How to Choose an Airline Approved In-Cabin Pet Carrier

Taking your pet with you when you travel can be a lot of fun. It can also be stressful, getting them through the airport, though. But, when you have a carrier that is comfortable for you both, it will be much less burdensome. When choosing an in-cabin pet carrier, choose one that is both comfortable and safe.

All airlines have different requirements for in-cabin carriers, and they also allow different pets. It’s important to check with your airline before you book your flight! Most airlines consider the carrier as either a personal item or carry-on. If you have to take other things with you on board, you should choose a pet carrier that has storage pockets.

Airline Approved In-Cabin Pet Carrier

Although airline regulations vary, keeping your pet safe and comfortable during the travel process is important.  Before taking your pet on an airplane, talk to your vet if you have questions regarding your pet’s health.  Some pets can get very stressed out, and others have health problems that do not allow them to travel.

In this article, we will be talking about pet carriers that are airline approved.  There are many different airlines, so we can’t get into specifics, but we will give you the general requirements.  We will also talk about how to choose the safest and most comfortable in-cabin pet carrier. And we’ll suggest a few of the best-rated pet carriers for air travel.

What Are the Best Pet Carriers for Air Travel?

Although a pet carrier manufacturer may claim that its products are allowed on flights, make sure that you know the specific airline’s policies.  They have different size requirements, depending on the plane.

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

One of the best is the Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier.  It is a soft-sided carrier, and it is one of the only ones that are guaranteed to be allowed on board. Even with Southwest Airlines strict policies, you will have no problems at all.

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It has a top and front entrance, making it easy to travel with both dogs and cats. It is much easier for a cat when you use the top entrance, as they won’t feel as if they are being forced to go into a cage. The zippers also are reinforced, and actually lock closed. Even if you have an escape artist on your hands, they will be secure.

Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Carrier

Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel

The Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel is a very good hard-sided carrier that most airlines approve.  This carrier is also good when you have cats, as it has a top opening.  To learn more about this carrier, click on the link above to be taken to the review page.

Petmate Two Door Top Load Pet Kennel

Aspen Pet Pet Porter Plastic Kennels

If you have a larger dog, they will have to go in the cargo hold.  Many airlines allow larger pets, but not all of them.  One of the best crates for in-cargo travel is the larger versions of the Aspen Pet Pet Porter Plastic Kennels.

Aspen Pet Pet Porter Plastic Kennel Camp baby blue

Airline Approved Cabin Pet Carrier

There are many pet carriers that will keep your pet safe and comfortable, but there aren’t that many that are airline approved.  Some airlines allow most kinds of pets, whether they are dogs or cats, birds, bunnies, etc.  Other airlines only allow small dogs and cats.

Airlines also differ in whether or not they allow larger pets to fly, as some allow your pet to travel in cargo, while others do not.  There is also a limit to how many pets are allowed on board at one time.  Either call the airline or visit their website to make yourself aware of their policies.

For a carrier to be airline approved, it must be deemed safe.  It has to have good ventilation, and it has to be very secure.  An in-cabin pet carrier has to be able to fit under the seat, and most airlines have different under-seat measurements.

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You will usually have to book a seat near the window, as this has the most space.  Your pet will have to be under the seat in front of you!  Some pet carriers are small enough to fit in the middle seat, but it varies a lot.

In-Cabin Pet Carrier Requirements

  • It has to be leak-proof.
  • It also has to be very secure, as pets have gotten out and caused havoc on planes.  No doubt, it will happen every now and again, but if it does happen, you may not be allowed on the return flight.
  • It must also have good ventilation.  That is actually something that carriers of all kinds should have.

Keeping Your Pet Safe & Comfortable

For the safest and most comfortable fit for your pet, make sure that you measure them before buying a carrier.  They have to be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. Many people take their pet’s favorite blanket or toy, and put it in the carrier with them.  This gives them a bit of added security.

Look for a carrier that has a tether clip inside.  This clip attaches to your pet’s harness, in case they would find a way to get out of the crate, these clips will ensure that they won’t run away.  It is strongly advised that you have a harness on your pet instead of a collar, because many pets break loose from their collar.

Traveling with your pet can be stressful at times, especially on them if it’s their first time.  Allow extra time before your flight to make sure that they have time to go to the bathroom, and even play in the pet area before the flight.

When you have an airline approved in-cabin pet carrier, it will make a big difference in the stress levels of your flight.  Airline travel doesn’t have to be stressful at all.  As long as you have the right in-cabin pet carrier, going through the airport will be a breeze, and you can both enjoy your time spent away.