American Airlines flying with pets

What is American Airlines policy on pet acceptance?

American Airlines allows pets to travel in the passenger cabin or as cargo (American Airlines Cargo). Only cats and dogs are accepted on American Airlines flights.

Service animals are accepted free of charge in the cabin.

Are there any restrictions based on destination?

Pets are allowed for travel based on your itinerary. Allowed travel destinations include flights:

  • Within the United States, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas.
  • To or from the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American and some destinations in South America provided the country of arrival permits entry.

Pets traveling in the cabin are not accepted on flights to Jamaica, to/from Hawaii, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, and Uruguay, and to/from transatlantic/transpacific destinations.

How do I book a flight, check in and pay any applicable charges when traveling with a pet?

Pets traveling in the passenger cabin require a reservation to ensure that the maximum number of pets allowed on any single flight is not exceeded. Advance arrangements must be made by contacting Reservations.

When traveling with your pet in the cabin, you must  present yourself at the check-in counter. Consider allowing extra time beyond suggested times for arriving at the airport.

For American Airlines itineraries, applicable charges may be paid by cash, credit card or voucher at the airport or American Airlines Travel Centers. If not used, the refund is to the original form of payment. Charges apply for each connection segment if your itinerary includes a voluntary stopover/connection of more than four hours.

American Airlines does not collect pet charges on behalf of another operating airline in the itinerary (even those with an AA flight number). Charges are payable to each operating carrier upon check-in.

Pets in the Passenger Cabin

For domestic flights (within the US and Puerto Rico), pets must be at least 8 weeks old, and dogs must be at least 16 weeks old for travel into the US. A health certificate for pets traveling in the passenger cabin is not required by American Airlines, but proof of current rabies vaccination for dogs over 12 weeks old is required in all states, and for cats in some states.


Only one pet per kennel and only one kennel per ticketed passenger may be accepted for travel in the cabin. Two animals may be accepted to travel in the same carrier if they are of the same species and the combined weight (kennel plus pets) does not exceed 20 lbs.

A maximum number of 7 carry-on kennels is allowed on American Airlines flights. Service animals do not count in the maximum number of pets allowed in the cabin. A maximum number of 5 carry-on kennels (only one in First Class) is allowed on American Eagle, depending on the aircraft. You should contact Reservations before your flight.

Carry-on pets are not permitted in First or Business Class cabins on the following aircraft: Boeing B777 200, Boeing B777 300, Boeing B787 8, Boeing B787 9.

Pet carriers

A pet kennel counts as your carry-on bag. However, a cabin pet charge still applies. Dimensions of the carry-on kennel must not exceed the under seat dimensions, which can be verified by contacting Reservations. To be accepted, a soft-sided pet carrier must be constructed of water-repellent, padded nylon and ventilated on two or more sides. Sherpa bags may exceed the maximum dimensions slightly because they are collapsible.

The kennel must be of an appropriate size i.e. pets must be able to lie down in a natural position, stand up and turn around in the kennel. At any time while on board the aircraft pets must stay in their closed kennel, and the kennel must be stored under the seat in front of you at all times.


American Airlines charges $125 per kennel for travel within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Central America and the Caribbean (except to Hawaii).

More information here >>

Service Animals

Starting February 2021, only fully-trained Service Dogs are accepted for travel in the cabin by American Airlines and American Eagle at no charge. At least 48 hours before your trip, you need to complete and submit the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation form.

As of February 2021, American Airlines no longer allows emotional support animals to travel free of charge in the cabin.

Animals that don’t qualify as fully-trained service animals (service animals in training, emotional support animals, and comfort animals) may travel in the passenger cabin as pets, but all requirements and applicable fees apply.

More information here >>