American Airlines Pet Policy: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to American Airlines, where we understand that pets are family. Our commitment is to prioritize the comfort and safety of your furry companions. This comprehensive guide will walk you through every aspect of American Airlines’ pet policy, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey for both you and your pets.

Traveling with your furry friend can be a rewarding experience, and at American Airlines, we understand that your pets are family. Let’s dive into the details, unraveling the benefits and guidelines for stress-free travel with your beloved pets.

Benefits of Choosing American Airlines for Pet Travel

At American Airlines, we prioritize the well-being of your pets, offering numerous benefits to make your travel experience enjoyable:

In-Cabin Travel for Small Pets

– Your small dogs and cats are welcome in the cabin.

– Domestic flights allow pets as young as 8 weeks; international flights require a minimum age of 16 weeks.

– Enjoy the convenience of having your pet with you throughout the journey.

Cabin Rules and Regulations

– The amount you are allowed to bring on board includes your pet.

– On flights in cabins, trained animals are not charged a service fee to fly.

– Specific rules apply to First Class and Business Class on certain aircraft.

Pet Carrier Requirements

– Ensure your carrier meets specified dimensions.

– Provide adequate ventilation and an escape-proof design.

– The carrier must be clean, leak-proof, and suitable for air travel.

Hassle-Free Check-In

– Check-in at the passenger counter for in-cabin and checked baggage.

– Arrive at the hotel no less than four hours before the departure time.

Options for Larger Pets

– Explore the option of transporting larger pets in the climate-controlled baggage compartment.

– Ensure compliance with weight restrictions and carrier guidelines.

Health and Safety

– A health certificate is generally not compulsory for in-cabin travel but advisable.

– Keep health and vaccination certificates for potential requirements.

American Airlines Pet Policy: Travel Fees

Understanding the cost associated with pet travel is crucial. American Airlines strives to be transparent about fees to help you plan accordingly:

In-Cabin Pet Fee

– $125 for in-cabin travel.

– Service animals and emotional support animals (ESA) are exempt from fees.

Checked Baggage Pet Fee

– $200 for each pet carrier for checked baggage.

– Reduced fee of $150 for travel to Brazil.

Cargo Pet Fee

– $200 for cargo travel.

– $150 for cargo travel to Brazil.

Service Charges

– $125 service charge for in-cabin travel.

– $200 service charge for checked baggage.

– $200 service charge for cargo travel.

Checked pet for Active-duty U.S. Military and State Department personnel only*Between the United States and Europe, as well as from the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean$200 per kennel
$150 to/from Brazil
Cargo petVariesVaries, At the time of booking, fees will be verified.
Carry-on petDepending on each country’s entry regulations, both inside and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean$125 per kennel
Service animalsAll destinationsNo charge

Travel Tips for a Smooth Journey

In-Cabin Travel Tips

– Space is limited, so please make your reservation in advance.

– Before leaving, make sure your pet is comfortable in its carrier.

– Understand and follow cabin rules for your pet’s safety.

Checked Baggage and Cargo Tips

– Obtain a health certificate within 10 days of travel.

– Confirm carrier dimensions and adhere to guidelines.

– Arrive early for check-in and follow the check-in process.

Cabin Rules and Regulations

Important Rules to Follow:

When traveling with a pet in the cabin, adhere to the following rules:

  • Your pet carrier is considered your personal item.
  • For the length of the flight, your pet must stay in the carrier.
  • Pets are not allowed in First Class or on international flights.

Pet Carrier Requirements

Choosing the Right Pet Carrier:

Selecting an appropriate carrier is crucial. Ensure it meets the following criteria:

  • The carrier must fit comfortably under the seat in front of you.
  • Provide adequate ventilation and be leak-proof.
  • The carrier needs to be safe and well-ventilated.
  • Each carrier is limited to one pet.

Preparing Your Pet for Travel

Early Reservations are Key:

Booking your pet’s travel in advance is crucial, as there is a limit to the number of pets allowed on each flight. Ensure your pet is familiar with the carrier before the travel day.

Sedation: To Do or Not to Do?

While sedation may seem like a solution to ease your pet’s anxiety, it’s generally not recommended due to potential health risks. Consult with your veterinarian before considering sedation.

Traveling with Pets in the Cargo Hold

An Alternative for Larger Pets:

For larger pets or those not eligible for cabin travel, American Airlines offers the option to transport your pet in the cargo hold. Key details include:

  • The fee for pets traveling in the cargo hold is $200 each way.
  • Pets are only permitted one per passenger.
  • The service is not available on certain aircraft.

Breed Restrictions and Special Considerations

Breed Restrictions:

To prioritize the safety and well-being of all pets, American Airlines imposes restrictions on certain breeds:

  • No dogs or cats with brachycephalic, or “short-nose,” are allowed.

Additional Considerations and Tips

Health and Documentation:

  • Ensure your pet is in good health before the journey.
  • It is necessary to obtain a health certificate from a registered veterinarian within ten days of departure.
  • Check destination-specific requirements and regulations.

