American Airlines: Pet Policy

What methods of transport does American Airlines provide for my pet?

  • Travel in the passenger cabin.
  • Checked as baggage in pressurized and temperature controlled area of your aircraft.
  • Shipped as cargo in pressurized and temperature controlled area.

Does my pet qualify for travel in the passenger cabin?

Up to seven pets that meet the following qualifications may travel in the passenger cabin:

  • You are traveling within the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, or from the U.S. to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean provided the country of arrival permits entry.
  • Carry-on pets are NOT ALLOWED on flights to or from Hawaii, Central America, South America or on Transatlantic or Transpacific journeys.
  • Your itinerary does not include travel to/from Hawaii or Transatlantic/Transpacific or Central and South America.
  • Animals must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in the kennel and can comfortably remain in its kennel, under the seat for the entire flight.
  • Only domesticated dogs and cats are allowed.
  • Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old.
  • The kennel is specifically made for animal carriage and does not exceed 19in x 13in x 9in (length x width x height).
  • Your pet has all necessary health documents required by your destination (see below for more information).
Pets traveling in the cabin require a reservation. Contact American Airlines Reservations in advance of your flight. English-Speaking callers should dial 1-800-433-7300.

Does my pet qualify for travel as checked baggage?

Pets that meet the following qualifications can travel as checked baggage:

  • Your itinerary does not include travel to the United Kingdom.
  • Your pet can comfortably remain in its kennel for the entire flight.
  • Kennels for checked pets must have a water container with outside access for filling, in case a delay occurs as well as a small bag of food for a 24-hour period attached to the top of the container.
  • Checked pets can not be accepted when the ground temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any location on the itinerary. It is best to call ahead.
  • The kennel meets all requirements (see below for more information) and does not exceed 40in x 27in x 30in (length x width x height) and weight of animal and kennel combined does not exceed 100 lb.
  • Your pet has all necessary health documents required by your destination (see below for more information).
  • You are not traveling on a flight longer than 12 hours.
  • Series 700 kennels are not allowed on any American Airlines planes.
  • Series 500 kennels are not allowed on Boeing MD-80 aircraft.
  • Checked pets do not require a reservation. Still, they will not be accepted more than four hours prior to scheduled flight time and are accepted on a first-come basis.

Does my pet qualify to be shipped as cargo?

If your pet does not meet the requirements for travel in the cabin or as checked baggage, or if you would like your pet to travel unaccompanied, contact American Airlines Cargo for more information.

What are the fees associated with pet transport?

  • Fee for animal in the passenger cabin to/from United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean: $125 one way
  • Fee for animal checked as baggage to/from United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean: $175 one way
  • Fee for animal traveling to other destinations in the cabin or as checked baggage: Contact American Airlines Reservations
  • Fee for animal shipped as cargo: Contact American Airlines Cargo

What are the kennel requirements?

In addition to the size and weight maximums, the USDA and American Airlines require that kennels meet the following requirements:

  • Kennels must be constructed of wood, metal, plastic or a similar material, leak-proof, escape proof and door must fasten securely and need ventilation on 2-sides in addition to the door. Kennels must also have a water container with outside access for filling, in case a delay occurs.
  • Collapsible Kennels (those which can fold down flat) cannot be accepted due to the risk of collapse during transport.
  • Separate food and water dishes must be securely attached inside the kennel and accessible without opening. Customer must also attach a small bag of food for a 24-hour period to the top of the container.
  • The customer is required to secure rigid plastic kennels with releasable cable ties (see example at right) attached to all four corners. American Airlines will provide the ties to the customer at no cost.
  • The maximum size for checked kennels is a series 500 kennel with the following dimensions: 40” long x 27” wide x 30” high. However, this size kennel is not accepted on the Boeing MD-80 (S80). Kennels checked on MD-80s must be able to fit through the cargo door while remaining in an upright position. MD-80 cargo doors are 29” high x 53” wide.
  • Series 700 kennels are not allowed on any aircraft.
  • The maximum weight of a checked pet and kennel (combined) cannot exceed 100 lbs.
  • Have labels with the words "Live Animal" in letters at least 1-inch tall on the crate's top and on at least one side.
  • Have upright arrow labels indicating kennel's correct position.

What health documentation is required?

While American Airlines does not require a health certificate for your animal to travel domestically, some States do require health documents. As it is the passenger's responsibility to be aware of all regulations, you should consult your veterinarian and the Department of Agriculture to ensure that your animal will comply with all requirements. Contact American Airlines about health documentation required for animals traveling to Hawaii and international destinations.

Are there any other restrictions?

  • American Airlines can refuse to transport an animal due to illness, aggressive behavior, poor kenneling, or extreme temperatures at origin, transfer, or destination airports.
  • American Airlines Cargo and Priority Parcel Service ship pets to most destinations. You can find information about pets traveling without a ticketed passenger at AACargo.com , or by calling 800-CARGOAA (800-227-4622).


  • Please contact the airline directly for information about traveling with a service animal.

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