Last Updated:
01 Mar 2017

About United Airlines

United Airlines is an American major airline headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. United operates out of 10 airline hubs in the continental United States, Guam, and Japan.

United Airlines has recently introduced a new no-frills fare called "Basic Economy", which significantly restricts any baggage allowed free of charge, including carry-on baggage.

Looking for United Airlines Checked Baggage Policies?

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

United Airlines Pet Policy 2017

Pet travel restrictions vary by season, destination and other factors. Be sure to get the most up-to-date information.

If your pet will be traveling as carry-on or in a kennel as checked baggage, please call United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) to make the necessary arrangements.

Pets traveling unaccompanied
Pets flying without their owners must travel via United Cargo.

Size and weight restrictions
Kennels larger than 115 linear inches (292 linear cm) and pets weighing more than 150 pounds (68 kg) including their kennels must travel via United Cargo.

TRAVELING WITH PETS
United may accept your dog, cat, rabbit or household bird as carry-on or checked baggage. Some other pets, including dogs of the pit bull breed, hamsters and guinea pigs, may travel as checked baggage only. All options require advance reservations and are subject to a charge. Please call United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) to make arrangements for pets traveling as checked or carry-on baggage. For all other animals, please contact United Cargo at 1-800-UA-CARGO or visit unitedcargo.com.

Please note
Advance arrangements are not guarantees that your animal will travel on a specific flight. To be as humane as possible, airlines reserve the right to refuse to transport an animal for reasons such as illness, poor kenneling or extreme temperatures at origin, transfer or destination airports. Airlines have the right to refuse carriage of any animal that demonstrates aggressive and/or violent behavior.

Summer embargo - breed restriction
For the safety of your animal, United Airlines does not accept the following short-nosed dog breeds, or mixed-breed dogs exhibiting the short-nosed characteristics of these breeds, as either checked baggage or cargo from June 1st through September 30th of each year. This restriction does not apply to animals traveling with you in the cabin.
American Bulldog
Boston Terrier
Boxer
English or French Bulldog
King Charles Spaniel
Lhasa Apso
Pug
Shar-Pei
Shih Tzu

All-breed summer embargo for travel to/from Kuwait and Bahrain
Due to extreme heat, United Airlines will not accept any pets as checked baggage for travel to/from Kuwait (KWI) and Bahrain (BAH) from May 1 through September 30. Pets can be carried only in the economy cabin on flights to and from Kuwait. If the pet is carried in the cabin, the embargo time frame does not apply.

Travel to/from Australia
Pets are not permitted to travel in the cabin or as checked baggage on flights to/from Australia (exceptions may be made for service dogs such as seeing-eye or guide dogs). Pets may only travel to/from Australia as manifested cargo. Passengers should visit http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/cat-dogs and www.unitedcargo.com to learn more.

Health documentation
Passengers are required to make sure all health and pet travel documents are current and compliant with local, state, federal and international entry requirements and regulations. The passenger will assume full responsibility for penalties assessed by agencies for non-compliance of pet health and entry requirements.

Carry-on
United will allow the following pets to travel with you in the cabin if they are small enough to fit and stay comfortably in a carrier under the seat in front of you:
Fully weaned dog or cat (minimum 6 months old, 1 per carrier);
Domesticated rabbit (1 per carrier)
Fully weaned puppies or kittens (minimum 8 weeks old, maximum 2 per carrier)
Domesticated household birds (maximum 2 per carrier)

Your pet carrier will take the place of one carry-on item, and a fee will apply. Please see the Fees for Traveling with Pets further below on this page for more information.

Please note: United will not transport an animal as carry-on baggage if the animal is traveling with an unaccompanied child.

Your pet carrier may be either hard- or soft-sided and must prevent escape of your pet into the cabin. No part of the animal should protrude from the carrier, and the floor must be absorbent enough to retain liquids and solids. Ventilation must be adequate. Pet and customer well-being require restrictions on many aircraft. United Airlines may not be able to accommodate pets on some aircraft or routes, or in many United First® and United Business® cabins. To be brought on board, kennels may not exceed any of the following dimensions:

No pets are allowed in the cabin on flights to Hawaii, with the exception of certified guide dogs. For more information on pets and travel to Hawaii, visit the Travel to Hawaii section below.

