In-cabin pets

Effective April 24, 2018, all customers traveling with in-cabin pets must check in with a United customer service representative in the airport lobby to receive a brightly colored yellow bag tag to attach to their pet’s kennel.

What are in-cabin animals?

United allows domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds (excluding cockatoos) to travel accompanied in the aircraft cabin on most flights within the U.S. An in-cabin pet may be carried in addition to a carry-on bag and is subject to a $125 service charge each way. There is an additional $125 service charge for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. or more than 24 hours outside of the U.S.

Trained service animals are allowed in the cabin to accompany qualified customers with disabilities. Service animal procedures differ from standard in-cabin pet procedures. Visit the Service animals section for more information.

Helpful travel reminders

Pets are important members of the family. To ensure their safe and comfortable travel with United, be sure to review the requirements before booking. For questions, please contact the United Customer Contact Center at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331).

  • You will be prompted to see an agent at check-in to receive your pet tag.
  • The animal is expected to remain in the kennel while in the airport and on board the aircraft.
  • The kennel must remain in the floor space below your seat.
  • Pets must remain in kennels with the door secured at all times while in the boarding area and on board the aircraft.
  • United's in-cabin pet policy applies to flights operated by United and United Express® only. For codeshare flights, please check the operating carrier’s in-cabin pet policy. If you are traveling on multiple airlines, please check with each carrier individually to ensure acceptance. United can only accept your pet for flights operated by United and United Express.

Before you book

To prepare yourself and your pet for potential travel, please review the important topics below before booking.

  • Advance reservations for in-cabin pet travel are required and can be booked through united.com
  • Puppies and kittens traveling within the U.S. and Puerto Rico must be at least 2 months (8 weeks) old to be accepted for travel on United.
  • Puppies and kittens traveling internationally must be at least 4 months (16 weeks) of age to be accepted for travel on United.
  • Pets are not permitted to travel with unaccompanied minors.
  • In the event of an emergency, oxygen service will not be available for pets.
  • The customer is responsible for complying with all applicable state and country entry requirements.
  • Pets must travel on the same flight(s) as the customers who are responsible for them.
  • Pets are not permitted on flights to, from or through Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand and other locations. Please verify if your destination allows in-cabin pets prior to travel. Rules for international in-cabin pets vary. For additional assistance or information, or to book international in-cabin travel for a pet, contact the United Customer Contact Center.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require all dogs entering the U.S., except those arriving from certain rabies-free countries, to be immunized against rabies. Vaccinations must be completed at least 30 days before arrival in the U.S. Since puppies cannot be vaccinated against rabies before 3 months of age, puppies under 4 months old will not be admitted into the U.S. unless they are arriving from a rabies-free country.

    Each dog entering the U.S. must be accompanied by a valid certificate of rabies vaccination, signed by a licensed veterinarian and including the following information:

    • Name and address of the dog’s owner
    • Identifying information for the dog, including breed, sex, age, color and markings
    • Date of vaccination and the name of the vaccine used
    • Date when the vaccination expires. If no expiration date is stated, the vaccination must have been completed within 12 months before arrival in the U.S.

    Visit the CDC website for more information.

    Cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination for importation into the U.S; however, some states require vaccination of cats for rabies, so it is a good idea to check with state and local health authorities at your final destination.

    • In-cabin travel for pets is booked on a space-available basis.
    • A customer traveling with an in-cabin pet cannot be seated in the bulkhead or an emergency exit row.
    • Two pets per flight are allowed in our premium cabins on select aircraft. Pets are not permitted in our premium cabins on Boeing 757, 767, 777 or 787 aircraft due to limited storage space under the seat.
    • Four pets per flight are allowed in United Economy® on all United flights.
      • A customer traveling with an in-cabin pet in United Economy on Boeing 757-200 aircraft will need to be seated in a window seat due to limited storage space under aisle and middle seats.
    • The number of in-cabin pets allowed varies by United Express partner airline. For additional information about the operating carrier’s in-cabin pet policy, contact the United Customer Contact Center.

Before you go

Help your pet travel safely and comfortably by using an in-cabin pet kennel that meets United’s requirements.
  • A pet traveling in cabin must be carried in an approved hard-sided or soft-sided kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat in front of the customer and remain there at all times. The maximum dimensions for hard-sided kennels are 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high (44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm). The recommended maximum dimensions for soft-sided kennels are 18 inches long x 11 inches wide x 11 inches high (46 cm x 28 cm x 28 cm). Soft-sided pet carriers may exceed these dimensions slightly, as they are collapsible and able to conform to under-seat space without blocking the aisle. On Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, soft-sided kennels must be no higher than 10 inches. With the exception of birds, there may only be one pet per kennel, and the animal must be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. Two birds may travel in the same kennel.

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