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Traveling with pets

Special notice

Checked pets cannot travel on A321S, A321H, A320, A319 aircraft and all flights operated by our regional partner Air Wisconsin.

Carry on, check or transport your pets

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.

We don't accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs of any "mix" as checked luggage, such as:

  • Affenpinscher

  • Boston Terrier

  • Boxer (all breeds)

  • Brussels Griffon

  • Bulldog (all breeds)

  • Cane Corso

  • Dogue De Bordeaux

  • English Toy Spaniel

  • Japanese Chin

  • Lhasa Apso

  • Mastiff (all breeds)

  • Pekingese

  • Pit Bull

  • Presa Canario

  • Pug (all breeds)

  • Shar Pei

  • Shih Tzu

  • Tibetan Spaniel

We don't accept brachycephalic cats of any "mix" as checked luggage, such as:

  • Burmese

  • Persian

  • Himalayan

  • Exotic Shorthair

Which destinations allow travel with pets?

You can travel with a pet on most flights not longer than 12 hours or flights to/from:*

  • Within the 48 contiguous United States

  • The U.S. and Canada

  • Alaska

  • Central America**

  • Mexico

  • Puerto Rico

  • St. Croix

  • St. Thomas

*12 hours includes the time it takes to clear customs at the arrival city.

Destination restrictions

There are additional special restrictions that may apply when traveling with pets to/from:**

Carry-on pets

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to/from Hawaii.

Checked pets

You can travel with your pet to Hawaii as checked baggage if:

  • You connect via Honolulu*

  • Follow Hawaii's quarantine rules

*No pets are accepted on departures out of Honolulu prior to 8 a.m. HT between March 5 and November 1.

Additional restrictions

You cannot travel with your pet to Hawaii:

  • On nonstop flights to Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii or Kauai

  • If your pet is pregnant and past 45 days gestation

Carry-on pets

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling:

  • To/from Barbados

  • To Jamaica

Checked pets

American Eagle does not accept pets as checked baggage for Priority Parcel Service between San Juan (SJU) and St. Kitts (SKB).

Additional restrictions

When traveling with a pet to Trinidad and Tobago (POS), you cannot arrive on a flight before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to/from:

  • Argentina

  • Bolivia

  • Brazil

  • Chile

  • Uruguay

  • Venezuela

Carry-on pets

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling transatlantic.

Checked pets

When traveling to the European Union (EU) with a checked pet, you'll be responsible for fulfilling all entry requirements. Your pet must have a tattoo or implanted microchip that matches the identification number on their vaccination card.

Additional restrictions

Please note that apart from service animals, you cannot travel with a pet to the United Kingdom or and Ireland.

Carry-on

You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling transpacific.

Japan exceptions

Checked pets

Although, you can travel with a checked pet from Japan to Los Angeles (LAX), pets are not allowed as checked baggage to Japan. According to USDA restrictions, animals should be offered water every 12 hours, so for travel with a checked pet to Los Angeles, you must book a flight less than 12 hours. This includes the time it takes you to check your pet and clear customs at your destination city.

Carry-on pets

If you're traveling with a carry-on pet for Japan travel, you'll need to:

  • Make sure your pet has a microchip

  • Notify the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service at least 40 days before you arrive

The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources does not accept applications to import assistance or service animals of any species other than dogs.

An assistance or service dog which is accredited by an Australian State or Territory Government will also qualify. In most cases these animals are returning to Australia.

Animals which do not qualify as assistance or service dogs may still be eligible for import as pets in cabin, undergo post entry quarantine at a government facility where they cannot be visited and cannot travel in the aircraft as manifest cargo.

Note: You'll be responsible for fulfilling all entry requirements and must notify the department of the dog's intended arrival at least three (3) working days prior to export.

**Acceptance of a pet as checked baggage is dependent upon the regulations of your destination country.

Carry-on pets

When traveling on an American Airlines flight, you can bring one pet kennel as your carry-on bag if:

  • You pay the carry-on pet charge

  • Your pet is at least 8 weeks old

  • Your pet stays in their kennel and under the seat in front of you for the entire flight

If all your travel is on American Airlines we can only accept up to 7 kennels each flight (not including service animals). When traveling on an American Eagle flight, we can accept up to 5 kennels per flight (with a maximum of 1 in first class). You'll need to contact Reservations to make arrangements in advance.

Kennel guidelines for carry-on pets

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. Non-collapsible kennels can be a maximum of 19in x 13in x 9in.

Soft-sided collapsible kennels such as Sherpa bags can be larger if they're made of water-repellant material, are padded or have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides.

*American Airlines assumes no liability for the health or well-being of carry-on pets.

