Carry on or transport your pet
Depending on animal breed and size, they can travel as a carry-on or be transported through American Airlines Cargo. Carry-on pets are limited to cats and dogs that meet the size, age and destination requirements.
We only accept checked pets at the ticket counter for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders. Fees and restrictions apply.
Fully-trained service dogs may fly in the cabin at no charge if they meet the requirements.
Please contact Reservations before your trip so we can notify you of any requirements or travel changes that may affect you and your pet, like aircraft restrictions.
Which destinations allow travel with pets?
You can travel with a pet on most flights up to 12 hours or flights to / from select locations:
- Within the 48 contiguous United States
- The U.S. and Canada*
- Puerto Rico
- St. Croix
- St. Thomas
*Additional special restrictions may apply when traveling with pets to / from these destinations.
The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources does not accept applications to import assistance or service animals of any species other than dogs.
An assistance or service dog which is accredited by an Australian State or Territory Government will also qualify. In most cases these animals are returning to Australia.
You’ll be responsible for fulfilling all entry requirements and must notify the department of the dog’s intended arrival at least 3 working days before export.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a suspension on the import of commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies.
Commercial dogs will not be permitted to enter Canada from the identified high-risk countries.
You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to Jamaica.
When traveling with a pet to Trinidad and Tobago (POS), you cannot arrive on a flight before 8 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Within the U.S.
Pets traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico must be at least 8 weeks old.
To the U.S.
All dogs (carry-on and checked) traveling to the U.S. must meet government regulations on vaccinations.
You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to / from Hawaii.
You can travel with your pet to Hawaii as a checked pet if you:
- Only connect via Honolulu (HNL)*
- Follow Hawaii’s quarantine rules
*No pets are accepted on departures out of Honolulu prior to 8 a.m. HT between March 5 and November 1.
You cannot travel with your pet to Hawaii:
- On nonstop flights to Maui, the Big Island of Hawaii or Kauai
- If your pet is pregnant and past 45 days gestation
All pets traveling to Mexico must meet government regulations on vaccinations.
You cannot travel with a carry-on pet when traveling to / from:
You cannot travel with a carry-on pet on transatlantic trips.
When traveling to the European Union (EU) with a checked pet, you’ll be responsible for completing all entry requirements. Your pet must have a tattoo or implanted microchip that matches the ID number on their vaccination card.
Apart from service animals, you can't travel with a checked pet to the U.K. or Ireland, but you can transport dogs and cats to London (LHR) and Manchester (MAN) with American Airlines Cargo.
You cannot travel with a carry-on pet on transpacific trips.
Although you can travel with a checked pet from Japan to Los Angeles (LAX) or Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), pets are not allowed as checked bags to Japan. According to USDA restrictions, animals should be offered water every 12 hours, so for travel with a checked pet to LAX or DFW, you must book a flight 12 hours or less.
If you’re traveling with a checked pet for travel from Japan, you’ll need to:
- Make sure your pet has a microchip and documents required by the country you are traveling to
- Notify the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service at least 7 days prior to departure to arrange an inspection
On flights with American you can bring 1 kennel as your carry-on bag if:
- You pay the carry-on pet fee
- Your pet stays in the kennel and under the seat in front of you the entire flight
You can travel with your pet carrier and 1 personal item, but you will not be permitted to bring a carry-on bag in addition to a pet carrier and personal item. Instead, the kennel will replace your carry-on bag.
If your pet is too large to fly in the cabin, it must travel with American Airlines Cargo. Keep in mind, we only accept checked pets for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders, and the pet carrier must meet all kennel guidelines for checked-pets. If you don’t meet these requirements, your pet may not travel. Fees and restrictions apply.
Pet strollers must be checked at the ticket counter, and all checked bag fees apply.
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 and turn around, fitting comfortably inside the closed / zipped carrier.
- Non-collapsible kennels can’t exceed the under-seat dimensions of any aircraft included in your journey. Please contact reservations to verify maximum dimensions.
- Soft-sided collapsible kennels are recommended and can be slightly larger but still need to fit under the seat without having to excessively collapse the kennel. They must be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on 3 or more sides.
Carry-on kennel dimensions
- Mainline flights on American: 19 x 13 x 9 inches / 48 x 33 x 22 centimeters (length + width + height)
- Regional flights on American Eagle: 16 x 12 x 8 inches / 40 x 30 x 20 centimeters (length + width + height)
Soft-sided kennel (recommended)
18 x 11 x 11 inches / 46 x 28 x 28 centimeters (length + width + height)
Contact reservations to verify maximum dimensions.
Flying in First / Business on an A321T?
- Pets must stay in their kennel during your flight and will need to be placed in a dedicated animal friendly 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 20 lbs. / 9.07 kgs., weighed at check-in
We can only accept:
- 7 kennels on American flights, excluding service animals
- 5 kennels on American Eagle flights; 1 in First
Contact Reservations to plan for your pet in advance.
Due to the lack of underseat storage space, carry-on pets are not permitted in First or Business on:
We only accept checked pets for active-duty U.S. military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders. Up to 2 pets may be checked and they must meet the minimum age and health requirements of the destination. Since capacity is limited, we accept checked pets on a first-come basis.
