Airplane Pet Carrier Requirement 2021

Airplane Dog Carrier Regulations

Traveling in an airport and on airplanes can be particularly challenging. Many dogs get anxious in large groups of people, or excited to play with potential new friends. Insure your sanity and your pup’s safety, airport pet carriers help keep them calm and by your side as you make your way to your plane.

Many airlines allow you to bring small dogs in the plane cabin with you, so long as you use an Airline-Approved Dog Carrier.

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These hard-side or soft-side carriers must fit under the seat in front of you, and your dog stays tucked inside for the duration of the trip. Each airline has its own rules, so be sure to check with your airline for specifics. Larger dogs need to travel in the luggage compartment in a specially designed Airline-Approved Dog Carrier for big mutts. 

What are the rules for flying in an airplane with my dog? Traveling with your pet on an airplane has certain restrictions. Airline regulations and policies require your small dog or cat to be in a carrier sized to fit under the seat in front of you on your flight. 

Common Requirements:

  • Must be big enough for dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down naturally and comfortably in the kennel/carrier. Dog cannot protrude out from the carrier.
  • Must fit under the seat directly in front of you.
  • Must be leak-proof, escape-proof and ventilated on at least 2 sides.
  • Must not exceed specific dimensions, listed below for each airline.
  • Airlines require pre-notification of pets boarding and you will likely pay a fee.
  • Certain breeds may be dis-allowed. (Think Pitbulls)
  • carry-on dogs are not permitted in First or Business on the following Boeing planes:777-200, 777-300, 787-8, 787-9
  • Most fees start around 125$ each way

 Airline Pet Policies and Dog Carrier Dimensions

If you're planning to travel with your dog on an airplane, and carry them in the cabin with you, read your airline's pet policies to be sure you comply with their current requirements regarding pet carriers.
See links below to several Airline's Dog Carrier Requirements.

Frontier Regulations

17”W x 12”D x 8.5”H

Alaska Air Regulations

Hard-sided kennel: 17”W x 12”D x 7.5”H

Soft-sided carrier: 17”W x 12”D x 9.5”H

Any pet in a kennel too small or in obvious distress due to illness or injury will be refused travel.

Air Canada Regulations

carrier size: 27 x 40 x 55 cm (soft-sided crate) & 23 x 40 x 55 cm (hard-sided crate)

 American

American Airlines Regulations

19"W x 13"D x 9"H  if hard sided

Soft-sided pet carriers such as Sherpa bags may exceed these dimensions slightly because they are collapsible.

 Continental (merged with United)

Delta Airlines Regulations

Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight. You must contact Delta reservations to determine the appropriate kennel size.

 There may be certain seats which cannot accommodate your pet container, but we'll work with you to get a seat assignment that works. Maximum dimensions are based on aircraft type (see above).

Jet Blue Airlines Regulations

17”W x 12.5”D x 8.5”H

Combined weight of your pet and carrier may not exceed 20 pounds.

Southwest Airlines Regulations

 Customers may bring a soft or hard-sided pet carrier that is leak proof and well ventilated. The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the Customer and be stowed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The dog or cat must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier with ease.

Under seat dimensions: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H

Spirit Airlines Regulations

18"W x 14"D x 9"H

United Airlines Regulations (search on pets)

Hard-sided kennels: 17.5"L x 12"W x 7.5"H

Soft-sided carriers: 18"L x 11"W x 11"H

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Browse AIRLINE APPROVED PET CARRIERS approved for in cabin  flight.

Documents required to Fly with Dogs In-Cabin

The documents required to fly with a dog in cabin will vary depending on which airline you are flying with, and where you are flying from and to. Generally you will require the following:

  1. Microchip certificate
  2. Rabies vaccination certificate
  3. Animal health certificate
  4. Additional vaccination certificates
  5. Rabies titer test results
  6. Parasite treatment certificate

This is just a guide on what is required, please check the requirements for your specific airline and destination country. 

Pet Potty Break Area at Airports.