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8 Airlines That Allow Pets In-Cabin & What You Need to Know Before You Fly

Before you head to the airport with your pet, make sure you're well-prepared

The cold, hard reality of adopting a pet is that you'll never view a long vacation quite the same. It's difficult enough to leave our fur babies alone all day while we're at work. How the heck are we expected to relax and have an amazing time on a luxurious trip if we know our pets are sitting at home alone feeling sad, abandoned and totally miserable?

You have to decide: Is it worth packing up all those chew toys and bringing your pet along for the ride? If yes and you're flying, then it's time to check out the major airlines that actually allow pets in the cabin with you.

More: Here's Why Your Dog Barks All Night Long — & How to Stop It

* Please note that many of the airlines listed have an additional carry-on pet charge that you must pay upon check-in at the airport.

1. Air Canada

A photo posted by Air Canada (@aircanada) on

  • Types of pets allowed: Cats and dogs small enough to fit and stay comfortably in their carrier under the seat in front of you (meaning they must be able to stand up and turn around)
  • Maximum weight: 22 pounds including carrier
  • Cost: $50 – $59 or $100 plus taxes each way, depending on destination
  • International?: Yes
For more info, visit Air Canada's website.

2. Air France

A photo posted by Air France (@airfrance) on

  • Types of pet allowed: Small dogs and cats
  • Maximum weight: 17 pounds including transport bag (guide dogs are authorized regardless of their weight); as of November 2017, crates are no longer allowed in the cabin, no matter their dimension
  • Cost: $153.56 for flights departing from the U.S.
  • International?: Yes, but note that this airline does not accept pets in the business cabin on intercontinental flights. The pet must travel in the hold.

For more info, visit Air France's website.

3. American Airlines

  • Types of pets allowed: Cats and dogs over 8 weeks of age who are able to sit in a kennel under the seat in front of you for the entire flight
  • Maximum weight: 20 pounds including carrier
  • Cost: $125 each way
  • International?: Yes, but no in-cabin pets on transatlantic flights or flights longer than 12 hours

Note that checked pets cannot travel on A321, A321S, A321H, A320 and A319 aircrafts. For more info, such as additional destination restrictions, visit American Airlines' website.

4. Delta

A photo posted by Delta Air Lines (@delta) on

  • Types of pets allowed: Dogs, cats (domestic and international) and household birds (domestic U.S. only); must be 10 weeks old for domestic travel and 16 weeks for international
  • Maximum weight: No limit, but pet must fit comfortably in carrier under seat
  • Cost: $125 in North America and $200 international, one way
  • International?: Yes

For more info on additional restrictions, visit Delta's website.

5. JetBlue

A photo posted by JetBlue (@jetblue) on

  • Types of pets allowed: Small cats and dogs
  • Maximum weight: 20 pounds with carrier; the carrier cannot exceed the following dimensions: 17 inches long (43.18 centimeters) x 12.5 inches wide (31.75 centimeters)  x 8 inches high (21.59 centimeters)
  • Cost: $100 each way
  • International?: Yes

For more info, head to JetBlue's website.

6. Southwest

  • Types of pets allowed: Small cats and dogs
  • Maximum weight: No limit, but must fit comfortably in carrier under seat
  • Cost: $95 each way
  • International?: No (with the exception of trained assistance and emotional support animals, though no animals allowed to/from Jamaica) 

For more info, visit Southwest's website.


More: Does Your Dog Smell Bad? It Could Signal a Serious Health Issue

7. United

A photo posted by United (@united) on

After drawing severe backlash for the death of a dog and the airline's mishandling of animals, United announced on March 20 that, effective immediately, it will not accept any new reservations for PetSafe travel (animals traveling in cargo) until May 1. This does not, however, affect animals traveling in-cabin.

  • Types of pets allowed: Domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and birds (excluding cockatoos) older than 8 weeks
  • Maximum weight: No limit, but must fit comfortably in carrier under seat
  • Cost: $125 each way with an additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside the U.S.
  • International?: Rules for international in-cabin pets vary — contact the United customer-contact center for info on specific flights; pets are not permitted on flights to, from or through Australia, Hawaii or Micronesia

Visit United's website for more info.

8. Alaska Air

  • Types of pets allowed: Cats and dogs (at least 8 weeks old and weaned), household birds and domesticated rabbits
  • Maximum weight: 20 pounds including carrier
  • Cost: $100 each way
  • International?: Yes, to and from Mexico with proper veterinary documentation

Visit Alaska Air's website for more information.

Travel tips

Once you've decided on the perfect pet carrier, be sure to book your flight reservation early, as many airlines allow only a certain number of in-cabin pets per flight. Before booking any trip, always check with the airline for the most up-to-date information about how to fly in-cabin with your pet.

A version of this article was originally published in October 2012.

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