Pets in the Cabin
American Airlines allows cats and dogs to travel in the cabin if they are at least 8 weeks old and the combined weight of the pet and carrier does not exceed 20 lbs (9 kg). Small pets must remain completely inside a carrier and under the seat during the entire flight. The fee for pets traveling in the cabin is $125
Pets in Checked Baggage
American Airlines accepts up to 2 pets as checked baggage for active-duty U.S. military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders. Unfortunately, other pets are not permitted as checked baggage.
Pets in Cargo
Dogs and cats can be transported as cargo with American Airlines Cargo, also known as American PetEmbark. Each passenger is permitted to bring 2 pets that are at least 8 weeks old and do not exceed 100 lbs (45 kg) with a carrier. Rates vary depending on distance of travel.
For pets traveling in the cabin, soft-sided carriers must not exceed 18" x 11" x 11" (45 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm) and hard-sided carriers must not exceed 19" x 13" x 9" (48 cm x 33 cm x 22 cm). Animals must be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down in their carrier. Soft-sided pet carriers should be water-repellent, made of padded nylon, and have ventilation on 2 or more sides. For pets traveling as cargo, carriers should not exceed 40" x 27" x 30" (101 cm x 68 cm x 76 cm). Carriers must be large enough for animals to turn around, sit, and lie down in a natural position; constructed of wood, metal, or plastic; and be leak-and-escape-proof. Doors of carriers must fasten securely and have ventilation on 2 sides in addition to the door. Carriers must also have a water container with outside access for filling.
American Airlines welcomes pets to fly on most flights up to 12 hours or flights within the 48 contiguous United States, U.S., Mexico, Alaska, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas. The brachycephalic (snub-nosed) breeds that are not permitted as checked baggage are Affenpinscher, American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer (all breeds), Brussels Griffon, Bulldog (all breeds), Cane Corso, Dogue De Bordeaux, English Toy Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff (all breeds), Pekingese, Pit Bull, Presa Canario, Pug (all breeds), Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel; and cat breeds that can't be checked are: Burmese, Persian, Himalayan, and Exotic Shorthair. American Airlines does not accept pets in the cabin to/from Hawaii, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, or on transatlantic flights. Pets are accepted within the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Central America, Mexico, Puero Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas. Checked pets cannot travel on A321, A321S, A321H, A320, or A319 aircraft.
- MeganNov 9, 2023Easy first trip with my cat
After reading reviews on this website was convinced I was going to get turned away. I took my cat on his first trip Bradley to Charlotte. I had the best time ever at check in and the dog getting checking in front of me had the wrong carrier and they were allowed to buy a new one and just go through TSA. Both customer service people at both airports were super nice. The Charlotte one signed my pet agreement for me. Honestly I think it’s more trouble for them to turn your pet away than to just let you be happy. I wasn’t even asked if he was on medication. I opted for light meds for fear and stress. I went with priority boarding in group 5 and had the extra leg room seat going. It was perfect. Next time I’d try to book extra leg room on both flights. Regular seats are kinda tight. My carrier was slightly longer, I had no drama as long as he met the 20lbs requirement. Over all it was the best experience for my cat’s first flight.
- TaraNov 5, 2023Seamless!!
I was beyond worried about flying with my 10.5 week old English Bulldog puppy. He is around 20 pounds and was so nervous based on reviews. It could not have been smoother. I purchased the Sherpa Delta carrier that’s 18x11x11. I got to the check in counter and the lady immediately asked for my card to pay the $125 fee. She weighed him in the carrier and he was 23 lbs. After I signed a piece of paper I was on my way!
- HillaryOct 30, 2023Don't Worry- Policy Changed
Posting this review in hopes of providing peace of mind for those who, like myself, worry about every detail when traveling and find themselves on this site. I have always avoided flying American when I need to travel with my dog due to the horror stories I've seen here. On a recent trip from PDX to DFW, I had no choice but to book myself and my dog on American. I was worried but had a little hope given the recent reviews here saying the policy has changed (though I still had a backup plan in case they turned my dog away), and my experience was totally seamless! My 14-pound Pekingese mix had absolutely no trouble in PDX or DFW. They didn't question the size of the carrier, make him turn around, or check whether he could fully stand up in his bag. I took off one bone as they did weigh him inside the carrier to make sure he was under the 21-pound limit-- we came out to 18 pounds (no other airline has made me do this, and my dog, despite being pretty tiny, was a little close to the limit-- so it is a bit more exclusive than other airlines). After weighing and signing the form saying that the carrier was regulation size and I wouldn't let him out while in-flight, we were totally good to go. I recommend ordering a bag scale so you can weigh your dog/carrier before flying to give yourself peace of mind and avoid surprises, but if you're good there, you should be good to go!
- EthAug 31, 2023Just don't...
I know there are some outliers here that have had good experiences, but GENERALLY, you'll have a bad experience with AA and your pet. It largely depends on who the person at the counter is. My lady started the paperwork after weighing my dog until some old lady came and whispered in her ear to check my bag size. The AA website tells you a RECOMMENDED size, it doesn't say under or over the recommended size. I figured that since it was only 2 inches taller, it wouldn't be an issue. After all, does anyone actually slide their carry on bags completely under the chair? Anyway, after the initial lady helping me at the front desk was forced (or it seemed like it by the old lady) to measure my bag, she told me I was over by 2. I showed her how it says this is a recommended size online and what her paper says, differ.
While waiting for the supervisor, I began asking a few questions to the old lady. She wanted nothing to do with me, and would not look or speak to me. I was still respectful at this point. Then the supervisor came over and bluntly told me it was too large. I then showed her what it says online and she told me to use common sense. At first she told me the bag was too large. When I proved her wrong, she told me my dog was too large. My dog is under the 20lb limit. He has long legs, but he still fits comfortable in the bag and can spin around and lay down. I prefer if she just told me that my bag was too large lol. After the common sense comment, she told me to "look at my dog, he's not OK." I treat my dog like an absolute king that he is, do not tell me otherwise lady. I was furious at this point and simply left after telling them to F off with my middle finger. They said "Right back at ya!" - lol.
Back to my initial point, it depends who is at the front desk. It's safer to travel with another airline because AA just likes to toss the dice & gable with ya. It's a shame because I used to swear by AA, even when other dog owners told me that SW & Delta are better. I stuck to AA regardless & this is where it got me. Y'all lot a loyal customer.
- SkipAug 16, 2023Great Experience
I followed all of the rules and had no trouble whatsoever. The staff was very friendly and made an extra effort to check on me and my dog.
- KevenAug 1, 2023Rejected our dog because her head touched the top
We reviewed all the rules on AAs website and there was only this rule for CHECKED baggage. Not for carry on, which we were doing. The soft carrier was within the size dimensions but they rejected us because the supervisor on duty was uncaring and enforcing an unwritten rule, but we called reservations and they wouldn't help because it was a problem at the airport so we have to complain through customer relations. We cancelled our flight...overall awful experience.
- MCAug 1, 2023Pet Policy has changed!
I was very stressed after reading all of these reviews saying that AA enforced their "stand up and turn around policy" only to find out that they have recently removed this from their policy because so many people complained! My pup is 6 months old and has very long legs for a chihuahua mix so I was anticipating push back on her AA sized approved carrier. They didn't even measure my carrier and just weighed her in it which was 18 lbs. The customer service rep was thrilled to tell me that the policy changed because it became such a hassle! I hope this relieves anyone from choosing AA because if there was going to be a problem I was definitely going to stop using them. My only qualm is that even though the carrier was approved, the space under the seat was very tight and didn't allow for the carrier to go all the way under. Might be smart to upgrade if you can to have more room for you and your pup!
- GabbyJul 27, 2023No issues traveling with pet
I normally do not leave reviews, but felt the need to post my experiences flying with American with my 8 week old pet. I never flew with American, so I was nervous from the beginning. I flew from Houston to Miami (and back to Houston). I did not have any issues with the process of flying with my pet. Customer service at the airport was very helpful. They did not ask my dog to move around like, stand, sit etc. like I read in some reviews. The customer services rep jsut looked to make sure my puppy was in the carrier and he fit in the carrier. I paid my pet fee and was off to my gate. Now, the customer service reps at the gate looked like they hated their jobs and did not want to work yet alone help out a passanger. One of the workers looked annoyed when myself or another passanger asked her a question. However, the manager on duty was very helpful and happy to help anyone. The carrier I purchased was the correct dimentions that is on American's website. The carrier I had was a little snug under the seat, and it did not fit completely under the seat. If you can, I suggest spending a little extra money to get a seat with extra leg room. I was upgraded to the main cabin on the way to Miami and I feel like the main cabin would have been better with my pet. Besides the unhappy aggent at the gate, my experience was good.
- MarieMay 30, 2023Excellent Experience
After reading the reviews we were scared about flying with our French Bulldog puppy to visit family over this Memorial Day weekend. The ticket counter staff at DFW and CHA airports were fantastic. Our puppy and her carrier weighed 16 lbs. The process was quick and efficient. We were so glad to be able to introduce CC to our 91 year old dad and the rest of the family.
- NickyMay 3, 2023I second that AA obviously does not want dogs to fly in the cabin
After reading reviews here I can see my experience was not unique, but I felt I should share as well to helpful convince any new flying pet owners to seek another airline. Alaska has been great. Southwest was great, but American seems to just not want any in cabin pets. Despite having flown the same route before, we were held up by a gate agent in BUR in CA. She said our dogs were suddenly too big for their carriers. They're on the larger side for an in cabin pet, but can very comfortably fit in their airline approved carriers and turn around. They're perfectly well behaved, but it was clear from the moment she walked into the room huffing that she was interested in ruining someone's day. Having worked for many years in customer service, I calmly and kindly tried working with her. Even going so far to fill out the service animal paperwork since all of their training and medical documents are in order. However, this woman made us take the dogs out of their carriers to "measure them" and another dog lunged at them. One of them yipped (playfully), but that was all. Then she said a service dog would never bark (not true, but whatever) and that now she could not allow our dogs to be service animals at American. I promptly walked over to Alaska and Southwest to try and find a new similar flight and both were accommodating and assured me that of course my dogs fit in their carriers. Having worked and planned so extensively with their trainer and vet, I was deeply insulted by this gate agents behavior. Long story short, STAY AWAY. We ended up paying more than double to fly out last minute with another airline.
- AllieApr 16, 2023AA obviously does not want dogs to fly in the cabin
The counter agent in Columbus, Ohio was rude and condescending from the moment we stepped to the counter. We have flown with our 14 pound (13.5 year old) Shih Tzu multiple times on other airlines with no issue. The agent claimed our dog wasn’t safe and didn’t fit the carrier after he demanded that she turn around and she would not. He stated he would not allow her to fly and we could speak with the manager. I’m not even sure why we waited to speak with the manager because it was obvious after he was whispering with the agent that he was not going to reconsider. He claimed it was a TSA requirement that he could see her turn in her carrier and by the time he was talking with us, she was now laying in her carrier and since she wouldn’t get up and turn around (again it was clear he had no intention of considering allowing her), he denied us boarding. Since we knew she has flown with no issues at Southwest, we went down to the counter and showed them her in her carrier (laying down asleep at this point) and asked if they had a flight available and if there were any issues with her fit in the carrier. The agents said she was completely fine and could tell there was no issue with her fitting appropriately in the carrier. They were appalled when we shared how we were treated by AA. They shared that there is nothing that forces an owner to prove a dog can stand up and turn around (she can - she didn’t want to) and that it was clear to them that her size was no issue. We were grateful for their kindness and they were more than happy to book us on an alternate flight with them. We will never consider flying AA again. Truly, AA - if you don’t want pets in cabin, just make that a policy. Do not instead put people through that as they have gone through all the motions for preparing for a flight. Beyond that, if you counter agent does not want to work with customers and has a rude and condescending personality, don’t assign them to be curstomer-facing!
- ChayaMar 30, 2023Need help
I bought a ticket on KLM (operated by American and Delta) and have now been told I can’t bring my dog with me. I’m meant to be going for 6 weeks and I’m stressing so badly. They won’t approve of her service dog papers either so I’m screwed.
- HarleyMar 23, 2023Very nervous but everything went fine
I have a 13 pound Havanese that fit in the carrier but when sitting up it touched the top. I first flew from the Denver airport. I took a red eye and it was spring break so it was very busy at check in. The check in person just asked to see my dog in the carrier and asked if he could turn around. Did not ask to see him turn around. I had to fill out a sheet of information. He did not weigh my dog. My dog has separation anxiety so I was worried about him under the seat but he just went right to sleep since it was midnight. I flew back to Denver from Miami airport which I was more worried about. They just weighed him and we were on the way. At both airports they wiped my hands when I went through security. He cried alittle on the plane but I gave him bones and when they turned the lights off he fell asleep. Hope this helps with your travel anxiety. I read all the reviews before I flew and I was soooo scared. Safe travels ✈️
- DeborahMar 5, 2023Don’t fly American Airlines with a small dog!
