Traveling with pets

Special notice

Checked pets cannot travel on A321, A321S, A321H, A320, A319 aircraft and all flights operated by our regional partner Air Wisconsin.

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

When traveling on an American Airlines flight, you can bring one pet 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 their kennel and under the seat in front of you for the entire flight

If all your travel is on American Airlines we can only accept up to 7 kennels each flight (not including service animals). When traveling on an American Eagle flight, we can accept up to 5 kennels per flight (with a maximum of 1 in first class). You’ll need to contact Reservations to make arrangements in advance.

Reservations and ticket changes

Kennel guidelines for carry-on pets

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.

Soft-sided collapsible kennels such as Sherpa bags can be larger if they're made of water-repellant material, are padded or have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides.

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

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

Restrictions:

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

Charges

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.