individually trained to perform a task(s) or work for a person with a physical and/or mental disability."
  • Do you need to notify Southwest Airlines in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? No, but Southwest does "strongly encourage" it. "We strongly encourage a Customer to notify us in advance if he/she will be traveling with a trained service animal," Southwest writes. "When booking a new reservation, a Customer may use the "Special Assistance" link (situated on the Passenger & Payment Info page) to indicate that he/she will be traveling with a trained service animal."
  • What species and breeds are allowed as trained service animals on Southwest Airlines? Under the ADA, only dogs and, in some cases, miniature horses are permitted as service animals, but Southwest's website notes that it recognizes cats as service animals too.
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on Southwest Airlines? The animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child). If they do not, the passenger may be asked to rebook on a flight with more open seats, buy a ticket for the animal, or transport the animal as a checked pet (free of charge).
  • What documentation is required to fly with a trained service animal on Southwest Airlines? No documentation is required to fly with a trained service animal on Southwest Airlines.

More information about Southwest Airlines' service animal policies and FAQs are available here.

Other restrictions and considerations:

Species restrictions: Southwest only allows dogs and cats to travel aboard its aircrafts as pets.

JetBlue

US-AIRBUS-TRANSPORT-AVIATION
credit: AFP/AFP/GettyImages

The official policy:

"Whether you're a dog person or a cat person (we won't judge), we want to make trips with your furbaby a walk in the park. Well, without the butt-sniffing part."

Cost:

  • Carry-on pets: $125
  • Service animals: No charge

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on JetBlue:

  • How can pets ride in-cabin on JetBlue? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a carrier, under the seat in front of their owner throughout taxi, takeoff, and landing. Unlike most airlines, JetBlue allows pet owners to hold their pet carrier in their lap during the rest of the flight. JetBlue also allows passengers to purchase an additional seat and place their pet (inside of its carrier) in the extra seat during the flight (except during taxi, takeoff, and landing, when the carrier must be stowed under the passenger's seat).
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on JetBlue? $125.
  • What species are allowed to travel as pets on JetBlue? JetBlue only accepts small cats and dogs for pet travel.
  • What documentation is required for a pet to fly in-cabin on JetBlue? JetBlue asks that passengers traveling with pets bring the animal's ID tags and license as well as "necessary vaccinations and documentation" (currently, JetBlue doesn't require vaccination or health/veterinarian documents on domestic flights, but may on international flights).
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on JetBlue? A carry-on pet must be small enough to fit comfortably and move around in a kennel without touching or protruding from the sides of the enclosure.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on JetBlue Airlines? JetBlue requires that carry-on pets travel in an FAA-approved pet carrier that fits comfortably under the seat in front of the passenger. The pet carrier cannot exceed 17"L x 12.5"W x 8.5"H, and the combined weight of the animal and carrier cannot exceed 20 pounds.
  • How many pets does JetBlue allow per passenger? JetBlue allows only one pet per passenger. The airline notes that it does make rare exceptions to this rule and encourages guests wishing to fly with multiple pets to call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) for more information.
  • Can pets fly with unaccompanied minors on JetBlue? Yes! Unlike most airlines, JetBlue does permit unaccompanied minors to travel with a small cat or dog on their flight, as long as they pay the fees and meet all the pet requirements.
  • Does a pet kennel count as your carry-on luggage on JetBlue? Yes. JetBlue counts the pet and its carrier as one carry-on bag.
  • How many pets can ride in-cabin on a given JetBlue flight? JetBlue allows a maximum of four pets per flight and says "the fourth and final pet must be booked at the airport at the ticket counter within 24 hours of departure and is available on a first-come, first-served basis."
  • Can pets fly carry-on in JetBlue Mint flights? Sadly, not. JetBlue does not allow pets on JetBlue Mint.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on JetBlue:

  • What is JetBlue's policy regarding checked pets? All pets travel in the aircraft cabin on board JetBlue flights—the airline does not ship live animals as cargo or in the bellies of any aircraft.

