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

  • Service dogs must be properly harnessed or leashed and remain under the direct control of you or the dog handler at all times.
  • Your service dog must behave properly in public and should follow directions from you or its handler.
  • Your dog must be a minimum age of 4 months for acceptance on United.
  • Your service dog is required to be seated in the floor space directly in front of your seat or within your ticketed personal space.
  • Your service dog should not extend into the aisles.
  • If you’re traveling with a service dog in cabin to any international destination (or some domestic locations, such as Guam or Hawaii, where local regulations may require it), we may require you to bring an up-to-date copy of your dog’s vaccination certificate with you. We recommend that you have a copy on hand during travel.
  • You won’t be able to travel within 30 days of your dog’s rabies vaccination.
  • If you have any questions or special requirements, contact the United Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744.

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.


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