Federal Guidelines FAQ's:
Pets in the Passenger Cabin
Are there any airlines that do not allow pets to travel in the passenger cabin?
Some airlines do not allow any pets to travel in the cabin. You can call the airline you are traveling on to find out if they allow pets in the passenger cabin.
Can I be sure that there will be no animals on my flight if an airline does not allow pets in the cabin?
No, you can't be sure. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has rules (14 CFR part 382)(PDF) that require airlines to allow passengers to fly with their service animals in the cabin on all U.S. airlines. Service animals are not pets. They are working animals that assist persons with disabilities. There is no limit to the number of service animals that can be on any flight. Service animals do not need any health certificates to travel and they do not need to be confined in a container or cage.
How do I find out if an airline allows pets to travel in the passenger cabin and what their policies and procedures are?
You can find out what the specific policies and procedures are for each airline in several ways. You can call the airline's reservations line and get information from the agent who takes your call. You can also look at an airline's website to get information about their policies for traveling with pets.
I have severe allergies to pet dander. How can I be sure that there is no pet dander on my flight?
You will still be exposed to pet dander on every flight, even without any pets in the passenger cabin. This is because most allergens are carried into the cabin on the clothes of other passengers.
Then what should I do if I am allergic to pet dander, but I need to fly?
First, you can reduce the chance that there will be an animal in the cabin on your flight. You can fly on an airline that does not allow pets in the cabin. You can also ask the reservations agent for your airline if another passenger on the same flight has made reservations to travel with a pet. You should also check with your allergist or doctor before your trip to discuss travel related risks and ask if you should carry medications with you. If a reaction should occur during the flight, follow your doctor's treatment instructions and ask a flight attendant for assistance.
What are the FAA rules regarding traveling with pets in the passenger cabin?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows each airline to decide if they will allow you to travel with your pet in the passenger cabin. If an airline does allow you to bring your pet into the cabin, we consider your pet container to be carry-on baggage and you must follow all carry on baggage rules (14 CFR part 121, section 121.589)
Your pet container must be small enough to fit underneath the seat without blocking any person's path to the main aisle of the airplane.
Your pet container must be stowed properly before the last passenger entry door to the airplane is closed in order for the airplane to leave the gate.
Your pet container must remain properly stowed the entire time the airplane is moving on the airport surface, and for take off and landing.
You must follow flight attendant instructions regarding the proper stowage of your pet container.
What kind of general procedures do most airlines have in place?
A limited list of the types of pets that you can bring into the cabin
A limit on the number of pets in the cabin
A limit on the number of pets that may accompany you on the airplane
A requirement that your pet be harmless, inoffensive and odorless
A requirement that your pet remain in the container for the entire flight
A requirement that you be able to produce a recently issued health certificate for your pet
If an airline allows you to travel with your pet in the cabin, you must follow all FAA regulations. Usually, most airlines have additional policies and procedures for you to follow to make sure that the flight is comfortable for all passengers on the airplane. These additional procedures may include:
Where can I go to get more information about traveling with pets in the passenger cabin?
Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Agriculture
National Center for Infectious Diseases
AC 121-36: Management of Passengers who may be Sensitive to Allergens
You can get more information about traveling with your pet from the following: