Whether you are flying with your pet or he/she is flying alone, it is essential to know the airline’s pet policies with anticipation. You should choose an airline that travels the entire route, and you should anticipate paying a fee for each stop you make (depending on the airline). Some airlines have specific rules regarding the kennel in which your pet will travel. In general, you will need a kennel that has a waterproof bottom, have room for your pet to stand up and turn around, can be fastened securely and that has adequate ventilation. If your planning on bringing your pet with you in the airplane cabin, you’ll need a kennel that can fit under the seat.

All animals are required to have a health certificate issued by a veterinarian, dated within ten days of travel. If your return flight occurred more than ten days after the date when your pet’s initial health certificate was issued, you would need to obtain a new health certificate for your return flight.

Short-nosed (brachycephalic) dog breeds, such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Shar-Pei among others, need special attention when traveling due to their propensity of having respiratory problems. These animals are susceptible to increased risk of heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to stress or extreme heat.

Some things that you may need to do when traveling with a brachycephalic dog are:

  • Use a large kennel
  • Use a kennel with ventilation on four sides.
  • Let the animal spend time in the kennel for several days before traveling to allow him/her to get used to being in the kennel

Each airline has specific pet travel policies. We have created a short guide to help you understand the traveling policies of some of the major airlines in the USA. Generally, dogs can travel within the USA without a problem, but some countries do not accept pets. If you are traveling internationally, you should contact the airline to make sure that your dog can go with you.

United Airlines Pet Travel Policies

Carry-On Your Pet

  • Dogs can travel in the cabin on most flights within the U.S.
  • Pets are not permitted on flights to, from or through Australia, Hawaii or Micronesia.
  • Pets younger than eight weeks are not permitted.
  • Price:
    • $125 each way plus $125 for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside of the U.S.

Checked Baggage

  • Pets that are too big to travel in the cabin can be shipped through United PetSafe program, which offers airport-to-airport travel for animals.
  • For travel within the U.S., dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old. If your pet weights less than one pound, the pet must be at least 10 weeks old to travel.
  • Price:
    • The cost to ship your pet depends on the combined weight of your pet and its kennel

Delta Air Lines Pet Travel Policies

Carry-On Your Pet

  • Carry-on pets are not allowed in some international flights.
  • Pets must be at least 10 weeks old to travel in the cabin.
  • Reservations must be made 48 hours in advance. Maximum of 2 pets per passenger per flight.
  • Price:
    • S./Canada/ Virgin Islands/ Puerto Rico: $125
    • Outside the U.S.: $200
    • Brazil: $75

Checked Baggage

  • Delta Airlines does not permit pets to travel as checked baggage.
  • All pets that are too large to travel in the cabin will be allowed to travel as air cargo.
  • Price
    • The Price of shipping a pet will; vary according to his/her weight.

American Airlines

Carry-On Your Pet

  • Your pet must be least 8 weeks old.
  • When carrying on your pet, you’ll need to make sure that they can stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel.
  • Price:
    • $125 within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean

Checked Baggage

  • American Airlines does not accept brachycephalic dogs and cats or any “mix-breed” as checked luggage.
  • Price:
    • $200 within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
    • $150 to and from Brazil.