U.S. airline policies for in-cabin pets

The following information has been collected from the airlines’ published pet policies, supplemented (in some cases) by telephone inquiries. It was last updated on March 1, 2012.

For each airline, I have provided a link to the airline’s pet policy. It is a good idea to print out a copy of your airline’s policy, so that if a dispute arises with a ticketing or gate agent, you will have the actual policy to refer to (not the agent’s potentially faulty memory of the policy).

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  1. “Only one pet kennel per ticketed passenger may be accepted for travel in the cabin….If two animals are traveling in the same carrier, they must be the same species (two cats or two dogs, not one of each) and the pet and container can weigh no more than 20 lbs. combined.” (American)
  2. 1 container per customer; 1 adult pet per container. “Up to two (2) puppies, or two (2) kittens at least 8 weeks, but no more than 6 months, may be carried in one (1) kennel, provided they do not exceed a total weight of 25 pounds.” (Hawaiian)
  3. “Southwest Airlines allows only one pet carrier per ticketed Customer. The carrier may contain two (2) cats or dogs and must be of the same species per carrier.”
  4. “A maximum of 2 pets per container is permitted, but only one container per customer is allowed.” (Spirit)
  5. One “fully weaned dog or cat (minimum 6 months old, 1 per carrier)” or “fully weaned puppies or kittens (minimum 8 weeks old, maximum 2 per carrier).” (United)

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