Kennel Guidelines

The right travel kennel can keep your pet physically and emotionally comfortable throughout their journey. To make sure your pet has a comfortable flight, we ask that you follow our kennel guidelines and help your pet get acclimated to their kennel.

Choosing the Right Kennel

Measuring your pet

Make sure you've chosen the right kennel for the animal being transported. All kennels must meet the IATA Live Animal Regulations. As a general guideline, please make sure your pet can sit, stand and move around within its closed kennel, without touching the sides. Please follow the kennel requirements to ensure the safest transportation of your pet.

Find the right kennel (PDF) »

Common kennel sizes

Kennel Name

Kennel Type

External Dimensions (inches)

External Dimensions (centimeters)

Kennel Weight

Small 100* 21 x 16 x 15 53 x 41 x 38 7 lbs (3 kg)
Medium 200 27 x 20 x 19 69 x 51 x 48 13 lbs (6 kg)
Intermediate 300 33 x 22 x 23 84 x 56 x 58 18 lbs (8 kg)
Large 400 36 x 24 x 26 91 x 61 x 66 24 lbs (11 kg)
Extra Large 500** 40 x 27 x 30 102 x 69 x 76 32 lbs (15 kg)
Giant 700** 48 x 32 x 35 122 x 81 x 89 51 lbs (23 kg)

* Domestic flights only
** ExpediteFS only

Kennel compatibility with our aircraft

Aircraft Type

Max Kennel Size

Max Kennel Height

787-900 (789)
787-800 (788)
777-300 (773)
777-200 (772)
All kennels up to max height 63 inches (160 cms)
737-MAX (7M8)
737-800 (737/738)
400 Kennel Series or smaller 28 inches (71 cms)
330-200 (332)
200 Kennel Series or smaller 22 inches (56 cms)
321T (32B) All kennels up to max height 46 inches (117 cms)
ERJ-175 (E75)
ERJ-170 (E70)
ERJ-145 (ER4)
ERJ-140 (ERD)
CRJ-900 (CR9)
CRJ-700 (CR7)
400 Kennel Series or smaller 28 inches (71 cms)

Prohibited flights

Due to heating limitations. we cannot transport warm-blooded animals on any Airbus 319. 320. 321NX, 3215 or 321H aircraft. Acceptable animals that can be transported on the Airbus 319, 320, 321NX, 3215 or 321H include tropical fish, lobsters and other "aquatics."

Aircraft compatibility (PDF) »

Kennel Guidelines

Kennel construction

  • Kennels must be made from rigid plastic, metal or wood with a metal grated door.
  • Kennels must also be leak and escape proof, in good working condition and secured with metal nuts, bolts or screws (ensure screws are not exposed which may cause serious injury). Please note that it's common and acceptable for kennels to have nuts (or wingnuts) and bolts that are metal and covered with a plastic coating on the outside.
  • Kennels must have adequate ventilation on at least three sides for domestic routings, and on all four sides for international routings.
  • Kennels wheels, if any, must be rendered inoperable or removed completely.
  • Snap closure kennels will only be accepted when:
    • Kennels have been manufactured with snap closures and screws
    • Kennels modified or adapted with snap closures that have been secured with the addition of nuts, bolts or screws
    • There are no cracks or splits surrounding the screw holes, or any other damage that may minimize the integrity of the kennel
Kennel guidelines (PDF) »

Unacceptable kennels

The following containers and kennels will not be accepted.

  • Soft-sided or cardboard kennels
  • Kennels with only snap closures
  • Kennels made entirely of welded mesh, wire mesh or wicker
  • kennels with door openings on the top

Extra security provided at check-in

After our team performs a visual screening of the pet at check-in, releasable cable ties will be attached to all four corners of the kennel door. We will provide these ties at no cost. If you prefer, you may provide your own ties or sealing mechanisms, provided they can be removed prior to screening without the use of tools.

Day of travel preparation

What time you need to be at the airport

The arrival times for your pet are dependent on the drop-off location and product, so we've developed a helpful chart to give you an idea of when you need to bring your pet to the airport.

Airport dropoff location

Priority Parcel Service or ExpediteFS

Recommended time of arrival at facility


Arrival airport pickup location

Pets available for pickup

(Airport Ticket Counter)
Priority Parcel Service 2 hours
prior to departure
(Baggage Service Office or Ticket Counter)
30 minutes
after arrival
(Dedicated PPS Facility*)
Priority Parcel Service 3 hours
prior to departure
(Dedicated PPS Facility*)
30 minutes
after arrival
(Cargo Terminal)
Priority Parcel Service or ExpediteFS 3 hours
prior to departure
(Baggage Service Office or Ticket Counter)
1 hour
after arrival
Miami and Honolulu
Priority Parcel Service or ExpediteFS 3.5 hours
prior to departure
Domestic Up to 2 hours
after arrival
(To International)
ExpediteFS 4 hours
prior to departure
International Up to 4 hours after arrival
(Must clear Customs)
(To Domestic)
ExpediteFS 4 hours
prior to departure
Domestic Up to 4 hours after arrival
(Must clear Customs)


Airport timing guide (PDF) »

No sedation

At the recommendation of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), we will not accept household dogs and cats that have been sedated or tranquilized.

If you plan to sedate or tranquilize an animal other than a household dog or cat, see our sedation policy to learn more.

What you need to bring

On the date of travel, you’ll also need to supplement your pet's kennel with the following materials, labels and security.

  • Two dishes (one for food and one for water) attached to the inside of the kennel. Make sure dishes are accessible from the outside without opening the door. Note: bottle water feeders are not allowed.
  • A bag of food taped to the top (in the event of a delay)
  • Feeding and watering instructions
    • In the event of unforeseen delays, we'll provide your pet with a comfort stop that will provide food to the animal. We comply with federal regulations, which means we offer food for dogs/cats less than 16 weeks of age every 12 hours, and every 24 hours for those over 16 weeks of age.
  • Statement that food and water was offered within four hours prior to the pet's delivery to American
  • Absorbent material on the bottom of the kennel. We believe that blankets, towels and beds work best for traveling pets. (Please note that hay, wood shavings and straw are not allowed.)

Multiple pets

Keep in mind that two dogs or two cats may share the same kennel if each is less than 20 lbs. and less than six months old. All animals must be at least eight weeks old and weaned in order to travel.



Number Permitted

Dogs and cats 8 weeks to 6 months Up to 2 pets per kennel provided each animal weighs less than 9 kg (20 lbs)
Dogs and cats Over 6 months old 1 pet per kennel
All other animals Varies Varies by species. Email