How Do You Know if a Pet Carrier Is Airline Approved?

airline approved carrier

You may have a Pet carrier or looking to buy a new one for your dog or cat to travel on the airline. And you want to know if it will be Airline approved or not. It is important to make sure you have a TSA-approved that fully meets the airline’s pet policy standards.

If your pet backpack meets the airline’s pet policy standards then you can carry your pet in a pet backpack on airlines.

So, you can ensure that your pet carrier is airline approved if it is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you but big enough to contain your pet easily. The most standard sizes for pet carriers for airlines are (standard max height allows up to 17 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches tall). It must be waterproof and has Bite-proof material.

What is a TSA-Approved Pet Carrier?

A TSA-approved pet carrier is a carrier that meets the requirements set by the Transportation Security Administration for bringing a pet onboard an airplane. It is a pet carrier that is specifically designed to meet the requirements of the TSA.

The carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the passenger, and it must have a leak-proof bottom. The carrier must also be well-ventilated and must have a secure latch that can be opened and closed easily.

You may be interested in reading Can I Carry my Dog in a Baby Carrier? – if Yes, How?

TSA/Airline Requirements for a Pet Carrier

There are a few things you can look for to make sure your carrier meets airline requirements. First of all, make sure your selected pet carrier is allowed on the Plane. You have to make sure your pet carrier is TSA-friendly before you travel with your pet. Most airlines have these general pet policy standards that you have to fulfill while traveling with your pet.

1. Proper Dimensions

The carrier should have proper dimensions and the right size so that your pet can fit comfortably inside. The proper dimensions for an airline pet carrier are as follows: length – no more than 20 inches, width – no more than 11 inches, and height – no more than 10 inches. In order to make sure that your pet carrier meets these requirements, you should check with your airline before you travel.

You should choose a standard-size pet carrier that you can use for most airlines.

2. Waterproof Bottom and Durable

A pet carrier with a waterproof bottom is essential for airline travel. Many airlines require that the bottom of the carrier be waterproof in case of an accident. The carrier must also have a watertight bottom and must be made of durable material. It must be durable and waterproof from the bottom side to avoid any leakage in the plane.

3. Enough Ventilation

One key requirement for pet carriers is that they provide enough ventilation for your animal. This is important for their comfort and also to make sure that they do not overheat. The carrier should have mesh panels or openings that allow air to flow freely through the carrier.

4. Bite-proof Material

Airlines require that your pet carrier is made of bite-proof material. This is to prevent your pet from biting through the carrier and injuring themselves or other passengers. There are a few different materials that are considered bite-proof, such as Kevlar or steel. You can check with your airline to see what materials they allow for pet carriers.

5. Proper Labelings

All pet carriers must be properly labeled with the owner’s name, address, and phone number. The TSA also recommends that you label your pet carrier with “Live Animal” stickers, which are available at most pet stores. These stickers will help alert TSA agents that there is a live animal inside the carrier.

6. Type of the Carrier

One of the most important things to consider when traveling with your pet is the type of carrier you will use. There are a few different types of carriers that are acceptable for travel, but not all of them will be accepted by every airline.

1. The most common type of carrier is the soft-sided carrier, which is made of a lightweight fabric and is easy to carry. Soft-sided carriers are often the preferred type of carrier for small dogs and cats, and many airlines will accept them as long as they meet certain size requirements.

2. Hard-sided carriers are another option and are made of a sturdy plastic material. Hard-sided carriers are generally preferred for larger dogs, and most airlines will accept them as long as they meet certain size requirements.

You can also search on Amazon or Walmart for TSA-approved carriers. There will be additional guidelines mentioned for airlines like United States Airlines approved, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Allegiant, or any other which is allowed for that carrier.

Tip, Choose a standard-size pet carrier that you can use for most airline travel. The most standard sizes for pet carriers are (standard max height up to 17 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches tall). 

Read more: Can I use a Regular Backpack as a Cat Carrier? and Safety Guides

Required Documents for Pet Travel on Airline

Every airline has different documents required for pet carrying. In order to transport a pet by air, there are a few required documents that must be obtained and filled out. Here are some general documents required to travel with your pet.

1. A Current Veterinarian Health Certificate

A current Veterinarian Health Certificate is required for all pets traveling in the cabin and as cargo. The certificate must be dated within 10 days of travel and must state that the animal is healthy and fit to travel.

2. A Signed Letter from the Veterinarian

A signed letter from your veterinarian is required in order to travel with your pet. This letter should include your pet’s health history, vaccination records, and any other pertinent medical information.

3. Proof of Vaccinations

Your pet will need to have proof of their vaccinations in order to travel. This will usually be in the form of a vaccination certificate from your vet.

Proof of vaccinations is required in order to travel with your pet. The specific vaccinations required will vary depending on the airline, but generally, pets will need to be up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Some airlines may also require proof of other vaccinations, such as Bordetella or Canine Influenza.

Get Travel Insurance for your Pet if Required

Finally, a pet travel insurance policy should be purchased in case of any unforeseen medical emergencies that may occur while in transit. This insurance will cover the cost of your pet if they are lost, stolen, or injured while in transit. 

Final Thoughts

If you want to carry your pet whether it is a dog, cat, rabbit, or any other, must verify airline pet policies with your pet carrier. Choose a required size with proper dimensions, a waterproof bag or backpack carrier, sturdy enough to avoid any injuries or accidental scenarios. If you follow the pet policy standards, you can make sure your pet carrier is airline approved.

Read also the top 10 Tips to Train Your Cat to Used to or Ride in a Cat Backpack


What is the maximum weight for a dog to fly on a plane?

Some airlines have a maximum weight for dogs of 20 pounds, while others may have a limit of 50 pounds. It is best to check with the airline you are flying with to determine their policy.

Can I take a 25 lb dog on a plane?

Yes, most TSA has a limit of up to 50 lbs for carry-on pets, so you can take a 25 lb dog on a plane. If any airline doesn’t allow it, there will be a need to cargo your pet.

Can I buy a seat for my dog on an Airplane?

No, you cannot buy a seat for your dog on an airplane. Generally, only service animals are allowed in the cabin of an airplane.

Do Airlines actually Measure Pet Carriers?

Most airlines only require that pet carriers fit under the seat in front of you, which means they don’t need to be measured as long as they can be stored there.

What size pet carrier will fit under an airline seat at American Airlines?

The dimensions for an American Airlines pet carrier are 17 inches long x 13 inches wide x 8 inches high.

How much is the pet fee for American Airlines?

The pet fee for American Airlines is $125 for flights within the United States and $200 for international flights.

How strict is JetBlue with Pet carriers?

JetBlue is not strict with pet carriers, as long as they are small enough to fit underneath the seat in front of the passenger.

What size dog can fly in a cabin?

Some airlines allow small dogs in the cabin, while others have stricter requirements. It is advisable to contact the airline directly to inquire about their policies regarding dogs in the cabin.

Can I use a Regular Backpack as a Pet Carrier on Airplanes?

You can use a regular backpack as a pet carrier on an airplane if it is the proper size and meets all the policy standards.

Is There a Limit to the Number of Pets I can Take on a Plane?

As a general rule, the majority of pet-friendly airlines allow one pet per passenger to fly in the cabin. However, some airlines allow each passenger to take a maximum of two pets of the same species traveling in the same carrier. Source: The Adventures Of Django And Arya

2 thoughts on “How Do You Know if a Pet Carrier Is Airline Approved?”

  1. Pingback: What Size Pet Carrier Fits under Airline Seat?

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