In the half-century that we've been helping owners and shippers get their pets and animals all around the world, we've learned that every animal has a story.
Some of our furry friends are show dogs on their way to win a competition, while some just anticipate reuniting with their best friend. We've helped professionals transport tropical fish and wildlife to exotic locales, and recently flew the U.S. Naval Academy's beloved mascot to its college bowl game.
As pet owners ourselves, we understand how important our friends are to you. Not only are we professionally trained to provide the highest level of safety for every animal that flies with us, but our team is comprised of compassionate human beings that care deeply about making the journey as comfortable as possible to the more than 300 destinations in our network.
Your pet is special to us. We have 50 years of experience caring for furry friends, so please email us with any questions or concerns at: LiveAnimals.Cargo@aa.com.
We offer different solutions to ensure the highest levels of safety and comfort for animal transport. Find out which solution is right for your animal's upcoming journey.Learn more
The safety of your animal is line number one. That's why we won't transport them on specific aircraft types and operators that don't fit our requirements. Get our complete aircraft compatibility information.
If your animal...
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If your animal...||
From the U.S.
Email or call our 24/7 dedicated animal help desk at 800-227-4622.
Contact your local American Airlines sales team.
For the safety of your animals and other cargo onboard, please present certain documents before transporting your animal.Learn more
Please bring two copies (the original and one extra) issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel for both the outbound and return trips. If the words "mix" or "mixed" are used to describe the pet, then the predominant breed must be referenced.
Rabies vaccination certification
Please bring one copy issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian in accordance with local timeline regulations. If your dog or cat is less than 12 weeks old, they are not required to be vaccinated.
Warm-blooded animals in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit
Please bring a Certificate of Acclimation, if it applies. See Temperature Policy for details.
For animals being transported to an international destination, do your homework and visit the USDA-APHIS Pet Travel site for your destination country's documentation requirements. These requirements can include vaccinations, testing, and arranging for import permits that can take weeks or months to complete prior to travel, so begin the process as soon as you know you're going! If you don't comply with all the destination country's requirements, you risk the animal being refused transport, quarantined, or returned to the United States at your expense. Contact the USDA-APHIS Customer Service Call Center at 844 820 2234 or visit the USDA-APHIS Pet Travel site for import requirements.
We can help clear U.S. Customs
We have partnered with Coppersmith Global Logistics to assist your pet in clearing customs in the U.S. Coppersmith works under power of attorney to arrange for the clearance of your pet through the U.S. governmental regulatory agencies. Coppersmith will work closely with the importer to ensure all information is correct and complete prior to loading. Then, they will electronically file for release before your pet even arrives in the U.S. Let either your American Airlines Cargo sales representative or your pet transport professional know you're interested in using Coppersmith to make your pet's international travel experience as smooth as possible.
Pregnant animals & health certificates
Please ensure the licensed veterinarian clarifies that the animal is fit to travel and there is no risk of birth occurring during the entire journey. If the health certificate states the animal has given birth, time of tender must be greater than 48 hours post whelping to be accepted for carriage. Females with suckling young and un-weaned animals will not be accepted for carriage. Animals must be 8 weeks old in order to travel.
Please do not sedate your pet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, due to respiratory and cardiovascular problems caused by altitude pressures, you shouldn't give your pet any sedatives or tranquilizers before flying.
If your pet is sedated, please present the following information at check in:
Transportation is restricted to American Airlines' on-line service only.
If you are transporting wild or exotic birds, you will need to, both in writing and on letterhead, state whether the birds were:
Please bring two copies (the original and one extra) issued and signed by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel for both the outbound and return trips.
Primates must be at least six months old, weaned and tendered at a cargo terminal.
Primates may only be accepted for transportation when:
American Airlines will not accept primates used for laboratory research, experimentation or exploitation purposes.
For all other types of animals, consult the website of the destination country for specific requirements. The IATA shipper's certification is required for U.S. outbound international or interline transfer shipments. Also, please read the IATA shipper's instructions and responsibilities.
We can’t stress enough how important it is for your pet to have the right travel kennel so they are comfortable during their trip. Find out how the right kennel makes all the difference.Learn more
Make sure you've chosen the right kennel for the animal being transported. All kennels must meet the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animal Regulations.
After the appropriate screening has been applied, 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.
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.
|Kennel Type||External Dimensions (inches)||Kennel Weight|
Payment options vary by drop-off location. Cardholders/check makers must be present for payment. Unfortunately, payments are not accepted over the phone or online. We also offer a 50% military discount.Learn more
Passenger ticket counters, baggage service areas and global
Credit/debit card, customer credit account.
Credit/debit card, customer credit account, cashier's checks, U.S. Postal money orders, traveler's & certified checks (all made payable to American Airlines in the exact amount)
50% military discount
All active members of U.S. military forces with military orders, and their dependents, receive a discount of 50 percent off of our published rates for transporting pets. Proper military identification will be required at the time you drop off your pet, including:
For all shipments, military orders are required at the time of tender.
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.
Our payment policy
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 feeding and housing of the animal(s).
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.
Using hourly forecasts from weather.com, we keep tabs on the temperature in each city along the way to make sure they are within the acceptable range for the animal(s) onboard.Learn more
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.
American Airlines Cargo transports warm-blooded animals when ground temperatures are between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This applies to origin, connection, and destination cities.
American Airlines Cargo will not transport warm-blooded animals when ground temperatures are higher than 85 degree Fahrenheit or less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. This applies to origin, connection, and destination cities.
If ground temperatures are between 20 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit, then American Airlines Cargo requires a "Letter of Acclimation" signed and dated by a licensed veterinarian in order to transport warm-blooded animals. 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.
Letter of Acclimation language recommendation
"The animal(s) in this shipment is acclimated to a temperature of [insert exact temperature between 20 and 44 degrees Fahrenheit]."
NOTE: American Airlines Cargo will not transport warm-blooded animals if the Letter of Acclimation states one or both of the following:
Please package all cold-blooded animals in accordance with the IATA Live Animal Regulations, which include heat or cold packs as needed.
Please note that if there is a change in temperature that is outside our acceptable range, 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 the temperatures return to a safe range.
Sparky the Dog will be flying from Los Angeles through Chicago and to final destination of Rochester, NY. 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 on weather.com at LAX
for the time frame of 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Then, check the hourly forecast on weather.com at ORD
for the time frame of 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Finally, check the hourly forecast on weather.com at ROC
for the time of arrival, the 5 p.m. hour.
Because animal safety is priority number one, we don't allow certain dog and cat breeds. We also follow location-specific guidelines and regulations to make sure their journey is a safe one.Learn more
Pet embargo for some aircraft types
The heat and vent capability within most of our fleet allow us to accept pets for transport. However, for the safety of the animals, 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.
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.
Don't sedate your pets
Please avoid sedating your pet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, due to respiratory and cardiovascular problems caused by altitude pressures, you shouldn't give your pet any sedatives or tranquilizers before flying.
Is your breed clear to travel?
To ensure the well-being of all animals, the following breeds and mixes of brachycephalic and snub-nosed cats and dogs 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.
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
Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian
|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 and leopard.|
|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.|
|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. For more information, please check out our guide to UK pet travel for the required documents and government regulations. 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.|