Traveling with service animals

Service animals are accepted in cabin 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 or within your ticketed personal space 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

We require the following DOT forms for each service dog traveling with a customer:

We require the Training and Behavior Form and, if applicable, the Relief Form to be completed and carried on your person. If you’ve purchased travel less than 48 hours before your departure, please provide the completed DOT form(s) to the airport agent.

Additional destination-specific documentation may be required for a service dog traveling to certain destinations. We recommend that you contact our United Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744 in advance of your travel date for further information.

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, Peru, Philippines, South Africa

Customers connecting to United from other locations may be affected.
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

United only recognizes service dogs that have been trained and certified. Dog trainers are permitted to bring on board free of charge one service dog that is in training to assist disabled travelers. These service dogs must not occupy a seat. Trainers who are transporting service dogs in the ordinary course of business or service dogs that aren’t in training must check these dogs.

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.