Which US Airlines Allow Dogs in the Cabin in 2024?

The United States is a big country, so it’s no surprise that when you’re wanting to travel between the East and West Coast, it’s easiest to take a flight rather than drive for days. It’s also easy to fly in the United States if you have a small pet, with a long list of pet-friendly airlines.

To help you with planning to fly with your dog in the USA, either domestically and internationally, I’ve reviewed the pet policies of every major American airline as at December 2023. Find out size and weight restrictions, fees and other key points for flying with different airlines.

Read on to find out more about the US airlines that allow dogs in the cabin…

US Airlines That Allow Dogs in the Cabin

Do Any US Airlines Not Allow Pets in the Cabin?

All of the major US airlines allow pets to fly in the cabin, although of course there are size and weight limitations. At least amongst major US airlines, that are no airlines that don’t allow pets to fly in the cabin.

Note however that some airlines don’t allow pets on all routes. For example, some airlines don’t fly pets to and from Hawaii, US territories or other international destinations. (Check out my Hawaiian guide to find out which airlines fly pets to and from Hawaii.)

Also note that many airlines don’t allow pets to fly in premium classes, particularly if there are lie-flat seats.

Do Any US Airlines Have No Weight Limit?

Most United States airlines have no maximum weight limit for pets flying in the cabin. These are the airlines that have no weight limit:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines (on most flights)
  • Avelo
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • JSX (for pets in carriers)
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • United Airlines
United Airlines Plane
United Airlines doesn’t have a weight limit for pets in the cabin

Note though that there are maximum dimensions for pet carriers, as they need to fit under the seat in front. Your pet will need to comfortably fit and move inside their carrier, with some airlines enforcing a requirement that your pet cannot touch the roof of the carrier.

What are the Weight Limits for Other US Airlines?

Of the remaining US airlines, the weight limits are still fairly generous, generally high than weight limits for European airlines that allow dogs in the cabin. These are the weight limits for pets flying in the cabin, including the carrier bag:

  • American Airlines – Only on First or Business class on an A321T flight – 20 lbs (9kg)
  • Hawaiian Airlines – 25 lbs (11.3kg)
  • JetBlue – 20 lbs (9kg)
  • Spirit Airlines – 40 lbs (18kg)

What is the Most Pet-Friendly Airline in the USA?

Out of all the United States airlines reviewed below, the most pet-friendly airline is JSX.

JSX is not a major US airline, but a smaller airline operating a growing “hop-on jet service”, with some special perks for customers, especially pet owners.

In particular, medium dogs can also fly in the cabin on JSX flights, with the option to buy an adjacent seat. Just note larger dogs are still not allowed on board – there is a weight limit of 79 lbs (35.8kg).

Also note that the previous policy of allowing pets in a carrier to fly for free on JSX flights ended in July 2023 – a pet fee now applies for new bookings.

Grand Canyon with Dog and Woman
We flew across the USA with our small dog in the cabin

How Much Does it Cost to Fly a Dog in the Cabin?

The cost to fly with your dog in the cabin varies between the different US airlines.

On most flights, the fee charged varies between $50 to $125, with the cheapest fee of $50 charged by Allegiant Air per segment.

A lower fee again of $35 is charged for the very short flights between the Hawaiian Islands, on the flights operated by Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest.

The same fee often applies on international flights, in particular flights to and from Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Delta charges a higher rate of $200 USD or CAD or EUR on international flights to other destinations.

Note that sometimes additional fees apply if there is a stopover (with generally the fee charged twice), in particular stopovers that exceed a particular time threshold.

Do Any US Airlines Allow Seats to Be Booked for Pets?

Finally, do any airlines in the United States allow you to book a seat for your pet? Only a handful declare that they allow this option, at least on their website…

The main airline that offers this option is JSX. The airline allows the adjacent seat to be purchased for flying medium-to-large dogs, although your dog still needs to lay on the floor during the flight, not sit on the seat. Dogs in carriers on JSX flights are also not allowed on seats.

Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and now United Airlines state that you can buy an adjacent seat, so that you can transport two pet carriers on the flight, rather than the standard single carrier per passenger. In this case, you need to pay for the seat plus usually the relevant pet fee.

It’s possible some other airlines also allow this option – call and make enquiries. Check out my full guide to all airlines worldwide that offer the option to buy a seat for your pet dog.

