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American Airlines Reservations
United States: 800-433-7300
International: see website
American Airlines Pet Policy

Carry-On Pet Policy:

American Airlines accepts small cats and dogs in the cabin of the aircraft (no other animals are allowed). The fee for pets traveling in the cabin is $125 per carrier (each way), and the combined weight of the pet and carrier may not exceed 20 pounds. Pets must remain completely in the carrier with the door closed and under the seat during the entire time that the pet is in the aircraft. American Airlines does not accept pets in cabin to or from Hawaii, Transatlantic destinations, Bolivia, Chile, Uraguay, Argentina, and Venezuela. Passengers traveling with pets must check-in at the airline ticket counter. At this time, curbside or self-service check-in is not allowed. Please allow extra time beyond normal check-in guidelines.

Checked Bagage/Cargo Policy:

American Airlines restricts pets in cargo to cats and dogs only. The fee for pets traveling in cargo is $175 per carrier (each way). However, travelers (especially dog show participants) should be aware that capacity is sometimes reached, and checked pets are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. So, it is best to check in early. However, checked pets will not be accepted more than four hours prior to your flight time. Passengers should also be mindful that American Airlines will not allow pet travel in cargo if extreme temperatures are anticipated. Please visit American Airlines' website for more information.

Carrier Guidelines:

For pets traveling in the cabin, the maximum size for pet carriers is 23" long x 13" wide x 9" high. Animals must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in the kennel. Soft-sided pet carriers are accepted as long as they are constructed of water-repellent, padded nylon with mesh ventilation on two or more sides. Also note that the pet carrier counts as either a passenger's one carry-on bag or personal item. For pets traveling in cargo, pets must have room to stand/turn around, sit and lie down in a natural position while in their carriers. Carriers must be constructed of wood, metal, plastic, similar material, leak-proof, escape proof and door must fasten securely and need ventilation on two sides in addition to the door. Carriers must also have a water container with outside access for filling, in case a delay occurs. Collapsible carriers (those which can fold down flat) can not be accepted due to the risk of collapse during transport. The maximum size for checked carriers is a series 500 kennel with the following dimensions: 40" long x 27" wide x 30" high. However, this size carrier is not accepted on the Boeing MD-80 (S80). Pet carriers in cargo on MD-80s must be able to fit through the cargo door while remaining in an upright position. MD-80 cargo doors are 29" high x 53" wide. Series 700 carriers are not allowed on any aircraft. The maximum weight of a checked pet and carrier (combined) cannot exceed 100 pounds.

Pet Reservations:

