Pet-Friendly Airlines: Which One Fits Your Needs?

For pet owners who want to fly with their animals, searching airlines’ policies and restrictions may seem daunting.

To make the chore easier, check out the following chart as well as the kennel and location restrictions below to find a pet airline that meets the needs of you and your pet.

 Airline pet policy   Cabin, checked, cargo  Fees*  Health certificate  Min pet age  Breed & size restrictions
AirTran Cabin only $95 No 8 weeks Small dogs only
Alaska Airlines All $100 May be required for cargo travel 8 weeks Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs & cats
American Airlines All Cabin: $125

Checked: $175

Yes, checked pets 8 weeks Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs & cats
Delta All Cabin: $125

Checked: $200

Yes, checked & cargo pets 10 weeks Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs & cats
Frontier Cabin only $75 For domestic travel 8 weeks Small dogs only
JetBlue Cabin only $100 For domestic travel N/A Small dogs only

pet + carrier 20 lbs

Southwest Cabin only $95 No 8 weeks Small dogs only
Spirit Cabin only $100 No 8 weeks Small dogs only
Sun Country Airlines All Cabin: $125

Checked: $199

Yes, checked pets 8 weeks Weather permitting for snub-nosed dogs
United/ Continental All Cabin: $125

Checked: Varies by weight

Yes 8 weeks Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs & cats
US Airways Cabin only $125 Varies by location 8 weeks No
Virgin-Atlantic All Varies by carrier size Yes 10 weeks Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs & cats
WestJet All Cabin:$50-$59

Checked:$75-$89

Yes 8 weeks No

*Fees quoted are current as of December 2014

Kennel size regulations by airline

AirTran                              

Max size: 18.5”L x 13.5”W x 8.5”H

*Counts as carry-on

Alaska Airlines                

Cabin hard-sided max size: 7.5″ x 12″ x 17″

Cabin soft-sided max size: 9.5″ x 12″ x 17″

Checked max sizes:

XSML/100 series: 15″ x 16″ x 21″

SML/200 series: 19″ x 20″ x 27″

MED/300 series: 23″ x 22″ x 32″

LRG/400 series: 26″ X 24″ x 36″

XLG/500 series: 30″ x 27″ x 40″

*XL- Size 500 kennels only accepted on certain flights.

American Airlines

Cabin max size: 19″L x 13″W x 9″H

*Soft-sided carriers may exceed slightly

Checked max size: Series 500; 40″L x 27″W x 30″H

Delta                                  

Max sizes:

SML/200 series: 15″ x 16″ x 21″

MED/200 series: 19″ x 20″ x 27″

MED/300 series: 23″ x 22″ x 32″

LRG/400 series: 26″ X 24″ x 36″

XLG/500 series: 30″ x 27″ x 40″

Cargo max size: GIANT/700 series; 48” x 32” x 35”

Frontier

Max size: 24”L x 16”W x 10”H

*Counts as carry-on

JetBlue

Max size: 17”L x 12.5”W x 8.5”H

*Counts as carry-on

Southwest

Max size: 18.5”L x 13.5”W x 8.5”H

*Counts as carry-on

Spirit

Max size: 18″L x 14″W x 9″H

*Soft-sided kennels allowed

Sun Country Airlines

Cabin max size: 16”L x 11”W x 8”H

Checked max size: 34”H x 48”W

United/Continental

Cabin hard-sided max size: 7.5″L x 12″W x 7.5″H

Cabin soft-sided max: 18″L x 11″W x 11″H

US Airways

Max size: 19″L x 13″W x 9″H

*Counts as carry-on

Virgin-Atlantic

Min size: 21″L x 16″W x 15″H       

WestJet

Cabin max size: 16″L x 17.5″ W x 8.5″H

*Counts as carry-on

Checked max size: 40″L x 27″W x 30″H

Location restrictions by airline

 

AirTran International restrictions vary
Alaska Airlines Canada, Hawaii, Kotzebue, Mexico, Nome
American Airlines Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, European Union, Hawaii, Japan, Tobago, Trinidad, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela*Restrictions for Transatlantic & Transpacific flights
Delta Australia, European Union, Hawaii, Hong Kong, London, Manchester, New Zealand, South Africa
Frontier Jamaica
JetBlue Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Tobago, Trinidad, Turks & Caicos, US Virgin Islands
Southwest No international travel
Spirit No international travel
Sun Country Airlines Anchorage, Laughlin, New York, San Juan, St. Thomas
United/Continental Australia, Dominican Republic, European areas, Greece, Hawaii, India, Italy, Mexico, Singapore
US Airways Barbados, Europe, Hawaii, Jamaica, Middle East, South America
Virgin-Atlantic Antigua, Barbados, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami, Narita, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, St. Lucia, United Kingdom, Vancouver, Washington
WestJet Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Tobago, Trinidad, Turks & Caicos


Understanding these airline pet policies will help prepare you and your 4-legged companion for a safe and positive plane ride. Once you decide on an airline, follow these tips on protecting your pets in the car
 before take-off.

Also, make sure your pet’s health is covered with pet insurance