American Airlines - Pet Information

Does the airline allow pets: Yes

Cats and dogs are the only types of pets accepted for travel on American Airlines.</ br> American Airlines maintains the right to refuse acceptance of any animal that is exhibiting aggressive behavior.

Does the airline allow pets as carry-on: Yes

Checked or carry-on pets are allowed on domestic flights in the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Puerto Rico and USVI. From the U.S. to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean provided the country of arrival permits entry.

Does the airline allow pets as baggage: Yes

Checked pets do not need a reservation, but there is a limit to the number of checked pets that can be carried and pets are excepted on a first come basis. A maximum of two checked pets per passenger is allowed.

Pets will not be accepted for flights over 12 hours or on flights traveling to the United Kingdom. American Eagle does not accept pets as checked baggage for Priority Parcel Service between San Juan, (SJU) and St. Kitts (SKB) and between San Juan, (SJU) and Nevis (NEV).

Does airline allow pets as cargo: Yes

AACargo Pet Shipping Information

Does airline have an embargo: No

Embargo dates: N/A

Kennel / Pet Carrier Information

Animals must have room to stand/turn around, sit and lie down in a natural position.

Kennels must be constructed of wood, metal, plastic, similar material, leak-proof, escape proof and door must fasten securely and need ventilation on 2-sides in addition to the door. Kennels must also have a water container with outside access for filling, in case a delay occurs.

Collapsible Kennels (those which can fold down flat) can not be accepted due to the risk of collapse during transport.

The customer is required to secure rigid plastic kennels with releasable cable ties attached to all four corners. American Airlines will provide the ties to the customer at no cost.

The maximum size for checked kennels is a series 500 kennel with the following dimensions: 40" long x 27" wide x 30" high. However, this size kennel is not accepted on the Boeing MD-80 (S80). Kennels checked on MD-80s must be able to fit through the cargo door while remaining in an upright position. MD-80 cargo doors are 29" high x 53" wide.

Series 700 kennels are not allowed on any aircraft.

The maximum weight of a checked pet and kennel (combined) cannot exceed 100 lbs. For weight over 100 lbs., see for other shipping options.

Documentation Requirements

American does not require a health certificate for the acceptance of pets for travel in the cabin or as checked baggage within the 50 United States. However, we encourage you to contact your family veterinarian or state authorities directly for individual state requirements to avoid any possible inconvenience at your final destination. All states require proof of current rabies vaccination for dogs over 12 weeks old and some require proof of rabies vaccination for cats.

For health requirements for destinations outside the continental U.S, contact that country's consulate or embassy for information.

Federal Regulations require written certification from the customer that dogs/cats have been offered food and water within 4 hours (with the specific time noted) before delivery to the carrier. This certification must be securely attached to the outside of the kennel so that it may be easily noticed and read and have the customer's signature with the date and time it was signed.

Feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period must also be provided. Instructions of "No food or water" are not acceptable unless directed by the attending veterinarian.


Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks old for travel. Animals must be in separate kennels unless they are of the same species and comparable size, weigh less than 20lbs each and are between eight (8) weeks and six (6) months old.

Pets cannot be accepted when the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any location on the itinerary.
Snub-nosed dogs and cats will not be accepted when the current or forecasted temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit at any location on the itinerary.

Pets can not be accepted when the ground temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit at any location on the itinerary.
The restriction for cold temperature restriction may be waived with a written veterinarian statement. The low temperature acclimation certificate/statement/form must include the following:

  • Name and address of the passenger
  • Name of the animal
  • Name and signature of licensed veterinarian
  • Veterinarian's accreditation date and number
  • Temperature which the animal is acclimated

When temperatures fall below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, pets may not be checked even with a statement of low temperature acclimation.


Aircraft cargo compartments are pressurized and are normally maintained at a temperature range of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases cats and dogs should not be given sedatives or tranquilizers prior to flying. An animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation, which can be dangerous when the kennel is moved.

Airline Fees

Checked Pets - $150 USD
Pets Traveling in the Cabin - $100USD
Fees for travel NOT within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean may be obtained from American Airlines Reservations.

American Airlines - Web Links

American Airlines - Homepage
AmericanAirlines Traveling With Pets
AmericanAirlines Cargo for unaccompanied pets

American Airlines - Contact Numbers

800-227-4622 - AmericanAirlines Cargo
Last updated: October 11, 2008 06:57
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