Dog smiling with wind blowing.

What Airline Is the Best for Traveling With Pets?

Flying with a pet cat or dog can be complicated especially for first-timers. It can be stressful for the animals too as it suddenly deprives them of a familiar and comfortable surrounding. If you have not traveled with your pets via an airplane before, we would suggest you hire a pet transport company that has handlers that are highly experienced with pets. 

Should you decide to travel with your pets, below are a list of airlines along with their rules and guidelines regarding traveling with pets. 


There’s no limit to the weight so long as the pet comfortably fits in the carrier under the seat. For the carrier size – it would depend on the booked flight. You will need to check the aircraft for the under-seat dimensions. For domestic travel, the pets must be at least 10 weeks old and 16 weeks old for international flights.

More info:

The kennel should be with ventilation, leak-proof and must comfortably fit under the seat just in front of you. 

Your dog must remain inside the kennel at all times.

American Airlines

Cats and dogs over 2 months old and can sit in a kennel are allowed under the seat in front of you. The maximum weight has to be between 9kg and 20 pounds, including the pet’s carrier. The carrier size would depend on the flight. American Airlines allows international travel for dogs but not for longer than 12 hours or for transatlantic flights. 

More info:

The dogs are not permitted on First Class or Business on some of the planes due to the lack of under-seat storage space. 

Pets can’t travel on A321S, A321, A321H, A319  and A320 aircraft. 
Air Canada

The cat and dog should comfortably fit in each of their carriers. They should be able to conveniently turn around or stand up. The maximum weight for each pet is 22 pounds (including the carrier).

More info:

You are only allowed to bring one dog with you and the carrier counts as one standard item in your carry-on baggage allowance. 

Your dog must remain in a carrier at all times.

You can’t travel with your dog if you are seated in a bulkhead row or in an exit, requiring the use of a medical device and traveling in Premium Economy. 

Air France

Small dogs and cats are allowed. Including the carrier, the maximum weight for the dog is between 8kg or 17 pounds.

More info:

For intercontinental flights, the dog is not allowed to fly in a business cabin. 

The dog must stay in the carrier at all times and only one dog is allowed in the carrier. 

Passengers may travel only with one dog. 

Crates are no longer allowed. 

Aegean Airlines

Including the carrier, the maximum weight is between 8kg and 17.6 pounds.

More info:

You can only travel with one dog in your cabin and the pet has to be in a special container. 

You are not allowed to travel with your dog if you have an infant with you. 


Excluding the carrier, the maximum weight is between 6kg to 13.2 pounds.

More info:

The animal must stay in the container during the entire duration of the flight and the dog’s head must not protrude from the container. 

All animals must have a blue EU passport along with the rabies vaccination. 

Alaska Air

Including the carrier, the maximum weight has to be between 9kg to 20 pounds.

More info:

You can bring 2 dog carriers with you in the main cabin so long as you purchase the adjacent seat. 

You can put 2 dogs in one carrier provided that they are not in distress and no body parts protrude from their carrier. 

Prepare for the Flight

Make sure that you get a carrier with plenty of ventilation and a leak-proof bottom for your pet. Do not forget to label it with your complete name, address, phone number and destination. Before flying, you must review all of the airlines’ rules and guidelines in their entirety especially when it comes to pet travel. Also, ensure that your pets have been vaccinated for rabies and you have all the paperwork needed for the flight. Get a health certificate from a vet ahead of time and your pet has to be up to date with all immunizations. 

If possible, choose direct flights only to minimize risks. It’s also important that you prepare your pet beforehand. Consult with your vet about medications, food and water before flying with your pet. Familiarize your pet with its carrier so he will be more comfortable during the flight. 

What is the Best Airline for Pet Travel?

This would highly depend on what your pet needs. It would be wiser for you to review the airline’s guidelines first before booking your flights. Better yet, hire BCPT for a hassle-free pet transport via airplane. We have experienced handlers who would ensure your pets gets the highest quality care. Blue Collar Pet Transport will utilize the airline that accommodates your schedule, your pet’s condition and our nannies or handlers. Contact us today!

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