Policies and Restrictions

PPS or ExpediteFS

Domestic flights and smaller pets

If your pet is flying domestically within the continental U.S., Puerto Rico or into Hawaii, has a combined weight (pet and kennel) of less than 100 pounds, and uses a kennel no larger than 36L"x26W"x28H", then they will fly as Priority Parcel Service (PPS).

Calculate PPS rates

International flights and larger pets

If your pet is flying internationally, out of Hawaii, or exceeds the PPS weight and container restriction, then they will fly as ExpediteFS.

View ExpediteFS rates

Peak surcharge

Please note that an additional $85 peak surcharge per air waybill will apply to the Animals rates.

Paying for Pet Transport

Become a customer

If you transport animals more than once a month, set up an account and apply for a credit account.

Create an account

Payment options

At Cargo terminals: Credit card, debit card, customer credit account, cashier's check, U.S. Postal money orders and traveler's & certified checks (all made payable to American Airlines in the exact amount).

At ticket counters, baggage service areas and global: Credit card, debit card and customer credit account.

50% military discount when traveling on orders

All active members of U.S. military forces with military orders, and their dependents receive a discount of 50% off of our published rates for transporting pets domestically. Proper military identification will be required at the time you drop off your pet, including:

  • Military orders.
  • Green active duty military ID card.
  • Tan Uniform Services dependent ID card marked "Active".
  • Discharge papers, if within 7 days of discharge.

Money-back guarantee

We stand behind our family of products. In the event your pet does not travel on its booked flight due to circumstances within our control, we will refund 50% of the freight charges for PPS or 100% of the freight charges for ExpediteFS, provided they are dropped off within required time limits and have met all required documentation.

No refund will be paid if the delay was caused by weather conditions, mechanical problems, termination, diversion, postponement or delay of any flight because of force majeure, strikes, riots, civil commotion, international conditions, any governmental regulations, order demand or requirement, shortage of labor, fuel facilities, or labor difficulties or for any other reason beyond our control.

If, for any reason, we cannot complete the contracted travel or if the customer does not accept delivery of the animal at its final destination, the pet may be returned to its original location, and the shipper will be responsible for any and all related charges.

Emergency Veterinary Support

In the unlikely event that an animal becomes ill or injured while in our care, we will obtain veterinary attention to ensure the pet's safety and security. Should the consulting veterinarian determine that the diagnoses or conditions were pre-existing, the customer will be responsible for reimbursing American for the cost of veterinary care and any other related expenses, such as the feeding and housing of the animal(s).

When you sign our Customer Acknowledgment Form, you authorize American to transport your pet to a veterinary clinic, animal hospital or similar facility for care in the event of an emergency. You also acknowledge and agree that American won’t be liable for any loss, damage, delay or expense arising from injury to or illness of your pet. You further acknowledge and agree that you will reimburse American for charges and fees American incurs with respect to veterinarian care for injuries to or illnesses of your pet.

Comfort Stops and Kenneling

Comfort stops are provided at local kennel facilities for pets that need to lay over between connections. While your pet is at a comfort stop, the kennel will provide a well-being check to ensure your pet's health and welfare. Your pet will have the opportunity to relieve themselves. Crates that have been soiled will be cleaned and any soiled bedding will be thrown away. Depending on their travel schedule, your pets will be given water and food.

We require a comfort stop for all dogs if:

  • The first leg of the routing is seven hours or more and includes a connection.
  • The connection time between booked flights on the same day is seven hours or more.
  • A same day connection is not possible.
  • The itinerary is longer than 24 hours.

Comfort stops for cats are only required if the itinerary is longer than 24 hours, but are otherwise optional and at the request of the customer.

If your pet needs a comfort stop, you will be charged for the comfort stop fees based on the connection city.

Temperature Policy

Extreme temperatures are tough on our beloved animals, so we'll only provide animal transport when temperatures are safe and appropriate. Temperature restrictions are based on the actual or forecasted temperature(s) for each flight departure time and flight arrival time for each station on the itinerary.

We transport warm-blooded animals when ground temperatures are between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This applies to origin, connection and destination cities.

We will NOT transport warm-blooded animals when ground temperatures are higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit or less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This applies to origin, connection, and destination cities.

Letter from a vet required for 20-44 degrees Fahrenheit

If ground temperatures are between 20 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit, then we require that you provide a letter of acclimation signed and dated by a licensed veterinarian. The letter of acclimation must state the exact lowest temperature between 20 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit that the animal may be exposed to. This applies to origin, connection, and destination cities.

We've provided a letter of acclimation you can give to your veterinarian, but if you'd like to provide one in a different format, please make sure the letter states that "the animal(s) in this shipment is acclimated to a temperature of [insert exact temperature between 20 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit]."

We will not transport warm-blooded animals if the actual or forecasted temperature(s) is outside of the range provided by the veterinarian in the acclimation letter. We will also not provide transport if the maximum amount of time that the animal may be exposed to temperatures below 44 degrees Fahrenheit is less than 45 minutes.

Acclimation letter (PDF) »

Cold-blooded animals

Cold-blooded animals are exempt from the American Airlines Cargo temperature restrictions. Please package all cold-blooded animals in accordance with the IATA Live Animal Regulations, which include heat or cold packs as needed. Learn more about the IATA regulations here.

Unsafe temperatures in our care

If there is a change in temperature that is outside our acceptable range while the animal is in our care, we may contact you to pick up your pet in order to ensure its safety. If temperatures become unsafe at one of the connecting points during travel, the animal will be taken to a local kenneling facility — at no charge to you — for a comfort stop to play, eat and sleep until temperatures return to a safe range.

