How Strict Is American Airlines Pet Policy? 2023

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the United States and in the world.

And If you are planning on traveling with your pet with them, it is a good idea to know their pet policies and regulations, what types of animals are allowed, and what requirements must be met to ensure your lovely one safety and comfort during his journey.

In this post, we’ll cover everything about American Airlines pet policy and explore how strict they are. We’ll also provide some helpful tips for traveling with your pet on American Airlines.

Let’s dive right in.

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What Is The American Airlines Pet Policy?

American Airlines have a pet policy in place that is very straightforward and concise. You can either carry-on, check or transport your pet via cargo.

Currently, you can only travel with cats and dogs but there are certain restrictions which disallows certain breeds from travelling. You can travel with your cat or dog as long as the flight time does not exceed 12 hours.

Does American Airlines Require A Health Certificate For Pets?

Arrangements must be made in advance in order for your pet to be allowed to travel. While domestic flights within the US do not always require a health certificate for your pet, it’s advisable to have one anyway because some States may require such documentation.


American Airlines Pet Policy On Board

You can take your pet into the cabin with you once they meet the requirements outlined by the airline:

  • Cats or dogs must be over 8 weeks old
  • They must be fully vaccinated and have a health certificate
  • Pets must have a flight approved kennel which adhere to the dimensions outlined by the airline (19 in x 13 in x 9 in)
  • Kennel must be leakproof and escape proof
  • Kennel must be able to fit under the seat or in front of you the entire flight
  • Pets must be registered in advance for traveling with all required documents and forms submitted
  • A pet carrier counts as a carry-on bag or personal item, this means that you may take your pet carrier and a personal item on board only.
  • Pets must remain in their kennel for the duration of the flight. This means you can’t let your pet sit on your lap or be outside of the kennel at any point of the journey. 

American Airlines Pet Policy In Cargo

According to AA Currently in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, cabin travel for pets is suspended until further notice. However, the usual guidelines are as follows:

  • Pets must have a health certificate and a pet passport in cases of overseas travel. Additionally, the pet health certificate for cargo travel must be issued by a vet within 10 days of your flight, 60 days of your return (same ticket) and 10 days of your return (separate ticket)
  • Dogs and cats must be over 8 weeks old
  • Two animals can share the same kennel if they are of the same species and do not weigh more than 20 lbs.
  • Carriers/Kennels must be up to 40” x 27” x 30” in size
  • Approved kennels must be made from materials such as wood, metal, plastic or other similar hard materials
  • Animals should not be sedated. In any special cases of exception however, the owner must provide a document that states the type of medication used, time administered, dose, and other vital information. If a pet appears to be sedated without any certified approvals, they will not be able to board.
  • Kennels must also be escape proof and leak proof
  • Pets must be fed at least 4 hours before take off with extra food attached to the kennel.
  • If the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any point of your itinerary, your pet cannot be checked into cargo

How Much Does It Cost To Fly My Dog On American Airlines?

  • Checked pets: $200 per kennel, $150 to/from Brazil(currently suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions)
  • Carry-on pets: $125 per kennel.
  • Guide dogs are allowed no charge regardless of their weight and size

Restricted Breeds

For cats and dogs, certain breeds are not approved for air travel.


Brachycephalic dog breeds and any “mix” are not allowed to travel with American Airlines. For a full list contact American airlines to see if your dog is on the restricted list.

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


  • Burmese
  • Persian
  • Himalayan
  • Exotic Shorthair

You may be required to provide breed verification forms in order for your pet to be approved for travel with American Airlines.


  • Within all 48 contiguous United States (domestic flights)
  • Between The U.S and Canada
  • Alaska
  • Central America
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
  • St. Croix
  • St. Thomas
  • Australia (only dogs)
  • Caribbean (no carry-on pet to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago arrivals must be before 8 a.m or after 4 p.m.)
  • Hawaii (no carry-on pets)

For a full list of destinations and country guidelines contact American Airlinesor your agent for more details.

How Strict Is American Airlines Pet Policy? Takeaway

American Airlines is one of the largest and long-established airlines in the U.S. If you frequently travel with the airline, you’ll be happy to know that they allow pets either as carry on or checked cargo.

we hope this american airlines pet policy guide helps when flying with your little cute one.

Please make sure of the safety of your pet prior to booking. Find out what you need and what you have to make arrangements from your vet, check with your agent or from an American Airlines rep.

We hope this helps

Happy travels with your lovely one.

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