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals on JetBlue:

  • How doest JetBlue define ESAs and PSAs? "An emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal provides comfort to support a customer's diagnosed mental or emotional disorder. Emotional support animals need not have specific training for that function, while psychiatric service animals are task trained. All must be trained to behave appropriately in a public setting."

  • Do you need to notify JetBlue in advance if traveling with an ESA or PSA? Yes. JetBlue customers must provide notification of their intention to travel with an emotional support/psychiatric service animal and submit their documents (see below for details) at least 48 hours prior to departure.

  • How many ESAs or PSAs can travel with a passenger on JetBlue? JetBlue limits ESAs and PSAs to one per passenger.

  • What species and breeds are allowed as ESAs and PSAs on JetBlue? As of July 1, 2018, JetBlue has limited emotional support and psychiatric service animals to** dogs, cats, and miniature horses. **

  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs on JetBlue? JetBlue doesn't outline size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs, but it's reasonable to assume that, as on other airlines, the animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child) and that, if the animal is traveling in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of the passenger.

  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA or PSA on JetBlue? JetBlue customers traveling with emotional support or psychiatric service animals will need to submit three JetBlue-specific documents (which are available to download on JetBlue's Special Assistance page and must be uploaded through this link) for review:

    *   Medical/Mental Health Professional form
    • Veterinary Health form
    • Confirmation of Animal Behavior form

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on JetBlue:

  • How does JetBlue define a trained service animal? "A service animal has been trained to perform a specific task to assist the customer traveling."
  • Do you need to notify JetBlue in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? No, but it's always helpful when possible.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as trained service animals on JetBlue? Under the ADA, only dogs and, in some cases, miniature horses are permitted as service animals, but JetBlue doesn't list these or other restrictions on its website regarding trained service animals.
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on JetBlue? JetBlue doesn't outline size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs, but it's reasonable to assume that, as on other airlines, the animal must be able to fit at the passenger's feet, under their seat, or in their lap (but lap animals can't be larger than a two-year-old child) and that, if the animal is traveling in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of the passenger.
  • What documentation is required to fly with a trained service animal on JetBlue? JetBlue does not require documentation from passengers traveling with trained service animals.

More information about JetBlue's service animal policies here.

Other restrictions and considerations:

Destination restrictions: JetBlue doesn't permit pets on flights to Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, the Cayman Islands, or Trinidad & Tobago. JetBlue also cautions passengers to check the vaccination and documentation requirements for each destination on their itinerary.

Interline flights: "Pets are NOT accepted on interline/codeshare bookings, regardless of booking source (jetblue.com, travel agency, partner airline's website, etc.)."

Benefits of traveling with a pet on JetBlue: Unlike most airlines, JetBlue offers an incentive for some members to fly with furbabies. TrueBlue members earn 300 extra points per segment for adding a pet to their booking. JetBlue also brags that its airplanes have more legroom than its competitors, which means more space for animals traveling on their planes too.

JetBlue also offers a pet travel guide for customers, available here, that includes information about etiquette of flying with a pet as well as a guide to pet-friendly hotels and pet hospitals in many major cities.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines' Pilots Reach Contract Agreement, Strike Ends
credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/GettyImages

The official policy:

"We want you to be able to take your favorite furry friend with you when you travel. That's why we allow small domesticated pets to travel on all domestic flights including Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. in the guest cabin."

Cost:

  • Carry-on pets: $110
  • Service animals: No charge

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on Spirit Airlines:

