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Traveling With Pets

Flying or connecting to US Airways?

US Airways has different policies on pet travel. Learn more about their pet policies before you book. Visit

We want your pets to enjoy their trips with you. The information below provides answers to many common and important questions regarding the transportation of pets. Special pet guidelines apply for travel to international destinations and Hawaii. Please refer to the appropriate sections below for more detailed pet information regarding those destinations.

American Airlines Offers Information For Traveling With Pets

Whether your pets are traveling in the cabin or are being checked, you'll need to contact our Reservations personnel in advance to coordinate their accommodations. This will allow us to notify you of requirements or any travel changes that may affect you and your pet.

US Airways currently does not have the same pet policy as American. As a result, we're not able to connect your pets on flights operated by US Airways. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition period.

Important Information

Customers with pets traveling as checked baggage are required to present a valid health certificate. Learn more about health certificates.

To help ensure the well-being of pets traveling as checked baggage, American adheres to day-of-travel temperature restrictions. Learn more about Temperature Restrictions.

Attention dog show participants: Capacity is limited therefore checked pets are accepted on a first-come basis.

Check In

Being prepared will help reduce stress for you and your pet. Please remember:

  • You must check in at the ticket counter - Curbside or Self-Service Check-In is not allowed.
  • Allow extra time beyond normal check-in guidelines.
  • Checked pets will not be accepted more than four hours prior to your flight time.
  • You will be asked to complete a checklist with an agent. Here are a few of the questions as examples:
    • Are separate food/watering dishes securely attached and accessible without opening the kennel?
    • When was the last time the pet was fed and offered water?
    • Have you complied with all government requirements for international destinations?
    • Have you provided an original, valid health certificate for checked pets?
    • Can the pet sit, stand and rest comfortably without touching any of the sides of the kennel?

View a list of animal relief areas at select airports. If your airport is not listed, please ask for directions or assistance at our ticket counter.

Types of Pets Allowed

Cats and dogs are the only types of pets accepted on American Airlines. View breed restrictions for more details. We maintain the right to refuse acceptance of any animal that is exhibiting aggressive behavior.

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Allowed Travel Destinations

  • Flights within the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix
  • To or from the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American and some destinations in South America provided the country of arrival permits entry

Carry-on pets are NOT ALLOWED to/from Hawaii or transatlantic/transpacific destinations or to/from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela

Visit our Special Assistance section to view guidelines for Service Animals.

Charges for Checked and Cabin Pets

For AA itineraries, charges are payable at the airport or American Airlines Travel Centers by cash, credit card or voucher. If not used, the refund is to the original form of payment.

AA does not collect pet charges on behalf of another operating airline in the itinerary (even those with an AA flight number). Charges are payable to each individual airline upon check in. To find out if you're on a partner airline, look for the words, "Operated by..." on your ticket.

Service Itinerary Charge*

Checked Pet

Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

For all other locations, contact Reservations.

$175 USD per kennel

$150 USD per kennel to/from Brazil

Charges for travel NOT within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean may be obtained from Reservations.

Cabin Pet

Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean provided the country of arrival permits entry.

NOT allowed to Hawaii

$125 USD per kennel

Assistance animal traveling with a disabled passenger (such as seeing eye dog)

All destinations. For more information regarding assistance animals traveling with a disabled passenger, please see our Service Animals page.

No charge.

*Charges shown above apply for each origin/destination without a voluntary stopover/connection of four hours or more. If your itinerary includes a voluntary stopover/connection of more than four hours, charges apply for each connection segment.

Pets Traveling in the Cabin

Pets traveling in the cabin require a reservation to ensure no more than seven pets are booked on any single flight. To ensure your pet is accommodated, please make arrangements in advance by contacting Reservations.


Pets are NOT allowed outside their carrier at any time during flight.

Pets may only travel upon payment of the applicable charges.

Required Charges for Cabin Pets

See Charges For Checked and Cabin Pets section.

Service and Working Animal Information

Service animals accompanying a disabled passenger travel free of charge. For information regarding assistance animals traveling with a disabled passenger, please see our Service Animals page.

Pet Carrier Guidelines for Cabin Pets

The maximum size for cabin pet carriers is 19" long x 13" wide x 9" high. Soft-sided pet carriers such as Sherpa bags may exceed these dimensions slightly because they are collapsible. Animals must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in the kennel. Soft-sided pet carriers are accepted as long as they are constructed of water-repellent, padded nylon with mesh ventilation on two or more sides.

A pet kennel counts as either a passenger's one carry-on bag or personal item - a cabin pet charge still applies, however.

Number of Pets Allowed in the Cabin

Only one pet kennel per ticketed passenger may be accepted for travel in the cabin. Please review Age/Health Requirements.

The maximum number of carry-on kennels allowed (on American Airlines flights accepting them) is seven per flight: two (2) in First Class and five (5) in Coach and/or Business Class. Service animals are not counted in the maximum number allowed in the cabin.

