Exploring and traveling to new places with your pet can be a great experience, however it is not an easy feat. While you might face less problems or constraints when traveling with your pet on land or on water, when opting for air travel, the situation can be quite different. Each airline requires a specific airline approved pet carrier, which is necessary for the safety of passengers and pets. They can also be easier to handle for airline staff. In this article, we will share with you all you need to know about requirements and restrictions each specific airline company has.
What features to look for
Not all pet carriers come with the same design, they come with various features which could match the requirements of a user. Among the most sought-after features include the following:
Whenever trying to move your pet, you’ll always need to bring pet accessories, supplies, toys and treats. With the pocket feature out of the pet carrier, owners no longer need to bring an extra bag for the treats or supplies. Simply store everything your pet needs in the carrier pocket and access anytime.
Pets come in different sizes and weight. While light-weight pets are easy to carry, heavy pets can be quite a burden especially if you’re moving in a busy environment such as an airport. With a wheel feature out of the carrier, you can easily move and maneuver it towards your preferred direction and locations.
Handles and straps
Straps can also be a great feature out of pet carriers especially if the owner doesn’t want to use his or her hands to hold the carrier. You can wear the strap over your shoulder or even as a bag pack to secure the carrier while carrying other luggage whenever you are traveling by plane. Handles can also be of great help in a pet carrier for firm and secure grip and also to avoid slippage or dropping.
Velcro or Zipper
Velcro or zipper can be quite handy out of a pet carrier since it provides easy and fast closings and openings. Compared to using carriers designed with doors, velcro and zipper consume much lesser space and provide a net look out of the carrier. The only downside of using zipper or velcro however is that it can be quite a nuisance.
One of the features that you want to make sure that your carrier has is good ventilation. Pets are also like people that need air to breath. You need to make sure that air circulates through the carrier and that the pet is comfortable with the temperature inside the carrier.
Airline approve pet carriers have to follow specific requirements in cabin usage
As mentioned earlier, pet carriers have different features which suit different requirements. In the same manner, airline companies also have their own specific policies and requirements regarding pets and pet carriers. Let’s check out these requirements.
Air Canada Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
Air Canada provides the convenience of bringing any small-sized cat or dog within the cabin provided that it comes with a comfortable carrier. The carrier should not be too compact and the pet should still be able to stand and walk around in it. Air Canada recommends that pets are at least 3 months old and fully weaned. You need to stow the pets under the seat in their carrier during the entire flight.
Carriers count as one carry-on baggage. This implies that only one pet per passenger is allowed when traveling with the airline. Air Canada set the carrier dimensions at a maximum of 27 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm. This will allow them to fit under the cabin seat. In some cases your pet might not be allowed to fly in the cabin. Air Canada has therefore the option to transport the pets within the pressurized cargo compartment. Staff makes sure that the pets are safe and comfortable.
A few more things to note when traveling with the airline would be the inspections which may be done by government vet officials that come with a fee. More details about traveling with pets in Air Canada can be found in their page.
Westjet Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
WestJet Airlines provides an easy and comfortable way to travel for pets. They allow small-sized pets to stay in the cabin with the owners and other passengers around international flights. Canines and felines are not allowed to travel from Jamaica, UK, Ireland, Barbados, and Hawaii. This is a general restriction that is irrespective whether the pets are in a carrier or on checked kennel.
Admittedly these strict guidelines are a hassle for travelers. On average Westjet is welcoming pet owners, but they want to ensure the comfort and safety of all passengers. Owners will in any case need to board with a suitable carrier they can keep below the seat. Usually carries with dimensions less than 41 cm x 21.5 cm x 25.4 cm fit comfortably and still leave enough space for your pet.
Alaska Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
On Alaska airlines you can travel with your pets in cabin or if there is no availability, the airline makes space in the cargo compartment. Alaska Airlines therefore strictly advise travelers to call the company for reservations. On average they only allow a maximum of 5 pet carriers per flight. Only one passenger of these can take the carrier into the cabin. If any passenger has two carriers with them, they can can purchase a ticket for the neighboring seat and place one carrier there.
Passengers need to stow the carrier under the seat during take off and landing. They also must ensure that the pet is secure in the carrier throughout the entire flight.
Depending on the flight route, the ideal carrier should have dimensions of 40x27x30 inches to 53x48x34 inches, so it fits conveniently under the cabin seat.
Allegiant Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Owners can definitely travel with their small cats and dogs. The will need to travel in an approved carrier, with enough space for them but small enough to fit inside the cabin. You will also need to provide certification from a veterinarian that the animal is fit and healthy to travel. You might also need special vaccinations or documentation for the destination country.
In advance to booking for a flight ticket, it is recommended to call the airline regarding pet policies and requirements to avoid any delays in-flight. Depending on the size of the pet, they can travel as a carry-on baggage or can also travel through airline cargo.