We fly with our small Westie (14-15lbs) dog frequently. Our dog is a very good travel dog. We always check and follow the airline rules for travel. Never once have we had check in problems with airlines like JetBlue. Now, American Airlines, on the other hand, is flat out terrible. The check in staff at the ticket counter in Jacksonville (JAX) airport was beyond ridiculous today. They tried to reject our dog as not approved. Our small dog easily, repeatedly turned about inside our soft pet carrier that meets AA regulation size. The check in rep said the dog didn’t fit in her carrier, a carrier which fits small dogs up to 20lbs. Our small Westie easily fits in the soft carrier and turned around several times in front of the rep. The rep suggested the dog couldn’t use her legs. We asked how would it be possible for the dog to turnaround so fast and easily if she wasn’t standing and turning. The whole exchange was absurd. We will no longer travel on AA as they’ve tried to reject our small dog in an approved carrier and their reasoning didn’t make sense. The AA rep was completely unreasonable and her manager begrudgingly approved the dog to fly but then the rep later suggested she was going to note our file as ban from dog travel due to the dog being too big. Huh? Weird. These front counter AA reps need far better training. We dearly love our pet and would never do anything harmful to our dog. We take excellent care of her. We’d never squish her in an ill fitting travel carrier. Never. After the harassing and insulting exchange, we’ve had it with AA. We were friendly and respectful in our exchange with the rep yet sadly we can’t say we got the same in return. We’ll take our travel money and little dog and fly other airlines as their service was idiotic and unjustifiably harassing of long time loyal customers. Super disappointed in the American Airlines reps conduct and we were highly offended at the suggestion of banning our dog. Utterly ridiculous and unjustifiable experience.
- AmyJan 23, 2023Charlotte and Ft Myers airport get 5 bones
I know others have said they’ve had issues so I wanted to write a good review to let those of you checking it out to be cautiously optimistic.
I have a 17 pound jack Russell terrier. I got a 12 inch height carrier which is slightly larger than the AA guidelines, but she still was right at the max of how comfortable I would be having her in it.
(CLT airport) I had her in the carrier when I brought her to check in. I explained that I had filled her carrier with things like her leash, treats, etc… so she would be overweight but I could pull those out if necessary. She said she doesn’t care about the weight. The agent then asked me to have her turn around and face the other way. She can do it, but she kind of crouches when she does so I was nervous about this. She said, “she looks good” and finished. TSA was super friendly with her and even asked for pets.
(RSW/Ft Myers airport) They didn’t even look at her. “She’s good.” And waved me through. Please note this airport doesn’t have any inside pet relief areas so make sure to take yours outside before security.
It is very possible to fly with a pet on AA, even if they are on the larger size of the guidelines.
- ChristineJan 13, 2023Not worth trying!
We have traveled with our 10 pound dog before on AA. Following all the guidelines- getting him the required carrier, having a vet checkup prior to flight, reserving his spot well in advance. The last time we traveled on AA (only a few months prior, leaving from the same exact departure airport) there were no issues. Today, they claimed he was too large to move comfortably in his carrier for for his 1.5 hour flight. They said we could acquire a larger bag and then be able to get on our flight. They suggested visiting United and Southwest to ask to purchase one of their carriers (again, despite the fact that we had the carrier that fits AA’s size guidelines specifically). When visiting other ticket counter, they told us they were unable to sell (or even show us) their carriers unless we were flying with them. We went back to the AA counter to see what the next steps were and the new agent that was helping us had no hesitation to allow our dog to board the plane. Even happily charged the fee to our card! It wasn’t until at the ticket printing stage did she say “oh somebody said the dog is actually too big”. When we told them he flew previously on their airline in the same carrier the woman said “dogs grow”. Huh?! He’s still way below the size max that are listed!! The most infuriating part was there were no next steps. No offer to help get us on a flight out the next day. Nothing. Just “here are your IDs back” while simultaneously fawning over how cute he. All the while he was stressing out over being forced to do circles in his carrier while propped on the luggage scale in front of an audience of 5 employees. Of course now nobody will speak to us about a refund, but they were happy to immediately cancel our first class seats to make them available on the flight.
Just say you don’t allow dogs!!
- JFJan 9, 2023Rude and Nasty about 13 lb dog in Panama City airport FL
First of all, let me say I used to fly AA weekly for work and have a high status. I will never fly this airline again or only as last resort.
We have flown cross country numerous times with our petite 13 lb Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on Delta and United with no issues.
On Dec 17th we went to our little airport in northern FL - Panama City Beach and the agent checked my dog’s carrier and said it was fine and took our payment and just as she was just about done, another agent butted in and said she needed to check the carrier again as she thought it was too small for our dog. She made me put her in the case and zip it again and get her to stand up and turn around and then said - Nope it’s too small for her. We went through 4 levels of supervisors and me totally red in face with anger before they finally approved her to fly. My poor dog was totally flipped out as they made me take her in and out of her crate so many times. They were making all these excuses that TSA would not approve and that the Pilot would report them and then lied and said she couldn’t have her blanket or little stuffed animal in there. They were rude from the get go - never apologized and caused us to spend 45 minutes at the ticket counter. I will be tweeting about this and writing to AA CEO. They wouldn’t give us their names either but my husband took a picture of them. At least we got to fly with her to NY in our original first class seats but we are done with American Airlines. You lost a customer forever!!!
- GloryDec 25, 2022Dog Kennel Policy is Ridiculous
Let me start off by saying that the at leasf agents at the counter were polite, but we otherwise had a terrible experience with the kennel policy. I had flown my 16 lb pughuahua with Delta many times in the same soft sided carrier with zero issues. This is the first time we flew with AA and I was shocked that they expect a small dog to be able to stand on all fours and turn around in the kennel while it is fully zipped WITHOUT touching any of the sides. I told this story to a friend and his reply was, “so AA’s pet policy applies to large rats, hamsters, and gerbils.” Unless your dog is less than 10 lbs with short legs, you can forget about AA. I don’t think even an adult cat would be able to accomplish the acrobatics required to pass the kennel test. This happened on Christmas Eve as we were about to fly out from the west coast to the east coast for Christmas. :(
*the only saving grace was that the counter agent was able to book us on another flight out on the 26th, so it gave us some time to scramble to find neighbors, friends, and a dog sitter to cover the 3 weeks we are away so we didn’t have to cancel our trip or drive out to the east coast to see mom for her 80th birthday
- CristinaDec 23, 2022Horrible Experience!
Before booking my tickets I made sure my puppy met all the requirements to fly in the cabin. I even confirmed through the AA chat and they told me the minimum age requirement was 8 weeks, they assured me I would not have a problem traveling with a 3 month old puppy. When we arrived at the counter ready for check in with all the required paperwork, we were denied boarding because they said the destination country had a 4 month age minimum for the puppy which is simply not true and is not listed anywhere on the AA website. I showed them the destination country’s requirements on the oficial government website and proved that we met all of requirements, I could barely get them to look a the documents for more than a second. They refused to reason with me and were extremely rude. We had to buy next day tickets on another Airline, which were extremely expensive, and we arrived with the puppy with 0 problems at our original destination, since of course there was no age minimum and we had the USDA paperwork required. Now im fighting with American Airlines for a refund and they state that I chose not to board the plane willingly. By far the worst experience I have had with an Airlines.
- HJDec 18, 2022Don’t even try unless you have a tiny dog
My dog is 20 pounds. I travel with him regularly. I usually fly on Delta. I tried American and it was a terrible experience. It was very similar to a lot of other reviews here. They told me to make him turn around. My dog is really well trained but he doesn’t do tricks when he is in his carrier, which is true for most dogs. He was really nervous about the situation and was just sitting still. I told them he can turn around and does but they said they had to see it. Then they told me to make him stand up. He can’t fully stand in his carrier. I don’t think it is physically possible for any dog who weighs more than 10 pounds to stand up fully in a carrier unless they are a breed with very short legs. Since he couldn’t make his back legs completely straight they said he couldn’t travel. This is just absurd. They should really just update their policy to say they only accept tiny dogs. To say you accept dogs who are up to 20 pounds but then require them to go through this absurd test is just ridiculous. No dog of that size can pass this test. I have flown on Delta and Jetblue many times and have never had any issues. They just look at the carrier and that’s it. On top of all of that, they wouldn’t give me a refund for the return leg even though I obviously couldn’t return when I wasn’t allowed to leave in the first place. They offered a credit, which felt useless since I will never fly on American again. Seriously don’t try this unless you have a tiny dog. Otherwise, fly on Delta.
- DenisseDec 14, 2022Misinformed Staff
We made reservations to fly to South America with our dog three months ago over the phone as stated on American's website. Checked back with them over the phone two additional times as I was nervous after reading a lot of horror stories, I wanted to make sure everything was in order. We have gotten all the vet certificates for appropriate import and export, not cheap. Our trip is two days from now, so I was rechecking our documents. We called the airline once more time today after I found some confusing info on their website, the first person we talked to assured us everything was ok, when we asked about the website information then they noticed a gap in the reservation. We found out our dog was only booked to MIA from MCI and not to our final destination in South American because it's not allowed. I'm so angry and frustrated. I can't understand how 3 people told us it was OK. Now I'm trying to get boarding for my pet over the holidays for 3 weeks, 2 days before my trip thanks to their incompetence. Just terrible.
- RichDec 12, 2022Awful
Despite having flown with my 19 pound french bulldog in his under the seat carrier before, even on American Airlines, they denied his boarding this morning on a flight from DTW to PHX because he couldn't walk around in his carrier. Ruined our travel plans. Why selectively enforce a policy? Just say you don't allow dogs. Allegiant and Delta are MUCH better options for pets.
- ElashaNov 27, 2022Couldn’t have gone better
I waited to post this review until I took my departing and returning flight and I must say, it went sooo smoothly. My pup is about 17 pounds without the carrier and we were planning to fly him in cabin with us. If you’ve done your research you know American Airlines requires your dog to be no more than 20 pounds with the carrier and must be able to stand, sit, and turn around in it without touching the tops or sides. I was driving myself crazy reading reviews because American Airlines had such bad reviews when it came to bringing a pet in cabin and I was terrified that would be my fate. It literally couldn’t have gone better!! Never was I asked to weigh him, or asked for him to do a bunch of tricks in the carrier that other people unfortunately experienced. Each way I just told them that I’d be checking a dog in and they told me it would be a $125 charge, which I already knew. I made my payments and we had a great flight!! Based off of my experience I would 100% do it again, but other reviews still leave me a little weary and I’m thinking maybe I just got lucky!
- EmilyOct 24, 2022Great experience
I’m posting this because the bad reviews really scared me and I was so nervous to fly. I’ve also always had only really bad experiences with AA in the past. My soft carrier was a little bigger than recommended dimensions and my dog has very long legs for a 15lb dog. Standing up she she hits the top of the carrier but she can spin around and sit comfortably. They didn’t ask my to spin her and Im kinda thinking they only do that if the pet looks cramped? Or like ppl said on here it depends on the check in attendant. I had absolutely no problems checking her in and the flight attendants were either super nice about her or didn’t even notice I had my dog.
- KatherineOct 8, 2022Just be honest and say “no dogs”
I read the reviews here and took the risk because AA was my only option last minute….stupid me. I tried to fly AUS —> PHX…called the airline beforehand, got a compliant kennel to go under the seat, got a certificate from the vet, and even booked first class to give us a little more room, but at the counter I was turned away because my 22 lb senior couldn’t get up and “walk around.” No animal other than a hamster can walk around in a carrier that fits under the seat. AA should just say they don’t allow dogs and be done with it.
Of course I was not refunded either. Done with this airline for good regardless of whether or not I’m traveling with my dog.
- DoriSep 6, 2022Was Leery with all the negative reviews but our trip was great
First let me just say, AA has never been my favorite airline and I don't have many good reasons other than in the 90's I didn't like their service. I was always loyal to United and Delta, but my travel route was pretty specific so I procured a ticket, then started reading all the reviews, and really was second guessing my plan, thank goodness we decided to go through with it.
We picked up a new puppy last week flying from ORD to MHT direct flight. Again after reading all the negative reviews I was very afraid our puppy would be deemed too big for the regulation size soft sided carrier. We had NO problems at the ticket counter in Chicago. Even mentioned to the agent about all the bad reviews. She did remind me there is variability based on employees and interactions with customers. But our 10lbs oompa loompa clearly was able to travel with us even though tall.
The gate agent, after I politely asked if it was possible to board when they call for those that need extra assistance told me no problem.....we ended up changing gates and I forgot to ask the question at the new gate but our agent remembered me and waved me over without announcing anything and I was able to board early. The message I am conveying is it unfortunately the situations will always be people dependent but don't disclude AA, not all employees are horrible.