American Airlines limits the number of pets permitted to fly in the cabin to seven per flight (a maximum of two in first class and five in coach), so it is important to book your pet's ticket as early as possible. You should call 1-800-433-7300 for reservations, and tell the agent that you are traveling with your pet. A maximum of two pets per ticketed passenger is permitted on American Airlines flights. The pet fee is based upon the number of pet carriers, not the number of pets. American Airlines permits up to two pets in a container as long as the pets are between eight weeks and two months old, and weigh no more than 20 pounds. Otherwise, the limit is one pet per carrier. Special pet guidelines apply for travel to international destinations and Hawaii. Please refer to American Airlines' website for more details.
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Average Rating:
The American Airlines is rated # among airlines based on 31 guest reviews.
International Travel
JVC in Jacksonville FL
Had a great experience. You can read my whole post here. So many nuances I had to write about it in a long blog post. https://vandopres.wordpress.com
pet owner
liz in santa cruz
I thought they were great! Everyone was very helpful and nice.My cat did just fine under the seat from california to Pittsburgh.
Wonderful service for beloved dog
Leslie in upstate NY
In November 2013, a relative with limited physical mobility was moving from Texas to upstate New York, and needed to bring her dog, who was too big for the passenger cabin. We booked a flight to Cleveland (the closest domestic direct flight, so she wouldn't need to worry about making the connection), and drove to pick her up. She and the dog both arrived safely and both my relative in her wheelchair and the dog in her case were brought safely and quickly to the baggage claim area. Everyone at American Airlines was so friendly and helpful towards her and caring towards the dog. Booking the ticket in the first place also went very smoothly- we had to pay a service fee to use the phone instead of the web, but the representative was friendly and courteous (and obviously located in the U.S., which meant I wasn't trying to explain the speical issues over a crackly transocean phone line and a language barrier) and tried to think of everything we'd need to know and to make sure both my relative and her dog could travel comfortably. If I had to travel with a pet, I wouldn't hesitate to use American Airlines again.
Cargo Temperatures
Lilly's Person in My Town
If you are traveling with your pet to a destination that may have higher temperatures or during the summer -- it's Fido's person who is responsible for finding out the restrictions. I have traveled with my pet on AA several times and have had NO problems.
Carrier for in Cabin
Eva in NYC
Hi Everyone, Sorry but this is slightly off topic....(but there is no other section) Could you please mention the brank of the carriers you are using as well. It would be so HELPFUL! See my little Jolie grew a bit and i am considering a new carrier...i will be taking her on American as usual (good service) and would really appreciate help in peoples output of their carrier experience and fit for this airline....I am aware of the size dimensions but could use the extra suggestions... Thank you!!! E
Carrier for in Cabin
Eva in NYC
Hi Everyone, Sorry but this is slightly off topic....(but there is no other section) Could you please mention the brank of the carriers you are using as well. It would be so HELPFUL! See my little Jolie grew a bit and i am considering a new carrier...i will be taking her on American as usual (good service) and would really appreciate help in peoples output of their carrier experience and fit for this airline....I am aware of the size dimensions but could use the extra suggestions... Thank you!!! E
Carrier for in Cabin
Eva in NYC
Hi Everyone, Sorry but this is slightly off topic....(but there is no other section) Could you please mention the brank of the carriers you are using as well. It would be so HELPFUL! See my little Jolie grew a bit and i am considering a new carrier...i will be taking her on American as usual (good service) and would really appreciate help in peoples output of their carrier experience and fit for this airline....I am aware of the size dimensions but could use the extra suggestions... Thank you!!! E
Price for Cargo Pet is Wrong
Vicki in Livermore
The price for my dog (Basset Hound 50 lbs) to fly in cargo was $175. from Houston to San Francisco.
Price for Cargo Pet is Wrong
Vicki in Livermore
The price for my dog (Basset Hound 50 lbs) to fly in cargo was $175. from Houston to San Francisco.
No Problem
Danny in Los Angeles
We have flown several times on Amercian with our dog Bailey. Her carrier fits perfectly under the seat. Each time we have been greeted by friendly attendants that allow us to take Bailey out of her carrier and lay under the blanket. She sleeps the entire trip.
florent in elmhurst
i always take my pet dog with me on vaction. i was a little scared the first time. but my experience with american airlines was wonderful. had no problems to get on board, neither during the flight. i even got water for my dog. i fly two to three times a year, and my dog goes with me, every time on american airlines. never a problem, always friendly, upbeat staff from aa. the best airline to take your pet on. i dont fly with any other airline besides american airlines. all my fingers up for american airlines. the best.
Great to Travel on AA with pet
Anna in Tx
I've never had a problem flying with a pet on AA. People are friendly and they gave me water for the pet - very good service in cabin with pet.
Bradley in Lawrence
What kind of information are they looking for?
looking for a direct flight with two cats in one case
