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United Airlines Pet Travel: A Comprehensive Guide

Embarking on a journey with your furry companion can be an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning and adherence to airline regulations. United Airlines offers pet-friendly travel options, ensuring your pet can accompany you safely and comfortably. Here’s everything you need to know about traveling with pets on United Airlines.

Getting Ready

Before booking your trip, it’s essential to ensure your pet meets United Airlines’ requirements for in-cabin travel. Cats and dogs are permitted on United Airlines flights, with each customer allowed to travel with up to two pets. If traveling with two pets, two seats must be purchased, with the second seat adjacent to your assigned seat for pet care.

Pet Carrier Requirements

Your pet must travel in an airline-approved pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. There can only be one pet per carrier, and the carrier must allow your pet to stand up and turn around comfortably. United Airlines accepts both hard-sided and soft-sided carriers, with specific size limitations for each type.

  • Hard-Sided Carrier: Maximum dimensions of 9 inches high, 17.5 inches long, and 12 inches wide.
  • Soft-Sided Carrier: Maximum dimensions of 11 inches high, 18 inches long, and 11 inches wide.

Prepping to Fly

Ensure you have all the necessary paperwork and proof of vaccination for your pet, especially if traveling internationally. Some countries have strict regulations regarding pet travel, so it’s crucial to check and comply with requirements before departure. If you need to find an accredited vet to prepare your health certificate, offers a free pet travel veterinarian finder. To prepare for your vet visit, you can use the pet travel assistant form, and we’ll send you a handy list of all the documents and steps you’ll need to ensure your pet’s safe and happy travels.

Booking Pet Tickets

Select “Travel with a pet” during the booking process on or add a pet to an existing trip through My Trips. A $125 fee applies each way for traveling with your pet, with additional fees for layovers exceeding four hours domestically and 24 hours internationally.

Traveler Pro Tips

Pack a pet-friendly travel kit with essentials such as a collapsible water bowl, leash, treats, and plastic bags. Consider bringing a favorite toy, blanket, or pillow to keep your pet calm during the flight.

Service and Therapy Animals

United Airlines welcomes service animals in the cabin free of charge for qualified individuals with disabilities. Service animals must meet specific criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Therapy animals and emotional support animals are subject to standard pet-related regulations and restrictions.

Cargo Pets Policy

Members of the U.S. Military and State Department Foreign Service Personnel may transport their personal pets as checked baggage on select United Airlines flights under specific conditions.

Pet Travel Fees

A $125 fee applies each way for traveling with your pet on United Airlines, with additional fees for extended layovers. Service animals are accepted in the cabin free of charge.

Traveling with your pet on United Airlines can be a seamless experience with proper preparation and adherence to airline policies. For additional information or specific inquiries, please refer to United Airlines’ official website or contact United Reservations directly. Safe travels for you and your furry companion!