If you are going to fly with your pet you will need to know their pet policies. Will the airline allow your dog or cat to fly with you? What are the dimensions, maximum weight, or other restrictions? This information will help you to stay away from any stress or delay in travel.
In this guide, I’m going to share my deep research on pet travel policies to fly with your pet. I will share with you the required pet carrier type, sizes, your pet’s weight, and some other guidelines for the most popular airline services.
Several requirements must be met if you’re planning to check your pet carrier as cargo with the International Air Transport Association.
So, let me discuss the pet carrier sizes that fit under airline seats.
Pet Carrier Sizes that Fit under Airline Seat
The most standard size for pet carriers for airlines that fits under airline seats is (standard max height allows up to 17 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches tall). It must be waterproof, Bite-proof material and Soft-Sided is the best to fly with your pet.
Your main objective should be to find the perfect carrier that is large enough to give your pet room, yet small enough to meet airline requirements and fit under the airline seat.
“[You need] to make sure your pet is not squashed,” Dr. Hohenhaus says
How do I know if a Pet Carrier is Airline Approved?
If you are thinking of traveling with your pet on an airplane, you will need an airline-compliant pet carrier. Here are the minimum features that your carrier must have to be airline compliant:
- Pet carrier must fit under the seat in front of you.
- The carrier must have a waterproof bottom
- The carrier must have adequate ventilation
- Your pet must be securely fastened in the carrier. (no snaps, please, zippers are better)
- Your pet must fit entirely in the carrier. No heads sticking out.
- Your pet must be the proper size for the carrier. Your pet must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier.
If you are unsure how much space there will be under the seat in front of you, contact your airline directly. Your travel agent can look up your route and tell you what kind of plane will be flying and how much space there will be.
Standard Pet Carrier Size or Dimensions to Fly
Many airlines post carrier requirements on their websites. I have collected some information from the most popular airline’s pet policy pages.
Below are the pet carrier size or dimensions for different airlines to fly with your pet.
American Airlines Under Seat Pet Carrier Dimensions
Pets must fit inside a carrier that is 19” (L) x 13”(W) x 9” (H) or (48 cm x 33 cm x 22 cm).
All pets must be at least eight weeks old to travel.
Delta Airlines Under Seat Pet Carrier Dimensions
Delta recommends a maximum size of 18 inches Long, 11 inches in width, and 11 inches in height carrier for your to fly under the seat in front of you.
You can carry Small Dogs, Cats, Domestic Birds, and Rabbits.
Southwest Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Southwest Airlines Pet Carrier dimensions are 17” (L) x 10” (W) x 9.5” (H).
For Dogs and Cats, 1 Carrier per passenger. In some cases, the carrier may hold 2 animals:
UNITED Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
The United pet policy allows for both hard-sided and soft-sided carriers. Hard-sided carriers must be no more than 17.5 inches long by 12 inches wide by 7.5 inches high.
TURKISH Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
TURKISH Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 15.7″ Long x 11.8” Wide × 9″ High.
KLM Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
KLM Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 18″ Long x 11″ Wide x 9.4″ High
JetBlue Airlines Seat Pet Carrier Dimensions
JetBlue Airlines Seat Pet Carrier Dimensions must not exceed 17″ L x 12.5″ W x 8.5″ H (43.18 cm L x 31.75 cm W x 21.59 cm H).
The combined weight of your pet and the carrier must not exceed 20 pounds.
Canada Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Canada Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions For Hard-Sided = 22″ Long x 16″ Wide x 9″ High
Canada Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions For Soft-Sided = 21.5” Long × 16″ Wide x 10.5 High
The carrier can contain a maximum of 2 dogs.
Alaska Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Alaska Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions for Hard-Sided = 17″ Long x 11″ Wide x 7.5″ High
Alaska Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions for Soft-Sided = 17″ Long x 11″ Wide x 9.5″ High
Spirit Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Spirit Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 18″ L x 14″ W x 9″ H.
The pet will count as one-plus-one carry-on luggage.
Frontier Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Frontier Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 18″ L x 14″ W x 8″ H.
Allegiant Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Allegiant Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 9” H x 16” W x 19” D & fully close.
They strongly suggest a soft-sided carrier.
Aegean Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Aegean Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 55cm in length, 40cm in width, and 23cm in height.
Europa Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Europa Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 21″ L x 14″ W x 10″ H (55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm).
France Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Your dog or cat must be transported in a special closed travel carrier.
France Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 18″ L x 11″ H x 9″ W (46 cm x 28 cm x 24 cm).
French Bee Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
French Bee Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 43 cm L x 35 cm W x 20 cm H.
It must be waterproof, have soft sides, and provide your pet with a sufficient level of comfort.
Lufthansa Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Lufthansa Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 55 cm L x 40 cm W x 23 cm H (22 x 16 x 9in).
TAP Air Portugal Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
TAP Air Portugal Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 40 cm L x 33cm W x 17cm H / 15in x 12in x 6in.
Aeroflot Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Aeroflot Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 44 cm L × 30 cm W × 26 cm H.