On American Eagle and American Connection®, a maximum of two pet carriers are allowed depending on the aircraft - please contact Reservations before your flight.

Movement of Pets During Flight

Pets must stay in their closed and/or zipped kennels under the seat in front of you at all times. Pets may not be removed from their kennel/container at any time while onboard the aircraft.

Age/Health Information

Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks old for travel. If two animals are traveling in the same carrier, they must be the same species (two cats or two dogs, not one of each) and the pet and container can weigh no more than 20 lbs. combined.

American Airlines does not require a health certificate for pets traveling in the cabin.

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

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Pets Traveling as Checked Baggage

Attention dog show participants: Capacity is limited therefore checked pets are accepted on a first-come basis.

Health Requirements for Checked Pets

American Airlines requires a health certificate for the acceptance of pets for travel as checked baggage. Valid health certificates must be issued by a veterinarian as follows to ensure the health and safety of the animal:

  • Within 10 days of originating travel
  • Within 60 days of return travel on the same ticket
  • Within 10 day when return travel is on a separate ticket

For health requirements for destinations outside the continental U.S, contact that country's consulate or embassy for information. A listing of consulates can be found at the U.S. Department of State's website. Also see Destination Specific Restrictions below.

Age Requirements for Checked Pets

  • Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks old to travel
  • If two animals are traveling in the same carrier:
    • They must be of the same species (two cats or two dogs, not one of each)
    • The pets must be comparable size and weigh less than 20 lbs each​
    • The pets must be between eight weeks and six months old

Acceptance Restrictions for Checked Pets


Pets may only travel upon payment of the applicable charges.

McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (S80), Boeing 737 aircraft and American Eagle aircraft cannot accept a Type 500 series kennel for checked pets.

Pets will not be accepted for flights over 12 hours or on flights traveling to the United Kingdom. American Eagle does not accept pets as checked baggage for Priority Parcel Service between San Juan, (SJU) and St. Kitts (SKB).

Pets not accepted at departure time remain the responsibility of their owner.

Required Charges for Checked Pets

See Charges For Checked and Cabin Pets section. Charges are payable at the airport. The pet travel receipt must be shown at the departure gate and at security in many cities.

Checked Pet Carrier Guidelines

Pet Kennel

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 737, the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (S80) aircraft or American Eagle aircraft . Kennels checked on MD-80s must be able to fit through the cargo door while remaining in an upright position.

Kennels Must: Kennels Must Not:
Be large enough for animals to stand, turn around, sit and lie down in a natural position. NOT be collapsible (those which can fold down flat).
Be constructed of wood, metal, plastic or similar materials. NOT be made entirely of wicker.
Have top and bottom secured together with bolts or screws when the kennel is designed as two piece (top and bottom). NOT be made of welded mesh or wire mesh.
Have a door constructed of welded or cast metal. NOT be snap-top, soft-sided, cardboard or knock-down.
Have doors secured by the customer with releasable cable ties attached to all four corners. See example. American Airlines will provide the ties at no cost. NOT have plastic doors.
Be escape proof and the door must fasten securely. NOT have top opening doors.
Be leak-proof. NOT have wheels unless they are retractable, removable, taped, or otherwise rendered inoperable.
Have ventilation on two sides in addition to the door. NOT be a series 700 kennel which is not allowed on any aircraft.
Have separate food and watering dishes securely attached inside the kennel so that if necessary, the animal can be fed and watered without opening the kennel. NOT exceed 100 lbs. when the weight of the pet, the kennel and its contents are combined.
Have a small bag of food for a 24-hour period attached to the top.  
Be clean with no offensive odors and contain absorbent material or litter (no straw, hay or wood shavings).  

Number of Checked Pets Allowed

A maximum of two checked pets per passenger is allowed.

Checked Pet Temperature Restrictions

Temperature restrictions have been established to ensure animals are not exposed to extreme heat or cold in the animal holding areas, terminal facilities, when moving the animals between terminal and aircraft or on an aircraft awaiting departure.

Heat Restriction Cold Restriction

Pets cannot be accepted when the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.

Pets cannot be accepted when the ground temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.


The restriction for cold temperature restriction may be waived with a written veterinarian statement. The low temperature acclimation certificate/statement/form must include the following:

  • Name and address of the passenger
  • Name of the animal
  • Name and signature of licensed veterinarian
  • Veterinarian's accreditation date and number
  • Temperature which the animal is acclimated
  • The letter must be dated within 10 days of the first flight the animal will be on and within 30 days of any subsequent travel within the same itinerary. It may be necessary for a passenger to obtain an additional letter for a lengthy trip

When temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit ((-6.6 degrees C), pets may not be checked even with a statement of low temperature acclimation.