Rita in orlando, florida
I traveled AA coming from Orlando to New york it was a great experience. Now i want to go back home to orlando but my two boy cats are 22 pounds the maximum weight is suppose to be 20 pounds. Do they weigh the animal because in orlando they didn't weigh them but i know they were 20 pounds with the bag. I wanted a direct flight to go home but southwest and spirit don't offer a direct flight to orlando. Does anyone know what airlines flies direct to orlando and accepts two cats in one bag and doesn't have a weight requirement of 20 pounds.
Consistancy may be issue....
Gail in Chicago
At one airport the ticket taker refused to allow my 11.2 pound dog in cabin as he is tall for his weight and he could not stand up and turn around in his crate. At another airport, I was going to check him as baggage, and 3 American ground agents thought that was awful and went way out of their way to find me an in cabin carrier and get him on the plane. They were extraordinarily helpful, and admitted that sometimes some agents could be rather picky about dogs, so it was best to usually have a in cabin carrier and a cargo carrier when traveling. So, that is what I plan to do, though it is not too easy to carry a hard sided crate around....
No Problems Flying on AA
Dave in San Diego
We just traveled on AA to Tampa with our small chihuahua mix under the seat. We had no real problems in our travels. One minor issues is the carrier we used for the dog was somewhat tight on the MD Super 80 aircraft. Fit perfectly on the 757-200 aircraft. No problems - dog slept the whole trip.
Living in Fear
Pennie in Raleigh, NC
I have traveled muliple times with my two Brussels Griffons in a soft sided carrier which comes to about 23lbs. Most of my travel has been AA for this reason. Now they are saying there is a 20lb limit although I don't know how strict it is being that I just flew with the same two dogs and bag in August with no problem. I am planning a trip to see family I haven't seen in 3 years and I am horrified that I will be turned away at the last minute.
Carrier in Cabin
Gia in Chicago
I fly recently with my mother who was in first class and a dog. The carrier was an approved Sherpa carrier and he is a sikly terrier, 12 lbs and has flown before in the carrier. Ticketing agent saw the dog and gladly accepted the $125 fee, then when we get to the gate and the dog was peaking out of the carrier the agent said that she needed to see him stand and turn around in the carrier because he appeared to not fit and needed to go in cargo and if PETA were around....blah blah blah. I told her the dog was not going in cargo and that the ticketing agent saw him and the carrier and took our money. Then she said that he was not to be out of his carrier because there was another dog in first class. The other people/dog, which was a beagle and bigger than my dog was never questioned. Ultimately because lovely AA screwed up the flight and everyone had to be boarded quickly the crabby gate agent never talked to us again. Funny enough our dog stayed quietly in the carrier in the entire flight yet the beagle was walking around in first class and barking.
Return to Sanity
Michael in San Francisco
Last week I flew on flight 1499 from Miami to San Francisco. I sat near 3 children under 5, 4 cats and 2 dogs. I do remember when flying was about making a passenger comfortable. Flying has become much too stressful. Please create policies that allow humans to pay more to avoid these sources of stress. I would gladly pay more to fly without small children, cats and dogs.
Poor Organization/management
rescue volunteer foster in Tampa, FL
I volunteer with a rescue that has shipped a couple of dogs across the country on American (an expense that is the responsibility of adopters, but must be paid up front by volunteers on American, vs. other airlines that take payment prior to releasing the animals from cargo). I made a reservation via phone for a foster pup's flight. When I arrived at the airport, I was told that the layover was not going to be long enough (it was 50-55 minutes - an hour minimum is what is required by American - shouldn't they have known that when I made his reservation?), so I had to wait a couple of hours at the airport with the pup for the next available time with a longer layover - 2 hours. The 2 hour layover in Dallas turned into more than 4 hours. Even though we have volunteers in the area, we were not allowed to go in to let the young pup out or see that he was okay. His very long day turned ended up with 2 extra hours at the departure airport followed up by 11 hours total locked in his crate. Thankfully, he has a great personality and arrived at his new home happy, but tired. I would never have used American if I had known that the other dog shipped by our rescue just the week before had been incorrectly routed in Dallas to Seattle instead of Portland. American wanted to ship him back to Dallas, then reroute him to Portland. Thankfully, volunteers were able to get him released to them in Seattle. He was then driven to Portland by volunteers. Not sure I would even trust a direct flight shipment with American.
They Never Know!
Angela in New York
I've flown with my two little dogs in a soft-sided backpack probably at least 20 times in the last year. We're flown on AA a few times and every single time, SOMEONE stops me and says my carrier is too big. It's the exact dimensions listed on their website and it fits perfectly under the seat. But it doesn't matter, every time I ever check in, someone calls a manager. Yet they NEVER have measuring tape on them! It's such a hassle that I've started flying with just about anyone else.
This Sucks
Christopher in Naperville