OpenSkies Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
OpenSkies Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are length 45 cm x width 30 cm x height 24 cm.
Japan Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions
Japan Airlines Pet Carrier Dimensions are 45 cm long, 35 cm wide, and 25 cm height.
Read also: Can I use a Regular Backpack as a Dog Carrier? – Safety Guides
What is the Largest Dog that can Fit Under an Airline Seat?
The largest dog size that can fit under an airline seat is that not exceed the standard size of the carrier for that airline. If your pet fits in a bag or backpack carrier that is allowed for airplanes, that will be the largest dog size.
Every airline has its own policies for your dog or any other pet. The standard size for a dog carrier is 17 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches tall. It must be waterproof, Bite-proof material and Soft-Sided is the best to fly with your pet.
Can a 15 lb dog fit under an airplane seat?
Yes, a 15 lb dog fits under an airplane seat. You can fly with a 15 pounds dog on most airlines. Generally, if your dog in the carrier can fit under the seat in front of you, then you can fly with it. For further details, check the airline’s pet policy before you plan to travel.
Can a 20 lb dog fit under an airplane seat?
Yes, a 20 lb dog fits under an airplane seat. You can fly with up to 20 pounds dog on most airlines. Generally, if your dog in the carrier can fit under the seat in front of you, then you can fly with it. Some airlines are strict about the pet weight limit, so you should check the weight policy of the airline before traveling.
Can a 25 lb dog fit under an airplane seat?
Yes, a 25 lb dog fits under an airplane seat. You can fly with 25 pounds dog on most airlines. Most airlines post carrier requirements on their official websites. So check the terms of the policy to confirm.
Can my 30-pound dog fly with me?
Yes, on most airlines, you can fly with a 30 pounds dog. Some airlines don’t allow you to carry more than 25 lbs of pet, so you have to cargo your dog in such cases.
Maximum Weight for a Dog to Fly on a Plane
A maxim of 50 pounds dog can fly on a plane but some even don’t allow to carry a 30 pounds dog. So, if you have a dog more than the mentioned weight in the pet policy standards, you have to cargo your pet.
Does Delta have a weight limit for dogs?
No weight limit on Delta, just your dog should be comfortably fit in a carrier under the seat. You can carry your dogs on Delta Airlines with up to 100 pounds which is enough ever.
Do Airlines Supply Crates for Dogs?
Yes, some airlines do supply crates for dogs. Make sure to check with your airline to see if they offer this service. Check out the Minimum Airline Pet Cargo Crate Requirements.
Best Airline-Approved Dog Carrier
Check out these top picks for airline-approved dog carriers! These pet carriers, travelers use every year to travel worldwide with their pets without any problems.
If you plan to travel with your pet, you should not buy a cheap pet carrier. I also recommend that you consider a pet pad to protect your carrier against nervous accidents. It is a small investment to keep your carrier in good condition.
When choosing a pet carrier to take on an airplane, it is important to make sure that it will fit under the seat in front of you. The carrier should also be comfortable for your pet and have enough room for them to move around. There are many different size dimensions for every airline to fly with your pet. So, check out the policy standards in advance.
If you have any questions about airline pet carriers, please leave a comment below to have suggestions from expert pet travelers.
What is the Best Way to Travel with a Dog on a Plane?
The best way to travel with a dog on a plane is in a carrier that is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.
Which Airline Allows Dogs in the Cabin?
There are many airlines in the United States that allow dogs in the cabin, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and Virgin America.
Do Airlines Check Pet Carrier Sizes?
In my experience to travel with Pets, I found that only a few airlines, Lufthansa and Frontier Airlines, regularly measure Pet Carriers for weight and dimensions.
Required Documents for Pet Travel on Airline
- A Current Veterinarian Health Certificate
- A Signed Letter from the Veterinarian
- Proof of Vaccinations
How do I Prepare my Dog for Flying?
You should contact the airline you plan to fly with to get specific instructions, but in general, you will need to provide proof of vaccination, have a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian, and make sure your dog is comfortable in a carrier.
Can my Dog Sit on my Lap during a Flight?
Some airlines allow small dogs to sit on their owner’s lap during the flight, while others require that all dogs remain in their carrier for the duration of the flight. It is best to check with your airline before booking your flight to see what their policy is regarding dogs on flights.
How to get a Dog on a Plane for Free?
Some tips to get a dog on a plane for free may include signing up for an airline’s loyalty program or checking to see if the airline offers any free or discounted rates for traveling with a pet.
How Long Can a Pet Stay in a Carrier?
According to Dr. Meg Summers of Heart of Chelsea Veterinary Group in New York City, the number of times pets can stay in carriers depends on their age. “Ideally, any pet six months and older should be in a carrier or crate for no longer than eight to nine hours at a time,” she says. “If the pet is under six months, it’s recommended [they stay in their carrier] no longer than four to five hours.”
Keep reading: How Long Can a Cat Be in a Backpack Carrier?