The right kennel makes
all the difference

We can’t stress enough how important it is for your pet to have the right travel kennel that it’s comfortable in, both physically and emotionally. Not only do we highly recommend you follow our kennel guidelines, but we want you to get your pet acclimated and comfortable in their travel kennel before the flight. A pet’s comfort level with their kennel makes all the difference in managing a pet’s travel-related stress and making their journey a safe and comfortable one.

Common kennel sizes

Kennel Type

External Dimensions (inches)

Kennel Weight

100* 21 x 16 x 15 7 lbs
200 27 x 20 x 19 13 lbs
300 33 x 22 x 23 18 lbs
400 36 x 24 x 26 24 lbs
500 40 x 27 x 30 32 lbs
600 48 x 32 x 35 51 lbs

* Domestic flights only

Choosing the right kennel

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.

Kennel measurement guide »

Kennel guidelines

  • 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.
  • Make sure screws are not exposed, which may cause serious injury.
  • Kennels must have adequate ventilation on at least three sides for domestic routings, and on all four sides for international routings.
  • All wheels on the kennel must be rendered inoperable or removed completely.
  • Kennel must be clean with no offensive odors.

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, so long as the pets are comparable in size and temperament.

Prepping your kennel on day of departure

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.
  • 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.)

Extra security

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.