- GinaJul 19, 2022HORRIBLE AIRLINE FOR PETS
Completely 100% unacceptable on how they treat customers with pets!! Showed up to Philadelphia airport for a flight out with my mother and my small dog. A dog that is 13 years of age and has flown pretty much every where with me for years. Fortunately, I have never flown AA before with a dog and NEVER WILL AGAIN! Applause goes out to SPIRIT and DELTA which I have a continuous great experiences with, and will only fly with airlines that are open to having pets without such ridiculous policies. Many airlines care about pets and do not torture customers like you do!
AA Lies and says you can bring your pet, until you get to the check in. I spoke to someone the night before and NEVER did she say anything about a cage that is big enough to fit under a seat yet big enough for your pet to do back flips.... I had a women in Philadelphia AA and her supervisor treated me and my pet with utter disrespect and disregard on my pets carrier and that I was in humane!! His carrier fits him for his weight and size, it is a carrier bought with the right size and dimensions that most airlines put in their policy's. I get up to the Check in and she asks me about the Pet and if he can turn around and stand up? He can do both but he is 13 years old and deaf and doesn't do much but lay down. Completely insanity that you want customers to carry a carrier that can fit under a seat, yet has to be big enough for dogs to do back flips in it!! American Airlines your people are rude, your policies are ignorant and your airline stinks. I will never fly with you again. Thanks for ruining my trip and when your company looses passengers and customers go else where and your purses start to dwindle, maybe then you make some changes.
- KatinaJul 15, 2022Don’t do it
They are ridiculously strict and rude. It’s basically up to the discretion of whoever you get at the gate. Now I’m out $1000 even though the person I booked the reservation with said he would be fine.
- TammyJul 10, 2022Best dog flight
The airline went above and beyond. First, the gate agent tried to keep a whole row open even though the flight was booked. Then without even asking she called my name for priority boarding so we could get settled in prior to anyone else boarding. As soon as I boarded, the first flight attendant asked if Maggie needed any water. I told her I have some but needed a cup. We were in the back of the plane, and during the general boarding, another flight attendant in the back asked if I needed water for the dog. As it turns out, we did not get the whole row, but got two seats, one for the middle for the dog and the window for me. Given all the negative reviews I was a little concerned, but it was a pleasant experience. I usually never give reviews, but AA went well above expectations on this trip.
- DeborahJun 21, 2022Good bye AA -Never Again
We get to the counter with our 19 pound Min Schnauzer In large Sherpa bag, she has traveled in this bag many times the last 5 years ,without a single problem on other airlines.
The flight to CLT was over booked and they were looking for volunteers.
The agent tells me to place the bag on scale and immediately tells me she to big for the bag. Then tells me to open the bag, and the dog pops her head out of bag and is now sitting looking around.
They agent says again that she is too big. I told her I never had a problem before and she has no problem moving around in the bag. The agent continue to say no, and that is their policy and it it’s a safety issue. She calls the over the supervisor he does a quick look and say no.
Then she tells she can check cargo to see if there is room or I can go get a bigger bag.
They claim to be pet friendly airlines and are concern about safety yet they offering cargo in Tampa’s summer heat? Ruin my trip but I’m sure they got money by selling my seat.
I feel better after reading the reviews, that this is not an isolated issue with American.
As other reviews have said have a back up plan. Better yet avoid American.
- ThomasJun 6, 2022American Airlines' attitude
Here's another story that adds credence to the WSJ ranking American Airlines as the worst.
Last month, my spouse and I flew out of Austin (ATX) airport with our dog and tried to check in 2 hours before departure.
At the counter, the Agent used a checklist to evaluate our crate. Long story short, our crate only satisfied 2 out of 3 requirements so she did not approve. We contested and explained that it had already been used on multiple carriers, so she brought out her manager.
The Manager then began conducting her own evaluation. We again explained that our crate had already been used on multiple airlines. At this point the Manager put out her palm to our faces and said "just stop talking"... "you said that already".
After deliberating amongst themselves, they told us their final answer was "no." They then explained that if we came back with a larger crate, they would review again.
Since we were on vacation we didn't have access to a car. They suggested we check with the other airline counters. We stepped out of line and ran around to the other counters searching for a medium pet carrier to purchase.
I finally found one and came back to the American Airlines counter to search for the original Agent. I couldn't find her so I went to the Manager. Who again dismissed us, shook her head and said 'it's not my issue' so go find the original Agent. I said I couldn't find the original Agent, to which the Manager just shrugged and told us to 'get back in line'.
I understand that each airline has its own criteria for pet carriers. And I understand that those rules are designed to protect the pets. But what was most frustrating about this whole experience was the dismissive attitude of the Manager and the team's eagerness to pass the buck
To be honest, I had previously thought that all airlines were the same. This experience has really opened up my eyes to seeing all the little differences between carriers. I particularly noticed how miserable the cabin-crew and the cockpit-crew seemed to be. Whereas other carriers will say "thank you" and smile as passengers depart, the staff at American Airlines all just seem to stare at the floor while passengers exit. God only wonders what they're thinking about us.
So congrats to you, American Airlines. I'm now willing to pay MORE money just to avoid flying with American Airlines. And of course I'm going to share my disdain as widely and as often as i can.
- DianeMay 30, 2022Avoid American Airlines
Flight from ELP -> AUS -> IAD. During the brief layover in Austin, I took my senior dog outside to use the restroom (it was nearly 100 degrees), then rushed back through security to the gate for check-in. The check-in agent was extremely rude stating I needed to get out of line to speak to another agent to prove that I had paid the $125 pet fee (which I had) & he needs to be in the carrier the entire flight. I had taken him out of the carrier (he was in a hammock like carrier on my lap) so that he could cool off. Prior to takeoff, the first class attendant freaked out on me stating "security will be waiting for me at the gate if I take my dog out at any time during the flight". My 13 pound 14 year old dog was panting & crying the whole flight. Another male attendant actually cared & asked if I wanted water to give him, which I could not take due to the other attendant. I had taken him on a United flight before & it was a pleasant experience - paid the pet fee online, no issue at check-in, & the flight attendants were so sweet to me & him (he was asleep on my lap the entire flight from IAD -> MCO)
- KayleeMay 30, 2022Risky- have a backup plan
I took my 25lb (with carrier)poodle mix dog with me knowing she may get denied. I was a nervous wreck due to these reviews but we made it though going no questions asked. All she did was put her on the scale, took my payment, and we were on our way. BUT on the way home, they called the supervisor and said she was too big for the carrier and over the weight limit (they said 20lb). They said the only reason they were allowing her was due to my ticket being a return ticket. It seems to totally depend on who you get at the counter and if they are a stickler about it or not. If your pet is pushing the limit, I would recommend having a backup plan just in case. I will probably still attempt to fly with her again and pray we get someone nice like we did the first time.
- RaymondMay 14, 2022AA PET IN CABIN POLICY IS NOT THE SAME AS OTHER AIRLINES!!
We experienced the same issues with both our check in agent and our gate agent yesterday when we departed from Palm Springs International! Check in agent was very polite but is poorly trained (took 30 mins to check us in because she could not figure out how to put in our Pet-in-cabin fee). The gate agent, FABIO, was SNOTTY and RUDE when he flagged my carry on bag to be checked because OUR PET CARRIER, WHICH THEY JUST CHARGED $125.00 FOR, IS ACTUALLY GOING TO BE COUNTED AS A CARRY ON!!!!! I did checked their REVISED policy online and indeed that is correct, but that is not falling in-line with other carriers like Alaska that allows the Pet Carrier to replace either a Personal Item OR a Carry On!!!!! We should have been informed of this fact AT check in to allow us the ability to SECURELY repack items in our check in bags! Instead we are RUSHED to figure out how to secure a carry on as a checked bag! IT WOULD HAVE ALSO BE A EASIER PILL TO SWALLOW IF FABIO was not so rude and unapologetic! Oh right, he did say something to the fact that he gave us a break for not charging us for the extra bag!!! SERIOUSLY.....AA IS REALLY THE WORSE!
- SusanMay 6, 2022Never again, AA!
I will make it short and sweet: I wish I could click a NEGATIVE bone. Like -1.
* I have a 12 lb. Cavapoo, 1.5 years old
* Had all required documentation
* The third page of my documentation included a receipt from my vet for his Rabies booster and the agent said very condescendingly "I DO NOT NEED TO SEE THIS" to which I said, oh, sorry, it's just stapled to his Rabies Certificate
* I was rudely asked to command my dog to do repeated 360s in the soft carrier (that is approved for up to 20 lbs.)
* I was asked to take my pup out, show it to the agent, WEIGH it, and reprimanded when my pup didn't make 360s on command post hence
* I was lectured about my dog not being able to sit up and not touch the top of the carrier and not hit the sides (as someone so aptly also mentioned on here - my dog would have to be the size of A LIZARD to do that
* The agent was on a serious power trip (I deal with people like this daily, and she was a Class A SuperPower-type authoritarian)
* I have NEVER had issues flying Delta, United, Southwest and international carriers including Volaris
* I flashed my AA Advantage card and let the wench know I had 500000 miles at my disposal
* She almost didn't let us fly
The attendants and gate agents could not have been kinder. But whatever power trip these dog checkers are on...it would be comical if it didn't ruin people's trips. Thankfully mine was salvaged but NEVER AGAIN
Cancelling my AA card today. Buh bye AA
- SarahMay 1, 2022I had no problems!
I recently flew my 24lbs shih tzu (28lbs with Large Sherpa carrier) from Buffalo to O’Hare and had absolutely no problems. After researching and reading reviews on here I was absolutely terrified I would be denied so I had a back up plan just in case. I went to the counter to check in the very friendly agent weighed my dog and checked me in and sent me on my way. The only comment she made about his weight was that he sure is a heavy boy, but said nothing about a weight limit. Even the flight attendants were very friendly and I had my dogs head sticking out the top of the bag the entire flight! I’m very sorry for those who had terrible experiences but mine was nothing but positive.
- KarenApr 26, 2022AA is the WORST- they sabotaged our trip
American Airlines is the absolute worst airline to fly with a pet, well after what they did to us, I would have to say absolutely the worst airline. We went to Ohare for our flight to Florida, we were flying 5 of us and our dog. We followed all the guidelines, even had a note from our vet with the weight of our dog and all of her vaccinations, we had flown with her several times on other airlines, without a problem. When we went to check in, keep in mind we had gotten a ticket for our dog as well, they told me they had to see my dog do a circle in the carrier. How do you command a dog to do a circle!? After about 15 minutes of trying to get the poor dog to do this and she finally did it- the horrible ticketing agent replied, “well in my opinion your dog did not look comfortable doing that, now you to command her to do it again standing up and not touching anything.” My kids were in tears I was sweating and on the verge of tears the ticketing agent and the supervisor were absolutely nasty and it was as if they were on such a power trip it didn’t matter if they were breaking the rules posted on their website, they were just so happy to tell us what we could and could not do. Let’s just say it was not a fun 40 minutes and ended it with my mom having to come back to the airport to pick up my dog. There was another couple near us with a 13 pound dog who went through the exact same thing. We were both flying to Florida the only thing I can think is that our flight was oversold and they were advised to try to get as many people off of the plane and they figured a family of five with a dog if they did not allow the dog to go maybe we wouldn’t fly either. The American Airlines agents were terrorizing us even though we followed all of the rules on their website. After my mom got the dog, we were at the gate waiting to board the plane with our boarding passes and seats, when it was our turn to board the plane we were told that our seats were “invalid”, the agent at the gate said that she has never seen anything like this since we had seats and tickets and somehow they gave our seats to other people! After talking to a manager at the airport customer service, It turns out the original ticketing agent who would not let us bring the dog on the flight went into our reservation after we went through security and sabotage our tickets, she removed our seats! We had tickets and seats but she removed them on the backend! We spoke to the head of American Airlines at the airport who couldn’t believe this happened, he looked on the computer and saw this is what she had done, he said they will investigate and apologized. Keep in mind we were traveling with three young kids. Our flight was at 5:30 PM which was oversold so they couldn’t get us back on it and every flight out that night to Florida was oversold. We had rented a house in FL which we paid for so we forfeit it that night and we had to take another taxi home and had to go out again the next morning on United. Keep in mind they did not compensate us at all for giving away our seats or what they did to us.
It was absolutely horrible! The other couple with the 13 pound dog texted me that they also had to go home that night and they also flew out with their dog the next morning on United without a problem. American Airlines traumatized us and our kids.