It is a strict policy to keep the pet stowed under the owner’s seat especially during takeoff and landing to avoid distraction during the process. As a recommended pet carrier, it should provide enough room for the pet to move around along with good ventilation.
American Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
Traveling with pets at American airlines is easy and convenient provided they come with proper documentation and that they come with breed and size that pass the restrictions as outlined on their pet travel page.
Pets are allowed to stay by the cabin with their owners and can also travel by cargo. A person is only allowed to carry one kennel and is required to stow the carrier under the seat in the duration of the flight.
A minimum requirement for the kennel or carrier is a good enough room for the pet to roam around in. It should not be too big to fit under the seat – in case this occurs, the owner is advised to opt for the cargo option. Also, the carrier should be water resistant and should come with a good ventilation system preferably made from nylon mesh. For dimensions of the maximum size of carrier, simply visit their pet travel page on the link above.
Delta Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
Delta airlines allows pet travelers at a first-come, first-served basis and limits the first class with 2 pets only, business class with 2 pets, and 4 pets in the main cabin. For reservations and inquires regarding availability, simply call their hotline at 800-221-1212 or visit their page.
Small pets are allowed for international travel (except for Hawaii) provided that they have proper documentation and certification. The pet must also have a spacious carrier wherein the animal can walk around in and stand. Of course the carrier should not be bigger than the space provided for below the passenger’s seat.
As per the carrier guidelines, the airport advice a carrier that is either soft or hard sided and must be escape-proof. The pet should remain constantly inside the carrier in the whole flight duration which is why it is important to have proper ventilation for the carrier. The carrier should also be waterproof and should come with pockets for food, accessories and other things which the pet needs.
JetBlue Airways Approved Pet Carrier
A maximum of 4 pets per flight is allowed in JetBlue Airways which is why it is important to always be on check regarding available slots. A quick number to call for reservations is 1-800-JETBLUE or simply visit them at their homepage for further details on pet travel. Depending on the case, a passenger may be allowed to travel with more than 1 pet.
Small pets are usually allowed however heavier and bigger pets require further assessments from the airport staff, and flights to/from Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Cayman Islands, Barbados and Jamaica does not entertain pet travel.
As per approved carriers, the unit should be completely sealed and installed with proper ventilation for the pet. It should come with an adequate size that is small enough to fit under the passenger seat and is spacious enough for the animal to roam around in. Ideally, dimensions of 17″ x 12.5″ x 8.5″ out of the carrier would be a snug fit for the space under the seat.
Frontier airlines Approved Pet Carrier
All flights usually accept pets in the cabin however other partner airlines such as Great Lakes Aviation may disallow pets in the cabin and may suggest pets to travel by cargo. Just as other airlines, Frontier Airlines hosts a limited slot for pets when traveling which is why is best to reach to them as early as possible for reservations and bookings. A good number to call is 1-800-432-1359 or simply check out their webpage.
Small pets are always a go with the airline and can travel on most international flights however larger pets and specific breeds may require further assessment from the airport staff and specification and regulations from the country of destination.
As per pet carrier requirements, the carrier should remain under the seat in front of the passenger and should not be more than the dimensions of 24 x 15. 5 x 9.5 inches. Likewise, the pet should be able to stand and walk with the given dimensions. The airport also suggests using a carrier that is soft sided for convenience of both passenger and the pet.
Lufthansa Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
Prior to traveling with your pet in-cabin at Lufthansa Airlines, you will need to meet the requirements listed in the airline pet travel policy. After confirming the requirements, you will need to get an airline approved pet carrier. A basic requirement out of the pet carriers when traveling with Lufthansa Airlines is a carrier with water-resistant bottom with enough space for the pet to walk around and stand. In addition, the carrier should also be secured and fastened below the seat in front of the passenger. A maximum size of 55 x 40 x 23 cm is allowed for the carrier to be stowed under the seat.
Proper ventilation is also required out of the ideal carrier to enable breathing comfort of the animal in the whole duration of the flight. Many would go with mesh nylon materials enable adequate ventilation for the pet. The airline also advises that the carrier along with the pet should not exceed a weight of 8 kg else the pet will be recommended to travel by cargo.
Korean Air Approved Pet Carrier
Korean Air hosts a unique program of pets who love to fly frequently with their owners, known as SkyPets Program. With this program, frequent flyers get the opportunity to fly with a 50% discount on the fees or even free. However, prior to venturing into this program for your pet, it is important to comply with the rules and regulations of the airline company regarding pet travel. Along with the required certifications and documents that come with pet travel with Korean Air, pets with no more than 7 kg are only those that are allowed to stay in the cabin. Pets with weights more than 7kg can travel by cargo and can still be subject to assessment prior to confirmation.
Pet travelers are advised to provide a durable carrier with good ventilation where the animal can breathe. The ideal carrier should also have enough room for the pet to walk around and should be water proof.
