Last Updated:
12 Mar 2017

About American Airlines

American Airlines is a major U.S. airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. American Airlines charges for all checked bags (no free checked baggage allowance) on domestic routes, except with certain loyalty status memberships. Some international routes allow free checked bags, but many destinations in the Caribbean and Central America do not allow any free checked luggage.

American Airlines operates an extensive international and domestic network, with scheduled flights throughout North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the airline's largest hub.

American Airlines has recently included a "Seasonal" checked bag fee for flights to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Be sure to note these fees before booking your flights.

Keep in mind that if you booked the new American Airlines Basic Economy Fare, additional limits apply to your baggage, including limits to your carry-on allowance.

Looking for American Airlines Checked Baggage Policies?

View the 2017 American Airlines Baggage Policies page for information about carry-on, checked, and excess baggage fees.

American Airlines Pet Policy 2017

The following American Airlines pet policy information will provide the answers to many common questions regarding the transportation of pets. Special pet guidelines apply for travel to international destinations and Hawaii. Please refer to the appropriate American Airlines pet policy sections below for more detailed pet information regarding those destinations.

Important Pet Travel Information
Customers with pets traveling as checked baggage are required to present a valid health certificate.

Important Temperature Restriction Information
To help ensure the well-being of pets traveling as checked baggage, American adheres to day-of-travel temperature restrictions.

Reservations
Pets traveling in the cabin require a reservation to ensure no more than seven pets are booked on any single flight. To ensure your pet is accommodated, please make arrangements in advance by contacting Reservations.

Checked pets do not need a reservation.

Attention dog show participants: if capacity is reached, checked pets are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Check In
Being prepared will help reduce stress for you and your pet. Please remember:
You must check in at the ticket counter - Curbside or Self-Service Check-In is not allowed.
Allow extra time beyond normal check-in guidelines.
Checked pets will not be accepted more than four hours prior to your flight time.
You will be asked to complete a checklist with an agent. Here are a few of the questions as examples:
Are separate food/watering dishes securely attached and accessible without opening the kennel?
When was the last time the pet was fed and offered water?
Have you complied with all government requirements for international destinations?
Have you provided an original, valid health certificate for checked pets?
Can the pet sit, stand and rest comfortably without touching any of the sides of the kennel?

View a list of animal relief areas at select airports. If your airport is not listed, please ask for directions or assistance at our ticket counter.



Types of Pets Allowed
Cats and dogs are the only types of pets accepted on American Airlines. We maintain the right to refuse acceptance of any animal that is exhibiting aggressive behavior. View breed restrictions below for more details.

Pets Traveling In The Cabin
Pets traveling in the cabin require a reservation to ensure no more than seven pets are booked on any single flight. To ensure your pet is accommodated, please make arrangements in advance by contacting Reservations.

Important Notes
Pets are NOT allowed outside their carrier at any time during flight.
Pets may only travel upon payment of the applicable charges.

Allowed Travel Destinations
Flights within the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix
To or from the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American and some destinations in South America provided the country of arrival permits entry

Carry-on pets are NOT ALLOWED to/from Hawaii or transatlantic/transpacific destinations or to/from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela

Required Charges
See below for applicable charges. If AA is the only carrier in the itinerary, charges are payable to AA at origin of trip. If any other carrier is operating one of your flights, the charges are payable to that operating flight upon check-in. This includes AA flight numbers operated by a codeshare partner airline.

Pet Carrier Guidelines
The maximum size for cabin pet carriers is 19" long x 13" wide x 9" high. Soft-sided pet carriers such as Sherpa bags may exceed these dimensions slightly because they are collapsible. Animals must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in the kennel. Soft-sided pet carriers are accepted as long as they are constructed of water-repellent, padded nylon with mesh ventilation on two or more sides.

A pet kennel counts as either a passenger's one carry-on bag or personal item - a cabin pet charge still applies, however.