- SarinaApr 24, 2022DO NOT FLY AA WITH YOUR PET
Called AA prior to our flight, was told if pup is below 20 lbs and fits comfortably in appropriate crate, pup could fly. Showed up to PHX airport (my hometown), the second the "customer service rep" looked at me and my pup, she had her bias saying "NO your pup will not fly she is too big." Our pup is a 5 month old, 16 lb mini aussiedoodle, who was 19 lbs in the carrier. The agent was so biased, she reinforced her opinion with her fellow-biased supervisor, who ended up showing me a "checked" kennel policy, saying the pet can't touch the sides, needs to stand, etc, which is wrong and bogus since she is carry on. Website says pet must be comfortable and able to turn around which she could....our pup also LOVES her travel crate, we flew Southwest to get her at 8 weeks and the SW rep didn't even look at her.... I also only chose AA because they were the only direct flight PHX to MIA, which was also an overnight flight in which our pup would be sleeping aka laying down throughout! Not only that, my partner and I are doctors, we literally are entrusted with human lives and these women were name calling us like "cruel" for putting our pup in her crate aka second bed....it's an expandable soft crate which we were planning to expand more during the flight as we has seats next to each other.....absolutely disgusting behavior from these women. I got so upset since I kept emphasizing the facts and pointing out their biases, offering solutions, and the supervisor was so awful and ego tripping she ended up voiding our tickets, which immediately put us out $1,000. She "called the police" who we waived down and they verified AA has the WORST service in the airport. So appalling. We will absolutely be filing our grievances with corporate as the women not ONCE apologized or created solutions until called out.
- TerriMar 24, 2022If you're flying American Airlines, have a back-up plan in place
Even if dog matches size for the crate (Vet checked) and the crate matches AA size requirements, all it takes is one check in agent (and the rest naturally agree) to say dog is "too big" for crate, when in fact the dog/crate size are fine. Yes, today somehow the rule was (incorrectly) stated "sit up in the crate" (?) not just "stand and turn around" (as posted on the website) and I was not allowed to board the plane. Dog 12 lb, medium sherpa. Kudos to you out there who had a much larger dog and/or much larger crate and got a nice reasonable check-in agent. It's a roulette wheel, so have a back-up plan in place for when the dog is not allowed on board.
- MelissaMar 22, 2022Great Experience Flying with AA
I just flew with my tweenie dachshund Evie for the first time over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised at how well it went, considering some of the reviews here, I expected much worse. Evie is 5 years old and weighs 16.3 lbs, and I used a Sherpa Large carrier (weighs 4lbs) for her to travel in. I made sure to book seats with extra leg room and priority boarding-this is a game changer, highly recommend! Also, for her carrier it was easier to have an isle seat.
I made sure to be well prepared, I brought a health certificate and vaccine record, as well as mapped out pet relief areas in the airports. I also brought Pet CBD peanut butter packs for her, and water for the flight.
All AA employees were kind to us and accommodating. During a layover a flight attendant came over to say hi and to say he was happy to see Evie would be on his flight! The only slight issue we encountered was that in her carrier the total weight came to 22 pounds (the extra 2lbs probably came from the blanket, attached bowls, toy, bone, and poop bag dispenser) but at each ticket counter the attendant approved her for flight.
All in all I will definitely fly with my sweet dog with American Airlines again!
- MariaMar 11, 2022Frustrating Experience - Never Again!!
The negative reviews are true. I went to the counter to check in for a flight from DCA to TPA and it started out with a few employees trying to determine if my dog/carrier was acceptable. I told them I’ve flown AA with my dog a few times before to FL without issues… They didn’t care. They still weren’t sure if it was okay, so they brought the supervisor over and then the manager. At this point there were 4 people there trying to make a decision. The manager told me since he can’t sit erect in his carrier and that he doesn’t have enough room on either side of him in the carrier he won’t be able to get on the plane. What dog sits erect on a plane??! My dog turned around in full circles 3 times for them without an issue and they still told me he wasn’t able to fly. My dog is a Yorkiepoo and a bit hefty for his breed (20lbs). I would NOT get on AA unless your dog is TINY.
After this whole ordeal, I went to Southwest Airlines to see if I could book a ticket through them… They spent 1 minute looking at my dog and carrier and told me it was fine! I could’ve saved myself a huge headache if I just went with Southwest from the get go. Lesson learned!!
- ChastityMar 1, 2022American Airlines are the worst for pet travel
Don’t plan on flying with pet on American Airlines. I had read horror stories about AA rejecting pet travel on their digression after I had already purchased my tickets. And what do you know AA would not allow me on board after I had put my 9 week puppy on the travel itinerary and done everything I was suppose to. I hade the puppy health certificate and shot records. Minka was in the correct travel bag and could stand and turn as required, but AA looked at her big paws and wasn’t interested in anything else. The AA reps were rude and unprofessional. The supervisor came over didn’t even look at my puppy and was even more rude. She backed up the reps and walked away. I was kind and calm the entire time. I pretty much begged them with tears in my eyes, but they wouldn’t allow me to prove my puppy met the standards for their flight. Delta advised they would fly us, but they didn’t have any flights. My puppy wasn’t making a sound in her carrier. Puppy was put in carrier every night for 2 weeks to prepare for travel. Puppy wasn’t scared and seemed content in the carrier. I started to panic. I was in Texas and needed to get to Virginia. Delta advised they saw no issue and would fly us, but they didn’t have any tickets. Finally I get to the United Airlines counter where I had the nicest people helping to get me a flight home. My puppy and her carrier went under the seat in front of me and she didn’t make a sound the entire flight. DO NOT fly American Airlines.
- VictoriaFeb 24, 2022Very easy
I read a lot of bad reviews and was pretty nervous. My dog is an 11 pound chihuahua brussels griffon mix. She’s kind of tall so her back grazes the medium Sherpa carrier so I upped to a large based on other reviews I read of American not allowing the dog if they couldn’t turn around without touching. The check in agent asked me to show she fit in the carrier and my dog got in and turned around and laid down. They weighed her in the carrier to make sure she and the carrier were under 20 pounds. I had to show rabies vaccination records and pay the $125 to fly with her. I called American when I booked my flight to reserve a spot for her since I know only a certain number of dogs were allowed on the plane. The agent checking us in had never checked in a dog before so it was a little slower and she had to ask another agent to help but they were friendly and it was still fairly quick. We were flying to Mexico and the flight back was incredibly easy. The agent did not ask for me to demonstrate anything just show her paperwork.
I was a little nervous based on reviews but it’s hard to gauge when you don’t know the size of other peoples dogs. I know my dog fits by every airline standards and we had no problem. It seems like American is stricter but I had no problems. We flew southwest a few years ago and they weren’t as thorough as American but still it was easy. I think if your dog is close to the limits of what they allow maybe choose a different airline but if the are well under you should be good
- SharonJan 19, 2022Sadly, the reviews are true
I’ve flown American for more than 20 years and was a loyal AA customer. After reading the more recent reviews, I contacted American about their policies and my upcoming reservation. They assured me that they haven’t changed their in-cabin policy. My pup was cleared to fly in August and can stand up, turn around, is under 20 pounds, etc. Her carrier is the appropriate size for the airline and for her. I booked a first class ticket for the extra room and checked bag allowances. No issues in DCA. On our return flight a week later the ticket agent in TPA’s priority line was argumentative, unprofessional, and deemed that the dog was too big to fly; oddly, she only saw my dog’s head and deemed this. Another ticketing agent said that it’s a return flight so they will have to let the dog fly. They processed the payment. Yet she continued to make misinformed and argumentative comments. I politely told her that the carrier is the correct size for her and that I wasn’t going to argue with her. She kept it up until I finished checking in and left. I was shocked by her unprofessional behavior and that she continue to make comments well after the situation was settled. I felt like she was making up her own policies and interpretations. Thankfully the other ticketing agent was there and stepped in ASAP. The flight attendants and rest of the staff were great. I was planning on flying between Washington and Florida a few times a year, but I don’t feel comfortable with American and the lack of standards and professionalism with their staff. Looks like I’ll be flying Delta.
- JuanJan 17, 2022Worked fine
We traveled from Chicago (ORD) to Guadalajara, MX with a stop in Dallas. American was our only option given our puppy’s age. Couldn’t do web check in since we had to come with our puppy to the counter but it was no hazle nor it require a lot of time. Just make sure that you are flying on a plane that will feet the kennel under the sit in front of you. The airline did reject a passenger before us who’s kennel was too small for their dog, so take that into account as well.
From then on authorities, airport and airline personnel well really nice, explanatory and comprehensive for the whole journey.
- SissyJan 8, 2022American is worst airline when flying with your pet!
I have read every negative review on this site regarding flying with your pet on American Airlines and I could not agree more! They are the worst! I fly frequently with my 13lb toy Aussiedoodle and we have flown on most every major airline. If I could give American a negative I would. A zero would be way to high of a rating. They are rude, arrogant and don't care about their customers and certainly do not care about our pets. I have experienced the same horrible treatment every time I've flown American. Some times I have no choice because of my route, but every time they have been consistent in their rude and hatefulness. Unless you have a service animal, we are at the mercy of this airline's inconsistent and ever changing policy that give their Agents the fuel to bully and torture those of us that want to travel with our sweet babies.
- NeelJan 3, 2022Worst Airline for pets - AA
American pet policy interpretation is ambiguous and you will be at the mercy of checking agent. We were denied boarding at first with a Bichon Frise and then allowed by a different agent. If possible avoid flying AA with any kind of pets
- ChristopherDec 29, 2021Terrible Pet Policy
I would give American 0 stars for their pet policies, but that wasn't an option. I registered our 9lb dog to fly in our carry on bag during a flight from Milwaukee to Phoenix about 2 months in advance. At the time, the chat agent reminded me of the policy that the dog has to be less than 20 lbs, which he is well short of - no other criteria was mentioned. I received a confirmation number from the airline, but upon arrival in the airport in Milwaukee was told that I had not registered the dog. It went downhill from there. As the gate agent began the check in process, she stopped and told us that the carrier was too small for our dog because she didn't feel he could properly stand or turn around in the carrier. This is a medium sized carrier that is rated for dogs up to 20 lbs. Our puppy rides in it every time we go in the car and even sits in it at home if left open because it's a comfortable place to him. However, the gate agent pointed to a rather grey policy that says the dog must be able to stand, sit erect, and lie in a natural position without protruding from the top or sides. We demonstrated that the dog can get up and turn around to the agent. Needless to say, I felt strongly that this carrier met the policy, but the gate agent must have felt she knows better about what the right sized carrier for my dog is and that ours wasn't adequate. I am done flying American Airlines and would recommend staying away unless you are traveling with a hamster. Then again, they may say that carrier is too big.
- SidrahDec 22, 2021Terrible airline for dogs - new policy
Our dog is a mini dachshund (13lb) and I’ve travelled with him multiple times with an approved bag in both spirit and United. But American airlines’ horrible agent at DFW told us his bag is too small for him and he needs to be able to move around and spin and sit comfortably. They refused to let us fly. Apparently we should have checked this website about their new policy. The guy at the check in counter told us he rejected 20 dogs that day: just goes to show how unhelpful they are. We will be flying ANY other airline and never AA again.
Once again, DO NOT fly American. The Manager and Supervisor at DFW were extremely unhelpful, American Airlines are definitely not dog lovers and never will be.
- JackDec 19, 2021Turned dog awat
Arrived at LGA at AA to be told the pet carrier we had been using for years was too small.
The desk manager couldn't or wouldn't tell us if we got a bigger carrier that it would allow us to keep him in cabin. Keot interrupting, explaining about the dimensions, which we already understood perfectly well.
There were four other families reeling, basically saying we've traveled with this pet for years, *now* you are telling us?
My 3yo daughter started crying not to put our dog in the hold... we had to explain, no of course we weren't, Daddy was taking him back to the house and would try to join her for Christmas if he could find someone to take care of him
The delay in getting an answer It meant my wife and daughter missed the booked flight, went on standby and were stuck in Dallas overnight. They had to pay for a hotel etc..
The airline seemed surprised that people were getting upset... raised voices at being unable to get answers led to airport police being called (another couple, but we could see why they were mad).
Had to rebook flight for myself, and explain that no, the next flight would not do, I was now going to have to scramble to find dogsitter.
I also found out afterwards they marked our dog as being too big to fly on the ticket. But if that was the case why couldn't they just tell us immediately?
I managed to find a dogsitter, but am still fighting with them to get compensation for the hotel my family had to stay in.
A miserable experience.
- JoDec 19, 2021Flown before But was Denied Checkin with a 14 lb dog
I was flying out of Hartford, CT, where i have previosuly flown out of before, and when I went to checkin the agent told me my dog looked big and would not be allowed to fly. I tried to tell them that my dog, who is long but a small 14 lb dog, had flown before and was just stressed around them, they told me she must have grown (shes 3, and last flew no problem in June) and that she would not be allowed to board and if I questioned it again I would not be allowed to board. When I asked what i was supposed to do with my dog, they told me they put me on a later flight and I should call someone to come get the dog, as she would not be allowed to fly. I was taken aback and confused, as I had made a reservation for the dog and was willing to pay, but could not easily made arrangements for my dog for the 2.5 weeks I would be away. I will be avoiding AA in the future, and based on my experience, it seems complertely up to mood of what agent you get which dogs or pets they allow to check in and fly.
- DevonDec 19, 2021Do not risk it!
