United Airlines flying with pets

What is United’s policy on pet acceptance?

United Airlines accepts pets to travel in the passenger cabin or shipped separately with United’s PetSafe program.

In-cabin pets are accepted for transportation on domestic flights (except Hawaii) and flights between the U.S./Canada and Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

For international travel, rules for in-cabin pet acceptance vary widely. Visit United’s website for information on animal embargoes and restrictions or contact United Reservations for additional assistance. In-cabin pets are not accepted on flights to/from/through Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia, etc.

In-cabin pet policy applies to flights operated by United and United Express only. For codeshare flights, you must check with the operating carrier for that airline’s in-cabin pet policy.

What pets does United Airlines allow in the cabin of the aircraft?

United Airlines accepts domesticated dogs and cats to travel in the passenger cabin. Only pets at least 8 weeks old (puppies at least 16 weeks old for international travel) are accepted.

All other animals must be transported via PetSafe® through United’s Live Animal Service.

How do I book in-cabin pet travel?

Advance arrangements are required when booking an in-cabin pet. You can include a pet in your reservation online or by calling United Reservations.

When you request an in-cabin booking for your pet, the Flight Search results you are viewing are based on the in-cabin pet policy. You will be notified if in-cabin pets are not allowed in all segments of your itinerary.

In-cabin travel for pets is booked on a space-available basis. Pets without reserved space will be accepted only if there is space available after pets with reserved space have been accommodated.

In-cabin Pets

United Airlines will accept no more than one in-cabin pet container per passenger. To travel with two in-cabin pets, you can purchase an additional ticket. Unaccompanied minors are not permitted to carry pets in the cabin. It is the passenger’s sole responsibility to comply with all state entry requirements which may apply. Pets must travel on the same flight(s) as the passengers who are responsible for them.

Only one pet per kennel is permitted, except that two household birds will be permitted in a single kennel.


The total number of in-cabin pets permitted on a single flight is limited by aircraft type and cabin. Based on aircraft, cabin and seat, the following restrictions apply:

  • Two pets per flight are allowed in United First, United Polaris Business and United Business (select aircraft only).
  • No pets are permitted in United First, United Polaris Business and United Business on Boeing B757 200, B767, B777 or B787 aircraft (due to inadequate storage space under the seat).
  • Maximum four pets per flight are allowed in United Economy on all United flights.
  • On United Express flights operated by partner airlines, the maximum number of pets varies.
  • Passengers traveling with in-cabin pets on a Boeing 757-200 aircraft must be seated by the window.
  • Passengers traveling with in-cabin pets may not be seated in the bulkhead or an emergency exit row.

Pet Kennels

In-cabin pets must be confined in an approved kennel, either soft-sided or hard-sided, subject to inspection and approval by United Airlines before acceptance. Passengers traveling with in-cabin pets must check in at the airport with a United agent to receive a bright yellow bag tag for the pet kennel. The pet kennel may be carried in addition to a carry-on bag. While in the boarding area and on board the aircraft, pets must remain in their kennels with the door secured at all times.

While on board the aircraft, the kennel must be stowed under the seat in front of the passenger at all times. In order to be properly stored, the maximum dimensions of the kennel must not exceed:

  • For hard-sided kennels:17.5 inches length x 12 inches width x 7.5 inches height (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm).
  • For soft-sided kennels: 18 inches length x 11 inches width x 11 inches height (46 x 28 x 28 cm). Exception – maximum 10 inches height on Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft.


An in-cabin pet is subject to a $125 service charge one-way ($250 for round-trip travel). United will charge an additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than 4 hours within the US or more than 24 hours outside of the US.

More information here >>

Service Animals

Service animals accompanying qualified individuals with disabilities are accepted in United and United Express aircraft cabins, without charge. Only dogs that have been trained and certified are recognized as service animals. A service dog should sit at the passenger’s feet but cannot protrude into the aisles to comply with safety regulations.

United requires for each service dog the following DOT forms: the Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form and Service Animal Relief Attestation Form (Relief Form – for flights scheduled to take 8 hours or more). For traveling to international destinations, documentation may be required. Local regulations at the passenger’s final or intermediate destination(s) may apply and impose requirements or restrictions (e.g. pet allowance in the passenger cabin).

More information here >>