Number of Pets Allowed
Only one pet kennel per ticketed passenger may be accepted for travel in the cabin. The kennel may contain two (2) dogs or two (2) cats but they must be the same species, at least 8-weeks old, and the pet and container can weigh no more than 20 lbs. combined.

The maximum number of carry-on kennels allowed (on American Airlines flights accepting them) is seven per flight: two (2) in First Class and five (5) in Coach and/or Business Class. Service animals are not counted in the maximum number allowed in the cabin.

On American Eagle and AmericanConnection®, a maximum of two pet carriers per cabin are allowed depending on the aircraft - please contact Reservations before your flight.

Movement of Pets During Flight
Pets must stay in their closed and/or zipped kennels under the seat in front of you at all times. Pets may not be removed from their kennel/container at any time while onboard the aircraft.

Age/Health Information
Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks old for travel. If two animals are traveling in the same carrier, they must be the same species (two cats or two dogs, not one of each) and the pet and container can weigh no more than 20 lbs. combined.
American Airlines assumes no liability for the health or well-being of carry-on pets.
See Health Requirements below for additional information.

Service And Working Animal Information
Service animals accompanying a disabled passenger travel free of charge. Applicable charges will apply for all other animals.

For information regarding assistance animals traveling with a disabled passenger, please see further below on this page.

Pets Traveling As Checked Baggage
Checked pets do not need a reservation. Participants of dog shows should be aware that if capacity is reached checked pets are accepted on a first come basis.

American Airlines will require a health certificate for the acceptance of pets for travel as checked baggage. Valid health certificates must be issued by a veterinarian within 10 days of originating travel, and within 60 days of return travel on the same ticket. Return travel on a separate ticket will be subject to the 10 day restriction in order to ensure the health and safety of the animal.

Acceptance Restrictions
Pets will not be accepted for flights over 12 hours or on flights traveling to the United Kingdom. American Eagle does not accept pets as checked baggage for Priority Parcel Service between San Juan, (SJU) and St. Kitts (SKB) and between San Juan, (SJU) and Nevis (NEV).

Pets not accepted at departure time remain the responsibility of their owner.

Required Charges
See below for applicable charges. Charges are payable at the airport. The pet travel receipt must be shown at the departure gate and at security in many cities.

Important Notes
American adheres to day-of-travel temperature restrictions. Please refer to Temperature Restrictions below.
Pets may only travel upon payment of the applicable charges.
McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (S80) and Boeing 737 aircraft cannot accept a Type 500 series kennel for checked pets.

Pet Carrier Guidelines
Animals must have room to stand/turn around, sit and lie down in a natural position.

Kennels must be constructed of wood, metal, plastic or a similar material, leak-proof, escape proof and door must fasten securely and need ventilation on 2-sides in addition to the door. Kennels must also have a water container with outside access for filling, in case a delay occurs.

Collapsible Kennels (those which can fold down flat) cannot be accepted due to the risk of collapse during transport.

Separate food and water dishes must be securely attached inside the kennel and accessible without opening. Customer must also attach a small bag of food for a 24-hour period to the top of the container.

The customer is required to secure rigid plastic kennels with releasable cable ties (see example at right) attached to all four corners. American Airlines will provide the ties to the customer at no cost.

The maximum size for checked kennels is a series 500 kennel with the following dimensions: 40" long x 27" wide x 30" high. However, this size kennel is not accepted on the Boeing 737 or McDonnell Douglas MD-80 (S80). Kennels checked on MD-80s must be able to fit through the cargo door while remaining in an upright position.

Series 700 kennels are not allowed on any aircraft.
The maximum weight of a checked pet and kennel (combined) cannot exceed 100 lbs.

Number of Pets Allowed
A maximum of two checked pets per passenger is allowed.

Temperature Restrictions
Temperature restrictions have been established to ensure animals are not exposed to extreme heat or cold in the animal holding areas, terminal facilities, when moving the animals between terminal and aircraft or on an aircraft awaiting departure.