Pet Stroller
Some airlines allow you to transport two dogs by buying a second seat

And here’s the key details of the pet policies of all the major US airlines…

Alaska Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Small pets are allowed to fly in the cabin on Alaska Airlines flights, including dogs, cats, rabbits and household birds. Up to three carriers are permitted in First Class per flight, plus eight carriers in the main cabin.

Both soft and hard-sided carriers are allowed onboard, as long as they fulfil the requirements detailed on the website. Soft-sided carriers can be up to 17 x 11 x 9.5 inches (43.2 x 27.9 x 24.1cm), while hard-sided carriers have a lower maximum height of 7.5 inches (19cm). There is no weight limit.

Up to two pets of the same species and similar size can travel per carrier. Each passenger can travel with up to two pet carriers, as long as you also purchase the adjacent seat and pay both pet fees.

A fee of $100 USD/CAD applies each way. Your carrier counts towards your carry-on allowance, replacing either your carry-on bag or personal item.

Additional requirements and restrictions apply for pets travelling to and from Hawaii and international destinations, including a limitation to only dogs and cats. Check out the full details on their website.

See the full pet policy.

Allegiant Air Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Both small dogs and cats are welcome to travel in the cabin on flights with Allegiant Air within the 48 contiguous United States. However pets cannot fly in the cabin to international destinations or US territories.

One pet carrier is permitted per passenger. Up to two pets can travel in a carrier, with a soft-sided carrier recommended.

The carrier should not be larger than 19 x 16 x 9 inches (48.3 x 40.6 x 22.9cm) and needs to be fully closable to contain your pet. The carrier counts towards your carry-on limit.

A pet carry-on fee of $50 USD applies per segment per carrier. Note that no health certificate is required. Also, Allegiant Air does not transport pets in the hold, so larger pets cannot be transported on their flights.

See the full pet policy.

American Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

American Airlines allows small cats and dogs to fly in the cabin as carry-on, as long as they meet the size, age and destination requirements. Other animals can fly in the hold with American Airlines Cargo.

For pets flying in the cabin, soft-sided carriers are recommended, with maximum dimensions of 18 x 11 x 11 inches (46 x 28 x 28cm). If using a hard-sided carrier, it should be no larger than 19 x 13 x 9 inches (48 x 33 x 22cm) on Mainline flights or 16 x 12 x 8 inches (40 x 30 x 20cm) on Regional flights on American Eagle.

There is no maximum weight limit of the carrier, except for when flying on First or Business class on an A321T flight. In that case a weight limit of 20 lbs (9kg) applies. On certain aircraft, pets are not permitted in First or Business class at all, due to lack of under-seat storage space.

Pets are permitted on most flights up to 12 hours in length, including flights within the 48 contiguous United States, plus flights between the US and Canada, Alaska, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas. However, pets are not permitted in the cabin on trans-Atlantic flights.

A charge of $125 per kennel applies. Note that your carry-on pet replaces your carry-on item, so you can only take a personal item onto the flight in addition to your pet.

See the full pet policy.

American Airlines Plane
American Airlines flies pets both in the cabin and as cargo

Avelo Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Avelo is a relatively new airline in the United States, only commencing operations in April 2021. This ultra low-cost carrier is headquartered in Houston and offers flights to a range of destinations on both the East Coast and West Coast.

Avelo will fly small cats, dogs, rabbits and birds in the cabin, that are able to fit in a carrier underneath the seat in front of you. For hard carriers, the maximum dimensions are 14″ x 9″ x 9.5″ (35.6 x 22.9 x 24.1cm), with no maximum for soft carriers – they just need to be able to fit. There is no weight limit.

Up to eight pet carriers are permitted on each flight, although sometimes the number needs to be restricted. Bookings can be made either as part of your initial online booking or through the customer call center. The pet fee is $125 one-way.

See the full pet policy.

Breeze Airways

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Another new airline in the USA that only launched in 2021, Breeze Airways also allows small pets to travel with you in the cabin on their flights.

Only small domesticated cats and dogs are allowed onboard, with a maximum weight of 25 lbs (11.3kg), including their carrier. Carriers should be soft-sided and no larger than 17″ x 8″ x 13″ (43.2 x 20.3 x 33cm) to fit underneath their seats.

Only five pets are permitted per flight, so it’s best to book your pet during your own booking, at the Trip Extras page. It’s also possible to add your book later on the website. A pet fee of $75 applies per direction.

Pets cannot fit under the Breeze Ascent section seats, so skip booking in this section. Your pet counts as your carry-on item, so you can only bring an additional personal item onboard the flight.

See the full pet policy.

