American Airlines has just made it easier and cheaper to fly with your pet. What you need to know

by Alice

American Airlines has implemented changes to its pet travel policy, making it more convenient and cost-effective for passengers flying with their furry companions. Effective March 28, the airline now permits travelers to bring a full-size carry-on bag alongside their pet carrier at no extra charge. Previously, American Airlines considered the pet carrier as the sole carry-on item, disallowing passengers from bringing an additional roller bag.

However, passengers opting for carry-on pet travel are required to make a choice between a large carry-on item suitable for overhead bin storage or a personal item; they cannot bring both simultaneously. This adjustment aims to enhance the travel experience for customers accompanied by their pets, as stated by an American Airlines spokesperson.


For the privilege of carrying pets on board, American Airlines levies a fee of $150 per kennel. This option is available on most flights within the United States, to and from Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, and St. Thomas. Guidelines stipulate that pets must be small enough to comfortably fit inside a closed carrier and remain underneath the seat in front of the passenger. American Airlines recommends the use of soft-sided collapsible kennels for this purpose.


Similar to American’s updated policy, other airlines also impose restrictions on passengers traveling with carry-on pets. Delta Air Lines, for instance, regards the pet’s kennel as the sole carry-on item, allowing passengers to bring only one additional personal item. Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, grants passengers traveling with carry-on pets the option to bring either a personal item or a carry-on item alongside their pet carrier.


When traveling with pets, passengers are advised to equip the carrier with essential items such as water and treats and to check in for their flight as late as possible. These measures contribute to a smoother and more comfortable journey for both pets and their owners.



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