When checking a pet, you need to:
- Contact Reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel
- Check in at the ticket counter with your official orders
- Allow extra check-in time (at least 2 hours and no 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)
When checking in your pet, there are specific requirements for their kennel:
- Large enough for your pet to stand, turn, sit and lie down in a natural position (without touching any side or the top of the container)
- Must not exceed maximum size requirements of the aircraft you're traveling on
- Must not exceed maximum weight (combined pet and kennel) of 100 lbs. / 45 kgs.
- Be made of wood, metal, plastic or similar materials
- Have a door made of welded or cast metal
- Secured at the top and bottom with bolts or screws
- Secured by yourself with release cable ties on all 4 corners (we’ll provide complimentary ties)
- Be rigid and secure enough so the animal cannot escape through gaps or poke any body part through the container
- Be leak and escape proof with a secure fastened door
- Have ventilation on at least 3 sides for domestic U.S. travel and 4 sides for international travel
- Have separate food and watering dishes attached securely inside the kennel
- Have a small bag of food for a 24-hour period attached to the top
- Be clean and have absorbent material (no straw, hay or wood shavings)
If you travel with 2 of your pets in the same kennel, they must be:
- The same species (2 cats or 2 dogs)
- A similar size and weigh less than 20 lbs. / 9.07 kgs. each
- Between 8 weeks and 6 months old
Aircraft restrictions and acceptable kennels
Checked pets cannot travel on:
- A321, A321H, A321neo, A321S
|Aircraft type||Acceptable kennel||Maximum kennel height|
|A321T||700 series kennel or smaller||46 inches / 117 cm|
|B737-800||400 series kennel or smaller||28 inches / 71.12 cm|
|B777-200 / 300||500 series kennel or smaller||40 inches / 105 cm|
|B787-800 / 900||500 series kennel or smaller||40 inches / 102 cm|
We don’t accept brachycephalic cats of any 'mix' as checked pets, such as:
- Exotic Shorthair
Cats must be at least 8 weeks old when traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
We don’t accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs of any 'mix' as checked pets, such as:
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- Boxer (all breeds)
- Brussels Griffon
- Bulldog (all breeds)
- Cane Corso
- Chow Chow
- Dogue De Bordeaux
- English Toy Spaniel
- Japanese Chin
- Lhasa Apso
- Mastiff (all breeds)
- Pit Bull
- Presa Canario
- Pug (all breeds)
- Shar Pei
- Shih Tzu
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Tibetan Spaniel
Dogs must be at least 8 weeks old when traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico. If you're traveling into the U.S., your dog's age and vaccine requirements depend on the risk of dog rabies where your trip starts. Dogs arriving from high-risk countries need to be at least 16 weeks old and have their rabies shots before traveling into the U.S.
Check if your trip starts in a high-risk country.
Flights with connections
If you’re traveling on a connecting flight, checked pets will only be able to connect through these cities:
- Charlotte, NC (CLT)
- Chicago O'Hare, IL (ORD)
- Dallas / Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
- Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
- New York Kennedy, NY (JFK)
- New York LaGuardia, NY (LGA)
- Miami, FL (MIA)
- Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
- Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
- Washington Reagan, DC (DCA)
Food and water
Due to Federal Regulations, you’ll need to provide written certification that:
- Your pet has been fed and offered water within 4 hours (with the specific time noted) before you deliver them to the airplane
- Is securely and visibly attached to the outside of the kennel
- Has your signature with the date and time you signed it
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.'
As recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), we don’t accept pets that have been sedated or tranquilized. Pets that have been given sedatives or tranquilizers are at a higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems at high altitudes.
If you’re flying with American Airlines, you can pay your pet travel fee at the airport or at a travel center with a credit card or paper voucher (where accepted). We don’t accept cash or checks for payment.
We don’t collect pet fees for other operating airlines on your trip (even if it has an American flight number). You’ll need to check in with each airline and pay your fees at check-in. To find out if you're on a partner airline, look for the words, "Operated by" on your ticket.
|Checked pet for Active-duty U.S. Military and State Department personnel only*||Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, Europe and from the United Kingdom||$200 per kennel
$150 to/from Brazil
|Cargo pet||Varies||Varies, Fees will be confirmed at time of booking.|
|Carry-on pet||Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (based on specific country's entry policy)||$125 per kennel|
|Service animals||All destinations||No charge|
*Fees shown apply for each destination without a voluntary stopover / connection of 4 hours or more. If your trip includes a voluntary stopover / connection of more than 4 hours, fees apply for each connection segment. All pet fees are non-refundable and apply per kennel, each way. Fees for transporting your pet with American Airlines Cargo may vary depending on the trip details and size of the animal and kennel.
We have temperature restrictions to make sure checked pets and pets traveling with American Airlines Cargo aren’t exposed to extreme heat or cold:
- In the animal holding areas
- At terminal facilities
- When moving the animals between terminal and the plane
- On a plane awaiting departure
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.
Pets not traveling in cabin cannot travel to / through / from Phoenix (PHX), Tucson (TUS), Las Vegas (LAS) or Palm Springs (PSP) May 1 – September 30.
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.