My mother and her tiny schnauzer were just denied boarding due to an arrogant ticketing agent. Now we are all scrambling trying to figure out how to get her home for the holidays. I've flown with my standard poodle puppy with the same carrier, but the puppy was much larger at the time and we had no problem. American Airlines seems to be clearing seats by refusing to board passengers with pets-- my mom had a first class ticket that I'm sure they're thrilled to sell again.
- ElizabethDec 17, 2021Terrible experience
I can confirm all of the recent negative reviews. My husband and I just recently flew to see family for the holidays, and we were supposed to bring our 14lb miniature cockapoo with us. We have flown with her on American Airlines many times before without any issue. All of a sudden, she is “too big” for her carrier even though she has not changed in weight or size at all, and we were told she will not be allowed to fly. The gate agent was extremely rude and unprofessional, and did not offer any explanation as to why the rules seem to have changed even though the website guidelines remain the same. We wound up having to get a family friend to come get her from the airport and now have to pay the premium for boarding during the holidays. We will never fly with her on this airline again!
- DarylDec 5, 2021AA pet policy enforcement is arbitrary
I can confirm every negative review written here as my experience returning home this past Thanksgiving was almost identical to every story written here.
I always fly American, because it is the only airline that goes into my small home town. I've never had a problem flying with my 2 small, 14 lb dogs. I paid the pet fee.. The clerk measured my bag and sent me on my way. I flew to my destination with both dogs with no problem. However, on the way back, I got this very arrogant, extremely egotistical flight attendant who thought she was so superior who denied my return flight because my pet bag, which was mostly under the seat was sticking out by an inch. She said if it doesn't go all the way under the seat, I can't fly. Not that my dog couldn't stand or turn around. Not that the bag wasn't ventilated or any other reason they list. No. Because it stuck out of the seat by an inch. American Airlines seats are extremely tight. Especially underneath. You couldn't even get a bag with a chihuahua FULLY underneath their cramped seats. But I digress...
Now, Imagine my surprise hearing that I'm being kicked off, especially being that I flew all the way to my destination with the same bag and dog in the same size aircraft...
Anyway, She called the gate attendant to deboard me and the gate attendant told me once we got back inside that the lady was being unreasonable and that she agreed that my bag was appropriately sized.
She called her supervisor and they got me on the next flight. But I had to recheck back in and go back through security. The TSA agents were even upset on my behalf as I went back through security with the same bag and dog. One even commented, "so they kicked you off the plane just to put you back on???? So, the only thing that changed between then and now is you were incredibly inconvenienced? Wow!" Even they couldn't believe how stupid this whole thing was.
Now, to be fair, I'm actually only rating low because of the flight attendant, not AA as a whole. AA has always been very good to me. Even in this case they ensured I had my own row on the way back. They were incredibly empathetic.
There's bad apples in every bunch. So long story short, whether or not you will be able to fly with your dog depends on whether or not you get a professional flight attendant or a snotty, arrogant one with an outsized ego ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- ChristopherDec 4, 2021completely awful experience
it looks like every customer service employee has its own rules about traveling with a pet. I recently reached them in order to travel with my pet and all of them gave me different reasons to not let me travel with my dog, and this is not the first time I have problems with them.
- ChristenNov 30, 2021American Airlines
DON'T risk it. If your dog is close to touching then don't fly with AA. They changed their policy recently for whatever reason and they are super strict. I tried and failed at the airport. My dog was super close but because it was her first time she would not relax and they denied her. Until we stop flying with that airline they will not change their ridiculous policy.
- ChrisNov 30, 2021Only Turkeys I saw were the gate agents
My 16lb cavapoo denied boarding on Thanksgiving at DCA, Told me to "get a bigger carrier at Target: or "get doggy daycare" or "take a later flight"(There were none so I had no holiday with my family). She didn't even ask to see him lay down in the carrier. Meanwhile 2 other larger were allowed to board in carriers that wouldn't even fit under the set. I said this dog has flown in first class on this exact plan 3 months ago. The response? "Well 8 dogs have died due to the addition of power outlets under the seats" What does that even mean? That's a lie. Allowing these gate agents to flex power when they feel like it for no reason is just a dumb company policy and I'll never fly this trash airline again.
- SusmitaNov 23, 2021The worst pet travel experience ever
Really heartbroken to know I am not the only one with this experience. I have flown all around the country and even internationally with my dog for the past three years. Today, AA decided to put my dog on a weighing scale and declined her travel because she was unable to stand "upright" and turn around. Somehow AA representatives not only declined her travel, they managed to make me feel like a terrible dog owner, for attempting to carry my 16lbs mini schnauzer mix as a "very large" pet in such a small bag. I can even put up with this ridiculous policy, but making me feel like I was a terrible pet owner by saying "I have two dogs, and I would never want this on my dog" Excuse, me who are you to judge how I care for my dog after knowing me for two minutes? Absolutely terrible customer service! Please if you love your pet and don't want to be told by a disrespectful AA representative how terrible of a pet owner you are, avoid AA. They should be called customer torment representatives.
- AndrewNov 18, 2021DON'T RISK FLYING AMERICAN
I just had the same experience as others after having no issue on another carrier a few months ago. Little did I know that my 17 lb dog needed to be able to do some 360 tricks inside the kennel while not touching the sides which is literally impossible for any animal longer than 6 inches. I wasnt able to fly First class american due to the restrictions that basically enable the gate agent or supervisor to make up opinions on the pets comfort to prevent you from traveling. Even if they can comfortably lie down in their kennel. Super lucky to get the last seat on a Delta flight that gave me no issue with my pup and happily made the trip with me. Do us humans get the same requirements in our plane seats to move around? Is the 9 or 12 inch width really allow an animal to easily turn around. Do they really think the cargo area is safe for a dog? AA doesnt care and obviously doesn't want our buisness ever again.
- EllieNov 17, 2021So shaken and upset! Couldn't board with my 13lb chihuahua!
I wish I could give this a lower rating even. I am not the type to review badly, even if the experience wasn't great I try to see where the company/staff was coming from, I know customer facing jobs can be crazy and I know people are human and can have bad days! But I had the most upsetting interaction with an American airlines employee when trying to check in for my flight with a pet. (LAX, terminal 5, Wednesday at about 7:30am. I dint have a name unfortunately, I wish I'd thought to wrote it down) The lady asked to see my pet, and we weighed her, she came in at 13 lbs, under AA's 15 lbs limit. But she measured my bag (soft sided) which was 2 inches longer than the standard and said I couldn't use it. I have used this bag on previous AA flights and other airlines and never had any issues. She then asked for me to take my dog back out and measured her lengthwise and said regardless my dog was too long to be in my bag or their accepted bag sizes. She said that my dog wouId need to be put in cargo. (A 13lb chihuahua, wild!) I showed her that my dog fit very comfortably in the bag and could turn around and that the bag could lay down to fit under the seat comfortably for my dog but this did not phase her. She said that I would not be boarding with my dog and should just leave my dog at home. I did so so much research beforehand, contacted AA online and over the phone to make sure my dog was okay to fly and my bag was okay. She said only her opinion mattered, not AA's. I understand that AA has policies that are nothing to do with the employees and they are just the messengers, but she was really awful with the message and showed no remorse, actually annoyance, at the situation. I felt like she was making up reasons to say she was right that the dog shouldn't be allowed in cabin. She even went as far to tell me that using my bag was animal cruelty!! Which really shocked and upset me as I am a huge animal advocate and my dog is my baby went, I went above and beyond to make sure my dog was as comfortable as possible with as much room as possible, and did extensive research in my bag. Even after saying my large bag was cruel to my dog, she proceeded to say that if I could find a slightly smaller bag (so wouldn't that be more cruel by her standards?) that exactly matched AA's dimensions she would let me fly on standby in the next flight out, which left in 40 mins. I asked if AA or anywhere in the airport sold bags and she told me I needed to leave the airport and find a store and hope I could get a bag before my flight which was absurdities! There was no way. At this point I had tried so hard to hold myself together as I have an extreme anxiety and panic attack disorder and I tried to deep breathe to try to calm myself down as I tried to figure how what to do... the woman told me to step away to compose myself as if I was being aggressive to her which I would never! It was obvious she'd just told me some pretty bog news that I wouldn't be flying today and she was so insensitive to assume I wouldn't need a second to try to get my head around it.. I was trying so hard to work with her but she was standing behind the podium accusing me of animal abuse and telling me that basically my dog is too long to fly, something I've never heard of! I said I can't board without my dog, and that I was willing to try whatever she suggested but wasn't sure what to do at this point if she wouldn't listen to me. My dog is a 13 lb chihuahua and I have never ever had this kind of reaction. I ended up, out of desperation, and unfortunately my lack of courage sticking up for myself and no skills to deal with that kind of confrontation, just moving out of the situation and standing in the corner of the airport having a panic attack because I felt so unable to see what to do. Luckily a friend helped me out and I got booked on a southwest flight going out the next day, and I was so nervous about the conversation I had with this lady that I asked 3 different SW employees to inspect my dog and my bag to let me know if I really was wrong and they all were shocked that I had that response and wasn't allowed to board, they said my dog had way more room than most and I was more than welcome to fly. So if you are flying with a dog in a carrier, DO NOT USE AMERICAN AIRLINES unless you want to be constantly second guessing if you will make it on the flight or not depending on the mood of the person at the desk when you check in, and belittled and told you are abusing your animal when all you are doing is trying to fit in an airlines unrealistic standards for dog carriers.side note: southwest has never failed me! Use them instead! Always friendly and happy to help and explain, even if the news they give is not what you want to hear it is handled with compassion.
- JaclynOct 31, 2021DO NOT Fly Your Dog With AA - Absolutely Disgraceful
The experience I had recently with AA echos many of the reviews here. I have a six year-old, 18 pound pug, Frank, with whom I have flown several times a year for six years on every major airline, including AA. I made the reservation for the dog beforehand, and provided all relevant information on his weight and breed. When I arrived to check in and had Frank in his airline approved bag, the attendant informed me that I would be unable to fly because Frank was too big. I completely zipped him in and demonstrated that he can easily turn around and move while inside, however, she stated that he has to be able to stand *fully upright* in the bag. She asked me if someone could “pick my dog up from the airport” which was obviously not possible. I told the attendant that I would be stranded with my dog, who had flown there without issue, if AA would not let me on the flight. She called over another woman to discuss and they still refused to let me on.
I was disheveled and upset and went back to the AA employees who were standing at the start of the check-in line and desperately repeated what had happened (holding back tears) and stated the situation was f***ing ridiculous. The women were extremely rude and said: “a word of advice, *young woman*, no one is going to help you if you talk like this” (I’m not a “young woman” - I’m a licensed attorney in my 30s). Another man employed by AA walked by and said “ignore her, DO NOT help her” dismissively. They suggested I find “another means” of transportation. I asked if they were going to provide me with a hotel, and they said “Of course not”.
Luckily I was able to rush to another airport and fly with Southwest without a problem. If my dog being unable to stand *fully upright* in his bag would prohibit me from getting on the AA flight, why was this not emphasized by AA customer service when I made the reservation or explicitly stated on the AA website as prohibitive? Why has this never been enforced in the six years I have been traveling with my dog? Needless to say I will never fly with AA again. They arbitrarily blocked me from my flight, stranded me without accommodations, AND mocked and condescended me for being upset about it. Their treatment of pets and “young women” is completely abhorrent.
- DeborahOct 28, 2021DO NOT PLAN ON YOUR DOG GETTING ON THE PLANE!
This past Monday I brought my 16 pound King Charles Spaniel to the airport in Hartford, CT for my scheduled flight to Florida. I had called ahead and made arrangements for the dog with the airline. I have never flown with her on American but have flown on Delta, JetBlue and Southwest probably about twenty trips with her in the past. She has not gained any weight nor have I changed her pet carrier. I have never ever had any issue with her flying.
At the American ticket counter the agent said I’m going to need to get my supervisor about this pet. The supervisor came over and said I want to see this dog turn around in the carrier. She was standing and had plenty of room to stand. She was unwilling to turn around for me at that moment but when I put the carrier on the ground she turned around. I said to the agent-there you see she turned around. The woman just said this dog is not going on this flight. You can either rebook or cancel.
We had been dropped off by my husband and he had already left. I had family who were flying down to meet us at our home in FL. I rushed down to see if there were any other flights going into Fort Myers that day but no more were going out. I did go to Southwest and spoke with the supervisor and asked if there was any reason my dog wouldn’t be able to fly with them and she was shocked when I told her she was refused at American. I booked for the next day on Southwest at double the price I paid on American. I canceled the American flight and the only thing they will do for me is give me a refund! My family members waiting in Florida had nowhere to go! Seeing all the other posts about this same type of problem I think it is important that people know about this very unfriendly pet airline!
- ChristineOct 9, 2021American Airlines....DON'T DO IT!