Here's how we do it

Our system has the capability to check the temperatures at departure and arrival times for each station in your pet's routing. The best way to determine the temperatures is to search the airport code in a trusted search engine and find the hourly temperatures from a trusted weather website. This can be used as a guide, however our stations have final say on temperature restrictions based on our system of record.

Example
Sparky the Dog will be flying from Los Angeles to Rochester, NY, with a layover in Chicago. Sparky will be dropped off at 5 a.m. for the following flights:

AA 1200 LAX-ORD 6:55 a.m. – 1 p.m.
AE 4089 ORD-ROC 2:55 p.m. – 5:35 p.m.

First, check the hourly forecast at LAX
for the time frame of 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Then, check the hourly forecast at ORD
for the time frame of 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Finally, check the hourly forecast at ROC
for the time of arrival, the 5 p.m. hour.

Aircraft Restrictions

The heat and ventilation capability within much of our fleet allows us to accept pets for transport. However, for the safety of the animal, we will not transport animals on the following aircraft types: Airbus 319, 320, 321, 321E, 321H, 321S, 321X, 32Q and 32B, excluding New York JFK to/from LAX and San Francisco (SFO). Tropical fish, lobsters and other “aquatics” are accepted across our entire fleet.

Aircraft compatibility (PDF) »

Breed Restrictions

To ensure the well-being of all animals, the following breeds and mixes of brachycephalic and snub-nosed dogs and cats will not be accepted for travel due to the risks associated with their hereditary respiratory issues. We also cannot accept historically aggressive breeds for safety reasons.

Dogs

Affenpinscher, American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer (All breeds), Brussels Griffon, Bulldog (All breeds), Cane Corso, Chow Chow, Dogue De Bordeaux, English Toy Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff (All breeds), Pekingese, Pit Bull, Presa Canario, Pug (All breeds), Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Staffordshire Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel

Cats

Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian

Restricted dog and cat breeds (PDF) »
Restricted mastiff breeds (PDF) »

Sedation Policy

At the recommendation of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Airlines will not accept household dogs and cats that have been sedated or tranquilized. Pets that have been given sedatives or tranquilizers are at a higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular problems at high altitudes. American Airlines will not knowingly accept a dog or cat that has been or appears to have been sedated.

Our recommended alternative is to acclimate your pet to its travel container as far in advance of the trip as possible. Veterinarians recommend leaving it open in the house with a chew bone or other familiar objects inside so that your pet will spend time in the kennel. It is important for your pet to be as relaxed as possible during the flight.

Some veterinarians also recommend herbal stress relievers, like lavender and chamomile, to ease your pet’s anxiety. Please make sure to ask your veterinarian if using these natural alternatives is safe for your pet.

If you plan to sedate or tranquilize an animal other than a household dog or cat, federal regulations require that you present the following information at check in:

  • Name of the medication.
  • Amount administered.
  • Time and date it was administered.
  • Manufacturer details.
  • Lot, batch, or serial number of medication, and expiration date.

Other Regulations

Regulations are in place to protect your animals

Make sure your animal meets applicable government regulations and complies with the U.S. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Wild Fauna and Flora. Specific guidelines for the acceptance, care, handling and container requirements are published in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations Manual. Unless there is a more restrictive policy, we adhere to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) guidelines in order to keep your animal as safe and comfortable as possible.

The information contained on this website is for general reference and guidance only. Please go to the USDA's APHIS website for detailed instructions and information.

Location-specific regulations

Location

Pet Policy

All American does not accept animals transported for research with the exception of lab mice and rats.
All American Airlines does not transport the following wild game trophies: elephant, lion, water buffalo, rhinoceros, or leopard. We reserve the right to refuse any wild game hunting trophy shipment.

American Airlines also does not transport shark fins and shark fin products, in any form or packaging type.
All We maintain the right to refuse transport to any animal that is exhibiting aggressive behavior or does not appear fit to travel.
All If you are transporting a non-domesticated, wild, exotic or zoo animal, there is only one place you can drop them off for transport: cargo terminals. We will continue to transport household pets such as dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, pot-belly pigs, rabbits, rodents and cold-blooded animals from passenger ticket counters, baggage service offices and dedicated Global Priority Shipping Centers.
All We do not transport venomous or poisonous snakes, lizards, invertebrates or amphibians as defined by the IATA Live Animal Regulations. We also do not transport any animal that exudes odors or toxins, like skunks.
All In compliance with USDA regulations, we are unable to transport warm-blooded animals on any single flight 12 hours or more in length.
California We do not transport ferrets to or from California.
Hawaii If your pet is traveling to Hawaii, it may be quarantined up to 120 days. Contact Hawaii Agriculture at 808-483-7151 for more information. Honolulu, HI (HNL) is the only port of entry for animals traveling with us. All shipments to Honolulu must be pre-paid.
Puerto Rico All animals other than dogs and cats (including fish) traveling to Puerto Rico must have approval and clearance. For more information, contact the Department of Natural Resources at 787-289-0025/0026.
China We do not transport warm-blooded animals such as mammals and birds to or from China. You are, however, welcome to transport reptiles, fish, amphibians, insects and crustaceans to China.
European Union Strict import conditions apply.
Japan If your pet is traveling to Japan, it may be quarantined.
Mexico A customs broker is required to clear live animal shipments into Mexico.
United Kingdom (U.K.) We accept cats, dogs and ferrets into London Heathrow (LHR) and Manchester (MAN) only. A customs clearance broker is required to accept dogs, cats or ferrets to/from LHR and MAN. If you'd like to use a pet shipper/broker to help you transport your pet, please visit IPATA.org. You are also welcome to transport reptiles, fish, amphibians, insects and crustaceans into the U.K. with the proper documentation.
United States (Imports and Exports) If you are importing or exporting your pet into or out of the U.S., check with the local consulate, USDA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife office.