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Military and State Department pet exceptions

United permits active U.S. military or State Department Foreign Service Personnel (FSP) and their spouses to transport their pet dogs or cats as checked baggage to and from international destinations only. Service charges apply and follow the PetSafe® program rates. The following policies also apply:

  • Military customers must be on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or military orders and have travel orders that clearly indicate assignment to or from a U.S. Embassy, Consulate or Mission. Orders must be verified at the time of reservation and a copy must be presented to the airport agent at check-in.
  • Leisure travel is not covered by this policy.
  • To qualify for the exception, military personnel must carry military identification, and FSP must carry a diplomatic passport or State Department identification.
  • All customers must accompany their pets.
  • Only domesticated dogs and cats are accepted as checked baggage.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires all dogs entering the United States to be immunized against rabies. Proof of vaccination is required before air travel begins.
  • Origin or destination of travel must be outside of the 50 United States and Puerto Rico, but travel to United Kingdom destinations (Belfast, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London Heathrow and Manchester) is not permitted.
  • Pets may only be transported to countries that accept animals traveling as checked baggage.
  • These exceptions do not apply to travel on carriers other than United. If your travel includes another carrier, please check directly with that carrier for any of your pet travel needs as different policies and procedures may apply. If you are connecting from a United flight to a flight on another carrier, you must pick up your pet after your United flight.
  • The combined weight of the pet and its kennel must be 99.9 pounds (45.3 kg) or less.
  • Advance reservations are required. Contact the PetSafe desk at 1-800-575-3335 or 1-832-235-1541 to make a reservation.
  • Animals will require a baggage tag to prevent the need for a third-party agent at either the origin or destination.
  • All animals must be presented at the check-in counter upon check-in at least two hours prior to departure.
  • All animals should be picked up in the final destination city at the Federal Inspection Service (Customs) area or the passenger baggage service office.