Breed Restrictions
American Airlines will not accept brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs and cats as checked luggage. The following is a list of brachycephalic dog breeds and any "mix" of will not be accepted:

The following is a list of brachycephalic cat breeds and any "mix" of will not be accepted:


Charges
For AA itineraries, charges are payable at the airport or American Airlines Travel Centers by check, cash, credit card or voucher. If not used, the refund is to the original form of payment.

For itineraries involving another operating carrier (even those with an AA flight number), the charges are payable to each individual carrier upon check in.

AA does not collect pet charges on behalf of another operating airline in the itinerary.

*Charges shown above apply for each origin/destination without a voluntary stopover/connection of four hours or more. If your itinerary includes a voluntary stopover/connection of more than four hours, charges apply for each connection segment.

Age And Health Requirements
Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks old for travel. If two animals are traveling in the same carrier, they must be the same species (two cats or two dogs, not one of each) and the pet and container can weigh no more than 20 lbs. combined and are between eight weeks and six months old.

Pets in the Cabin
American Airlines does not require a health certificate for the acceptance of pets for travel in the cabin.

Pets traveling as Checked Baggage
American Airlines will require a health certificate for the acceptance of pets for travel as checked baggage. Valid health certificates must be issued by a veterinarian within 10 days of originating travel, and within 60 days of return travel on the same ticket. Return travel on a separate ticket will be subject to the 10 day restriction in order to ensure the health and safety of the animal.

Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks old for travel. If two animals are traveling in the same kennel, they must be the same species (two cats or two dogs, not one of each) and the pet and container can weigh no more than 20 lbs. combined and are between eight weeks and six months old.

For health requirements for destinations outside the continental U.S, contact that country's consulate or embassy for information. A listing of consulates can be found at the U.S. Department of State's Web site. Also see Destination Specific Restrictions below.

Federal Regulations require written certification from the customer that dogs/cats have been offered food and water within 4 hours (with the specific time noted) before delivery to the carrier. This certification must be securely attached to the outside of the kennel so that it may be easily noticed and read and have the customer's signature with the date and time it was signed.

Feeding and watering instructions for a 24-hour period must also be provided. Instructions of "No food or water" are not acceptable unless directed by the attending veterinarian.

Aircraft cargo compartments are pressurized and are normally maintained at a temperature range of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sedation
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in most cases cats and dogs should not be given sedatives or tranquilizers prior to flying. An animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation, which can be dangerous when the kennel is moved.

Whether flying as a cabin or checked pet, animals are exposed to increased altitude pressures, which can create respiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats which are sedated or tranquilized.

If your pet is sedated, the name of the medication, amount administered along with the date and time administered must be given to the agent at time of check-in.

Destination Specific Restrictions
Please see the information below for restrictions specific to certain destinations. If you are taking a pet outside the United States, contact that country's consulate or embassy for information. A listing of consulates* can be found at the U.S. Department of State's Web site.
For your pet's safety, you must adhere to all requirements of the region to which you are traveling.


Travel To Or Through Hawaii
Hawaii is a rabies-free state and state law requires 120-day quarantine for dogs/cats to protect residents and pets. The quarantine periods can be reduced to five (5) days or less if specific qualifications are met. See http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/aqs/info for more information.

No pets are accepted on non-stop flights to Maui, the Big Island or Kauai.

Pregnant animals past 45 days gestation are not permitted.

Guide and service dogs may be eligible for reduced quarantine. Contact the Animal Quarantine office in Honolulu at 808-483-7171 for more information. For additional quarantine information please visit http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/aqs/info

Important Notes
Pets may travel to Hawaii as checked baggage only.
ALL pet arrivals/connections in/through Hawaii must be via Honolulu.

Pets Connecting in Honolulu to points within Hawaii
American Airlines will transport all pets to Animal Quarantine in Honolulu. The pet will remain there for the pre-determined quarantine period at which time the owner makes arrangements to transport the pet to outer island, either by coming to Honolulu or through air cargo. The owner is responsible for making all necessary arrangement with the Animal Quarantine office in Honolulu at 808-483-7171.

