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American Airlines Pet Restrictions & Fees

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American Airlines Pet Policy

American Airlines (AA) extends a warm welcome to pets on their flights, subject to some conditions and restrictions. When traveling with your feline or canine companion, keep in mind that pets can be accommodated in the cabin, checked as baggage or transported in the cargo hold under certain circumstances.

For cabin travel, cats and dogs must be at least 8 weeks old and the combined weight of your pet and its carrier should not exceed 20 lbs (9 kg). American Airlines requires that all pets remain fully within their carriers and tucked under the seat for the entire flight. The standard fee for pets traveling in the cabin is $125.

As for checked baggage, only active-duty U.S. military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders can check-in up to 2 pets. Regrettably, for other passengers, pets are not permitted as checked baggage.

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Alternatively, you can utilize American Airlines Cargo, fondly known as American PetEmbark, to transport dogs and cats as cargo. You are permitted to bring 2 pets, each of which must be at least 8 weeks old and not weigh more than 100 lbs (45 kg) including the carrier. The rates for this service fluctuate based on the distance of travel.

There are specific guidelines for carrier sizes. For in-cabin travel, soft-sided carriers should not exceed 18" x 11" x 11" (45 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm), and hard-sided carriers 19" x 13" x 9" (48 cm x 33 cm x 22 cm). Pets should be able to comfortably stand, turn around, and lie down within the carrier. For cargo travel, the carriers must not exceed 40" x 27" x 30" (101 cm x 68 cm x 76 cm), and need to be escape-proof and leak-proof. The doors of carriers must securely fasten and allow adequate ventilation.

There are certain restrictions regarding the types of pets and routes. Pets can travel on most flights that last up to 12 hours or flights within the 48 contiguous United States, U.S., Mexico, Alaska, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and St. Thomas. Notably, certain breeds, especially those with snub-noses like Bulldogs and Pugs for dogs and Burmese and Persian for cats, are prohibited as checked baggage due to health concerns. Additionally, in-cabin pets are not allowed on flights to/from Hawaii, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, or on transatlantic flights.

Keep in mind that air carriers can change these policies at any time, so you should always check directly with American Airlines before you book, for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Check out our American Airlines Guide for detailed info about this airline, including flight check-in, baggage policies, corporate information, and more.

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