What Are the Pet Carrier Guidelines for American Airlines?

Most airlines allow you to take your pet with you. The policies differ, which is why you must know the pet carrier guidelines for American Airlines BEFORE you book a flight.

There are carriers and kennels that airlines will accept. We have looked into the rules and regulations of American Airlines and found pet carriers that are permitted. This way, you can spend less time searching and more time getting ready to go.

Knowing which pets are allowed on a specific airline, as well as how much they weigh, can help you to avoid problems when you get to the airport.  Another thing that many people don’t consider is the style of the carrier or kennel.

We have compiled a list of the specific guidelines for American Airlines below. We have also included a few different pet carriers that allow your pet to stay safe and comfortable during the ride.

Understanding the Pet Carrier Rules for American Airlines

Dogs and cats are the only pets that can travel with you on this airline. There are fees that you must pay, as well as certain cat and dog carriers that are allowed. You will find all the information below so that you have an easy time getting onto the plane with your cat or dog. All rules and fees have been verified on the American Airlines website.

Pet Carrier Guidelines for American Airlines

In-Cabin Rules & Fees

  • The cost for animals traveling with you in-cabin is currently around 125 bucks each way per pet.
  • They also have a weight limit of 20 pounds, which includes the weight of the carrier.
  • You can take two pets with you, and you must make reservations for them just as you do for yourself.
  • Tell the airline that you will be taking your pet with you. They only allow seven pets in the cabin per flight.
  • Give yourself more time to check in for your flight, as you have to check in at the ticket counter.
  • You can’t use curbside check in with your pet.
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In-Cargo Rules & Fees

  • Animals (cats and dogs only) that have to travel in the cargo section will cost you around 175 bucks per pet each way.
  • You should arrive earlier because the available spots in cargo are limited.
  • You cannot make reservations at this time.

Allow Extra Time for Pets that Have to Go into the Cargo Section

  • Make sure that you are there early, as pets are taken first come, first served.
  • You cannot check your pet in less than four hours before the flight.
  • For your pet’s safety, they will not be allowed to travel if the weather is too cold.

In-Cabin Carriers

  • Small dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, can travel with you.
  • They will not accept any other types of pets.


Accepted Pet On-Board Pet Carriers

The carriers must be a certain size, to properly fit under the seats. They will be under the seats in front of you.

Below you will find a couple of carriers and crates that are not only accepted by American Airlines but are recommended by vets, the ASPCA, and the humane society.

Soft-Sided Carrier

Some people like soft-sided carriers because they are afraid of their pets getting hurt on the hard sides, or the metal grates. They also like the way that there are usually pockets added to the outside, allowing them to carry any extra items that they may need for their pet.

  • Make sure that the carrier is equal to, or less than, 23” long x 13” wide x 9” high.

As with any airline, the carrier has to be made of nylon with mesh windows for proper air flow and must be water repellent, in case there’s an ‘accident’ your pet may have during the flight. This carrier will be counted as your carry-on bag.

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Cargo Crate

  • The kennel or crate must be leak proof and escape proof. It’s a good idea to take extra measures to make sure that your pet will not be able to escape, whether it means putting extra locks on the cage, or something else.
  • For your cat or dog’s comfort and safety, they must be able to stand up straight and have enough room to turn around fully. They also need sufficient space to lay down comfortably.
  • The carriers must be metal or plastic, and they cannot be collapsible. This is to protect your pet from getting hurt. It has to have proper ventilation (at least 2 windows in addition to the door). There should be a water bottle that the airline attendants can fill from the outside if there will be a delay.

Petmate Vari-Kennel

A good crate that meets the regulations is this Petmate Dog Crate. It is leak proof, and it’s good for dogs that have a habit of escaping. There are extra measures to keep the door completely secured.

There are different sizes allowed for different carriers, so be sure to call the airline or visit their website.

On all flights, the combined weight of the pet and carrier has to be less than 100 pounds.

These pet carrier guidelines for American Airlines are intended to keep your pet safe. When you take your pet with you, they make sure that your pet will be comfortable and safe, whether they are in-cabin or in-cargo. The above carriers are known to be accepted by most, if not all, airlines.

For the most comfortable flight, you can bring their favorite toy or blanket, so they won’t get bored. As they’re going to be under the seat in front of you, they will be able to see you. This will make you both feel more comfortable during the flight.