Everything You Need to Know About Flying With Your Dog

Have dog will travel. If you’re not Bo Obama, and don’t have Air Force One at your bark and call, you need some information to help you and your dog arrive at your destination safely and happily. Several dog-friendly airlines have comprehensive pet policies, but it can be tricky keeping them all straight.  To avoid showing up at the gate with your tail between your legs, here we put them all in one place, so you never have to leave Fido behind during your summer jaunts again.

The below info applies to non-service animals for in-cabin travel. Large or medium sized dogs are generally not allowed in the cabin, even crated, if they are not service animals. Pups that cannot fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you will have to ride in cargo, which, though usually perfectly safe, can be more stressful for your pup. (Brachycephalic dogs like Pugs, Pekingeses, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, etc., are more sensitive to climate and pressure changes and flying can be deadly due to their condensed respiratory systems.) In all cases, plan ahead for additional time spent during flight check-in.  And we recommend always calling your respective airline in advance.

American Airlines

American allows 7 dogs in the cabin per flight—that breaks down to 5 allowed in coach and 2 allowed in first for the high class bitches. To ensure your special furry cargo gets a spot, call ahead. Expect to pay a $125.00 fee each way.  The size requirements for pooches on American flights are twofold: 1) The dog must be under 20 lbs including the carrier; and 2) the carrier itself must fit underneath the seat in front of you.  The AA website includes a helpful page devoted to Traveling With Pets.


Delta wins the prize for most dogs allowed in cabin per flight—8 total—or 4 in the main cabin, 2 in business, and 2 in first.  The fee is $125 per flight, and your pooch must fit inside a carrier that fits underneath the seat in front of you.  Call ahead to confirm the dimensions of the seat in front of you as Delta planes can vary.  And no newborns allowed—puppies must be at least 10 weeks old to make it past security.  The Delta Pet Travel Policy provides any needed additional information.

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