Checked pets

You can travel with up to 2 checked pets that are at least 8 weeks old. Please note that as capacity is limited, we accept checked pets on a first-come basis. When checking a pet, you'll need to:

  • Contact Reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel

  • Check in at the ticket counter

  • Allow extra check-in time (can't check pets more than 4 hours before your flight)

  • Complete a checklist with an agent

  • Provide a health certificate

To ensure the health and safety of your pet, the health certificate you provide must be issued by a vet within:

  • 10 days of your travel

  • 60 days of your return (travel on the same ticket)

  • 10 days of your return (travel on a separate ticket)

Restrictions:

Checked pets cannot travel on A321S, A321H, A320, A319 aircraft and all flights operated by our regional partner Air Wisconsin.

If you're traveling on a connecting flight, checked pets will only be able to connect through these cities:

  • Charlotte, NC (CLT)

  • Chicago O'Hare, IL (ORD)

  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)

  • Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

  • New York Kennedy, NY (JFK)

  • New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA)

  • Miami, FL (MIA)

  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)

  • Phoenix, AZ (PHX)

  • Washington Reagan, DC (DCA)

If you're connecting between American and another airline, you'll need to claim and recheck your pet and pay applicable charges to each carrier.

When checking in your pet, there are specific requirements for their kennel:

  • Up to 40in x 27in x 30in or 102cm x 69cm x 76cm*

  • Large enough for your pet to stand, turn, sit and lie down in a natural position

  • Be made of wood, metal, plastic or similar materials

  • Have a door made of welded or cast metal

  • Secured at the top and bottom with bolts or screws

  • Secured by yourself with release cable ties on all 4 corners (we'll provide complimentary ties)

  • Be leak and escape proof with a secure fastened door

  • Have ventilation on the door and 2 sides

  • Have separate food and watering dishes attached securely inside the kennel

  • Have a small bag of food for a 24-hour period attached to the top

  • Be clean and have absorbent material or litter (no straw, hay or wood shavings)

If you travel with 2 of your pets in the same kennel, they must be:

  • The same species (2 cats or 2 dogs)

  • A similar size and weigh less than 20 lbs each

  • Between 8 weeks and 6 months old

*Largest acceptable kennel is a series 500 kennel. This kennel is not accepted on the Boeing 737, the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (S80) or American Eagle airplanes. Kennels checked on an MD-80 must be able to fit through the cargo door whilst in an upright position.

Kennel restrictions

The kennel cannot:

  • Be collapsible

  • Be made entirely of wicker

  • Be made of welded or wire mesh

  • Be snap-top, soft-sided, cardboard or knock-down

  • Have plastic doors

  • Have top opening doors

  • Have wheels that aren't retractable, removable, taped or otherwise inoperable

  • Be a series 700 kennel

  • Be more than 100lbs/45kg (including the pet and other content)

Due to Federal Regulations, you'll need to provide written certification that:

  • Your pet has been fed and offered water within 4 hours (with the specific time noted) before you deliver them to the airplane

  • Is securely and visibly attached to the outside of the kennel

  • Has your signature with the date and time you signed it

You'll also need to provide feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period. Unless specified by a vet, you cannot leave instructions saying "no food or water."

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, due to respiratory and cardiovascular problems caused by altitude pressures, in most cases, you shouldn't give your pet any sedatives or tranquilizers before flying.

If your pet is sedated, at check-in, you'll need to give one of our agents the name of the medication, the amount and date and time the animal took it.

Charges

If you're traveling on an American Airlines itinerary, you can pay your charge at the airport or at a travel center by with cash, credit card and voucher.

We don't collect pet charges for other operating airlines in your itinerary (even if it has an AA flight number). You'll need to check in with each airline and pay your charge at check-in. To find out if you're on a partner airline, look for the words, "Operated by..." on your ticket.

Service Region Charge*
Checked pet 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 pet 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 All destinations No charge

*Charges shown above apply for each destination without a voluntary stopover/connection of 4 hours or more. If your itinerary includes a voluntary stopover/connection of more than 4 hours, charges apply for each connection segment. All pet charges are non-refundable and apply per pet, each way.

Temperature restrictions

We have temperature restrictions to make sure your pet isn't exposed to extreme heat or cold:

  • In the animal holding areas

  • At terminal facilities

  • When moving the animals between terminal and an airplane

  • On an airplane awaiting departure

Heat restrictions

You cannot travel with a pet if the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.

Cold restrictions

You cannot travel with a pet if the ground temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.

We may waive the cold temperature restrictions if you have a written letter from a licensed vet that includes:

  • Your name and address

  • Your pet's name

  • Your vet's name and signature

  • Your vet's accreditation date and number

  • The temperature your pet is acclimated to

The letter must be dated:

  • Within 10 days of the first flight your pet will be on

  • Within 30 days of any other trips in the same itinerary

You may need an additional letter for lengthy trips. If the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees C), your pet cannot be checked even with a letter from your vet.