Tailored Policies for Every Flight

According to United Airlines’ pet policy, the following animals can be brought on board: 

  • In the cabin 
  • In the checked baggage section 
  • As cargo baggage 

The number of pets allowed in the cabin changes by plane, so call United Airlines as soon as you know when and where you’ll be going. People with disabilities can bring their trained service dogs into the house with them for free.

United Airlines In-Cabin Pet Policy 

Only United Airlines and United Express planes are allowed to have pets in the cabin. If you have more than one trip, you need to check with each company separately.

Allowed Pets: 

United lets you bring small dogs, cats, small birds (except cockatoos) and rabbits on planes within the mainland U.S. (but not to Hawaii).

Forms Req.:

  • At least 30 days before the flight, the rabies certificate must be given.
  • Certificate of health.

Pet Age: 

  • Flights within the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Puppies and kittens must be 2 months old or older.
  • Flights between countries. Puppies and kittens must be at least 4 months old and completely off their mothers’ milk.

Pet Carrier

  • The carriers or kennels that have a hard shell should not exceed the dimensions of 44cm in length, 30cm in width, and 19cm in height (which is approximately 15.5 inches x 12 inches x 7.5 inches).
  • The carriers or kennels that are made of soft material should not exceed the dimensions of 46cm in length, 28cm in width, and 28cm in height (which is equivalent to 18 inches x 11 inches x 11 inches).
  • The tallest height allowed for a pet carrier on a Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft is 25cm/10in.
  • The pet carrier must be approved by the airline. 
  • The bottom must be waterproof. 
  • Make sure there is enough air circulation and that everything is tightly closed or attached. 
  • The pet needs to have enough space to feel comfortable.

Check-in Requirements

To make things clear, when you arrive, please go to the passenger counter to check-in. Just so you know, your pet carrier will be considered one of your carry-on bags.

Cost and Charges

  • United Airlines charges a pet fee of $125.
  • You can pay the pet fee when you check in at the reservations counter.
  • If your flight has a layover longer than 4 hours in the United States or longer than 24 hours outside of the United States, you will be charged an extra fee of USD 125.


  • Route Restrictions

You cannot bring your pets with you in the cabin on flights to or from the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Tahiti, South Africa, Panama, India, Cuba, Guam, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia.

  • Seating Restrictions

Passengers who are traveling with pets cannot sit in the bulkhead or exit row seats, as well as the Premium Plus seats. This is because there is not enough space under the seats for pets. If you’re flying on a Boeing 757-200, it’s important to choose a window seat because there isn’t much room under the middle and aisle seats.

Service Dog

Passengers with a qualifying disability can travel for free, along with their companions.

Other Restrictions

  • You need to be accompanied by an adult who will take care of the pet during the trip.
  • You must keep your pet inside the carrier or kennel at all times while at the airport, in the boarding area, and on the plane.
  • You need to keep your belongings with you and store them under the seat in front of you.
  • If your pet is too big to fit in a carrier or kennel, you must travel using the PetSafe program.

United Airlines Pet Policy for Cargo

If your dog or cat is too big to travel with you in the cabin or if they are traveling alone, you can use the PetSafe Program. This program allows pets to travel in the cargo hold of the aircraft to around 300 different destinations. The temperature and pressure in this section are the same as in the airplane cabin.

Pets AllowedCats and dogs. 

Forms Required

If you are traveling to another country with your pet, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork that the destination country requires.

  • Rabies certificate must be given at least 30 days before flight.
  • Health certificate that was given within 10 days of the trip.
  • The pet owner signed the Customer Acknowledgement Form.
  • IATA-compliant is shown by a picture of the front of the pet box.
  • A close-up picture of the face of the pet to prove its breed.

Pet Age

  • For travel within the United States and Puerto Rico, the dog must be at least 8 weeks old and weigh at least 2 pounds (1 kilogram). Your puppy or kitten must be at least 10 weeks old if it weighs less than 2 pounds.
  • To go to the United States, you must be at least 16 weeks old.