Checked baggage
Your dog or cat can ride in the pressurized and heated cargo compartment of the aircraft you are ticketed on. Pets traveling as checked baggage will be accepted at the airport check-in counter and delivered to the baggage claim area at your final destination. Please see our Kennels details on this page below for information about restrictions and requirements for pets traveling as checked baggage.

Fees will apply. Please see the Fees for Traveling with Pets further below on this page for more information.

Unaccompanied pets
Animals traveling via our cargo system are accepted at the cargo facility and travel in the pressurized cargo compartments of our aircraft. Fees vary based on weight, size and destination. Extreme weather guidelines will apply, preventing cargo shipment of any live animal when the temperature is forecast to exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any point in the animal's journey.

Travel arrangements
If your pet will be traveling as carry-on or checked baggage, call United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) to arrange for their travel. If your pet will be unaccompanied, contact United Cargo at 1-800-UA-CARGO or visit unitedcargo.com. If you wish to ship your pet as cargo in conjunction with your own United air travel, please contact United Cargo prior to making your air reservation.

RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR YOUR PET
Questions to consider when your pet travels

The safety and welfare of your animal is important to us. The following rules and guidelines have been established to ensure safe travel for your pet.

Is your pet old enough?
USDA requires that your pet must be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned before traveling.

Is your pet acclimated to his kennel?
Animals travel under less stress when they become accustomed to their shipping container before they travel.

Is your pet healthy?
Check with a veterinarian to be sure that your pet is fit to travel. You will need a health certificate in order to comply with state and federal laws, and your veterinarian will be able to supply this. To be valid for your trip, it should be issued no more than 30 days before departure if your pet is traveling with you. If your pet is traveling via cargo, the certificate should be issued no more than 10 days before departure.

Have you selected your flight to make the trip as easy as possible?
Whenever possible, book a direct, nonstop flight and avoid holiday or weekend travel. Consider schedules that minimize temperature extremes— for example, try to avoid travel during excessively hot or cold periods. Morning or evening flights are preferable during the summer. Normally cargo is not shipped on specific flights. If you wish to ship your pet as cargo in conjunction with your own United air travel, please contact United Cargo at 1-800-UA-CARGO prior to making your air reservation.

Making travel arrangements for your pet
New summer embargo - breed restriction
For the safety of your animal, United Airlines does not accept the following short-nosed dog breeds as either checked baggage or cargo from June 1 - September 30. This restriction does not apply to animals traveling with you in the cabin.
American Bulldog
Boston Terrier
Boxer
English or French Bulldog
King Charles Spaniel
Lhasa Apso
Pug
Shar-Pei
Shih Tzu

Extreme weather conditions
Extreme weather guidelines will apply for animals traveling as checked baggage. Cargo shipment of any live animal may not be permitted when the temperature is forecast to exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any point in the animal's journey.

Make advance arrangements
When booking a flight on which you will bring your pet, please advise us. Be sure to reconfirm 24 to 48 hours before departure that you will be bringing your pet.

Please note that advance arrangements are not guarantees that your animal will travel on a specific flight. To be as humane as possible, airlines reserve the right to refuse to transport an animal for reasons like illness, poor kenneling, or extreme temperatures at origin, transfer, or destination airports. Airlines have the right to refuse carriage of any animal that demonstrates aggressive and/or violent behavior.

If your trip is outside the continental United States
If you are flying abroad to a foreign country or Hawaii, find out whether there are quarantine or other health requirements at the destination. A full-service travel agency or pet travel service should be able to assist you with this information. You should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate well in advance of your travel date.

Travel to the European Union (EU)
All dogs and cats importing into and transiting the EU will be subject to regulations. Besides an anti-rabies vaccinations certificate, all dogs and cats must have an implanted microchip or clearly readable tattoo. Pets not meeting these requirements will not be permitted entry. Pets are not accepted in the cabin or as checked baggage to the United Kingdom.

Travel to Hawaii
The State of Hawaii has severe restrictions for all pets entering the state as either checked baggage or cargo. (United Airlines does not allow pets in the cabin to Hawaii except certified guide dogs.) A 120-day quarantine period for dogs and cats will be imposed in Honolulu unless prior clearance arrangements have been made though the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture. If pre-clearance has been arranged, the quarantine time frame may be reduced. Animals are permitted to travel directly to Honolulu or to the outer islands of Hawaii (Kona), Kauai (Lihue) and Maui (Kahului), if they are in possession of an approved "Neighbor Island Inspection Permit".

