Airline Pet Policy

Airline Carrier Pet Acceptance and Accommodation Costs

Although pet acceptance and accommodation costs are not part of the City Pair Program, government travelers still may need to travel with a family pet, or service animal. Below are some fast facts and guidelines to consider when traveling with a pet or service animal followed by direct links to each of the City Pair Program’s participating airline carrier’s pet and service animal policies for your convenience.

Fast Facts about Traveling with Pets

  • Reservations for pets must be made ahead of time directly with the airline’s reservation agent (not a part of the City Pair Program). Non refundable fees apply per segment (fee varies with each airline). There is a pet capacity on each flight first booked first served;
  • In most cases the costs for pet carriage is not a reimbursable travel expense. You should check with your government agency’s travel policy official to determine if pet travel is reimbursable;
  • Pets are conditionally accepted and must not pose a threat or hazard;
  • There are size, age, and weight restrictions - not all breed of animals are accepted;
  • Kennel size requirements must be met to be allowed on the flight;
  • Travelers should acclimate the pet in the kennel so the pet is comfortable with the surroundings prior to traveling;
  • Certain vaccinations and health certificates are required;
  • Certain counties and/or airports have quarantine restrictions upon entry;
  • Pets are not accepted when in extreme weather forecasts (i.e. under or over certain temperatures);
  • Many times it is a traumatic experience for pets that are checked as baggage/cargo. Travelers should check with your veterinarian to see if a tranquilizer is a good option and what dosage is appropriate, if any;
  • Pets of an appropriate size/weight may be able to travel in cabin on (most) non-stop domestic flights only with certain carriers. Pets may not be able to travel on connect flights. On international flights pets may have to be shipped as cargo; and
  • International Travel: If travel is on an international flight with a code share partner of the airline, you must check the operating airline’s pet policy and fees.
  • Other helpful tips:

Fast Facts about Traveling with Service Animals

  • Passengers may need to notify disability counter prior to traveling;
  • Passengers must provide current documentation prior to traveling;
  • Service animals are allowed on domestic and international flights with some restrictions that vary per airline;
  • Animal size restrictions do exist and vary per airline; and
  • There is no extra charge to travel with service dogs.

Military Working Dogs

Please refer to OPR: AF/A4SP [pdf]

Airline Specific Policies

The links below lead to non-government websites:

Remember If travel is on an international flight with a code share partner of the airline, you must check the operating airline’s pet policy and fees.

Last Reviewed: 2021-01-06