We have flown many times in the last 14 years with our Havanese. She has always flown in the same carrier and there has NEVER been an issue. We flew with AA this summer 4 times with her without an issue. Well, that all changed. We tried to bring her with us; however, the first thing the agent said to use as we approached the counter was...."Is that a service animal?" When I said no, he response was..."She can't fly." After explaining that she always flies with us and can turn around, she still said no. She got the supervisor, and they explained that they need to be able to turn around without touching the top or sides of the carrier. Well, we are loyal AA customers who fly first class....but they have now lost our business for the rudeness. Customer service isn't what it used to be.
- PatriciaAug 14, 2021Bringing Puppy Home
Recently had to fly and bring a pet using American Airlines. Not only was the ticket agent amazing the flight attendants were as well no problems I was probably more stressed out than my pet. Overall one of my better experiences with American Airlines would definitely recommend.
- JonJul 20, 2021No issues with AA... And we were close
After reading these reviews, we almost decided not to take our Kings Charles Cavalier... Together with the soft kennel, he weighed in at 19.5 pounds... So we knew we were cutting it close....
But not only did we not have any issues, they never even weighed him! They took one look at him (he was laying down), and said, "how cute!", We filled out a short paper form, and wam, we were done.... Plus he was then allowed OUT of the kennel and could walk on a leash past security.
These reviews had us really worried, but we had no issues at all.
- LeonardoJun 18, 2021AA: there is no policy
...in the sense that a policy is a coherent set of rules.
For whatever reason, AA seems to go out of its way to put up obstacles. I fly **a lot** with my small dog, and I'd estimate that about 60-75% of the time I run into issues with check-in personnel, who become stubborn and unreasonable as if what the policy is, is actually for agents to become stubborn and unreasonable whenever possible.
On my last check in, the supervisor brought out a tape measure and claimed that my kennel didn't meet the policy because the length restriction is 19". But the carrier is a Sherpa medium, spec length 18", and if she had actually held the measure to the carrier, she would have seen that for herself. She didn't, though. She simply brandished the tape measure, threatening me with measuring the carrier--evidently to her eye, it looked too long. And then she fell back on the usual "standing up without head touching" which my little guy can do, and did, but the way she saw it, there wasn't enough clearance between his head and the interior ceiling.
It so often becomes absurd in exactly this way. My recommendation is to bully the agent until they back down. If you're conscientious about knowing the policy and you abide by it, all the righteousness is on your side. There's no way in the world you should allow yourself to be turned away at the gate, especially, as has happened to me and, I see from the comments below, others, when you're on the return leg of a round trip after having been waved through without a problem on the outbound leg. I'm stuck with AA as my go-to only because of where I live and where my destinations normally are, but whenever possible I avoid AA and its so-called policy like the plague.
- DavidMay 15, 2021AA FAT-SHAMES DOGS!
Never fly American if you are a dog owner. A bitter front-counter agent just fat-shamed my small dog and said I couldn’t bring her on board because she’s apparently too heavy. This dog has literally flown on American in her soft carrier under my seat a dozen times without incident (most recently just a few months ago). But this time they did the doggie equivalent of a strip search. I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling the agent she should hop on the scale herself because it looked like she’d gained a few during the pandemic. When I objected, the agent said “the pandemic has changed a lot of things”—but clearly it hasn’t changed the sour attitude of American Airlines’ disaffected staff.
- HollyApr 3, 2021Don't fly if you want to bring your dog
As others have posted, It is the luck of the draw when flying with your pet. We got the wrong agent and our dog was denied b/c of their "turn around" policy. Our dog has flown on countless other flights with no issue. There was another person with a Boston Terrier who checked in with a different agent and had no problem. We weren't so lucky. My husband and dog are now booked on a different airline and we have an extremely complicated and long day ahead of us because of it. When I boarded the plane the passengers were notified that the plane was full. I believe the flight was overbooked and they therefore needed to find any reason to turn away passengers. If the flight hadn't been overbooked, I think we would have not run into any issues. We will never fly American again.
- JeremyMar 24, 2021No problems but American Airlines has the smallest seating and leg room I've ever seen
No issues at all getting our Maltese on the plane. The only issue was a male flight attendant who picks and chooses which dogs could stay out of their bag carriers for the duration of the flight- service animal or not.
Allowing dogs on these overcramped flights with zero actual legroom or storage capacity should be considered animal cruelty. Shame on American. First and last time flying on a budget airline.
- LisaMar 21, 2021Refused Puppy In Cabin - BEWARE Airline Approved Carrier Chicago
We just adopted a puppy and purchased an airline guaranteed approved carrier. We confirmed all information three days prior and arrived at airport early. The gate agent refused the puppy saying it was too large for carrier because it could not stand up without touching top of carrier. Called of a second agent who agreed. Puppy can turn around and rest comfortably. Only 10 weeks old and about 12 pounds - 90% floof! Yes, it says the carrier can't be any taller than 9' BUT it seems they allow plenty of other pets MUCH larger past the gates and like to make an ‘example' of others. Pretty shitty pot luck. Now my husband has to drive 23 hours to get home.
*Technically very few pets even cats could meet these standards so why do they allow plenty to get past their gates with their little floofy heads stick way out of the carrier bursting at the seems while others they turn away!
- ThomasMar 9, 2021Don't fly with American. Especially out of PHX
After 10+ years and spending over 10k traveling with our dogs on AA, the gate manager in Phoenix Sky harbour said our 10lb and 15lb dogs are not allowed to fly, because their head touched the top of the carrier when sitting, and said "I don't care if they flew into the airport with you, they're not flying out".
The gate agent said that he's stopped a lot of people flying with their small pets and seemed genuinely embarrassed for his behavior.
Great to have an airline bailed out by the taxpayer stopping you spending an extra $500 in fees on a round trip.
- JimmyFeb 25, 2021Belize to Dallas is $1600, no water
Agree with the poor service. No water, corruption and utter lies . They refused to even talk to us. Only one person is allowed to shi from Belize. Not as advertised. Utter corruption and then wanted another $50 to release our dog. Absolutely horrible and pure corruption
- JaniJan 23, 2021No issues - I fly with them monthly
I transport pets for my business and have not had an issue with being turned back or being hassled for paperwork by American Airlines. I fly with the pets in cabin most of the time and the biggest issue has been that when you check in and pay the fee, it seems to be a whole new thing for most of the agents. At least half, if not more of the time, they need to ask someone else to help them. But that part is figured out and the boarding passes are issued, it's all been smooth sailing. I've traveled with them an average of twice a month with pets for several months now. I use a variety of different carriers of different sizes and have had pets who barely take up any space in them to pets that push the limit in size and have never had an issue. Maybe since most of my traveling has been during Covid, they are more concerned about those who give them problems about mask wearing than the pets. Either way, I will continue to fly with them. They've been great.
- StephanieNov 24, 2020Incredible Letdown
I have travelled with American for about four years with my dog as a cabin pet. During that time she’s been on a dozen flights. I recently even purchased a larger carrier because I had gotten a couple comments from gate agents that the last one was a little small, but they still always let me fly. Today was different. My carrier is soft sided and my dog can easily stand up and move around. She just has anxiety, so my vet gives me a little medication for her when she flies. It was early this morning and my dog was sleepy. She’s all of 11 pounds. The gate agent started popping off on my before he ever looked at her. He said he thought the carrier was too small. Then he got down at eye level with the carrier and said it definitely was. My dog did at that moment get up, turn around and face me, before curling up in a ball. I stated, there you go, she can move around just fine. But he insisted. I asked to speak with someone else and he told me there was no one else as he was the manager on duty. Finally he called over another agent who said, “I think that dog is just fluffy.” Which is correct, my dog is a Havanese and she has a lot of hair. He didn’t change his mind and told me I could book her as cargo, or not go at all. I asked again to speak with his manager and he refused. I asked for a refund and he said he would do that. Then after he typed up some notes and gave me back my credit card he noted that he had not in fact processed a refund as he could not do that and had bumped me from the flight. I called the Platinum AA number after being turned away and was told that gate agents have ultimate power and nothing could be done to override or reprimand the gate agent. I was the told nothing could be done. I asked to speak with another customer service rep, to which I was transferred. She was nicer but game me the same talk. It’s so frustrating to be let down in this way.
- LorenOct 31, 2020No Problems Flying with ESA's
My husband and I flew recently with our Emotional Support Animal dogs (leave your judgement elsewhere). American Airlines was fine to deal with. The paperwork was easy to complete (doctor, vet and yourself) and the service department was very quick to respond via email with approval of the animals to fly. Our paperwork was never questioned because our animals have ESA ID's through the airline already, so the ticket agent and gate agents could see it when we scanned out tickets. The flight crew was friendly and welcoming. Granted our dogs slept at our feet or on our laps the whole time, but the crew was very nice during the flight, petted the dogs and commented on how good they were. This was only our first flight with AA, and it is a very different experience than flying a pet cargo or in a carrier, so I can't speak to that. However, the ESA process of flying with AA was very stress free and a good experience.
- TarjaSep 5, 2020Shipping a pet via American Airlines
I shipped a puppy via AA. One of their requirements, in addition to food is to include a bottle of water in the shipment. I included a full, unopened bottle of water, assuming that the pup will be watered every few hour. Not so. After 13 hours since check-in at Charlotte airport, the puppy arrived to Seattle with the water bottle unopened. Don't trust that they will do the right thing and actually give water to your pet - opening the bottle and pouring some in the bowl that was in the crate was clearly too much for all of the people who handled the crate during the day. Keeping a dog without a drop of water for 13 hours is animal abuse. I will not use their services again.
- RebeccaJul 22, 2020Many inconsistencies within AA pet policy
I just flew AA and was planning on bringing my cockapoo because it's for a few weeks. Needless to say, that didn't happen. Even after confirming the size of my dog and his carrier on the website and on the phone, the check-in person rejected him. They said he was "far too large" and even suggested that it was abusive for me to put my dog in the carrier. I've flown with countless other airlines with no problems, but AA was a huge hassle. I had to find accommodations for my dog within minutes because I wasn't able to take him on the flight. They wouldn't comment on the inconsistencies within AA pet policy and how it was enforced, they simply told me that it was my problem and I had to deal with it. Thankfully I was able to find a friend to pick him up from the airport, but if not, I would have had to cancel/reschedule the entire trip (essential trip). I will not be flying with AA again if I have to bring my dog on the trip. Definitely a lot of inconsistencies - the reviews really speak for themselves.
- PamelaJul 13, 2020Warning!!
I wanted to write this to warn others considering AA Pet services. I wrote the company detailing my experiences and I have not received any kind of response. This is a VERY abbreviated letter I sent to them. My trip was from JFK to San Diego. This all happened pre-covid. I have shipped pets before, so I know things must be done perfectly and had all required paperwork properly completed.
I used the website for pet requirements, had questions, and called the 1800 number. I got a very terse woman who told me she knew absolutely nothing about shipping pets and proceeded to read the ENTIRE website to me. I called someone else and got the info I needed. Strike 1.
The instructions told me the time and place to go to. I was there in plenty of time. After waiting 30 minutes for the VERY SLOW employee, someone else told me I was in the wrong place. I was exactly where the instructions told me to be. They said I was, but I should be somewhere else and this “happens all the time”. Strike 2.
This is where things REALLY turn nasty. We got to the correct building and there was this person by the name of Yvette. She proceeded to tell me I was too late. I tried to show her what the problem was and that I was sent to the wrong place. To make the story short – basically it was all my fault that I was sent to the wrong place and it WAS NOT her problem. The supervisor, who was only ever referred to as ‘the supervisor”, came out to tell me the same thing and that it wasn’t their fault. There were raising their voices and, not to exacerbate the situation, I assumed the role of the grown-up and professional. All they did was shout that it wasn’t their fault and not their problem. Strike 3.
I work in customer service and if I had EVER treated a paying customer like that, I would have been fired on the spot and probably thrown out into the street – and I would have deserved it! There was absolutely no effort to try and find a solution to the problem, or even listen to the problem. This is an indicator of poor senior leadership, where employees are afraid for their jobs and are quick to shift blame instead of finding a solution.
I had to call the 800 number again to rebook and I showed up 4 hours early. I was working with another employee who was very helpful until Yvette showed up again and said ‘Oh – you were here yesterday’. Yes, in fact, I was. The supervisor showed up and had cooled off enough to have a civil conversation. Since I was finally able to get a word in edgewise, I explained to him what happened the day before and he was receptive to my explanation and then turned very civil and helpful. He even complimented me on how level headed I was the day before. I told him that acting like a jerk never solves anything, which Yvette could learn something from.
We were moving along, until the note from the vet about temperature requirements. As clearly stated on the website and the instruction email I received, that paper was required after May 1, and through certain cities, neither of which applied to my situation.
