Pets on a Plane

cute cat and dog on plane

Pets are a vital part of your family – and when you travel, they come along, too! How do you book their ticket? By reading VERY CAREFULLY the policies below and calling the pet reservation number listed under your airline. If you do not phone in your pet reservation, your furry friend will not be able to accompany you!

All airlines strictly regulate the size of pets, how many, the carrier type to be used, and where they are to be stowed. This blog doesn’t cover unescorted pets traveling as cargo, a whole different issue. There are nine major carriers coming out of RDU airport:

Air Canada
requires that you pre-register your pet for travel on the same flight as yours by contacting Air Canada Reservations within 24 hours of booking travel, 1-888-247-2262. A pet and kennel with a combined weight of less than 70 pounds (32.5 kg) is accepted for travel in the baggage compartment provided the owner is flying on the same flight. Pet carrier counts as your carry-on baggage and costs $50 CAD/USD.

AirTran accepts small, domesticated cats and dogs that will fit in an approved carrier under the seat in front of you. The pet fee is $75 each way. Only three pets are allowed per flight, so advance reservations must  must be made when bringing a pet onboard (1-800-247-8726). The carrier dimensions of 8.5” high x 18.5” long x 13.5” wide, plus carrier must be leak proof and ventilated on at least two sides. It counts as your carry-on bag or personal item.

American accepts small cats and dogs in the cabin of the aircraft (no other animals are allowed). The fee for pets traveling in the cabin is $175 per carrier (each way), and the combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 20 pounds. Call 1-800-433-7300 to make a pet reservation. Pets must remain in the carrier and under the seat during the entire time that the pet is in the aircraft. Cats and dogs only. View breed restrictions for more details. We maintain the right to refuse acceptance of any animal that is exhibiting aggressive behavior.

Delta allows your pet to travel in the cabin with you but it is important to contact Delta by telephone to reserve tickets for yourself and your pets as far in advance as possible after you have confirmed your travel plans. Two pets of the same size and species (generally puppies, kittens or toy dogs) may be allowed in one pet carrier, provided they are able to comfortably fit in one carrier and each weigh less than 20 pounds. If they meet these criteria, they will be charged as only one pet. Call 800-221-1212 for flights within the United States to make a pet reservation.

Frontier allows pets in cabin with a $75 fee per segment. Only certain pets are allowed in cabin such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small household birds on flights within the United States. The kennel must be large enough for the pet to stand and lie down in a natural position. The kennel must be able to fit underneath the seat in front of you. Call Reservations at 1-800-432-1359 and advise the reservation agent that your are flying with your pet.

Southwest allows customers to carry small pets (cats and dogs only) on board all Southwest Airlines flights. All in-cabin pets must be carried in an appropriate pet carrier. The pet fee is $95 each way per pet carrier. Each customer is limited to carrying one pet carrier on board. The carrier may contain up to two cats or dogs of the same species. The carrier will count as the customer’s carry-on bag. Southwest does not require a health certificate or any other documentation from the customer’s veterinarian for pets to travel. Reservations for small cats or dogs can only be booked by calling Southwest Airlines at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA (1-800-435-9792).

United allows domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and birds to travel accompanied in the aircraft cabin on most flights within the U.S. An in-cabin pet may be carried in addition to a carry-on bag and is subject to a $125 service charge each way. The pet must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel that fits completely under the seat in front of the customer. 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). There may only be one pet per kennel, and the animal must be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. Two birds may travel in the same kennel.(1-800-864-8331).

US Airways allow you to carry on small domestic dogs or cats in the passenger cabin for an additional $125 each way. You can only carry on one pet carrier (a second carrier is not allowed).
Each carrier may contain up to 2 pets of similar size/weight/type, as long as both pets can stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in the carrier. Pets must remain inside their approved container under the seat directly in front of you. Remember, a pet in the cabin counts toward your carry-on baggage allowance. Call 800-428-4322 to book your pet.

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