Our pet air transport service is designed to reduce the stress for both the pet parent, and the pet.
Searches for “flying my pet” is quite common, and the results can be very confusing.
So we’re gonna try and cut through some of the confusion surrounding airline regulations as well as best practices for pet air travel.

There are three options for pet airline travel



This option has been greatly restricted recently.

Due to some people abusing the relaxed ESA “Emotional Support animal” guidelines by most airlines, this program has been brought to a screeching halt by all airlines.

An in cabin flight now has to meet very strict standards.
Your pet has to be a Certified Service Animal.
Or it can be a carry on that fits under the seat, for an extra fee. That’s it, they’re making no more exceptions.


In this situation, your pet needs to be checked, and paid for at the outside check in counter.

You cant “pre-buy” a ticket for this type of flight.

your pet would fly in a pressurized and temperature controlled compartment under the aircraft, as you fly in the passenger compartment.

The pet would then be picked up at the end of the flight much like luggage.


flying pets as cargo on a cargo plane

On Cargo only flights, things do get a bit more involved.

To arrange flights, you have to be an approved pet shipper and have certain credentials with the airlines that will allow pets onto their planes.

These flights are also temperature controlled and pressurized for pet safety.

Only a select few airlines offer this service, and at only a few of the nations largest airports

All airlines have very strict guidelines and federal regulations they have to follow.
We touch on the most common below.

flying snub nose dogs


Short snout or snub nose dogs are prohibited from any cargo hold flight in the Continental U.S.
Over the past several years there have been quite a few animals die in transport, and it was determined the deaths were from respiratory failure in the breeds.

These regulations are enforced by the airlines, and no pet travel agency or pet transport service has any control over them.


Airlines also determine if a pet is eligible to fly in cargo by temperature.

Very cold months, or very hot months are very difficult to book a cargo flight for any pet.
This applies to the origin airport at the time of drop off.
And the forecasted temperature at the destination airport.

Generally 85 degrees is the maximum temp allowed at either end, and even then the dog must travel with
a vet issued Acclimation certificate.

Temperature restrictions for flying pets

airline dog kennel guidelines


Any airline that allows pets to fly has strict standards on the size of kennel for each pet.
These same standards apply if it’s carried on, or traveling in the cargo area of the plane.

There has to be at least 3″ of clearance from the top of the dogs head to the top of the kennel.
If it has pointy ears, the measurement is from the tip of the ears.

There also has to be enough room for the dog to comfortably lay down, as well as turn around in the kennel.

These rules are strictly enforced by the airlines, and they will refuse to allow a dog on a flight if these guidelines aren’t met. We’ve witnessed several stranded pets because someone decided to chance it.


Unless your pet is traveling in the passenger compartment as a carry on, you will need to obtain an Air travel Health certificate from your vet.

The certificate can’t be more than 10 days old at the time of the flight, after that period it will not be accepted.

air travel pet health certificate

You also need to keep a few other things in mind.

Checking your pet in for a flight is also where the kennel training comes in handy.
The dog will have to be taken out of the kennel at check in, the kennel with go through security and x-ray, then the dog will go back in the kennel to get a combined weight.
Right now we’re discussing dogs, but the same rules apply to cats, hamsters..whatever you’re flying in cargo.

At this time the airline employees are also watching the dog behavior. If he refuses to go back in the kennel, they can deny boarding.
Because if something should happen during the flight where the dog needs to be taken out, they have to know he’ll willingly go back in.

They can also refuse boarding if they believe the dog had been sedated. Airlines no longer allow dogs to be sedated due to previous medical emergencies.

There has to be food and water containers inside the kennel that are accessible from the outside, so the airline can feed and water your pet without opening the door.

All kennels must be well ventilated on all four sides

And on international flightS where snub nose or short snout dogs are allowed, the kennel has to be a full “series” / size larger than normal.

Yes this is a lot to remember and it can seem overwhelming if you’re not accustomed to taking care of these things on a regular basis.
And if you’re hiring someone to take care of this for you, it’s a very good reason to know that they have experience successfully completing these types of transports.

If you are going to handle everything yourself, we do offer a package that can guide you through most of the hard parts.