Selecting a Pet Carrier that is Airline Compliant


Is your pet carrier airline compliant?

If you are thinking of traveling with your pet in the cabin of an airplane, you will need an airline compliant pet carrier. Here are the minimum features that your carrier must have to be airline compliant:

  • Your carrier must have a waterproof bottom

  • Your carrier must have adequate ventilation

  • Your pet must be securely fastened in the carrier. (no snaps, please, zippers are better)

  • Your carrier must fit under the seat in front of you.

  • Your pet must fit entirely in the carrier. No heads sticking out.

  • Your pet must be the proper size for the carrier. Your pet must be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier.

The last criteria is the most important on the list and may mean the difference of getting on the airplane with your pet or not. Measure your pet from top of head to the ground and from the tip of the nose to the base (not tip) of tail. Use these measurements to select a pet carrier. Generally, if your pet's weight exceeds 15 pounds or is more than 19" long, it likely will be too large to fit into an airline compliant carrier.

Airline Compliant Pet Carrier

Many airlines post carrier requirements on their websites. Many of the size requirements are for hard sided carriers as opposed to soft sided carriers which we stock in our store. With a soft sided carrier, the height can be "squished" down when your pet is laying down to get the carrier under the seat without harming your pet.

If you are unsure of the amount of area under the seat in front of you, call your airline. They will be able to look up your route and tell you what kind of plane will be flying and how much room there will be.

We would recommend that you consider a pet pad to protect your carrier against nervous accidents. It is a small investment to keep your carrier in good condition.

It is not a good idea to buy an inexpensive pet carrier when traveling. Both you and your pet are under a bit of stress as it is without worrying if your pet carrier will fall apart. Check our airline compliant pet carriers. Thousands of pet travelers use them every year to travel worldwide with their pets without any problems.

Airline Compliant Pet Carrier

If you have any questions about airline pet carriers, please email us at We have assisted traveling pet owners for over 20 years and we would be happy to help you!