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Airline Pet Carrier/Cargo Crate Requirements

cat flying in-cabin

The rules regarding approved types of containers for pets flying in cabin and as cargo were created by IATA and, for the most part, have been accepted by the world's airlines.

Airline Pet Carries for In-Cabin Travel

Generally, on flights of less than 8-10 hours, most airlines will allow pets to be taken with the passenger in the cabin (except travel to the UK, Hawaii, South Africa and several other countries). Most often, the airline will only allow one pet per carrier (unless puppies, kittens or very small breeds) and one pet per passenger and a maximum of two to four pets per flight depending on the type of service.

The dimensions of the carrier will vary by airline; however, soft-sided carriers are a pet owner's best bet because they are flexible and can "squish" down to fit under the seat in most cases.

The container for your pet must fit under the seat in front of you, be secure (zippers, no snaps), and have a waterproof bottom. Your pet must remain in the carrier for the duration of the flight. We have compliant airline pet carriers available in our store.

Airline Pet Cargo Crates

Most airlines flying larger aircraft (not commuter planes) accept live animals as cargo and have made special provisions for their handling.

Whether the pet is traveling as checked baggage or as cargo they will wind up in the same special area of the cargo department, which is pressurized and temperature controlled.

The animals must be in an IATA approved container and meet certain other requirements. Find an IATA approved airline pet cargo crate.

It is considered best to have only one animal per container but the IATA rules state that two animals can share the same container if the animals are under 14kg (30lbs). Check your View airline pet policy as some do permit this, but some do not.

Pet Cargo Crate Requirements:

  • The cargo crate must be large enough for your pet(s) to stand up and turn around without touching the top of the crate.
  • The crate must have a secure all around locking system with the pins extending beyond the horizontal extrusions above and below the door.
  • A water/food bowl must be attached to the door and must be accessible from outside the container.
  • The crate must have ventilation on all four sides.
  • Many airlines are requiring that the crate be secured with crate hardware instead of plastic fasteners.
  • The container must be identified with your pet's name and the owner's contact information.

If traveling internationally then you should attach an extra copy of your pet's health certificate to the container.

Need More Information?

Have a question? We have current and accurate information on quarantine rules, health certificates, immigration forms, microchipping your pet, dangerous dog breed restrictions; it is all here and we are adding more information every day.  

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