  • How can pets ride in-cabin on Spirit Airlines? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a kennel, under the seat in front of their owner throughout the entire flight.
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on Spirit Airlines? $110
  • What documentation does Spirit Airlines require for pets flying in-cabin? While Spirit Airlines does not require a health certificate for pets traveling in-cabin (except for guests traveling to USVI), it does require a rabies vaccination certificate for pets traveling to Puerto Rico.
  • What species are allowed to travel as pets on Spirit Airlines? Spirit allows domestic dogs domestic cats, small household birds (except to / from Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I. ), small domestic rabbits (except to/from Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I) to fly in-cabin as pets.
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on Spirit Airlines? Spirit requires that animals traveling in cabin be able to stand upright and move about comfortably in their kennel or carrier.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on Spirit Airlines? Spirit Airlines requires that pet containers fit under the guest's seat and not exceed 18 x 14 x 9 inches. The airline only allows soft containers in the cabin—but not the type that allows the pet's head to remain outside.
  • How many pets does Spirit Airlines allow per customer? Spirit limits passengers to one pet carrier each, but allows up to two pets per carrier.
  • Can more than one animal share a carry-on kennel on Spirit Airlines? Yes. Spirit allows up to two animals per carrier, but the combined weight of the pet(s) and carrier may not exceed 40 pounds.
  • Does a pet kennel count as your carry-on luggage on Spirit Airlines? Yes. A passenger traveling with a carry-on pet must count their animal's kennel as their carry-on item.
  • How many pets can ride in-cabin on a given Spirit Airlines flight? Spirit allows a maximum of six pet containers on the aircraft during all domestic flights.
  • How old does an animal have to be to fly carry-on on a Spirit Airlines flight? Pets traveling carry-on must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on Spirit Airlines:

  • What is Spirit Airlines' policy regarding checked pets? Spirit Airlines does not allow pets to travel as cargo.

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals on Spirit Airlines:

  • Do you need to notify Spirit Airlines in advance if traveling with an ESA or PSA? Yes. Spirit Airlines requires passengers flying with ESAs or PSAs to submit the required documents at least 48 hours before traveling.

  • How many ESAs or PSAs can travel with a passenger on Spirit Airlines? Spirit Airlines limits ESAs and PSAs to one per passenger.

  • What species and breeds are allowed as ESAs and PSAs on Spirit Airlines? Spirit Airlines recognizes dogs and cats as ESAs and PSAs and will evaluate other animals on a case-by-case basis. Some species are explicitly prohibited as ESAs and PSAs, including: Snakes, other reptiles, rodents (such as hamsters, mice, rats, squirrels, etc.), ferrets, sugar gliders, spiders. Contact the airline if you plan to travel with an unconventional ESA or PSA.

  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs on Spirit Airlines? On Spirit Airlines, ESAs and PSAs can sit on their owner's lap, if they're not larger than a lap child or be placed on the aircraft floor, provided it does not block an aisle or other area that must remain clear for emergency evacuation or extend into another guest's foot space (unless that guest gives consent allowing it to do so).

  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA on Spirit Airlines? Spirit Airlines requires that customers flying with ESAs and PSAs submit three forms, which can be downloaded here and submitted here. The forms include:

    1.  Mental Health Professional Form – subject to verification
    1. Veterinary Health Form – subject to verification
    2. Passenger Acknowledgement Form

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on Spirit Airlines:

  • How does Spirit Airlines define a trained service animal? "We accept trained service animals that have been individually trained to provide a service or perform a specific task(s) to those with a disability. Some examples include animals that assist with deafness or hard of hearing, seizures, mobility limitations, visual impairment, or other physical disabilities.'
  • Do you need to notify Spirit Airlines in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? No, but it's always helpful when possible.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as trained service animals on Spirit Airlines? Under the ADA, only dogs and, in some cases, miniature horses are permitted as service animals.
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on Spirit Airlines? On Spirit Airlines, ESAs and PSAs can sit on their owner's lap, if they're not larger than a lap child or be placed on the aircraft floor, provided it does not block an aisle or other area that must remain clear for emergency evacuation or extend into another guest's foot space (unless that guest gives consent allowing it to do so).
  • What documentation is required to fly with a trained service animal on Spirit Airlines? There is no documentation required to fly with a trained service animal on Spirit Airlines.

More information about Spirit Airlines' service animal policies are available here.

Other restrictions and considerations:

Species restrictions: Although Spirit allows household birds to fly as pets, it does not allow farm poultry, waterfowl, game bird, birds of prey, and flightless birds aboard its aircrafts. Exotic pets such as snakes, spiders, rodents, etc. will also not be accepted.