Pre-clearance involves rabies shot documentation, micro-chipping, OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood test, a service fee paid to the Hawaii government and other notarized paperwork sent to the Hawaiian government at least 10 days prior to travel.

To arrange pet entry into Hawaii, it is the responsibility of the customer to contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (808-483-7151) for all specific details. Customers will be responsible for all expenses incurred for failure to follow proper entry requirements. These expenses could include, but are not limited to: freight charges to Honolulu, transportation charges back to the mainland, and other service charges imposed by the air carrier.

For international flights, there are additional airline requirements. More kennel ventilation is required for international flights than is required by the USDA for domestic flights. Labeling and a shipper's certificate are also international conventions. It is important to contact United in advance if your pet is making an international trip.

Food and water
The USDA requires that your pet be offered food and water within four hours before you check in with us. You must certify with a signature the time that your pet was last offered food and water.

Tranquilizers
The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and United do not advise sedation, because the effects of tranquilizers on animals at high altitudes are unpredictable. Your veterinarian should decide if a tranquilizer should be prescribed for your pet. The AVMA also advises that brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds should not travel during adverse weather conditions which include high heat and humidity as the stress of travel might exacerbate the condition. As United Airlines is concerned about the safety of your animal, we are unable to accept short-nosed breeds as either checked baggage or cargo from June 1 - September 30.

Arrival and check-in
Arrive at the airport early. Be sure to check for the acceptance cutoff time for your flight. You cannot check in your pet more than four hours before the flight (six hours by special arrangement).

Acceptance of animals
Airline responsibility
Important considerations for acceptance of animals include their health and disposition, since an airline cannot transport an animal that is violent or dangerously ill. A health certificate will help to minimize questions. We must also determine whether all kennel marking and sizing is in order. This is especially important because the USDA assigns airlines final responsibility for the safety and compliance of the kennels they accept.

Finally, we must assure that facilities are able to handle animals at transfer airports or the final destination. The USDA has clear guidelines on allowable temperature limits for animal-holding areas, which airlines must obey.

Passenger responsibility
Passengers are required to make sure all health and pet travel documents are current and compliant with local, state, federal and international entry requirements and regulations. The passenger will assume full responsibility for penalties assessed by agencies for non-compliance of pet health and entry requirements.

Travel tips
Carry a leash with you so you can walk your pet before you check in and after you arrive at your destination. Do not put the leash with the animal, either inside or attached to the outside of the kennel.
Do not take your pet out of its kennel inside the airport. Let your pet out only after you leave the terminal building.
Mark the kennel with your pet's name.
Mark the kennel with the telephone number of a person at the destination who can be contacted about your pet. This is especially important if you are sending your animal unaccompanied through the cargo system, because you will not be at the airport to claim your pet upon arrival. It may be helpful to contact a pet travel service to handle unaccompanied shipments since these services manage pickup and delivery, and can advise you about quarantine requirements for international travel.
If your pet is traveling unaccompanied, remember that after the arrival at the destination there is a processing period for cargo which may vary by airline and airport.
If you would like your pet to have water during travel, you may want to freeze the water in the pet's dish before you leave.

KENNELS
Airlines and their passengers must follow USDA regulations on the size of pet kennels used to transport animals by aircraft. Any kennel used must be sturdy, properly ventilated, and large enough for your pet to stand, lie down and turn around freely. The kennel must close securely with a mechanism that requires no special tools to operate. Prescribed kennels are available from most airlines for a fee. If you have any doubts about the appropriateness of your kennel, check with a United representative, as the USDA assigns full responsibility to the airline for accepting only proper kennels.

Kennel requirements
Each checked kennel may:
Contain up to:
1 dog or cat;
2 puppies or kittens (minimum 8 weeks old/maximum 6 months old);
2 household birds; or
2 rabbits, hamsters or guinea pigs
Display "LIVE ANIMAL" labels, with letters at least one inch high, on top and on at least one side. (Labels are available at airport check-in counters.)
Have a note certifying with a signature the last time (within four hours before bringing your pet to the airport) that your pet was offered food and/or water.
Indicate your name, address, phone number and pet's name.
Have arrows or a "This End Up" designator to show which panel is the top. (Labels are available at airport check-in counters.)
Include food and water dishes (both empty), secured inside the kennel and accessible from outside. Pet owners may freeze water in dish before departure.
Contain absorbent material or bedding, such as newspaper.
If needed, water and feeding schedule checklist, including the weight of the animal.

