Traveling with service animals

Service animals are accepted in cabin free of charge for qualified individuals with a disability. A service animal is a dog, regardless of breed or type, that is

  • over the age of 4 months
  • individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability

Qualified individuals with a disability are permitted to travel with a maximum of only two service dogs.

If you’re traveling with a service dog, the dog should sit in the floor space in front of your assigned seat and cannot extend into the aisles or the foot space of adjacent travelers. You may use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller dogs provided its use meets stowage requirements. Exit row seating is prohibited.

Required Department of Transportation (DOT) forms for service animals

Everyone traveling with a service animal is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete certain forms. We require the following DOT forms for each service dog traveling with a customer:

These forms can be completed electronically and saved to your reservation once you’ve booked your flight (for domestic U.S. flights only). To do so, visit the Trip details page after your tickets are purchased and go to the “Special accommodations” section to add your task-trained dog. These forms must be completed and saved to your reservation at least 24 hours before departure. You can also download and print them to present when traveling or save for your records.

To complete these forms, your service animal’s weight, breed, rabies vaccination dates and veterinarian information will be needed.

For international flights and flights to or from Hawaii and Guam: We require the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form and, if applicable, the Relief Form to be completed and carried with you when you travel. Contact the United Accessibility desk at 1-800-228-2744 in advance of your travel date to add your service dog to your trip. Additional destination-specific documentation may be required for your service dog traveling to certain destinations.

Helpful travel reminders

Dogs from high-risk rabies locations temporarily barred from entering the U.S.
As of July 14, 2021, the U.S. government is temporarily suspending the transportation of dogs into the U.S. from countries considered high risk for rabies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The suspension is in place until further notice. United currently serves the following affected locations:

Belize, Brazil, Colombia, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Jordan, Peru, Philippines, South Africa

Customers connecting to United from other locations may be affected.

Dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:

  1. has a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
  2. has proof of a microchip;
  3. is at least 6 months old;
  4. is healthy upon arrival; and
  5. arrives at an approved port of entry

Expired US-issued rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, you must apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit, if eligible.

Dogs from high-risk countries will be denied boarding unless a CDC Dog Import Permit, which must be requested at least 6 weeks before travel, is presented. Dogs without a permit will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense. Learn more about the CDC guidelines.

Service dogs in training

Only individually trained service dogs that are traveling with a qualified disabled person are allowed on United flights. Service dogs training to assist disabled travelers can fly with their trainers for free.

Therapy animals

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

Emotional support animals

United does not transport emotional support animals.