I cannot believe what I am reading. The fact that a small dog, that doesn't bark costs $125-$175 (depending on the airline) is outrageous! The person who complained about the kids, dog and cats probably had a harder time with the damn kids than the animals! How are people suppose to see their families on Thanksgiving and Christmas when it's easily below 45 degrees between Chicago and NYC! I am NOT even going to try this BS and drive. It's amazing how these piece of trash airlines find ways to nickel and dime you every which way and then screw up!
Lucas in Hastings, MN
American Airlines is the worst for shipping your beloved animals. They have twice "lost" my animals and they don't ever even notify you when they put them on another flight or anything else. They seem great for military because they offer a military discount but if you want your animals to be taken care of don't use American Airlines. They did not even take my animals out of their crates to go to the bathroom when they were delayed 5 hours after a 8 hour flight. Whatever you do, do not ship with American Airlines.
forgot my cat!!!
katy in gilpatric
We were transporting our cat from Las Vegas to West Palm Beach. Brought her to the cargo terminal, did all the paperwork, everything was fine, except they FORGOT TO PUT THE CAT ON THE PLANE!!! She ended up sitting in the terminal for hours and we had to delay her transport. AA is not trustworthy!
Beware O'Hare!!!
Karen in Sunnyvale
I have flown with two different 18-20 pound dogs over the last 20 years, most,if not all of it,on AA. For most of those 20 years, my dog has flown just fine under the seat in a Sherpa (airline-approved) soft-sided carrier. She just sleeps and is never a problem. On two occasions, this year and 5-7 years ago, the check-in agent at O'Hare made a big issue over my dog being "too big" to fly under the seat. This despite the fact that she arrived FROM CA under the seat and that I have been doing this for 20 years and have the documentation to prove it. They almost made me miss my flight and only "let" my dog fly in cabin for the return trip because some obviously ignorant agent in CA was foolish enough to allow me to fly to IL with her in the first place. I will do everything I can to either change this issue (I'm pretty sure they marked my record for future flights) or do all I can to avoid AA in the future. And don't even get me started on how my first dog did not make a connection 20+ years ago TWO DIFFERENT TIMES prior to bringing her onboard with me. To be fair, this was not AA, but certainly two good reasons why I don't want my dog in baggage!
erin in pickens sc
we shipped a puppy as cargo from South Carolina to Washington State. The attitude of the airline people was terrible, the flights were delayed, they provide no services for animals stuck waiting for late flights. My advice is to use Continental..they have built kennel facilities at their hubs and will provide walking and feeding services for an additional fee. When you care for your pets extra fees are no problem!
Horrible, misinformation.
GIrl from NYC in New York, NY
The dimension requirements for the kennel and kennel type are just incorrect. They do not make sense. We called before booking and afterwards and they are just bunch of incompetent liars.
Will NEVER fly AA again!!!
Danijela in Milwaukee,WI
My husband is in the us army and we were returning from our visit back home to his duty station in El Paso.....after buying my dogs ticket and checking us in I am told that my dog isnt allowed to go on the return flight to El Paso because it will be 87 degrees at landing and it cannot exceeed 85 ......It would of been nice if someone from their airline would have told me this before we decided to fly.......after doing all I could and being yelled at and looked at like I was crazy we had no choice but to sent my husband back as he had to sign back to the army and me and my dog had to stay back with my parents for two months until it cooled down and we were allowed to fly.....I WILL NEVER FLY THEM AGAIN!!!!!
Safety concerns
Aline in El Paso
I am gonna take a flight with my 20lbs Cockapoo from El Paso, TX to Houston TX in summer 2013. Despite I have booked early flights to avoid +85F temperature. I am concern by the fact that the cargo area does not have climate and pressure control, or so they told me over the phone. I 've spoken to two representatives and none of them gave me a YES! when I questioned them about safety of a pet travelling in such conditions. They are charging 150 dls one way, I think for that rate at the very least they should assure pet 's safety and much better travelling conditions. AA is the ONLY airline who is taking pets in the cargo area unlike the other airlines in El Paso. I am not sure is is a relieve or a nightmare. This reviews pull in opposite directions of the spectrum. As a responsible owner, I am not sure if I could put my pet through it.
Are they picky on the dog being able to stand up?
Amanda in San Diego
My husband and I are planning on flying roundtrip from San Diego to Dallas and back in December on AA with our Cockapoo, Molly. We've never flown with a dog in the cabin before and I'm wondering how picky they are about the dog being able to stand up in the carrier. She's 15 lbs and is a bit taller than her carrier- the large Sherpa softsided one- but she lays down in it comfortably and can move around, she just has to duck her head a bit. I'm paranoid that we're going to get there and they won't let her through because she is a bit tall. Can anyone tell me if they've had issues with this?
Gail in MA
We have flown with our dogs in cabin for 13 years. It frustrates me that airlines are hiking the fee for pet travel, yet screaming kids are free! Also you can not reserve online, aNd must wait in the baggage line where they are no more than two agents behind the counter!
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