Pets Connecting in Honolulu to points beyond Hawaii
Upon arrival in Honolulu, American Airlines will take the pet to a sterile area where the pet is held until the connecting flight departure time. The connecting carrier will pick up the pet from the sterile transit area and deliver the pet directly to the connecting flight. The owner of the pet is responsible for making all arrangements directly with the Animal Quarantine office in Honolulu at 808-483-7171 and with the connecting carrier. The owner pays each carrier directly for applicable charges.

Connections To Other Carriers
Pets are not interlined between American Airlines and other carriers (including codeshare partners). Pets must be claimed and rechecked to each carrier. You will be responsible for claiming the animal and rechecking it with the other carrier.

Pets Traveling Alone
American Airlines Cargo and Priority Parcel Service ship pets to most destinations. You can find information about pets traveling without a ticketed passenger at AACargo.com, or by calling 800-CARGOAA (800-227-4622)

SERVICE ANIMALS
American Airlines and American Eagle accept service animals used by persons with disabilities at no charge. An animal may accompany a customer with a disability in the aircraft cabin, provided the animal can be accommodated without obstructing an aisle or other area used for emergency evacuations.

If a service animal is disruptive or too large to fit under the seat or at the passenger's feet without encroaching on another passenger's space or protruding into the aisle, it will need to travel in a kennel (provided by the passenger) in the cargo hold. The kennel must meet IATA kennel and size requirements for the animal. Temperature restrictions shown above on this page apply to ensure the safety of the animal.

There is no charge for service animals used by customers with disabilities. A harness, tag or vest indicating status as a service animal will be helpful in distinguishing them to airport personnel. However, credible verbal assurance that the animal is providing a service to assist with a disability will suffice should an inquiry be made.

View a list of animal relief areas at select airports above on this page. If your airport is not listed, please ask for directions or assistance at our ticket counter.

Quarantine restrictions may apply. Your reservations agent or travel agent will be happy to check destination regulations for you.

Service Animals Traveling To Hawaii
Hawaii's quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. Prior arrangements for clearance must be made directly with Animal Quarantine at 808-483-7151 or http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/aqs/info*

Guide dogs, service dogs and emotional support animals may travel to/from Hawaii in the cabin. The animal will be taken to the Airport Quarantine Holding Facility for verification of compliance and examination upon arrival at Honolulu.

Service Animals Traveling To The United Kingdom
American Airlines is approved to carry service animal cats or dogs to the U.K. A disabled passenger must obtain and present a pre-approval letter issued from the animal reception center in the passenger's destination city. The passenger must also possess the original health documentation used to obtain the pre-approval letter. For pre-approval requirements go to: www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine*
Passengers may also call the following Animal Reception Center:
London Heathrow (LHR) - (011) 44 208 745 7894
Manchester (MAN) - (011) 44 161 489 8220

Emotional Support or Psychiatric Service Animals
Emotional support and psychiatric service animals provide emotional support to an individual with a mental health-related disability. In accordance with the Department of Transportation, we require appropriate documentation 48 hours before departure to permit emotional support and psychiatric service animals to travel in the passenger cabin.

To make arrangements for the transportation of an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, please call Reservations at 1-800-433-7300 at least 48 hours before your flight.

We require current documentation (no later than one (1) year from the date of the passenger's scheduled initial flight). The documentation must meet the following criteria:

On letterhead of a licensed mental health professional including a medical doctor specifically treating the passenger's mental or emotional disability (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker) stating the following:
That passenger has a mental health related disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM IV)
The passenger needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger's destination
The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his or her professional care
The date and type of the mental health professional's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued
Plan to check in one hour before the check-in time for the general public for document verification.
All of the above specific criteria must be provided to accept your emotional support or psychiatric service animal for travel in the passenger cabin. If all requirements are not met, the animal will travel as a pet in the cabin or cargo.

Useful Links

  1. American Airlines Carry-on Allowance 2017
  2. American Airlines Baggage Allowance 2017
  3. American Airlines Excess Baggage Fees 2017


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