Kennel checklist
Kennel construction meets USDA regulation requirements (no wheels; no wire kennels; no collapsible kennels); must have leakproof bottom and absorbent material
One-inch spacer bar around the kennel
Hardware (bolts/screws) complete and assembled
Door lockable and secure
Kennel size is sturdy and sufficient to allow your pet freedom of movement, so it is able to stand, lie down and turn around freely
Ventilation standards: three sides for U.S./Canada flights, four sides for international flights (includes door)
Health certificate (in most cases health certificates dated within 30 days of scheduled travel will be required)
Correct labeling ("LIVE ANIMAL" and "This End Up")
Water/food dishes (two dishes or divided dish)
Completed feeding and watering certification and schedule

Kennel types
On all flights, United will only accept kennels secured with nuts and bolts. Kennels secured via other methods, such as twist locks or snap locks, are not acceptable.


Kennel purchase
United offers kennels for purchase at select airports that we serve within the United States. Kennels may not be available for purchase at most United Express®-served airports and airports outside the U.S. Purchases may be made with cash or check and are subject to availability. Kennels are available at the prices listed below and include a water dish.

Kennel prices*
For pets traveling in a checked kennel


For pets traveling in the cabin as carry-on baggage


Kennel sizes

*Prices do not include state and local sales tax. Kennel prices are subject to change without notice.
**For carry-on use only. These kennel types will not be accepted as checked baggage.
†Permitted only on United flights within the U.S. United does not sell XX-large kennels.
††United will not accept kennels with a combined crate and animal weight exceeding 150 lbs. (68 kg).

Fees for traveling with pets
Below is information relating to fees for pets traveling in a kennel as checked baggage or in the cabin as carry-on baggage. Fees must be paid at the airport check-in counter and may not be paid online. All fees shown below are for one direction of travel only and apply only when checking in with United. When checking in with a United codeshare partner, please contact that carrier regarding its policies for traveling with pets.

Please note:
Pets are not permitted on certain flights due to specific destination or route rules and regulations. To verify if pets are permitted on your flight, please call United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) within the U.S., or from outside the U.S. call your local reservations office.
Prices shown below exclude travel to Brazil.
For fee information relating to travel wholly within Asia, please contact United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) within the U.S., or from outside the U.S. call your local reservations office.
Conversion rates are subject to change.

1 For tickets purchased on or before April 9, 2010, the price for a small or medium kennel is 200 USD / 1370 CNY / 1550 HKD / 302 SGD / 6714 TWD / 6955 THB / 150 EUR / 231 CHF / 128 GBP.

2 For tickets purchased on or before April 9, 2010, the price for a small kennel is 18700 JPY.

3 For travel from North America to Japan, with tickets purchased on or before April 9, 2010, the price for a small kennel or pet in cabin is 84 USD/CAD, and a medium or large kennel is 168 USD/CAD.

Travel to/from Brazil


SERVICE ANIMALS
United Airlines and United Express welcome service animals accompanying persons with disabilities. There is no fee for service animals, and they may travel in the aircraft cabin as long as they do not obstruct an aisle or any other area used for emergency evacuations.

It may be helpful to outfit your service animal with a harness or vest to make the animal's status obvious to airport personnel. If the animal's status is questioned, you simply need to provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is assisting a passenger with a disability.

Please note that quarantine restrictions may apply. Check with your travel agent or a United reservations agent at least one month prior to departure to find out if there are any regulations specific to your destination.

Emotional support animals
Emotional support animals are considered to be service animals. However, a customer traveling with an emotional support animal will need to have documentation on letterhead from a licensed mental health professional, dated within the past 12 months, stating that the customer is under professional care for a mental-health-related disability, and that the animal's assistance is essential to his or her mental health.

Therapy animals
Therapy animals, which are pets that have been trained and registered by a therapy organization in order to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other facilities, are not considered to be service animals. When traveling with a therapy animal, standard pet-related regulations and restrictions will apply.

