Airline Pet Policies and Dog Carrier Dimensions

We've had a lot of questions about acceptable carrier sizes for air travel, so we put together the information below to help you determine the proper carrier size for your airline.

If you're planning to travel with your dog on an airplane, and carry them in the cabin with you, read your airline's pet policies to be sure you comply with their current requirements regarding pet carriers (you can click the links below).

This information is what's available on each airline's website as of 10-1-2012, and is subject to change without notice by an airline.  Click a link below to access the airline's most current requirements.

NOTE:  Many airlines are only accepting carriers that have metal crate hardware - no plastic fasteners.  Please carefully read the descriptions on the carrier you're choosing for airline travel, and ask us if there are any questions.  Thank you.

Common Requirements:

  • Must be big enough for dog to stand up, turn around, and lie down naturally and comfortably in the kennel/carrier. Dog cannot protrude out from the carrier.
  • Must fit under the seat directly in front of you.
  • Must be leak-proof, escape-proof and ventilated on at least 2 sides.
  • Must not exceed specific dimensions, listed below for each airline.
  • May need to have only metal crate hardware.


Air Tran

Air Tran Regulations

17”W x 12”D x 8.5”H



Alaska Air Regulations

Hard-sided kennel: 17”W x 12”D x 7.5”H

Soft-sided carrier: 17”W x 12”D x 9.5”H

Any pet in a kennel too small or in obvious distress due to illness or injury will be refused travel.



Allegiant Air Regulations

19"W x 16"D x 9"H

Soft-sided carriers are strongly recommended since pets must be comfortable while remaining in the carrier, under the seat, at all times.



American Airlines Regulations

19"W x 13"D x 9"H

Soft-sided pet carriers such as Sherpa bags may exceed these dimensions slightly because they are collapsible.


Continental (merged with United)



Delta Airlines Regulations

Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight. You must contact Delta reservations to determine the appropriate kennel size.



Frontier Airlines Regulations

Aircraft Specifications:

Airbus A318/A319/A320:  24"W x 15.5"D x 9.5"H

Embraer E170/E175/E190:  18"W x 13.5"D x 10"H

Embraer E135/E140/E145:  17"W x 12"D x 10"H

There may be certain seats which cannot accommodate your pet container, but we'll work with you to get a seat assignment that works. Maximum dimensions are based on aircraft type (see above).



Jet Blue Airlines Regulations

17”W x 12.5”D x 8.5”H

Combined weight of your pet and carrier may not exceed 20 pounds.



Southwest Airlines Regulations

The under-seat dimensions are as follows:

Window Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H

Middle Seat: 19"L x 19"W x 8.25"H

Aisle Seat: 19"L x 14"W x 8.25"H

Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers specifically designed as pet carriers are acceptable.


Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines Regulations

18"W x 14"D x 9"H



United Airlines Regulations (search on pets)

Hard-sided kennels: 17.5"L x 12"W x 7.5"H

Soft-sided carriers: 18"L x 11"W x 11"H

Your pet carrier may be either hard- or soft-sided.



USAir Regulations

Hard-sided carriers: 17”W x 16”D x 8”H

Soft-sided carriers: 17”W x 16”D x 10”H  

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