Carrier Requirement

  • United Airlines lets you put two puppies or kittens in one carrier if they are:
    • From the same type.
    • Less than 6 months old.
    • Not more than 20lb or 9kg each.
    • Small enough to fit in the bag easily.
  • United Airlines no longer permits the use of Series 700 kennels. 
  • You need to use metal hardware to attach the top and bottom halves together. 
  • On domestic flights, it is necessary to have ventilation on three sides. On international flights, ventilation is required on four sides. 
  • It can be made of metal, wood, or plastic.
  • The crate cannot be taller than 34 inches.  
  • The allowed weight range is from 2 pounds (1 kilogram) to 770 pounds (350 kilograms). 
  • The space should be big enough for your pet to feel comfortable in all positions, like standing, sitting, lying down, and turning around. 
  • Make sure to attach the food and water dishes securely inside the container, allowing you to fill them from the outside.


Aircraft Restrictions

Pets are currently not allowed in the cargo hold of United’s Boeing 787 planes.

Route Restrictions

Pets cannot be transported as cargo baggage.

  • On trips to Australia, India, Nigeria, or Dubai.
  • When flying out of Chengdu, Beijing, or Seoul.

Breed Restrictions 

Because they are dangerous for health, brachycephalic dog breeds are not accepted. Check out Brachycephalic Breeds Here.

Temperature Restrictions 

United will not allow you to make bookings during the following time period:

  • Tuscon, Phoenix, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas between May 1 and September 30. 
  • The 15th of June and the 15th of September, to Shanghai or Chengdu, China.

Pet Reservations 

  • Must be done between 5 and 30 days before the trip. 
  • You must use an IATA agent (IPATA.org) to book a flight internationally. 

Pet Cost and Charges

  • The pet fee is different for each trip. Check out this link to see how much United charges for shipping pets by route.
  • When you pick up your pet, you’ll have to pay the pet fee. 

Comfort Stops 

  • Comfort breaks are necessary if your pet’s travel is longer than 12 hours, and you must pay the associated price.  
  • On itineraries with more than two layovers, dogs and cats are not allowed.

The United Airlines Flight Change Policy provides flexibility. Examine your alternatives, the requirements for qualifying, and the simple procedure for changing your reservations. United Airlines guarantees a customer-centric approach to hassle-free travel alterations, regardless of how plans change or circumstances arise.

Service Animals ( Only Dogs )

United Airlines allows qualified passengers with disabilities to bring trained service dogs on board their flights. These service dogs are permitted to travel in the cabin at no additional cost.

  • The dog must be at least 4 months old and a service animal. 
  • The service dog must be taught to help people with physical, mental, intellectual, psychological, or sensory challenges.
  • Trainers can bring one support dog that is still being trained for free. 
  • Each person who qualifies can bring up to two help dogs for free.
  • The service dog must be tied or leashed in the right way. 
  • The service dog must sit on the floor in front of your seat.
  • The dog should not be able to reach into the aisles.
  • The service dog must do what its owner tells it and act right.
  • Your service dog’s health records and other paperwork must be up-to-date and in your possession. They must also follow the rules of the place or country where they are going.
  • You can’t move until your service animal has had rabies shot for at least 30 days.
  • Therapy animals are not the same as service animals, and United’s general pet policy applies to them as well. 
  • United Airlines no longer takes animals that help people with mental health issues.


What types of animals can I bring in the cabin on United Airlines flights?

You can bring small dogs, cats, small birds (except cockatoos), and rabbits in the cabin on United Airlines and United Express planes within the mainland U.S. (excluding Hawaii).

What are the age requirements for pets traveling in the cabin on international flights?

Puppies and kittens must be at least 4 months old and completely weaned from their mother’s milk for international flights.

What are the size restrictions for pet carriers in the cabin of United Airlines planes?

The hard-shell carriers should not exceed 44cm in length, 30cm in width, and 19cm in height, while soft-sided carriers should not exceed 46cm in length, 28cm in width, and 28cm in height.

What is the pet fee for traveling with a pet in the cabin on United Airlines flights?

The pet fee for in-cabin pet travel is $125.

Are there any restrictions for bringing pets on flights to specific countries?

Yes, pets are not allowed in the cabin on flights to or from certain countries, including the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Tahiti, South Africa, Panama, India, Cuba, Guam, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia.

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