American Airlines

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in America. You can bring Fido with you into the cabin or ship them as cargo with American Airlines. Visit Website

Or call (800) 433-7300 for more information. You can use BringFido to find a pet friendly place to stay at your destination.

Pet Reservations

American Airlines allows 7 kennels on American Airlines flights and 5 kennels on American Eagle flights. If you plan on traveling with your pet, you should contact the Customer Service Team at 800-433-7300 as soon as you confirm your travel plans to guarantee Fido a spot. American Airlines can restrict pets flying if the weather conditions are above 85 degrees Fahrenheit and below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pets in the Cabin

American Airlines allows small pets (at least 8 weeks old) to travel in the cabin if the combined weight of the pet and carrier does not exceed 20 lbs (9 kg). Pets must remain completely in their carrier, with the door closed, and under the seat during the entire flight. American Airlines does not accept pets in the cabin to/from Hawaii, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, or on transatlantic flights. Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean, the pet fee is $125 per carrier.

Pets in Checked Baggage

American Airlines allows dogs and cats to be transported as cargo on a first-come basis. They allow up to 2 pets per passenger that are at least 8 weeks old. The combined weight for the carrier and the pet shouldn't exceed 100 lbs (45 kg). Within and between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, the fees for transporting pets are $200 per carrier. To/from Brazil, the fees are $150.

Carrier Guidelines

For pets traveling in the cabin, non-collapsible 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 in cargo, carriers should have maximum dimensions of 40" x 27" x 30" (101 cm x 68 cm x 76 cm). They must be large enough for animals to turn around, sit, and lie down in a natural position; constructed of wood, metal, or plastic; and they must 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. Please contact reservations to verify maximum dimensions for your journey.

Other Restrictions

Service animals in training, emotional support animals, and comfort animals may travel as pets, not as service animals on all American Airlines flights. American Airlines does not accept brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs as checked baggage. The following dog breeds are not allowed to travel: 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. Additionally, checked pets cannot travel on A321, A321S, A321H, A320, or A319 aircraft.

Reviews

BringFido Guest Rating

American Airlines has received a rating of 2.1 out of 5 bones by 65 canine critics on BringFido.

  • Sharon
    Jan. 19, 2022
    Sadly, 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.

  • Juan
    Jan. 17, 2022
    Worked 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.

  • Sissy
    Jan. 8, 2022
    American 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.

  • Neel
    Jan. 3, 2022
    Worst 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

  • Christopher
    Dec. 29, 2021
    Terrible 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.

  • Sidrah
    Dec. 22, 2021
    Terrible 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.

  • Jack
    Dec. 19, 2021
    Turned 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.

  • Jo
    Dec. 19, 2021
    Flown 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.

  • Devon
    Dec. 19, 2021
    Do 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.

  • Elizabeth
    Dec. 17, 2021
    Terrible 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!

  • Daryl
    Dec. 5, 2021
    AA 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)_/¯

  • Christopher
    Dec. 4, 2021
    completely 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.

  • Christen
    Nov. 30, 2021
    American 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.

  • Chris
    Nov. 30, 2021
    Only 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.

  • Susmita
    Nov. 23, 2021
    The 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.

  • Andrew
    Nov. 18, 2021
    DON'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.

  • Ellie
    Nov. 17, 2021
    So 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.

  • Jaclyn
    Oct. 31, 2021
    DO 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.

  • Deborah
    Oct. 28, 2021
    DO 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!

  • Christine
    Oct. 9, 2021
    American 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.

  • Patricia
    Aug. 14, 2021
    Bringing 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.

  • Jon
    Jul. 20, 2021
    No 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.

  • Leonardo
    Jun. 18, 2021
    AA: 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.

  • David
    May. 15, 2021
    AA 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.

  • Holly
    Apr. 3, 2021
    Don'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.

  • Jeremy
    Mar. 24, 2021
    No 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.

  • Lisa
    Mar. 21, 2021
    Refused 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!

  • Thomas
    Mar. 9, 2021
    Don'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.

  • Jimmy
    Feb. 25, 2021
    Belize 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

  • Jani
    Jan. 23, 2021
    No 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.

  • Stephanie
    Nov. 24, 2020
    Incredible 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.

  • Loren
    Oct. 31, 2020
    No 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.

  • Tarja
    Sep. 5, 2020
    Shipping 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.

  • Rebecca
    Jul. 22, 2020
    Many 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.

  • Pamela
    Jul. 13, 2020
    Warning!!

    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.

  • Christopher
    Feb. 1, 2020
    Horrible 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!

  • Barb
    Jan. 2, 2020
    DON"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!!

  • Walter
    Dec. 30, 2019
    AVOID 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.

  • Merrill
    Dec. 28, 2019
    Don'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.
    Horrible experience.

  • Cozette
    Mar. 20, 2019
    Don'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!

  • Tanya
    Mar. 17, 2019
    Absolutely 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)

  • Sara
    Mar. 11, 2019
    Never 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.

  • S
    Feb. 27, 2019
    All 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

  • Romney
    Sep. 8, 2018
    Breeze

    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.

  • Roberta
    Aug. 7, 2018
    Chicago 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.

  • Brittany
    Jul. 3, 2018
    American 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.

  • Trayce
    Jun. 25, 2018
    No 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.

  • Constance
    May. 31, 2018
    No 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.

  • Nitika
    May. 26, 2018
    Extremely 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 :(

  • Allison
    May. 24, 2018
    Scnoodles 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.

  • Joanne
    Apr. 7, 2018
    AA 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!

  • Carolyn
    Mar. 24, 2018
    Gate 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.

  • Steve
    Jan. 14, 2018
    American 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.

  • Stephen
    Dec. 30, 2017
    AA 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)

  • Dawn
    More than a year ago
    AA 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 Hannaford
    More than a year ago
    American 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!!!

  • Allison
    More than a year ago
    Heartless

    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.

  • Jamie
    More than a year ago
    American 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!!

  • Candy
    More than a year ago
    What 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

  • Nacho
    More than a year ago
    Watch 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.

  • Beth
    More than a year ago
    Fine, not problems

    No issues. They were not friendly but they respected my reservation. I used a medium sherpa bag.

  • Nell
    More than a year ago
    Extremely 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 Thomas
    More than a year ago
    Excellent 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!

  • Rebecca
    More than a year ago
    Just 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.

  • Marianne
    More than a year ago
    Perfect 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.

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