Delta Air Lines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Delta Air Lines permits small dogs, cats and household birds to fly in the cabin in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. Pets are not permitted in the cabin when flying to or from certain destinations, including flying to Hawaii.

The maximum size of the pet carrier depends on the aircraft, but Delta recommends a soft-sided kennel with maximum dimensions of 18” x 11” x 11” (45.7 x 27.9 x 27.9cm), as this fits most aircraft.

The pet will count as your one carry-on item. In limited circumstances multiple pets can fly in one carrier, see the website for further details.

There is a charge of $95 USD or CAD for pets flying within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. A rate of $200 USD or CAD or EUR is charged on international flights. The fee is paid at check-in.

Delta Check-In
Pay for your pet’s fee at the Delta check-in counter

A limited number of pets can fly in each cabin. Generally four pets are permitted in the main cabin on domestic and international flights. No pets are permitted in cabins with lie flat beds, including international business class.

See the full pet policy.

Frontier Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Frontier Airlines allows small dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and small household birds to fly in the cabin on domestic flights, but only small dogs and cats on international flights (including to or from Mexico and the Dominican Republic).

Your pet needs to fly in a travel container with maximum dimensions of 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45.7 x 35.6 x 20.3cm), with no weight limit applying. In addition you can only take either a carry-on bag or personal item on the flight, although a fee applies for a carry-on bag.

Pets can be added during your initial booking or to an existing booking online. A one-way charge of $99 applies, which can be paid as part of the booking or during check-in. The pet-in-cabin fee is waived for FRONTIER Miles Platinum and Diamond members.

See the full pet policy and more information.

Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Small pet cats and dogs are allowed to fly in the cabin on most domestic Hawaiian Airlines flights. In addition to flights between the Hawaiian Islands, pets are also permitted on selected flights between North America and Hawaii.

Hawaii sunset
Fly to and from Hawaii with your pet on Hawaiian Airlines

Pets are not permitted on long-haul domestic flights to and from New York, Boston or Austin – double check the website for the latest list. Pets are also only allowed in the main cabin, not in First Class. Pets are also not accepted on international flights to and from Hawaii, including Pago Pago in America Samoa.

Pets must fly in approved soft-sided carriers, no larger than 16 x 10 x 9.5 inches (40.6 x 25.4 x 24.1cm). The maximum weight of the pet and carrier combined should be no more than 25lbs (11.3kg). They specifically states pets should not be taller than the carrier when standing.

It is recommended to book your pet 48 hours in advance. A pet health certificate is required, except for on interisland flights. When flying to Hawaii, make sure you are aware of the pet import requirements to avoid quarantine for your pet.

A pet fee of $35 USD applies for Interisland flights, while a fee of $125 USD applies for flights between North America and Hawaii. Only one pet carrier is permitted per passenger, with only multiple pets allowed in a single carrier in limited circumstances.

Strollers may be checked at the check-in counter for a fee, or carried onboard as one of your carry-on items, provided it meets the size requirements. Larger pet strollers and wagons are not eligible for complimentary gate-checking.

See the full pet policy.

JetBlue Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

JetBlue permits both small cats and dogs to travel in the cabin with you, except for when flying Mint, on most codeshare flights and selected international flights, including flights to Trinidad and Tobago and flights to or from UK and Europe. JetBlue does not fly pets as cargo.

Your pet should be in an FAA-approved carrier that is no larger than 17 x 12.5 x 8.5 inches (43.18 x 31.75 x 21.59cm). The combined weight of your pet and their carrier should be no more than 20lbs (9kg). It’s possible to buy a carrier on the JetBlue website or at the JFK T5 ticket counter (pending availability).

Up to two pets are permitted per passenger, each in their own carrier. If you want to bring a second pet, you’ll need to buy an additional seat.

Pets can be booked online or via the app, or by contacting JetBlue. A pet fee of $125 applies each way, per pet. Up to six pets are permitted per flight.

Pet strollers can be checked at no charge, either at the ticket counter or the gate.

See the full pet policy and more information.

jetBlue Planes
Fly with your pet in the cabin on JetBlue

JSX Pet Policy

JSX describes itself as a “hop-on jet service” that operates between a growing list of airports in the United States and Baja California Sur in Mexico. While not a major airline, I have included this airline thanks to their extra-pet-friendly policies on board.

In addition to transporting small dogs and cats in the cabin, they also make allowances for flying medium-to-large dogs in the cabin. Up to five pets are permitted per flight. There is also a policy for service animals, but no longer a special policy for emotional support animals.