Allegiant Air

New Orleans Firefighters Arrive In Las Vegas For A Rest
credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/GettyImages

The official policy:

"Allegiant welcomes small live animals/pets in the aircraft cabin within the contiguous 48 United States. Travel to international destinations and U.S. territories, including San Juan, Puerto Rico may not accept all pets."

Cost:

  • Carry-on pets: $100 per segment
  • Service animals: No charge

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on Allegiant Airlines:

  • How can pets ride in-cabin on Allegiant Airlines? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a kennel, under the seat in front of their owner throughout the entire flight and while in the airport. Passengers with pets are required to check in with an Allegiant agent at the ticket counter or gate counter at least one hour prior to scheduled departure.
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on Allegiant Airlines? $100 per segment.
  • What species are allowed to travel in-cabin as pets on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant only allows domestic dogs and cats to travel on board as pets.
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on Allegiant Airlines? A carry-on pet must fit comfortably in its carrier and may not protrude from the carrier.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant strongly suggests passengers travel with a soft-sided, leak-proof carrier that fits under the seat. Carriers may be no larger than 9"H x 16"W x 19"D.
  • How many pets are allowed per passenger on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant limits passengers to one pet carrier, but that carrier can contain up to two animals.
  • Can more than one animal share a carry-on kennel on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant allows up to two animals per carrier.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on Allegiant Airlines:

  • What is Allegiant Airlines' policy regarding checked pets? Allegiant Airlines does not transport animals in the cargo bin.

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals on Allegiant Airlines:

  • How doest Allegiant Airlines define ESAs and PSAs? "Emotional support and psychiatric service animals assist with emotional, psychiatric, cognitive or psychological disabilities."
  • Do you need to notify Allegiant Airlines in advance if traveling with an ESA or PSA? Yes, but barely. Allegiant Airlines requires that the necessary forms for an ESA or PSA be presented to an Allegiant agent at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure at the ticket counter or at the gate counter.
  • How many ESAs or PSAs can travel with a passenger on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant Airlines limits ESAs and PSAs to one per passenger.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as ESAs and PSAs on Allegiant Airlines? "Allegiant only accepts for transport domestic dogs, cats and miniature horses."
  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs and PSAs on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant requires ESAs and PSAs to remain on the floor, under the seat or in the lap (if the animal is no larger than a 2 year old child, approximately less than 30 lbs.) of the disabled passenger. Animals traveling on the floor may not encroach on the foot space of another passenger or extend into the aisle.
  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant Airlines requires three forms from passengers traveling with ESAs or PSAs: 1. Form 1 - Veterinary Health Form, which must be fully completed by your veterinarian; 2. Form 2 – Mental Health Professional Form, which must be fully completed by your mental health professional or a medical physician treating you for an emotional or mental disability; and 3. Form 3 – Animal Behavior & Responsibility Form. These forms are available here.

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on Allegiant Airlines:

  • How does Allegiant Airlines define a trained service animal? "Allegiant welcomes passengers traveling with a fully trained service animal, such as those leading the hearing or visually impaired."
  • Do you need to notify Allegiant Airlines in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? Yes. Allegiant requires a veterinary health form for trained service animals, which must be presented to an Allegiant representative at least 45 minutes prior to scheduled departure at the ticket counter or at the gate counter.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as trained service animals on Allegiant Airlines? Under the ADA, only dogs and, in some cases, miniature horses are permitted as service animals. Allegiant also seems to recognize domestic cats as service animals in some cases.
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant requires ESAs and PSAs to remain on the floor, under the seat or in the lap (if the animal is no larger than a 2 year old child, approximately less than 30 lbs.) of the disabled passenger. Animals traveling on the floor may not encroach on the foot space of another passenger or extend into the aisle.
  • What documentation is required to fly with a trained service animal on Allegiant Airlines? Allegiant requires a health form signed by a vet for service animals traveling on their planes. It can be downloaded here.