Destination-specific information
Hawaii

There are restrictions regarding the entry of service animals into Hawaii. Customers planning to travel to Hawaii should contact the Hawaii Animal Quarantine Branch manager directly for quarantine requirements. The 24-hour phone number is 808-837-8092. You may also view animal quarantine information at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture web site.

United Kingdom
United Airlines is permitted to accept service animals on flights to the United Kingdom. Because UK regulations for accepting service animals are very strict, both United and our customers must carefully follow the appropriate procedures.

As part of those procedures, any customer who intends to travel with a service animal must obtain a preapproval letter from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), a UK government agency. Please note that the preapproval process for transporting service animals to the UK can take up to two months.

Visit the Defra web site for more information about requirements and procedures for taking animals into the UK, or contact Defra by phone at +44 870 241 1710, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. UK time. (Please note: Before dialing the number above, you must first enter the international direct dialing code. In the United States and Canada, this code is 011.)

Other international destinations
Many countries restrict the entry of animals. Restrictions vary by country, and customers should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate at least four weeks before departure to make sure that all necessary procedures are followed.

UNITED CARGO - SPECIAL HANDLING - LIVE ANIMALS
United Cargo trains its staff to assist with the unique challenges involved in transporting animals. While in transit, animals ride in specially designed compartments that are pressurized the same as the passenger cabins. On the ground, both aircraft and warehouse facilities are climate controlled for the comfort and safety of the animal. And, of course, animals are always given the highest priority with EXP service.

Please read the information below as well as the requirements for transporting animals to make sure this service is right for you.

For the safety of your animal, United Airlines does not accept the following short-nosed dog breeds as either checked baggage or cargo between June 1 and September 30. This restriction does not apply to animals traveling with you in the cabin.
Boston Terrier
Boxer
English/French Bulldog
King Charles Spaniel
Lhasa Apso
Pug
Shar-Pei
Shih Tzu

Reservations for this service are not available online. If you have any questions regarding the TSA security policy or United's rules and regulations for transporting animals, please contact United Cargo for further assistance.

Description
Airport-to-airport air freight service
Booked on selected flights
Interlining available worldwide
High priority/special handling

Acceptance Time
International Shipments
US locations: Generally 3-4 hours prior to scheduled flight departure
International locations: Local drop times apply

Intra-US shipments
Generally 2 hours prior to scheduled departure

Recovery time after flight arrival at destination
International Shipments
US locations: Documents and freight available 3-4 hours after flight arrival
International locations: Local recovery times apply

Intra-US shipments
Generally 2 hours after flight arrival

Service Description
Warm-Blooded Animals:
Transported as EXP service
Cold-Blooded Animals:
May be transported as EXP or GEN service

See Station Information for specific drop-off and recovery locations and times.

Requirements for Transporting Animals
To ensure that the shipping process goes as smoothly as possible; please adhere to the following requirements and animal/kennel checklist:

Air freight shipments must meet specific TSA security requirements before being transported on passenger or cargo aircraft. Contact United Cargo for further details regarding the shipment of animals.
Advance arrangements are required.

All animal shipments must comply with IATA Live Animal, USDA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulations:
The container must be suitable for the species being transported and appropriate for air transportation. Cargo will be inspected to ensure that it complies with United Airlines packaging requirements.
The animal must be able to stand, turn and lie down in a natural manner (this rule will vary by species).
The container must be leak-proof, and have absorbent bedding suitable for the species provided by the shipper.
Food and water containers suitable for the species being transported must be provided inside and accessible from outside the container.

Shipping kennels for cats and dogs are available for purchase at most locations. Contact United Cargo for details.
Shipper must comply with all local, state, federal and international regulations.
Shipper must obtain the appropriate documentation required for the species being transported. For warm-blooded animals, United Airlines requires a Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian not more than ten days prior to flight departure for the outbound and return trip, unless otherwise specified.
Weather conditions may affect the transportation of animals. Shippers will be required to confirm cargo reservations no more than 24 hours prior to flight departure.
For international transport, customers must contact the appropriate consulate office for the country of origin and destination. Certain countries prohibit the importation of animals as cargo, other countries require permits be obtained in advance of any shipment.
United does not participate in the DEFRA Pet Scheme program. Customers who are planning to ship their animals into the United Kingdom under the United Kingdom Pet Travel Scheme will not be able to ship their animals on United Airlines.

Useful Links

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


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