Petagon Airline Approved Pet Carrier
Petagon airline pet carriers are among the few airline approved pet carriers that pass all standards from various airlines. It is designed to provide comfort and convenience to the pet, the owner and to the airline itself. It meets all TSA requirements of airline companies and is designed to withstand various weights according to requirements.
This pet carrier has a standard measurement of 21”L x 12”W x 13”H and is available with various features such as the mesh windows, water resistant padding, smart strap and seat belt, along with fittings which allow convenience when stowing the carrier under the seat.
Petagon airline pet carriers are durable to carry pets with no more than 22 lbs. In addition, these pet carriers come in various designs, colors, accessories and extra pockets to match every requirement of a pet owner. Among its main features is the zipper feature which allows easy access to the pet.
Southwest Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
Southwest Airlines welcomes small-sized pets provided they are vaccinated and have the required documentation. Owners can travel with their pets in cabin. They usually have a suitable carrier that fits under the seat in front of the owner in the cabin.
The airline accepts in-cabin carriers with a maximum dimension of 17” long x 9.5” high x 10” wide. They fit well under the airplane seat. Depending on what works best for the pet, the carriers are either soft-sided or hard-sided. Southwest considers pet carriers as a carry-on or personal item.
When you travel with Southwest airlines, your are allowed to accommodate 2 small dogs or cats in the carrier. They should be of the same breed. During the flight, you will need to keep your pet inside the carrier. Thus the carrier should be spacious enough to allow the pet to walk around and benefit from sufficient ventilation. For more information about pet travel rules and regulations at Southwest airlines, simply visit their homepage.
Spirit Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
Spirit Airlines reminds travelers with pets to always refer to the pet policy located in their website prior to booking for a flight. A basic requirement when travelling with pets is a documentation that the animal is in fit condition to travel by plane and is at least 3 months old and fully weaned. At times, other certifications may be required for specific cases and specific breeds of pets.
For in-cabin travel, small pets which can move around freely in an 18″L x 14″W x 9″H can be allowed right away without much assessment. This is for the reason that the space provided for the carrier under the seat is no more than the mentioned dimensions. Should your pet require a bigger carrier than the mentioned dimensions, it is advised to opt for the cargo travel.
The airline company inspects each container or carrier for durability, dimensions, ventilation system and level of comfort for the animal. The maximum weight which the carrier along with the animal should have is 18 kgs.
Turkish Airlines Approved Pet Carrier
In-cabin travel for small pets is not much of a problem provided that the owner can provide certification and documentation regarding the health eligibility of the pet to travel and as per requirements of the country of destination. The maximum allowed dimensions of the pet carrier is 23x40x55cm cm for it to be stowed conveniently under the seat in the cabin.
A recommended feature of the pet carrier is its flexibility for it to be compressed conveniently in the small space provided for and to provide convenience when stowing other items under the seat and around the feet. In combination with the weight of the pet, the allowed weight of the carrier is 8 kg and the pet should be at least 3 months old and properly weaned.
Depending on the service type and the route, a passenger may bring more than one pet. Prior to bringing the pet to the airport, it is advised to call the airline company or visit Turkish Airlines page for reservations and clarifications regarding pet travel.
Virgin America Approved Pet Carrier
Virgin America Airlines in partnership with Alaska Airlines allows any small-sized pet to travel with their owners in-cabin and larger pets can travel through the baggage hold or cargo. Just like the earlier mentions airlines, Virgin America also has a limited spot for the available pets to travel per flight. This is the reason why it is best to contact the company in advance to going to the airport with your pet.
As per approved carrier, bolts and nuts or metal should hold it firmly together if it is made from hard solid material and it should be durable enough if made from breathable mesh. The airline recommends that the carrier is built with a convenient ventilation system and is water proof.
Depending on the flight route, the ideal carrier should have dimensions of 40x27x30 inches to 53x48x34 inches. The animal should be able to roam around the carrier and should be able to stand comfortably.
Coleman Airline Approved Pet Carrier
The name Coleman has been among the most trusted and reliable name with regards to storage and carrier products. Not only is this name a popular name for durability and convenience but is also known for its features and design which perfectly matches any requirements.
Coleman airline carriers provide a well-ventilated along with a water proof portable home for any kind of pet. It comes with various features which matches any owner’s and pet’s need such as extra pockets, mesh windows, transparent windows, zipper openings, straps, handles, and many others.
A standard dimension out of Coleman airline carriers is 17 x 10 x 7 inches which fits any stow space under the seat in the cabin. Medium-sized carriers can hold a total weight of 11 to 15 lbs and is available in various colors. Bigger sizes are available as well for bigger pets which are traveling via the cargo pet travel.
Compared to humans, flying can be a very stressful experience for any animal. However with the right kind of pet carrier, any pet can fly comfortably while you enjoy your travel.
Pet Carrier Options
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