That is when Yvette interjected herself and said ‘the customer doesn’t state what is required – we do’. Now I need this other paper from the vet, just because Yvette says so. It was as though she was doing everything she could do to make what was already a difficult process almost impossible for me. It took the vet a while to fax it. Yvette sat there scowling at me and finally disappeared when it started looking like things were going to work out. That is disgusting behavior from an employee. The supervisor went along with all of this. Who was in charge? – is what I ask.
In San Diego, I went to the baggage assistance to find out where to pick up my cats. I was told where to wait and that it would be a while. Pets were coming out, the employee there kept assuring me they would be coming. After about 2 hours and watching pets come out from flights well after mine, AA Cargo called me and told me my cats had been there for 2 hours and where was I? I said I was right where I was told to be. Well – once again I was given the wrong place and I was supposed to be at the other end of another terminal. I went to the cargo area and I explained to the gentleman behind the counter the situation and he said that ‘happens all the time and they should change it’. Well – yeah! But these men were nice, helpful, gave me some bottles of water for my cats and said they wished there was more they could do. THAT is what customer service looks like. Yvette could learn something here.
Believe me - this is the very short version of what happened. I cannot believe the treatment of a paying customer, and the level of service being given. I fly all the time. There are so many excellent choices out there. With the unnecessary aggravation and drama, not to mention the added expenses of this experience and non-response to my complaint letter, I can’t think of any reason to EVER fly American Airlines again.
- ChristopherFeb 1, 2020Horrible Experience! They should be shut down!
I purchased an 8 week old puppy that had to be shipped from Oklahoma to DC. AA claimed they would look out for her, including food, water, and changing out the pad in her kennel if it became overly soiled. They specifically state on their website, "Not only are we professionally trained to provide the highest level of safety for every animal that flies with us, but our team is comprised of compassionate human beings that care deeply about making the journey as comfortable as possible to the more than 300 destinations in our network." My poor puppy arrived complete soiled in her own feces and urine, the pad in her cage was just saturated and covered in feces, her food bowl was soaked from water spilling in it, so her food was a solid inedible chunk, and her water bowl was empty until the baggage claim staff in DC gave her some bottled water. Yes, the baggage claim staff -- not the AA Animal Transport staff (despite being so "professionally trained"). The destination flight arrived at 8:50pm. I was at the AA Cargo depot at 8:45pm. The AA Cargo staff at DCA were useless. They had no idea if she was even on the plane, and told me that they wouldn't know until their "guy" made the last run of the night to terminal at 9:30pm. He would return to the Cargo depot by 10pm, at which time they promptly close until the next morning. So, I'm waiting over an hour (we were told she would be there no later than 30 mins after landing), only to...yep...find out that their "guy" didn't have her in the van, which meant that "she is probably at baggage claim instead of cargo". Probably?! Shouldn't you know this for sure? How can they not know where my dog is? So, I drive 20 mins to the other side of the airport to the terminal, park in the parking garage, walk 15 minutes to baggage claim, finally found the baggage claim office, and I walk in to the office hearing the tail end of two staff members complaining about having a reeking puppy in the office with a kennel full of poop, and then when one staff member asked who the puppy belonged to, the other staff member read my full name out loud right when I had walked in the room. "Can I help you?" one of them asked. "Yes," I replied, "I'm (full name) the person you're talking about looking for my dog who was supposed to be at the cargo depot an hour and a half ago." No apology (either for my dog being misdirected all over the place or for talking smack about me). They simply mentioned that gave her water since her bowl was bone dry (almost like it was my fault???). Then I picked up the kennel and looked in seeing my puppy for the very first time, all covered in feces and urine, and I was immediately hit by the stench. And this is what I had to drive home with for an hour. When I got to the car, despite the 25-degree temperatures, I did the best I could cleaning her up with wet wipes, water, and a rag, and thankfully I brought another kennel (without feces and urine) to transfer her. She was so happy to be (at least somewhat) cleaned up and out of that nasty kennel. I arrived home at 12:30am. I should've been home no later than 10:30pm. I gave the poor puppy a warm bath, and then sat with her in front of a space heater to dry her off as quickly as possible. All ended well, but not due to anything to do with AA Animal Transport -- it actually ended well in spite of them. What they did to my puppy was flat out cruel and they should formally cited and charged with that as the crime that it is. It's a HORRIBLE "service" and don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. I'm pretty sure all these positive reviews are fake. There's simply no way that my experience could be this this bad if these people were remotely competent even a fraction of the time. Now I just feel stupid for trusting them. I should've bought a plane ticket for myself, flown to get her, and then fly back with her as my carry-on, not using American Airlines for any of the trip! I should've known. We have never had a good experience with American Airlines even traveling without pets. Do NOT trust these cruel, rude, incompetent people with your pets!
- BarbJan 2, 2020DON"T bring your dog on AA
I have travelled back and forth across the US 6 times with my 14 lb cockapoo in a legal soft-sided carrier... But coming home from Austin Texas, the American Airlines check -in agent - refused to let us board with her, claiming she was too tall for the crate. She can turn around easily in the crate - and demonstrated that - at the time... but since she is minutely too tall for the crate... they refused her. I ended up paying $500 extra ( last minute booking) to fly home via JetBLue - who was more than happy to have her. We will never fly American Airlines again! EVER!!
- WalterDec 30, 2019AVOID AT ALL COSTS
I read all of the reviews on here about American Airlines, and should have listened. I thought, surely I have crossed every T, dotted every I. Never underestimate the power of an unhappy, ignorant check in agent.
To make a long story short:
I live in Mexico, but flew to Florida to pick up a pure bred Staffordshire Bull Terrier from a place a few hours from Miami. I literally researched which airline, and which route we could take with a dog this young for a month and settled on AA. I read the reviews, and thought that by having a small enough dog, and an AA approved soft sided kennel on a direct flight from miami to cancun I should have covered all of my bases.
Three hours early at the airport, the agent demands to see the paperwork for the dog I have for Mexican customs. I show the agent the paperwork (its a form from an actual animal importing company that does this for a living. It is in spanish and english, no abbreviations anywhere, no handwriting except for the vets signature, on vet's letterhead. It is perfect) She says I have the wrong form. I need a new vet health check, with a raised USDA stamp to take the dog on the airplane. I said I spent a month researching this, your website makes no mention of this being a requirement to travel, in fact it says the opposite. I show her the Mexican government website that describes the paperwork required, listing both the USDA and the vet letterhead as viable options.
Then she says the most amazing thing...
Her exact words "Since you do not have the correct paperwork, they will euthanize your dog. Then you could sue american airlines and I could loose my job"
I said for starters, I have done this three times. As it says right here on the Mexican gov website, if you do not have the proper paperwork a local vet can come and certify the dogs. We actually had to do this once in the past. Also, how is it any business of AA if I have the paperwork required by mexico for my dog? Do you pre-screen every person that flys to mexico or any other country to make sure they will not have problems with customs?
We went to her supervisor, then his supervisor, then the head supervisor. Each one of them was OK with our paperwork but she convinced each in turn that our dog could be killed and we would sue the airline and she would loose her job.
This was on a Friday, USDA was closed until monday. I had to arrange accomodations and travel for myself and a brand new 8 week old puppy, as well as a new vet health check, and 7hrs in the USDA office Monday morning to get a stamp. The USDA politely explained that we do not need a USDA stamp, and that our paperwork is fine. They gave me a printed document to show to the AA check in agent showing that it was not required. Finally got onto the airplane and home. I had no issues with the staff on the plane itself.
I emailed AA customer service. They acknowledged that their airport agents have not authority to check paperwork required by a foreign country for a pet, and that AA has absolutely no policy requiring this at all. But they will not be compensating me in any way for the costs incurred, and "we hope to see you on board soon!"
The most frustrating part of this is that I can understand an agent not knowing the boundaries of their job, but how does a subordinate convince THREE supervisors that their ignorant ideas are correct?
This was easily the most stressful situation I have experienced in years, and I will literally pay ANY MONEY to fly with someone else where I do not have to feel like I am rolling the dice at the check in counter. Spending the extra money to fly with a better airline would have saved me a lot of time, money and stress. When I started talking to my friends about this, almost everyone had a similar story where AA had screwed them over, especially the check in agents. Shop somewhere else.
- MerrillDec 28, 2019Don't even think about flying with AA
Unless you want to be treated rudely, discriminated against or potentially endanger the health of you pet don't fly American Airlines. They would not allow us to carry on our 11 week old 18 lb puppy. Instead forced into cargo hold, which was a nightmare to accomplish. Then as we boarded the plane we saw another dog be carried on which was much larger than our dog and not a service dog. After 10 hours and 2 flights we picked up our puppy but found that her water dish was dry and the food bag had not been opened.
- CozetteMar 20, 2019Don't listen to their representatives
After hearing the horror stories about getting to an airport with your pet and being turned away, I did hours of research before booking a ticket to take my dog back to the United States from Spain. I finally settled on American Airlines because of how reassuring their representatives were that we could take our dog with no problems. To make sure nothing would go wrong, I emailed and called multiple times just to make sure everything was exactly right so we could not get turned away. After booking the ticket and buying his crate, we found out that the representatives had lied to us and that we are not allowed to take our dog on the plane. To top it off, they refused to refund us, so we not only have to pay for the old ticket, but have to pay for an extremely expensive short notice ticket to get back home in time for school.
If you choose to fly with American, do not listen to their representatives. Go to the website and check all of their guidelines, including the size crate that can fit in your exact plane!
- TanyaMar 17, 2019Absolutely no problems at all!
My 12 year old Toy American Eskimo and I just flew American round trip, with her in cabin. It was my first time flying AA with her.
After a lot of unnecessary stress, brought on by reading the reviews posted here, we had absolutely no problems! The agents at LAX and IAH were lovely.
We used the same Sherpa bag that she's been flying in, on other airlines, since 2010:(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000K8QNC6/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
- SaraMar 11, 2019Never had 1 single problem
I’m a dedicated and loyal customer to American Airlines. I was afraid with all of the negative reviews that my mind would change bringing my 7 month old kitten on board but wow have some people had some bad experiences! The women at the check in counter were so friendly and happy to see my extremely scared cat. I got a regular Sherpa bag from chewy approved by delta and that was just fine.
- SFeb 27, 2019All lies
I have flown with my dog on AA before in a carrier in cabin. I was kicked off two flights today, forced to buy a check in kennel, after I killed myself to get the kennel, then told they couldn’t check in kennels. Given no help.
Then tried to get on another airline, but have tons of baggage for work, they wouldn’t lend me a cart to go to the other terminal (because I can carry 5 pieces of luggage and a dog by myself), so had to pay for car service to take everything. Truly horrible
- RomneySep 8, 2018Breeze
I had no problems flying with my 13 pound cat. The gate agent barely glanced at the bag. I guess it is just which gate agent you get. The horror stories were stressing me out. The soft carrier was 10.5 inches high and there looked like there was about two inches to spare. We flew from DCA to LAX.
- RobertaAug 7, 2018Chicago O’Hare - don’t fly on American
Have flown in & out of many cities & many airlines with my dog & never had a problem until flying Chicago O’Hare on American Airlines. It’s just not worth the risk / stress of flying with AA - choose a more human airline that cares about its customers. Check-in attendant / manager was on a neurotic power trip. She even threatened to call the cops & have us arrested (seriously)! & documented our flight profiles (she was very threatening). My 11 lb poma-poo dog (who had just flown to Chicago days earlier on AA) demonstrated that he could freely turn around in his very spacious SleepyPod carrier (which touches his head when he stands up but it is a soft mesh top). He obviously became agitated with being told to turn around multiple times, being taken in & out of carrier, prodded by AA employees, etc. They then told me he was obviously in discomfort due to the carrier (& not their invasive behavior & the rising stress levels of his loving owners). Honestly with the behavior of that attendant, American (at least Chicago airport) shouldn’t even be allowed to transport pets - let alone charge $125 per flight. It’s far too stressful for pups & their humans. You're signing up to be harassed & have a nightmareish, excessively stressful experience. Don’t do it.
- BrittanyJul 3, 2018American Airlines the worst for pet travel!!