For small pets in a carrier, a pet fee of $100 has applied each way since July 2023. Only one carrier is permitted per passenger, replacing your personal item.

Your pet needs to fly in a pet carrier that fits underneath the seat in front of you. The maximum size of the carrier is 17 x 13 x 11 inches (43.2 x 33 x 27.9cm), with no weight limit.

For medium-to-large dogs that are too large for a carrier, you are required to purchase an adjacent seat, by calling the call centre. You also need to fill out an Acceptance of Pet Liability Form and hand it in at check-in.

During the flight, your dog will need to be leashed, lay on the floor directly in front of the window seat (while you occupy the aisle seat) and be well-behaved. A weight limit of 79 lbs (35.8kg) applies.

See the full pet policy.

Pet-Friendly Hotels Los Angeles
JSX flies to many destinations across California

Southwest Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Southwest Airlines allows small vaccinated cats and dogs to fly in the cabin on domestic flights, except for on flights to and from Hawaii. (However pets are allowed on flights within the Hawaiian Islands.) Southwest Airline does not transport larger pets as cargo.

Passengers are permitted only one carrier, but up to two of the same species of a small cat or dog are permitted per carrier. Generally up to six carriers are permitted per flight, but this may be reduced on some flights.

The pet carrier should have maximum dimensions of 18.5 x 13.5 x 9.5 inches (47 x 34 x 24cm), with the airline selling their own branded carrier, suitable for pets up to 15lbs. There is no maximum weight for your pet and their carrier. Pet owners can also check a pet stroller or crate for free.

A pet fare of $125 USD applies each direction per pet carrier, with a reduced fee of $35 USD within the Hawaiian Islands. Note that a pet carrier counts as either your carry-on or personal item in the cabin.

See the full pet policy.

Spirit Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

Spirit Airlines allows small domesticated pets to travel in the cabin, including on flights to Puerto Rico and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, but not on international flights. Pets are not accepted in cargo.

Both cats and dogs are allowed, as well as small household birds and small domestic rabbits, except for on the flights to and from Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.

Pets must travel in an approved soft carrier no larger than 18 x 14 x 9 inches (45.7 x 35.6 x 22.9cm). Only one carrier is permitted per passenger, but two pets are allowed inside. The maximum weight of your pets and their carrier must be no more than 40 pounds (18kg).

Advanced booking is recommended, but not essential. Note that your pet will count as one-plus-one carry-on luggage. A health certificate is not required except for on flights to the US Virgin Islands.

A charge of $125 applies each way, plus an additional $125 fee for each stopover of more than four hours within the US.

See the full pet policy.

Spirit Plane
Pets can fly in the cabin with Spirit Airlines except on international flights

Sun Country Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

The ultra-low-cost Sun Country Airlines allows small cats and dogs to fly on flights operating within the 48 continuous United States. Pets are not permitted on flights to and from Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.

Your pet must travel in an approved carrier, either soft or hard, that is no larger than 16 x 10 x 8 inches (40.6 x 25.4 x 20.3cm) and can fit under the seat in front of you. There is no weight limit.

A fee of $75 USD is charged for advance bookings, or $100 for walk-up requests, subject to availability. Only six pets are permitted on each flight, with a limit of one pet per passenger.

See the full pet policy.

United Airlines Pet Policy

Pets Allowed in the Cabin? Yes

United Airlines accepts cats and dogs to fly in soft and hard sided carriers in the cabin, with a limit of one pet per carrier. Note that certain destinations are excluded, including Hawaii, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Your pet needs to comfortably fit inside their carrier, with no breed or weight restrictions. The maximum dimensions of soft-sided carriers is 18 x 11 x 11 inches (45 x 27 x 27cm) (but only 10 inches or 25cm on Boeing 737 MAX 9 flights).

For hard-sided carriers the maximum size is 17.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches (44 x 30 x 19cm) – note that significantly smaller height allowance.

Pets can be added to domestic bookings when booking online, or later through the My Trips page on the website, but not the United app. A phone call is required for international bookings. Generally only four or six pets are permitted in each cabin, or two in premium cabins.

A charge of $125 applies each way, with an additional fee of $125 for layovers over 4 hours for domestic flights and 24 hours for international flights.

Additionally, you can travel with a second pet, by purchasing a second seat. The second seat needs to be next to your assigned seat.

See the full pet policy.

United Airlines Plane
Book your pets to fly in the cabin on United Airlines

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

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