These airlines allow dogs (and cats, turtles and birds) to travel with you in the cabin
Many major airlines allow cats, dogs, and other pets in domestic and international flights — Photo courtesy of nadisja / Getty Images
Anyone traveling by air knows that the number of pets flying in the cabin (as opposed to the pet cargo hold) has increased dramatically. That’s because the majority of airlines now allow pets of a certain size, including dogs and cats, to fly along with you provided they meet certain criteria — and you pay an extra fee, of course.
Some things to note: Pets generally can’t fly in business or first class, and they’re almost never allowed in the exit rows. With the exception of service animals, almost all airlines require pets to stay in their carriers for the duration of the flight, and those carriers are often considered one carry-on item. Additionally, restrictions and requirements may vary by breed and country of origin or destination, so be sure to do your homework.
Here’s a rundown on traveling with dogs (or cats, turtles, birds, and other small animals) on major domestic and international carriers.
Make sure your furry friend has the proper travel carrier — Photo courtesy of gchutka / Getty Images
Air Canada allows cats and small dogs in the cabin, provided your pet can stand, lie down, and move around in its carrier. They must, however, remain under the seat in front of you. Pets aren’t allowed in premium economy, due to carrier stowage issues. You’re required to alert the airline in advance and arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the recommended check-in time. Pets must be 10 weeks old and fully weaned. Carrier size limits vary based on the aircraft, so check with the airline.
On shorter and medium-haul Air Europa flights, passengers can fly in the main cabin with dogs, cats, small birds (except birds of prey), fish, aquarium turtles, and some rodents (hamsters, guinea pigs, and small rabbits). On long-haul flights, only cats and dogs are allowed. No animals of any kind can fly in business class. The maximum weight for pets is 17 pounds (8 kg), and the travel carrier can be no larger than 55 x 35 x 25 cm. The combined weight of your pet and its carrier should be a total of 22 pounds (10 kg), max.
When traveling with pets on Air France, only cats and dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin; although, some dog breeds are required to fly in the cargo hold. Additionally, pets must have all required vaccines to be permitted on board. Pets must weigh less than 17 pounds (8 kg) to travel in the main cabin.
Dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds are permitted in the main cabin on Alaska Airlines. Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old, fully weaned, and accustomed to solid food. Alaska Airlines’ policy also states that any animals with offensive odors, or ones that create a noise disturbance, must travel in the climate-controlled baggage compartment.
Pet-carrier comfort is important when flying with your dog — Photo courtesy of Ирина Мещерякова / iStock Via Getty Images
American Airlines pet policy allows pets to travel in the cabin on domestic flights, as long as they’re small enough to fit comfortably at your feet in a carrier that meets the size limitations. That’s 19 x 13 x 9 inches for hard carriers, and 18 x 11 x 11 inches for soft carriers. Pets are allowed to travel in first class on some aircraft, but not all. Extra check-in time is also recommended.
Delta Air Lines
Small dogs, cats, and household birds can travel in the cabin on Delta Air Lines, as long as they’re in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. Dimensions of the carrier are determined by aircraft, and a size of 18 inches long by 11 inches wide and 11 high is recommended. Pets must be at least 10 weeks old for domestic travel, and at least 15 weeks old to travel internationally.
Unless there are restrictions by the destination country, small cats, dogs, pet rabbits, tortoises, and hedgehogs can travel in the cabin on Finnair if the total weight of the pet doesn’t exceed 17 pounds (8 kg). The pet carrier must also fit under the seat in front. Pets cannot travel in business class on long haul flights. Soft carriers cannot exceed a size of 22 x 16 x 9 inches, and hard carriers cannot exceed 14 x 12 x 8 inches.
Dogs, cats, fish, tortoises, and birds (other than birds of prey) can travel on Iberia in the cabin if they do not exceed 17 pounds (8 kg), including the pet carrier. The maximum carrier size is 45 x 35 x 25 cm.
Small domestic cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and birds can travel in the main cabin on ITA (formerly Alitalia), provided they are at least 3 months old. Pet carriers should not exceed a maximum size of 28 wide x 40 long x 20 tall cm (11 x 16 x 8 inches), but this may vary based on the aircraft. There may also be additional restrictions based on the flight’s final destination.
All pet carriers should fit under the seat in front of you — Photo courtesy of humonia / iStock Via Getty Images
Only small dogs and cats may travel in the cabin on JetBlue, provided the FAA-approved carrier fits under the seat in front of you, and it does not exceed 17 x 12.5 x 8.5 inches. The combined weight of your pet and the carrier cannot exceed 20 pounds. Although pets aren’t allowed to fly in the Mint class, TrueBlue members earn 300 extra points per segment for adding a pet to their booking.
Dogs and cats can fly in the cabin on Lufthansa, as long as the pet and carrier weigh no more than 17 pounds (8 kg). You must also register the pet at least 72 hours before departure. Passengers are also required to provide a soft-sided carrier.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
On KLM, a cat or dog can travel in the cabin in economy class (or business class within Europe). The pet carrier must be a maximum of 46 x 28 x 24 cm and placed under the seat. The pet and carrier, combined, can weigh 17 pounds (8 kg) max. Travelers cannot bring pets in the cabin in premium comfort class or business class on intercontinental routes.
Italian airline Neos requires that the weight of the pet and the carrier does not exceed 22 pounds (10 kg) to travel in the cabin.
Southwest Airlines allows small, vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel in the cabin under the seat in front of you. All pets must be stowed in an appropriate travel carrier with the maximum dimensions of 18.5 x 13.5 x 8.5 inches. Pets are not allowed in the cabin on international flights.
Swiss International Air Lines
Know the weight of your pet in its travel carrier before boarding — Photo courtesy of JodiJacobson / iStock via Getty Images
Dogs and cats up to 17 pounds (8 kg) including carrier are allowed to fly with you in the cabin as long as you file the correct paperwork 72 hours in advance. Maximum dimensions of the travel carrier should be 55 x 40 x 23 cm, or 118 cm total size. The airline’s website also states that your pet cannot be dangerous, pregnant, or smell bad.
TAP Air Portugal
TAP Air Portugal allows cats and dogs that are at least 10 weeks old in the cabin. Similar to other airlines, the total weight of the pet and carrier cannot exceed 17 pounds (8 kg). Requirements vary depending on whether you are traveling within or beyond the EU.
Cats, dogs, and small singing birds can travel in the cabin with the passenger on Turkish Airlines, provided the passenger is assigned to a non-exit window seat. The weight of the animal and carrier cannot exceed 17 pounds (8 kg) and the carrier cannot exceed 23 cm height x 30 cm width x 40 cm length.
While there are no weight or breed limitations for pets on United, they must travel in either a hard-sided carrier that is no larger than 7.5” height x 12” width x 17.5” length, or a soft-sided carrier that’s within the 11” height x 11” width x 18” length limit. And, as always, the carrier must fit under the seat in front of you. On domestic flights, puppies and kittens must be at least 2 months old. On international flights, they must be at least 4 months old to comply with vaccination requirements.