Does American Airlines Allow Dogs? (Your Full Guide)

It’s finally time to go on your dream vacation, but you have no one to look after your dog, so it seems like good ol’ Fido is going to be your travel buddy.

However, before you get packed and drive off to the airport, there are a few things you’ll need to know when flying with a dog on American Airlines. Keep reading to learn more!

Does American Airlines Allow Dogs In 2024?

American Airlines allows passengers to travel with dogs on board in 2024. Passengers will need to pay a $125 fee to bring a kennel on board in place of their carry-on. Legitimate service animals are allowed on the flight for free, provided they qualify as service animals. Passengers may not buy a seat for their dog to skirt the rules.

Knowing what is allowed when it comes to dogs is essential if you want to avoid any hassle at the airport. Keep reading to learn about American Airlines’ dog policy!

How Strict Is American Airlines’ Pet Policy?

American Airlines is not too strict with its pet policy considering that the safety and comfort of all passengers need to be taken into account.

For starters, there is no concrete weight limit on pets. They must be able to comfortably fit in a (19 x 13 x 9 inch) kennel.

However, in first-class and business class, there is a weight limit of the kennel and pet having a combined weight of no more than 20 pounds.

Can You Fly With a Guide Dog?

American Airlines will allow fully-trained guide dogs to fly in the cabin.

There is no charge to bring a guide dog on the plane. However, they must meet the requirements outlined to be a service dog.

Service dogs are recognized for their ability to perform work that a passenger with a legitimate disability could benefit from.

American Airlines staff members will ask questions to ensure the dog is suitable as a service dog.

It is also important to note that service animals still in training are not allowed to fly as service animals, and they will be subject to fees if brought on board.

Other types of animals that fall into this category are emotional support animals and comfort animals.

Can My Dog Sit On My Lap On American Airlines?

Passengers can fly with one dog on their lap. However, there are a couple of restrictions to keep in mind.

First, the dog must be at least 4 months old.

Also, the dog must be small enough to fit on the passenger’s lap comfortably, or by the passenger’s feet.

Note that this does not apply to ESA (emotional support animals). American Airlines has different rules for ESA dogs.

How Do I Add a Pet to My American Airlines Flight?

Passengers are advised to contact reservations to ensure there is a spot for their dog on the flight. American Airlines has a limit of 7 pets per flight.

How Do Dogs Go to the Bathroom On a Plane?

How Do Dogs Go to the Bathroom On a Plane?

Dogs going to the bathroom on an American Airlines flight must do so inside their carrier.

This is the same for dogs that travel in the cabin, or in the hold.

Service dogs and emotional support animals may be allowed to use the bathroom on the plane.

Can I Buy a First Class Seat for My Dog?

Passengers may not purchase an extra ticket for their dog on American Airlines. Dogs will need to be kept in a kennel, as carry-on luggage.

Can My Large Dog Fly in the Cabin With Me?

For the safety and comfort of passengers, large dogs cannot fly in the cabin.

Only smaller dogs that can fit on their owner’s lap or near their feet can travel in the cabin.

Additionally, service animals can fly for free and ESA dogs can fly in the cabin for a fee.

American Airlines Carry-On Pet Fee

The American Airlines kennel fee is $125. Pets must stay inside the kennel for the entire flight.

Pets must also have freedom of movement inside the kennel. This means that the pet should be able to sit down, stand up, and lay down. This is important for the animal’s comfort.

Does American Airlines Allow ESA Dogs?

ESA dogs are allowed on American Airlines. However, they do not qualify as service animals.

Passengers wishing to bring ESA dogs onboard are subject to the standard $125 kennel fee.

ESA dogs can travel inside the cabin with their owner.

Does American Airlines Allow Small Dogs in Cabins?

Small dogs are allowed in the cabin area. Dogs up to 20 pounds are permitted on their owner’s lap.

All passengers with dogs will need to pay $125 to bring their dogs in place of their carry-on.

Does American Airlines Allow Support Dogs?

American Airlines allows support dogs. It is important to distinguish between a service animal and an emotional support dog.

Service animals are trained dogs that are tasked to assist an individual with a disability.

These dogs are tested and cleared as service animals before they are allowed on board.

Emotional Support Dogs (ESA) are allowed on board.

However, they will need to be paid for by their owner. These dogs do not qualify as service animals.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on American Airlines stroller policy, does American Airlines have first-class, and does American Airlines serve food.


Depending on the type of dog flying on American Airlines, passengers may need to pay a fee to bring them on board. Service animals are free. However, all other dogs will cost $125 to bring. This includes ESA dogs.

Dogs are also expected to use the bathroom in their kennel. Service dogs and ESA dogs may be allowed to use the aircraft’s bathroom. In addition to service and ESA dogs, only small dogs can fly in the cabin. Passengers will need to call reservations to add their dog to a flight.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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