More information about Allegiant Airlines' service animal policies are available here.

Frontier Airlines

Second Texas Healthcare Worker Tests Positive For Ebola
credit: Michael Francis McElroy/Getty Images News/GettyImages

Cost:

  • Carry-on pets: $99
  • Service animals: No charge

Rules for traveling with carry-on pets on Frontier Airlines:

  • How can pets ride in-cabin on Frontier Airlines? Pets riding in the cabin must stay in a kennel, under the seat in front of their owner throughout the entire flight. Delta also requires pet owners to keep their animals in kennels while in the boarding area and Sky Lounge at the airport.
  • How much does it cost to bring a carry-on pet on Frontier Airlines? $99
  • What species of animals are allowed to fly in-cabin on Frontier Airlines? Frontier allows domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and small household birds to travel as carry-on pets.
  • How big can a carry-on pet be on Frontier Airlines? A pet flying in-cabin must be small enough to stand, turn around and lie down in a natural position inside the carrier.
  • What kinds of kennels are allowed on Frontier Airlines? Frontier Airlines requires that pet carriers fit under the seat in front of a passenger. Maximum dimensions for pet containers on Frontier are 18" length x 14" width x 8" height.
  • Does a pet kennel count as your carry-on luggage on Frontier Airlines? Yes. A passenger traveling with a carry-on pet must count their animal's kennel as their carry-on item. They will still be allowed to bring one small personal item (like a purse or briefcase) in addition to the kennel or another carry-on bag for an additional fee.

Rules for traveling with checked pets on Frontier Airlines:

  • What is Frontier Airlines' policy regarding checked pets? Frontier Airlines doesn't allow pets to fly as cargo.

Rules for traveling with Emotional Support Animals on Frontier Airlines:

  • How doest Frontier Airlines define ESAs? "An emotional support animal provides support for an individual with a mental health-related disability and is not trained to perform a specific task(s) or work."
  • Do you need to notify Frontier Airlines in advance if traveling with an ESA? Yes. Frontier requires advanced notice from passengers traveling with ESAs at least 48 hours before departure.
  • How many ESAs can travel with a passenger on Frontier Airlines? Frontier Airlines limits ESAs one per passenger.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as ESAs on Frontier Airlines? Frontier allows only dogs and cats as ESAs.
  • Are there size restrictions for ESAs on Frontier Airlines? Frontier seems to prefer that ESAs fit in a carrier that is stowed under the seat in front of their owner, but it is not required. An ESA can be placed on the customer's lap (provided the animal is no larger than a child under the age of two) or on the aircraft floor provided it does not extend into the aircraft aisle, occupy an empty aircraft seat or encroach upon a neighboring seat, or eat off seatback tray tables.
  • What documentation is required to travel with an ESA on Frontier Airlines? Frontier requires the following forms to be completed and submitted at least 48 hours prior to travel with an ESA. They can be downloaded here and submitted here.

Rules for traveling with trained service animals on Frontier Airlines:

  • How does Frontier Airlines define a trained service animal? "A trained service animal is individually trained to perform a task(s) or work for a person with a physical and/or mental disability.Customers with disabilities seeking to travel with a trained service animal must provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal. (Service animal ID card or service animal registry paperwork is not considered conclusive absent credible verbal assurance.) "
  • Do you need to notify Frontier Airlines in advance if traveling with a trained service animal? No, but it's always helpful when possible.
  • What species and breeds are allowed as trained service animals on Frontier Airlines? Frontier allows dogs, cats, and miniature horses as trained service animals.
  • Are there size restrictions for trained service animals on Frontier Airlines? The animal can be placed on the customer's lap (provided the animal is no larger than a child under the age of two) or on the aircraft floor provided it does not extend into the aircraft aisle, occupy an empty aircraft seat or encroach upon a neighboring seat, or eat off seatback tray tables.
  • What documentation is required to fly with a trained service animal on Frontier Airlines? Frontier does not require documentation for trained service animals.

More information about Frontier Airlines' service animal policies are available here.