Traveling with pets

Special notice

Checked pets cannot travel on A321, A321S, A321H, A320, A319 aircraft.

Checked pets cannot travel to/through/from Phoenix (PHX), Tucson (TUS), Las Vegas (LAS) or Palm Springs (PSP) May 1 - September 30, 2018.

Travelling with pets

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.

Dog breed restrictions This content can be expanded
Cat breed restrictions This content can be expanded

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:**

Continental U.S. This content can be expanded
Hawaii This content can be expanded
The Caribbean This content can be expanded
South America This content can be expanded
Transatlantic This content can be expanded
Transpacific This content can be expanded
Australia This content can be expanded

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

Carry-on pets

On American flights you can bring 1 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 the kennel and under the seat in front of you the entire flight

Kennel guidelines for carry-on pets

We assume no liability for the health or well-being of carry-on pets. These rules are enforced:

  • Pets must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel
  • Non-collapsible kennels can’t exceed 19in x 13in x 9in
  • Soft-sided collapsible kennels can be larger but still need to fit under the seat, have to be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides

Kennel limitations

We can only accept:

  • 7 kennels on American flights, excluding service animals
  • 5 kennels on American Eagle flights; 1 in First

Contact Reservations to make arrangements for your pet in advance.

Resevations and ticket changes

Flying in First / Business on an A321T?

  • Pets need to be in their kennel and stored in a special compartment at the front of the plane during taxi, take-off, landing and turbulence
  • The combined weight of the carrier and your pet can’t exceed 20lbs; weighed at check-in


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)

Find more about requirements Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines


Aircraft This content can be expanded
Flights with connections This content can be expanded
Kennel guidelines for checked pets This content can be expanded
Food and water This content can be expanded
Sedation This content can be expanded


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.

Who's operating my flight?

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.