Checked Pet Breed Restrictions

American Airlines will not accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs and cats as checked luggage. The following is a list of brachycephalic dog breeds and any "mix" of will not be accepted:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Bulldog (All breeds)
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pug (All breeds)
  • Cane Corso
  • Mastiff (All breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Boston Terrier
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • Pekingese
  • Shih Tzu
  • Boxer (All breeds)
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Pit Bull
  • Tibetan Spaniel
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Japanese Chin
  • Presa Canario

The following is a list of brachycephalic cat breeds and any "mix" of will not be accepted:

  • Burmese
  • Persian
  • Himalayan
  • Exotic Shorthair

Food and Water for Checked Pets

Federal Regulations require written certification from the customer that dogs/cats have been offered food and water within 4 hours (with the specific time noted) before delivery to the carrier. This certification must be securely attached to the outside of the kennel so that it may be easily noticed and read and have the customer's signature with the date and time it was signed.

Feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period must also be provided. Instructions of "No food or water" are not acceptable unless directed by the attending veterinarian.

Aircraft cargo compartments are pressurized and are normally maintained at a temperature range of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sedation for Checked Pets

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases cats and dogs should not be given sedatives or tranquilizers prior to flying. An animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation, which can be dangerous when the kennel is moved.

Whether flying as a cabin or checked pet, animals are exposed to increased altitude pressures, which can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats which are sedated or tranquilized.

If your pet is sedated, the name of the medication, amount administered along with the date and time administered must be given to the agent at time of check-in.

Destination Specific Restrictions

Please see the information below for restrictions specific to certain destinations. If you are taking a pet outside the United States, contact that country's consulate or embassy for information. A listing of consulates can be found at the U.S. Department of State's website.

For your pet's safety, you must adhere to all requirements of the region to which you are traveling.

Destination Special Restrictions
European Union Cats and dogs are required to have a tattoo or implanted microchip that matches the identification number on their vaccination card. Pets without a tattoo or microchip will not be allowed to enter the European Union. NOTE: No pets are accepted for travel to the United Kingdom. View Service Animal Guidelines


The transportation of pets to or through Hawaii is subject to multiple, stringent restrictions. See below.


Due to USDA restrictions that an animal be offered water every 12 hours, checked pets must be booked on flights where the actual flight time is less than 12 hours.

The Japanese government also requires you to notify Japanese Animal Quarantine Service at least 40 days prior to arrival.

The pet must be fitted with a microchip.

Additional documents and certificates are also required. Contact Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for full information.

Transatlantic Flights
Transpacific Flights
South American Flights

Pets in the cabin are not allowed on transatlantic, transpacific or Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay or Venezuela flights. No pets are accepted for travel to the United Kingdom. View Service Animal Guidelines. Animals traveling as checked baggage may be allowed, however, some international destinations may limit the number of animals allowed per passenger as checked baggage.

Please contact Reservations and check with the consulate of the country to which you are traveling for further details as acceptance varies by country.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago (POS) have very strict limitations regarding pets. Pets arriving on flights before 8:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. will not be accepted.

United Kingdom

No pets are accepted for travel to the United Kingdom. View Service Animal Guidelines.

Travel To or Through Hawaii


Pets may travel to Hawaii as checked baggage only.

ALL pet arrivals/connections in/through Hawaii must be via Honolulu.

Hawaii is a rabies-free state and state law requires 120-day quarantine for dogs/cats to protect residents and pets. The quarantine periods can be reduced to five (5) days or less if specific qualifications are met. See for more information.

No pets are accepted on nonstop flights to Maui, the Big Island or Kauai.

Pregnant animals past 45 days gestation are not permitted.

Guide and service dogs may be eligible for reduced quarantine. Contact the Animal Quarantine office in Honolulu at 808-483-7171 for more information. For additional quarantine information please visit

Pets Connecting in Honolulu to Points within Hawaii

American Airlines will transport all pets to Animal Quarantine in Honolulu. The pet will remain there for the pre-determined quarantine period at which time the owner makes arrangements to transport the pet to outer island, either by coming to Honolulu or through air cargo. The owner is responsible for making all necessary arrangement with the Animal Quarantine office in Honolulu at 808-483-7171.

Pets Connecting in Honolulu to Points beyond Hawaii

Upon arrival in Honolulu, American Airlines will take the pet to a sterile area where the pet is held until the connecting flight departure time. The connecting carrier will pick up the pet from the sterile transit area and deliver the pet directly to the connecting flight. The owner of the pet is responsible for making all arrangements directly with the Animal Quarantine office in Honolulu at 808-483-7171 and with the connecting carrier. The owner pays each carrier directly for applicable charges.

Connections to Other Airlines

Pets are not interlined between American Airlines and other airlines (including codeshare partners). Pets must be claimed and rechecked to each carrier. You will be responsible for claiming the animal and rechecking it with the other carrier.

Additional Options for Pets with American Airlines Cargo

Cargo also provides shipping options for your pets. With more than 50 years of experience transporting animals, we're committed to the welfare of all animals entrusted to us. You can find information about pets traveling without a ticketed passenger at, or by calling 1-800-CARGOAA (1-800-227-4622).

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