Airlines Pet Policy
United Airlines Pet Policy

United Airlines Pet Policy - FlightinfoDesk

You are planning for a family vacation and you have prepared the perfect itinerary, but when you look around you find two (or a couple more) adorable eyes staring at you, asking with their cute little demeanors, “Won’t you take me with you?”. Oh, what a finite world our pets have and the infinite joy they find with us so when it comes to leaving for a family vacation, it is unfair to leave them out! But how do you bring your pets onboard? Don’t worry. United Airlines is there to assist you in not separating your pet from your holiday plans. With United Airlines Pet Policy, your pet can get to travel in the cabin with you or be transported separately to the desired destination.

There are several methods to transport your pet as per the United Airlines Pet Policy:

  • They can fly in the passenger cabin with you.
  • They can be checked as baggage in well-pressurized and temperature-controlled areas of the flight.
  • They can be shipped as cargo in a well-pressurized and temperature-controlled area.

Qualify to Travel in Cabin

According to the United Airlines Pet Policy, the following criteria should be met for your pets to travel in the traveler cabin.

  • Household birds (like a parakeet, finch, or canary), domesticated dogs, or cats will be accepted as carry-on baggage.
  • Your pet is at least eight weeks old.
  • Your pet cats and dogs have to be completely weaned.
  • Your pet and you are not flying to, from, or through Guam or Hawaii.
  • If your pet can comfortably remain inside its kennel, under the seat throughout the flight.
  • If the kennel custom-made for your pet can fit under the seat.
  • Your pet has the required health documents for the flight travel.
  • Pets cannot travel in the cabin when your flight goes to/comes from Australia. Exceptions can be made for service dogs like guide dogs or seeing-eye.
  • Your pet has to travel on the same flight as you.

If you need further clarification on the eligibility of your pet to travel in the cabin with you, you can contact the customer support team of the airline which is there for your assistance 24*7.

Qualify to Travel as Checked Baggage:

As per the United Airlines Pet Policy, the following criteria should be met for your pets to travel as checked baggage.

  • Household birds (like a parakeet, finch, or canary), domesticated dogs, or cats will be accepted as carry-on baggage.
  • Your pet is at least eight weeks old.
  • Your pet cats and dogs have to be completely weaned.
  • The kennel meets all requirements set by the United Airlines Pet Policy.
  • Your pet has the required health documents for the flight travel.
  • Pets cannot travel as the checked baggage when your flight goes to/comes from Australia. Exceptions can be made for service dogs like guide dogs or seeing-eye.
  • Due to extreme heat, the airline will not accept any pets as checked baggage for travel from/to Bahrain or Kuwait from May 1 through September 30.

Qualify to Ship as Cargo

If your pet does not qualify for travel in the cabin or as checked baggage and/or you wish your pet to be traveling unaccompanied then you can contact the airline’s cargo support team at 1-800-UA-CARGO. Call this number to get further information on how to ship your pets as cargo.

The Fee Associated with Pet Transport

If traveling within Canada, the US, and the US territories, for your pet you will have to pay USD 125 for each flight direction. There is a certain fee for kennels as well that varies depending on the size.

It should be noted that you must pay an additional fee of USD 125 on all longer flights (in terms of layovers) than 4 hours in the US or it is over 24 hours outside the US.

Kennel Requirements and Restrictions

For your pet to travel in a cabin with you, it must be carried in an approved soft or hard-sided kennel. And the kennel should comfortably fit under the flight seat without blocking the aisle. For soft-sided kennels, the maximum dimensions can be 18x11x11 inches and for hard-sided kennels, the maximum dimensions must be 17.5x12x7.5 inches.

The kennel must also:

  • Be escape and leak-proof.
  • Be aptly ventilated provided that it doesn’t allow your pet to protrude outside of the kennel.
  • Offer apt room for your pet to turn around and stand.
  • Be created out of wood, metal, hard plastic/composite.
  • Consist absorbent material.
  • Have handles that can prevent tilting and any direct contact with your pet.
  • Be fastened securely but not locked.
  • Have labels of upright arrows such as to inform the correct position of the kennel.
  • United Airlines does not accept 700 series (Giant) crates anymore.

Crate Acclimation

The process of ‘Crate Acclimation’ is strongly advised by the United Airlines Pet Policy, so that your pet is prepared for the trip. You should get the travel crate for your pet 2 to 3 weeks in advance and then get your pet acclimated to that crate. It is very important that the animals feel secure and comfortable in the crate which helps in reducing the stress during the trip.

It should be noted that two puppies or two kittens who are younger than six months can fly in a crate together as long as they weigh less than 20 pounds each and the crate allows the kittens or puppies to move freely.

Also, cats and dogs or puppies and kittens cannot fly together in the same crate.

Food and Water for your Pets

According to the United Airlines Pet Policy and USDA, your pet should be offered food & water four hours before the check-in. You must also provide the time and date your pet received food & water that needs to be certified with your signature.

Sedation

The United Airlines Pet Policy and the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) never advises sedation as the tranquilizers may have uncertain effects on high altitudes on your pets. Consulting your veterinarian about prescribing tranquilizers is a good way to settle the dust around this doubt. AVMA also suggests that short-nosed breeds should not travel to or from adverse weather. The pet policy also states that short-nosed breeds will not be accepted as checked bags or cargo from June 1 to September 30.

Responsibility of United Airlines

United Airlines takes painstaking care when it comes to transporting your pet. Since the airline cannot transport an animal that is dangerously ill or violent, a health certificate that clears out the rising questions goes a long way. The airline puts effort into keeping the kennels’ marking and sizing in order. As per the USDA, the airlines have the responsibility for the kennels they accept onboard for the safety compliances.

The airlines must provide services that are necessary to handle the animals at final destinations or changing airports. The places where the pets are to be kept are well-maintained and temperature-controlled which must be favorable for the animals.

Responsibility of Passengers

Passengers have to make sure that all health and pet travel documents are updated and comply with local, federal, state, and international entry necessities and regulations. The passengers will have to take full responsibility for the penalties assessed by the airline if they do not comply with pet health and travel entry necessities.

FAQs about United Airlines Pet Policy

When should I arrive and check-in at the airport with my pets?

You should arrive very early at the airport about 5-6 hours for the check-in formalities of your pets. You must check in at least 4 hours before the flight departure.

What is the required documentation for my pet?

  • A scanned copy of the filled-out United Pet Safe Customer Acknowledgement Form.
  • A scanned copy of your pet’s original health certificate issued by a licensed vet who has examined it no more than 10 days before the flight. This should inform us of the breed, weight, and age of your pet.
  • A digital photo of your pet’s travel crate
  • A digital photo of your pet showing the face to identify their breed.

Is there any other restriction for my pet that I should know of?

The airline reserves the right to refuse to transport an animal due to illness, poor kennel conditions, extreme weather conditions at transfer, origin, or destination, or aggressive behavior.

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