Temperature Restrictions:

  • American Airlines has temperature restrictions to safeguard pets’ well-being.
  • Pets are not accepted if the current or forecasted temperature exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees C) at any location on the itinerary.

Traveling Internationally:

  • Additional regulations apply when traveling with pets internationally.
  • Verify the specific requirements and restrictions of your destination country.

Pet-Friendly Destinations:

  • American Airlines allows pet travel on most flights within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and specific international destinations.
  • Confirm the list of destinations allowing pet travel.

American Airlines Pet Policy: How to Book

Reservations and Requirements:

  • Contact American Airlines Reservations to inform them of your pet’s travel plans.
  • Be aware of any travel changes or requirements related to your pet.

Online Management:

  • Manage your trip conveniently online through the American Airlines website or mobile app.
  • Access trip details, choose seats, check in, and add services like pet travel.

Ensuring a Pawsitive Experience

Communication with Crew:

  • Inform the cabin crew about your pet’s presence during boarding for additional assistance.
  • Crew members are trained to address any concerns and ensure a smooth travel experience for both you and your pet.

In-Flight Pet Etiquette:

  • During the flight, maintain a calm environment for your pet.
  • Avoid excessive noise or sudden movements that might distress other passengers or pets.

Arrival and Aftercare:

  • Upon arrival, promptly retrieve your pet from the designated area.
  • Provide necessary care, including bathroom breaks and meals, to make the post-travel experience comfortable.

Feedback and Improvement:

  • American Airlines values feedback. Share your experience to contribute to the continual improvement of pet travel services.
  • Suggestions and comments are welcomed through our customer support channels.


In conclusion, American Airlines prioritizes your pet’s safety and comfort, offering convenient travel options, transparent fees, and comprehensive guidelines. Your journey with your furry friend begins with ease and assurance. Trust American Airlines for a paw-sitively delightful travel experience!

For expert guidance and support in managing your flights and cancellations, don’t hesitate to turn to Flight Expert Support. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I bring my pet on an American Airlines flight?

    Yes, American Airlines welcomes pets in the cabin and cargo, ensuring a comfortable journey for your furry companions.

  2. What types of animals are allowed in the cabin?

    Small dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds are permitted in the main cabin on American Airlines flights.

  3. Is there an age requirement for pets traveling in the cabin?

    For domestic flights, pets must be at least 8 weeks old, and for international flights, the minimum age is 16 weeks.

  4. What are the fees for traveling with a pet in the cabin?

    The fee for in-cabin travel is $125, with certain exceptions for service and emotional support animals.

  5. Can I bring multiple pets into the cabin?

    One passenger is allowed to carry two pets in the cabin, adhering to specific guidelines and restrictions.

  6. Are there breed restrictions for pets traveling in the cabin?

    American Airlines prioritizes safety, and certain breeds are restricted from traveling in the cabin. Check the policy for the full list.

  7. What are the requirements for the pet carrier in the cabin?

    The carrier must meet specific size dimensions, have proper ventilation, and provide a comfortable and secure space for the pet.

  8. Can my pet travel in the cargo hold?

    Yes, American Airlines offers the option for larger pets to travel in the climate-controlled cargo hold, ensuring their safety and well-being.

  9. What is the fee for pets in the cargo hold?

    The fee for pets in the cargo hold is $200, with variations for specific destinations.

  10. Are there restrictions for pets traveling in cargo?

    Cargo travel is subject to specific conditions, including pet age, carrier size, and the duration of the flight.

  11. Is a health certificate required for pets traveling in the cargo hold?

    Yes, pets traveling in the cargo hold require a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within a specified timeframe.

  12. Can I check in with my pet at the curbside?

    No, passengers traveling with pets need to check in at the passenger counter inside the airport.

  13. What is the maximum weight limit for pets traveling as checked baggage?

    The weight limit for pets as checked baggage is 45kg/99lb, with specific guidelines for multiple pets.

  14. Are there specific aircraft restrictions for pets traveling in cargo?

    Yes, certain aircraft are restricted for cargo travel, and birds are not allowed in cargo at any time.

  15. What is the allowed carrier size for pets in cargo?

    Carrier dimensions for pets traveling in cargo must adhere to specific size requirements to ensure the pet’s comfort and safety.

  16. How far in advance should I make a reservation for my pet?

    Early reservations are crucial, as there is limited capacity for pets on each flight. Book well in advance to secure your pet’s spot.

  17. Is sedation recommended for pets traveling on American Airlines flights?

    Sedation is generally discouraged due to potential complications at high altitudes. Consult with your veterinarian before considering sedation.

  18. Are there specific guidelines for international travel with pets?

    Yes, international travel with pets may have additional requirements and restrictions. Check the specific guidelines for your destination.

  19. What should I do on the day of travel to ensure my pet’s comfort?

    Provide pre-flight exercise, and proper identification, and allow extra time for check-in to ensure a stress-free travel experience.

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