Traveling with pets

Travelling with pets

Whether you choose to travel with your pet as checked baggage, carry-on or transport them via cargo, your trip is our priority, that’s why we’re giving you all the answers to many common questions on traveling with pets. Please note that as US Airways doesn’t currently accept checked pets, we're not able to connect your pets on flights operated by US Airways.

To transport your pet via cargo simply visit us online or call 1-800-CARGOAA (1-800-227-4622).

What type of pet can you travel with?

With the exception of a few breed restrictions, you can only travel with cats and dogs. Please note that we have the right to refuse any animal that is behaving aggressively.

  • Dog breed restrictions

    We don’t accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs of any “mix” as checked luggage, such as:

  • Cat breed restrictions

    We don’t accept brachycephalic cats of any “mix” as checked luggage, such as:

Which destinations allow travel with pets?

Traveling with a pet is allowed*:

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

**Dependent upon the regulations of your destination country

You cannot travel with a pet on flights longer than 12 hours* or flights to or from:

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

Destination restrictions

Depending on your travel destination, there are special restrictions which may apply to you when traveling with a pet.

  • Transatlantic, transpacific and South America

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

    Depending on the rules of each country, you may be able to travel with a pet as checked baggage. Before you travel, contact Reservations and check the rules with the consulate of your travel destination.

    When you’re traveling to the EU, you’ll be responsible for fulfilling all entry requirements. Your pet needs to have a tattoo or implanted microchip that matches the identification number on their vaccination card. Please note that apart from service animals, you cannot travel with a pet to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

  • Hawaii

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

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

    You cannot travel with your pet to Hawaii:

  • Japan

    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 if you are traveling with a checked pet to Los Angles, you’ll need to book your pet on a flight that is less than 12 hours. This includes the time it takes you to check your pet and clear customs at your destination city.

    If you’re traveling with a pet as carry-on, you’ll need to:

  • Trinidad and Tobago

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

What you need to do / requirements

Whether you’re traveling with your pet as carry-on or they’re being checked, it helps us coordinate their travel accommodation if you contact Reservations in advance. This lets us notify you of any requirements or travel changes that may affect you and your pet.

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:

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

*We will not accept checked pets more than 4 hours before your flight time

On a connecting flight?

If you’re traveling on a connecting flight, your checked pets will only be able to connect through one of our hub cities:

If you’re connecting between American and another airline, please note that you’ll need to claim and recheck your pet to each airplane and pay applicable charges to each carrier.

Kennel guidelines

When checking in your pet, there are specific requirements for the kennel they’re transported in.

Your kennel has to:
Your kennel cannot:
If you travel with 2 of your pets in the same kennel, they must be:

*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.

Food and water

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

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 cause 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:

Carry-on pets*

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

When traveling on an American Eagle flight, you can take up to 2 kennels depending on the airplane. Please note that we can only accept up to 7 kennels per flight**, you’ll need to contact Reservations to make arrangements in advance.

Kennel guidelines

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 (length x width x height).

Soft-sided collapsible kennels such as Sherpa bags can be larger if:

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

**Service Animals are not included in the 7 kennel restriction


If you’re traveling on an American Airlines itinerary, you can pay your charge at the airport or at a travel center by:

As we don’t collect pet charges on behalf of other operating airlines in your itinerary (even if it has an AA flight number), you’ll need to recheck with each individual airline and can 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 (providing the specific country allows entry) Not allowed to Hawaii available $125 per kennel
Service Animals All destinations N/A

*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 some temperature restrictions to make sure your pet isn’t exposed to extreme heat or cold:

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:

The letter must be dated:

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