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Airline Pet Policy - United Airlines

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Can my pet fly with me in the cabin? Yes (Certain Flights)
Can my pet fly with me as checked baggage? Yes (Certain Flights)
Can my pet fly with me as manifest cargo? Yes

Pets are not permitted on United flights to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.


United Airlines In-Cabin Pet Policy

cat flying in-cabin If your dog or cat meets the requirements listed in United Airlines pet policy to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved airline pet carrier. The carrier must have a waterproof bottom, have room for your pet to stand up and turn around, must fasten securly and have adequate ventilation.

Pets Allowed:

United and United Express permits small cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds to travel in the cabin on flights within the continental United States (not Hawaii).

Age Requirements:

Pets must be at least 8 weeks old, over 1 pound, and their carrier must fit comfortably under the seat in front of you. Your pet airline carrier will count as a piece of carry-on luggage.

Route Restrictions:

Pets traveling to the United Kingdom cannot travel in the cabin unless they are service animals. No pets are allowed in the cabin on flights to Australia, Hawaii, Guam or other countries that require that they enter as manifest cargo. Pets are not permitted in First or Business Class on Boeing 747, 757, 767 or 777 aircraft due to lack of space under the seat. 

Carrier Requirements:

If your dog or cat meets the requirements listed in United Airlines pet policy to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved airline pet carrier. Carriers can be rigid or flexible and must have a waterproof bottom, adequate ventilation and secure fasteners. (Zippers are preferable.) The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm). The maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm).


You must notify United Airlines that you are traveling with a pet. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-800-864-8331. We suggest that you make your airline reservations as far ahead as possible as there are a limited number of pets allowed in the cabin of each flight. Travelers with pets are also not permitted to sit in bulkhead seats or seats in exit rows.


You will check in at the passenger counter as animals are not checked in at curbside. A fee will be collected at the time of check in. Your pet airline carrier will count as a piece of carry-on luggage.


$125USD for this service which can be paid at the reservations counter at the time of check in. (An additional charge of $125 on flights with layovers more than 4 hours in the US or more than 24 hours outside of the US.)

Service and Comfort Animals

Trained service animals are permitted to travel in the cabin with qualified individuals with disabilities. Comfort animals are also permitted with appropriate documentation provided at least 48 hours in advance by calling 1-800-228-2744 and verification by United to your mental health care professional. Therapy animals are considered neither comfort nor service animals.


United Airlines Cargo Pet Policy - (PetSafe® Program)

checked baggage

If your pet is too large to fit under the seat, it is an animal other than a dog or cat, or if it is a very long flight, United may transport your pet in the cargo section of the aircraft according to its regulations. This section of the cargo department has the same temperature and pressure as the passenger cabin.

Pets Allowed:


Route Restrictions:

Pets are not allowed on flights to Dubai and Sydney. Pets traveling to the UK, Hawaii or Australia must do so as manifest cargo. United will not permit pets to travel as checked baggage to Kuwait or Bahrain from May 15 until September 15.


Call PetSafe Help Desk at 1-800-575-3335.


When flying as checked baggage, you will check in your pet at the passenger ticket counter in an IATA compliant pet crate at which time you will pay the fee for transport. In order to travel as checked baggage, the weight of your pet and its carrier should not exceed 75 pounds otherwise your pet will travel via United Cargo. More than one pet is permitted to travel in one crate if it is a mother with an unweaned litter or 2 pets weighing less than 20 pounds each and are between 10 weeks and 6 months of age.


See United's cost table to transport pets.


Puppies and kittens must be 10 weeks or older. Piglets must be 8 weeks or older.

Forms Required

A health certificate issued within 10 days of travel is required. Additionally, all required paperwork for the country of destination will need to accompany your pet.

Pick Up and Drop Off

Refer to United Cargo Pick Up and Drop Off Locations in the United States. For international destinations, it will depend on the airport and you should contact United for that information. For flights into Mexico City, pets can no longer be collected at baggage claim; they will be taken to United's cargo facility where an agent will clear your pet with customs officials. You will pay for these fees when you pick up your pet. Note that pets should not be flown into Mexico City during the weekend when customs is closed.

Breed Restrictions

see restrictions below

Temperature Restrictions:

All Boston Terriers, American Bulldogs, Pugs and mixes of these breeds will not be transported between May 15 and September 15. Travel between September 16 and May 14 are restricted to routes where the temperature will not exceed 85 degrees F.

Forms Required

Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel.

Crate Requirements:

United will allow 2 puppies or kittens under 6 months to travel in the same carrier as long as they are of the same species and there is room for them, otherwise, only one pet is allowed per carrier. Note that United cannot transport Series 700 kennels on their 737 700/800 and 900 aircraft.

Metal hardware should be used to fasten the top and bottom halves of your pet' crate together. Click here for crate requirements.

Need an IATA compliant pet crate? Have a crate already? Need accessories for your crate?


Airports Served


United serves locations worldwide in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, India, the Caribbean, North and South America including the United States, Canada and Mexico.

United is also approved to fly into London Heathrow, Edinburgh, and Glasgow (accompanied pets only) which are approved Border Inspection Posts for the United Kingdom.


Puppies and Kittens

UK puppy or kitten importUnited will transport puppies and kittens over 10 weeks of age.


Banned Breeds

Banned Dogs in UK United will ship all snub nosed (Brachycephalic) breeds up to the age of 6 months or 20 pounds in a crate one size larger than normally required unless weather restrictions are in force. United will not ship English Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs or their mixes, however, they will ship the following snub nosed breeds in crates one size larger than normally required that have ventilation on all four sides: American Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Japanese Pug and Dutch Pug. United will also ship other snub nosed breeds including the Boxer, Brussels Griffin, Bull Terrier, English Toy Spaniel, Bulldog, Japanese Chin, King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Pekinese and Shih Tzu.

United will ship the following dangerous dog breeds in IATA compliant CR82 reinforced crates: American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, Ca de Bou, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Perro de Presa Canario, Pit Bull Terriers, Tosa.


Other Animals

rabbits turtles other animalsAll warm blooded mammals and birds including show or exhibition animals. United Cargo will not ship dangerous or offensive animals, unhealthy animals or pets that will be banned by the country of destination.



Need more information?

Have a question?To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on reflect the current regulations. We cannot predict how a given airline may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to deny your pet boarding privileges. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the airline your pet is flying.

Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 4:00 PM EST.

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