Traveling with pets

Bringing your cat or dog with you on your trip is fun, but there are some rules you’ll have to follow. If you’re looking for information on traveling with service animals, we can also help with that.

Getting ready

Traveling with pets in-cabin is only allowed for cats and dogs when there’s space available. Here’s what you need to know, regardless of which type of furry friend you have.

Or, if you’re ready to book a trip for you and your pet you can do that now.

Book trip

Make sure your pet fits

While there are no weight or breed limitations for pets, they must travel in either a hard-sided or soft-sided carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. There can only be one pet per carrier, and they must be able to stand up and turn around while inside.

Hard-sided carrier

Hard-sided carriers. Maximum dimensions are 12 inches high, 17.5 inches long and 7.5 inches wide.

Hard-sided carrier

Hard-sided carriers. Maximum dimensions are 12 inches high, 17.5 inches long and 7.5 inches wide.

Soft-sided carrier

Soft-sided carriers. Maximum dimensions are 11 inches high, 18 inches long and 11 inches wide.

Soft-sided carrier

Soft-sided carriers. Maximum dimensions are 11 inches high, 18 inches long and 11 inches wide.

Prepping to fly

Gather paperwork

Some countries don’t allow pets to travel at all. Others have strict rules for rabies vaccines. Make sure you have all your paperwork and proof of vaccination in order before you leave.

Booking pet tickets

All you have to do is select “Travel with a pet” as a traveler during booking on united.com. Or, you can go to My Trips to add a pet to an existing trip. You cannot add a pet to your trip on the United app.

Book now

There is a $125 fee each way for traveling with your pet. There is also a $125 fee for each layover of more than four hours for flights within the U.S. and more than 24 hours internationally. You cannot use travel credits to pay this fee.

Traveler pro tips

Traveler pro tips

We have a few recommendations to help you pack a pet-friendly travel kit:

We have a few recommendations to help you pack a pet-friendly travel kit:

  • Remember to bring all the essentials to care for your pet while you’re still at the airport, including a collapsible water bowl, leash, treats and plastic bags.
  • To keep them calm on the flight, it always helps to have a favorite toy, blanket or pillow that smells familiar.

At the airport

Here’s what you need to know once you get to the airport.

Checking in

Check in for your flight at the ticket counter. You’ll need both your own and your pet’s confirmation numbers, which you can find in your email or in My Trips. We’ll also give you a special bag tag for your pet’s carrier.

Pet relief areas

Many airports have places you can take your pet to use the bathroom while you’re there. Use the airport maps feature on the United app to see where they’re located.

On the plane

Once you’re on your flight, there’s only one rule you need to follow. Your pet must stay in their carrier with the door closed, and under your seat at all times.

Traveling with pets FAQs