After confirming size/height/weight requirements of in cabin dogs and the carriers on TWO separate occasions with an American airline Representative, My puppy got rejected from our flight during check in. I was told as long as the carrier does not exceed the size requirement and as long as the dog can move around in the carrier comfortably, all would be good. I bought the large sturdi bag which meets the size requirements and my puppy is a 5 month old beagle. He’s 16 pounds at this time and is about 18-19 inches tall from the floor to the top of his head when standing. He gets in the carrier perfectly fine, he can turn around and move around WITH ROOM TO SPARE but because his head touched the top of his soft sided carrier when standing they refused him on the flight. They told me he looked very uncomfortable - he was not. My puppy would not be standing up during a flight, he would be laying down in the carrier under the seat, so I don’t know what their problem was. This seems very subjective and based off of what an employee feels at that time. I spoke to a supervisor and she still was very strict about the height requirement. I even had him come out of the carrier and go back
In to show them that he’s perfectly content. They kept telling me it was concern for the dog as if I was making my dog suffer by having him in his carrier. I had to make alternative arrangements for my trip and I was not refunded for the change of flight for my flight back home. They only switched my outbound flight free of charge. However, they would not refund the cost of the extra room seat I bought on both flights. I know people who have flown with their full grown dogs only about 2 inches smaller than my puppy who have NEVER had any issues and never even been asked that there dog can stand and turn around. The requirements and rules on their website are very vague and subjective and if they are going to adhere to such strict requirements, they should state that more clearly. No one told me my puppy needs to be able to stand up in the carrier WITHOUT his head touching the top of the crate. He was in no way being compacted. His head just barely poked out of the head compartment on the top of the carrier when I unzipped it. They did offer to switch my flight to a different airline free of cost if there pet requirements were different but I had to bring it to the employees attention at United Airlines when asking about that bc I had to mention that he was not allowed on Americans flight. They seemed way more lax and I bet I could’ve been fine if I went United If they didn’t know about American rejecting him already. Moral of the story, unless your dog is a toy dog or is small with very stubby legs, I wouldn’t risk it with American Airlines.
- TrayceJun 25, 2018No problems at all on AA
My husband and I each had a cat in a carrier we bought from Chewy. We had no problems at check-in, at security, nor at the gate. In fact, we were one of the first let onto the plane. My impression is that it is so common now to see people traveling with pets, that don't even blink an eye. I must say that I was careful to follow all the rules of the airline.
- ConstanceMay 31, 2018No troubles here!
I traveled with a new rescue from Mexico to Boston, on the day of a heat wave across the half of the country which put heat restrictions into place along our route. The counter agent worked for at least 45 minutes to find the right route for the pup and me, gave us plenty of time to go outside for walks, and got us booked. We ended up getting rebooked on a route that landed us two hours EARLIER than anticipated.
I think in many cases, if you're patient and willing to work with weary gate agents, they'll help you out.
- NitikaMay 26, 2018Extremely Horrible
I have been trying to ship my pet from RIC to LAX for 3 days 5/24-5/26. Each time a.a has messed up and rebooked the flight for the next day. The straw that broke the camel's back is today 5/26 they booked a flight for 7:40a.m which my pup has to be checked in at 5:30a.m and the live pet cargo does open until 8 a.m. Why would the book a flight after check-in? Now they want to re-book for the 4th time on 5/28. No thanks. I'm done. No bones. If there were negative bones it would be a minus 10. Pet owners save yourself the stress and frustration. Don't depend on A.A :(
- AllisonMay 24, 2018Scnoodles in the Sky
My 15 pound schnoodle (half mini schnauzer half mini poodle) flew American Airlines recently. He flew in a large sized Sherpa carrier. I didn't have any issues. I typically fly Southwest since the pet boarding is cheaper.
- JoanneApr 7, 2018AA Supports the Military!
As service members know, their family provides a great deal of support to let them focus on their job.
When my Navy daughter moved to a different base, we (her parents) hosted her two cats in our city, then transported them to her via AACargo. The transport experience was fine, no issues. The staff was wonderful with our cats. However, because it was not her in person, they couldn't give the discount. We reached out to AACargo and they were very gracious to provide us with a refund for the 50% discount.
Thank you AACargo for listening and reacting to our request, it was very much appreciated!
- CarolynMar 24, 2018Gate Agent Hell
Here is our experience trying to fly Hoover, a Bull Terrier, on American Airlines to the Westminster Kennel Club show in NYC from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix AZ on Saturday, February 10, 2018,
Saturday, February 10, 2018. We arrived at the airport fully 2-1/2 hours before the flight (non-stop PHX to JFK) was to depart at 10:25 a.m. The wait in line to check in was short and we were soon in front of the gate agent. I promptly handed her my I.D. and Hoover’s Arizona Health Certificate which had been issued three days prior to the flight. The agent immediately began to search her computer for information. She determined that the temperature at JFK would be 44 degrees upon our arrival, one degree less than their acceptable temperature unless you have the veterinarian’s certification that the dog can tolerate a lower temperature. (They will not fly at all if the temperature is predicted to be below 20.) The veterinarian (not my usual one in Kansas) had written that it was OK for Hoover to go below 45 degrees, but she had not specified how low, and the certification was written in just above her signature on the form. The agent called in another agent and they began to examine the form. Because several staff members in the vet’s office and the vet herself had written things on the certificate with two different pens, it was their opinion that this form could have been forged and they would not accept it. (Note: The 44 degree temperature was clearly not going to endanger the dog.) Hoover would be denied passage. Next came the question of what breed of dog Hoover is. The health certificate stated that he is a Bull Terrier which is not listed on American Airlines list of breeds they will not ship because they are brachycephalic. The agents were not willing to accept this and, indeed, they called in another agent who went into the back and emerged with some kind of generic list of “snub-nosed” dogs that listed the Bull Terrier. (Note: This was NOT an American Airlines list--- we have no idea where it came from.) By now, there were two or three agents and a supervisor involved in the discussion. Hoover would be denied passage. Next came the issue of the crate. Hoover was housed in a standard Impact 400 crate with bars on the door. Another agent was called to inspect this crate and deemed it unacceptable because it needed to have a “grated” door. The definition of “grate” was not specific in the AA rules, but I did find this definition: “Grate: a framework of parallel or crossed bars.” At this point, Bill went back to the car to retrieve the 400 Vari-Kennel we had brought along as a precaution. This would be an acceptable crate and we could ship the Impact crate and its attachable wheels as excess baggage. But the fact remained that they considered the dog snub-nosed and the health certificate invalid. And they were insistent that Hoover would be denied passage. At this point, I was distraught and Bill was appealing to their sense of fairness in the enforcement of the real rules as well as the imaginary ones. At no time did either of us lose our cool, but we continued to plead our case and asked for another supervisor. Finally another “Customer Care Manager” appeared, took a look at Hoover and instantly recognized him as a Bull Terrier--- and not a snub-nosed one at that! He also had no qualms about the one degree temperature. With Daryl’s authorization, Hoover was allowed to fly in his Vari-Kennel. All of this took 1-1/2 hours of several agents’ time, no doubt negatively affecting service for other customers. The flight to NYC went without further incident. On the return, check-in at JFK was efficiently handled with no hassles—oh, Hoover had to surrender his water at the TSA checkpoint. And he also complained that no treats were served in the belly of the plane.
- SteveJan 14, 2018American is clamping down on carry-on pets
American is clamping down on carry-on pets. The cute white dog in the black bag on your home page would *not* be allowed on some American flights. I go out of DC Reagan, and I've flown with my mini Schnauzer at least 12 times in the last year, all as an in-cabin pet. Starting Dec. 2017, when I check in, the customer service people are insisting that the dog must stand INSIDE the bag. This is impossible except for the smallest dogs. Furthermore, the attendants have been rude and snippy about this policy. As a 100,000 mile flyer, I would expect better treatment - but be ready for a fight or denied boarding at this point.
I'm switching to Southwest, which has never given me a problem.
- StephenDec 30, 2017AA is TERRIBLE and unprofessional
First, I roll my eyes when I see most reviews bc I just feel a lot of people overreact which I why I never do this, but my experience flying AA with my dog has been SO bad I feel compelled to post
1. DFW to SFO: They lost my dogs reservation for checked flying. I had to argue for a while, but luckily there were open spots and I got him on my flight (I called twice the day before to confirm the reservation and they said they had it. Next they require you tape food to the kennel so they can feed him...I did this, and the food was still taped to the kennel when he arrived in SFO. Also, all workers are totally clueless and uninformed of what the process is so they can’t answer your questions
2. Landing in SFO: They lost my dog! I waited for 30 minutes at oversized luggage and nothing. Then talk to them and they said they talked to the person who unloaded the dog, but they don’t know where they sent him. Another 45 minutes (and 3-4 arguments) later, I finally had my dog.
3. San Jose airport to DFW: I called TWICE 4 hours before my flight to confirm the flight and that temp was okay still. Both peopl I spoke with told me he would be okay even though the rules say 45 degrees, it’s within just a few degrees so they will accept him. I get there and first the agent was clueless and had to get a supervisor. Then the supervisor immediately turned me away and said there’s nothing he can do. I explained that I called before I came to the airport to confirm for that exact reason and he didnt have an answer. Almost Worse than completely turning away my dog (5 month old Aussie, btw) was that he refused to answer my questions or tell me what I need to do to get my dog shipped to me through cargo and asked me to get out of line. Luckily, my family dropped me off so they took the dog with them and are currently working on shipping him cargo to me in dallas.
The process around shipping pets on AA is AWFUL and no one seems to know the rules and regulations when you speak to them. (I’m doing all of this 20 minutes after being denied, so I’d course I’m writing angrily) but that supervisor for AA working the ticket counter at Noon PST I’m December 30 2017 is terrible. Understand doing your job, but you can’t expext to turn people away and NOT answer questions.
Never flying AA with my dog again (probably not flying AA without dog either)
- DawnMore than a year agoAA is the BEST!!
We fly often from Miami to our home in Belize with my ESA dog. Each time, AA has been friendly, accommodating and professional. I am a faithful AA flyer and will continue to be. You need to ensure that you are following all of the guidelines and procedures such as having the proper documentation, notifying the airline and that your animal is approved for travel. If you do this, you should have a wonderful and pleasant trip.
- Beth HannafordMore than a year agoAmerican Airlines would not let me board the plane with my little dog!
I have flown with my dog before and had the health certificate with me and her approved carrier and upon arriving at the ticket counter (in a wheelchair) they would not allow my dog to board the plane - and I had just moved to Phoenix and she had flown American - but the supervisor said no - so I was forced to leave my dog behind with relatives. Terrible!!!
- AllisonMore than a year agoHeartless
I brought my ESA rabbit with me to move across the country and they wouldn't let me on my flight. I was hysterical and told them how he's been on the plane with me a million times and they were rude in handling it. Now, I'm sitting at the airport having missed my flight to move across the country to start a new chapter in my life after graduating from college. Oh, and my bunny will be forced to stay in his carrier case for 11 hours without a bathroom today as a result of all of this. Never flying American again.
- JamieMore than a year agoAmerican airlines awful
They were awful!! Do not fly American! They would not allow our Boston terrier to fly even though we called twice to verify that he could. It just went down hill from there!!
- CandyMore than a year agoWhat they don't tell you
Trying to ship 2 cats from Denver to San Juan Puerto Rico was a learning experience. The cats were fine. What they don't mention in that carrier description is that some pet carriers come with doors on the roof as well as the front of the carrier. Well it seems that American Airlines will not accept that style of carrier. They don't say anything about it in their description. The folks at Pet Smart thought they'd be legal.. needless to say, we've had to reschedule the cats for another flight. I had to take them back to the vet for new certificates and also purchase new pet carriers.. :( grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
- NachoMore than a year agoWatch out for hidden fees!
So the price for checked pets is $200 per kennel (upto 2 dogs per kennels) however the checked pet will count towards your checked luggage, as such it will count as bag 1. Fees for checked bag 2 is 35, bag 3 is 150, and so on... Other than that, I think the customer service needs to improve so as to make the customer more at ease with the way the dog is going to be handled. My dog arrived well. Make sure you buy the appropriate kennel with the container with watsr that hangs out of the door.
- BethMore than a year agoFine, not problems
No issues. They were not friendly but they respected my reservation. I used a medium sherpa bag.
- NellMore than a year agoExtremely unkind
I was meant to move from rural Maine to Georgia with my pet, yet despite making sure the carrier was within the dimensions listed, the TSA Agent told me the carrier needed to be soft sided (not true, the website lists above it can be either or, so long as it's within the listed dimensions), and refused to let me board with my cat. Be wary of that! Rude staff that probably gets off on the enjoyment of making people cry.
- Win ThomasMore than a year agoExcellent service and travel experience with my two wire haired griffons (dogs)
I flew from Albany, NY to St. Croix, USVI spending an overnight in Miami (one of two stops each way) so I could give my dogs a break. Everyone at American was incredibly helpful and cooperative. They appreciated my dogs and did everything possible to make their trip comfortable. The dogs flew well and although I gave them a mild sedative, they sprang right back after landing, Thank you American employees!
- RebeccaMore than a year agoJust don't do it
Flying AA with a dog is an incredibly stressful experience. My dog is just at the edge of the weight limit, and I'm always getting grief about his size and the size of the carrier. Some agents are fine but some really like to throw their weight around and threaten that we can't board, even though we've flown with them literally DOZENS of times. JFK is the worst. I can't take it anymore. Also, if you don't insist on getting a separate record locator for the pet reservation on the phone (which the agent will tell you you don't need), they sometimes lose your pet reservation.
- MarianneMore than a year agoPerfect trip
I booked my father,s flight to move closer to me along with his cat! Although the cost was higher than I thought it would be the trip went without a hitch. Taking the cat out of her carrier at DFW security was uneventful and the gate agent let my elderly father board early to get situated with the cat.