American Airlines Pet Policy

American Airlines Pet Policy for cats, dogs and other pets

Are you wondering whether you can travel with your pet on American Airlines?

If yes, then you are about to get your answer.

Generally speaking, American Airlines is not hostile to pets.

In this article, we will be sharing all you need to know about American Airlines Pet Policy.

Basically, each airline has its own requirements and conditions for transporting pets and animals.

Therefore, for your pet to travel with you, you will need to adhere to these conditions and requirements.

Nevertheless, you can’t possibly adhere to what you do not know.

Hence, we have carefully outlined the basic information you need to know about American Airlines Pet Policy.

American Airlines Pet Policy for cats, dogs and other pets

What is the American Airlines Pet Policy You Should Know?

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in America.

Surely, you can safely transport your dogs and cats with American Airlines.

Basically, your pets can fly in the cabin and as cargo on specific flights.

For you to transport your pet through American Airlines there are certain policies you should know.

They include;

#1. In-Cabin Pet Policy

Majorly the pets allowed to fly In-Cabin on American Airlines are small cats and dogs.

However, these cats and dogs should be at least 8 weeks old before they can travel in-cabin with American Airlines.

Furthermore, the weight of the pet and carrier combined should not exceed 20lbs (9kg).

During the entire flight, small pets are expected to completely stay put in their carriers, under the seat, with the doors closed.

Most importantly, the carrier must be an approved airline pet carrier with a waterproof bottom.

Furthermore, it should have enough room for your pet to stand up, lie down and turn around.

There should be adequate ventilation and the lock must fasten securely too.

The maximum size of the carrier should be about 19in × 13in × 9in.

Nevertheless, a soft-sided carrier can be slightly higher.

American Airlines does not carry pets in the cabin during a transatlantic or transpacific flight.

The above-mentioned is worthy of note so as to avoid disappointments.

Although it is true your pets may not fly in the cabin to all destinations

Nevertheless, the good news is your pets can fly in the cabin to most destinations in the US, Canada, Central America, Mexico, Alaska, etc.

Check-In and Cost.

Basically, animals are not checked in at the curbside, therefore you need to check-in at the passenger counter.

Hence, your pet airline carrier will count as a piece of carry-on luggage.

The fee you will pay for your pet to travel in the cabin is $125.

However, if your pet is a service animal you will not pay any fee for it to travel with the flight.

#2. Checked Baggage Pet Policy.

American Airlines only accept checked pets for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S State Department Foreign Service Personnel traveling on official orders.

Gratefully, up to 2 pets can be checked at once.

However, these pets must meet the minimum age and health requirements of the destination.

Some of the things you must do when checking a pet include;

  • Ensuring you contact reservations at least 48 hours before your travel.
  • Check-in at the ticket counter with your official orders
  • Make sure you allow extra check-in time for at least two hours or no more than 4 hours before your flight.
  • You will also provide a health certificate issued by a qualified veterinarian within 10 days of travel.
  • Complete a checklist with an agent.

One good thing about this policy is that here larger dogs and cats are allowed on board.

However, birds are not welcome.

In addition, the flight must not be up to 12 hours and up to two pets per passenger are allowed to travel as checked baggage.

#3. Manifest (Air) Cargo Pet Policies.

With American Airlines Cargo you can travel with your pets through locations such as;

  • Honolulu
  • Puerto Rico
  • Continental United States
  • Canada and so on.

Furthermore, you can travel to other international locations where the flight time is less than 12 hours.

It is important to note that no live animal will be allowed on flights over 12 hours.

Which Pets are allowed in American Airlines Cargo?

American Airlines will only ship warm-blooded animals such as cats, dogs, birds, primates, etc.

However, American Cargo will not ship harmful, unhealthy, and offensive animals that are likely to be banned by the country of designation.

Venomous snakes and lizards are part of this category, therefore they can not be transported.

Nevertheless accepted cold-blooded animals must be packaged according to the IATA Live Animal Regulations.

Furthermore, cold or heat packs must be included depending on the need.

Can I Fly with my Service Animal on American Airlines?

Now in case you don’t know what a service animal is, I will explain.

Basically, a service animal is a working animal that has been trained to serve and assist people with disabilities.

These animals have been well trained to perform tasks that benefit their disabled owners.

If you want to travel with your service animal, then you can simply opt for American Airlines.

In American Airlines, well-trained service dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin.

Additionally, they may not be charged for flying if they meet the requirements.

However, bear in mind that you will be asked some questions by the American Airlines team members.

This process is to determine if your service animal is acceptable for travel.

Nevertheless, if you want to travel with your service animal on American Airlines, you are expected to submit the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form which attests to the animal’s health, training, and behavior to the Special Assistance Desk at least 48 hours before your flight. 

Furthermore, all emotional support animals, comfort animals, and service animals in training will travel as pets and not as service animals.

Key Travel Requirements for Service Animals

  • Animals that are not up to 4 months of age may not travel as Service animals.
  • Your service animal must be clean and well behaved.
  • The animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times.
  • Your service animal must be able to fit at your feet under the seat or on your lap.
  • However, if your animal is in a kennel then the kennel must fit under the seat in your front with the animal inside.
  • Your animal will not occupy a seat or eat from tray tables.
  • Animals are not expected to sit in an exit row, and protrude into or block aisles.
  • Individuals are only limited to 2 service animals.
  • Until you arrive at the airport and it is determined that your animal can safely fit at your feet, final approval for travel won’t be given.

Nevertheless, if your service animal is too heavy or large to fit in the cabin, don’t worry much, there are three alternatives for you.

  • Buy a ticket for the animal
  • Rebook on a flight with more open seats
  • Transport the animal as a checked pet

Two key things you need to do to ensure safe travel for your pet on American Airlines.

Safe travel for your pet is one responsibility you should take seriously.

From the above-mentioned policies, there are certain things you need to do to ensure a safe flight for your pet.

They include;

  • Confirm and ensure your pet is eligible for travel.
  • You need to ensure you have the right kennel for your pet.

#1. Confirm and ensure your pet is eligible for travel.

For your pet to travel safely, this is a worthy point to note.

You need to ensure your pet is healthy enough to fly and at least up to 8 weeks of age.

Furthermore, you need to confirm if your breed is on the restricted breed list of American Airlines.

If it is then you know it wouldn’t be allowed to fly.

If there are other additional documents you need to submit prior to the flight then do well to do so.

#2. Ensure you have the right kennel for your pet.

This is another key point to note if you really want your pet to be comfortable and enjoy the flight.

American Airlines have kennel construction guidelines and you should ensure yours meet the standard.

Animal Breeds not Allowed on American Airlines

The following dog breeds are not permitted to travel on American Airlines.

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Staffordshire
  • Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer (all breeds)
  • Brussels Griffon
  •  Bulldog (all breeds), 
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso, Mastiff (all breeds)
  • Pekingese
  • Pit Bull
  • Presa Canario
  • Pug (all breeds)
  • Shar Pei
  • Shih Tzu
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Tibetan Spaniel

The following Cat breeds cannot be checked on American Airlines.

  • Burmese
  • Persian
  • Himalayan
  • Exotic Shorthair.

Frequently Asked Questions about American Airlines Pet Policy.


  • aa – Traveling to the US with dogs and cats
  • bringfido– American Airlines
  • pettravel – American Airlines Pet Policy
  • aa – Flying with a service animal

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