In-cabin pets

What are in-cabin pets?

In-cabin pets are domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and household birds (excluding cockatoos) that travel in the aircraft cabin with a customer. United allows them on select flights.

You can carry on an in-cabin pet in a kennel in addition to your carry-on bag allowance. There’s a $125 service charge each way, and 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.

Please note: Service animal procedures are different from standard in-cabin pet procedures. Service animals, including emotional support and psychiatric service animals, are also allowed in the cabin to accompany qualified customers with disabilities. Visit the Service Animals section for more information.

Documentation & requirements for in-cabin pets

Pets are important members of the family. There are a few important rules to keep them and other travelers safe. For questions, please contact the United Customer Contact Center at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331).

  • You’re responsible for complying with all applicable state and country entry requirements.
    • If you’re traveling entirely within the U.S., we recommend that you have a health certificate (talk to your veterinarian) and proof of your pet’s latest rabies vaccine.
    • If you’re traveling internationally, please see the “International travel” section below. And if you’re traveling to the U.S. from another country, please also see the “Health declarations and vaccination requirements for dogs and cats entering the U.S.” section below.
  • Puppies and kittens must be at least 4 months (16 weeks) old.
  • Pets can’t travel with unaccompanied minors.
  • If you want to carry on an additional pet, you’ll need to buy an extra ticket for that pet and pay an additional $125 each way. That pet must also always remain in the floor space under the seat.
  • If your pet doesn’t fit in a kennel, then the pet needs to travel with our PetSafe® program.
  • Pets must travel on the same flights as the customers who are responsible for them.
  • In the event of an emergency, oxygen service will not be available for pets.

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.

Booking an in-cabin pet

In order to travel with an in-cabin pet, you need to indicate that you are traveling with your pet ahead of time — you can do this when booking or through Manage Reservations on united.com

Please note: 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.

At the airport with an in-cabin pet

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.

On board with an in-cabin pet

  • The animal must remain in the kennel while in the airport and on board the aircraft.
  • The pet’s kennel must remain at your feet, in the floor space under the seat in front of you.
  • Pets must remain in kennels with the door secured at all times while in the boarding area and on board the aircraft.
  • United does not permit pets on flights to, from or through Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand and other locations. Please verify if pets are permitted to your destination before traveling. For more help or information, or to book international in-cabin travel for a pet, contact the United Customer Contact Center.

    Rules for international in-cabin pets vary. For more information on documentation and/or vaccination requirements, please visit the USDA’s pet travel site.

  • 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.
    • A customer traveling with an in-cabin pet cannot be seated in a United® Premium Plus seat because the footrest limits the storage space under the seats.
    • 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.

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