Alaska Airlines is a pet-friendly airline that allows passengers to carry their pets as carry-on, transport them as checked baggage, or via cargo service.

Alaska offers Fur-st Class Care for pets as a part of its pet travel program. Your pets will travel safely with top-notch care provided by the airline. Customers wanting to travel with their pets on Alaska-operated flights must follow all policies, and guidelines. 

To assist, and make it understandable, we have prepared this detailed article on ‘How strict is Alaska Airlines Pet Policy?’ including the latest Alaska pet travel policies, and requirements.

How strict is Alaska Airlines Pet Policy?

Alaska Airlines offers three options to transport your pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds on Alaska-operated flights. You can travel with your pets as carry-on, transport them as checked baggage in a climate-controlled baggage compartment, or cargo service.

Alaska Airlines Pet Policy

Alaska Airlines Carry-on Pet Policy

There are various policies when traveling on an Alaska-operated flight with a pet in the cabin. You can carry smaller pets in the passenger cabin.

Here are the major policies you need to be aware of while traveling with your pet as a carry-on.

Alaska Airlines Pet Carrier Size

As a carry-on, your pet must be carried in a pet kennel, or carrier. Your pet must comfortably fit in the carrier. Both hard-sided, and soft-sided pet carriers are accepted on Alaska flights however, there is a dimension restriction.

The hard-sided pet carrier must not exceed a dimension of 17in x 11in x 7.5in whereas the maximum allowed dimension for the soft-sided pet carrier is 17in x 11in x 9.5in.

alaska pet carrier dimension aviatechchannel
Pet Carrier Dimension Requirements (Alaska Airlines Pet Policy)
Soft-Sided Carrier17in x 11in x 9.5in50
Hard-Sided Carrier17in x 11in x 7.5in50

In addition to the size, and dimension requirements, the pet carrier must be clean, and leak-proof. Besides, it must feature absorbent bedding made of safe, and non-toxic material.

Escape-proof construction, adequate air ventilation, and undamaged structures are other main requirements.

Age Requirements

There are age requirements for both passengers, and their pets when traveling on Alaska-operated flights.

You must be at least 18 years old to travel with a pet in the cabin. Likewise, your pet (cat or dog) must be at least 8 weeks old.

International Travel Requirements

Only dogs, and cats are allowed to travel internationally on flights between the U.S. and an international destination. Strict health, and vaccination documentation is required which varies according to the country you’re visiting.

A valid health certificate is mandatory, and it must contain information such as the pet’s breed, sex, age, vaccination details (if traveling from high-risk countries), date of examination, and signature from the licensed veterinarian. You must obtain a health certificate within 10 days of your trip.

Countries, and State Restrictions

MEXICO2 pets (dogs, or cats) allowed per U.S. family per flight
BELIZEPets are restricted to travel.
CANADAOnly dogs, and cats are allowed to travel.
COSTA RICAOnly dogs, and cats are allowed to travel only as carry-on.

Transporting pets in the Baggage Compartment

Alaska Airlines allows transporting pets in the climate-controlled baggage, and cargo compartments for a fee of $100.

The guidelines, and requirements are listed below.

Accepted Pets

Pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish can be transported in baggage and cargo compartments.

Pet Carrier, and Dimension Requirements

The total combined weight of the pet, and the carrier must not exceed 150 lbs. If it exceeds 150 lbs, your pet needs to be transported via cargo service.

The pet carrier must be large enough for your pet to stand up, and move around safely. The carrier size, and dimension requirements are illustrated in the table below.

Extra Small (100)21in x 16in x 15in 
Small (200)27in x 20in x 19in
Medium (300)32in x 22in x 23in
Large (400)36in x 24in x 26in
Extra Large (500)40in x 27in x 30in

In addition to the size, and dimension requirements, a food, and water dish must be attached to the inside of the carrier. The airline staff will feed your pets with the food you provide.

Alaska Airlines Pet Health, and Vaccination Requirements

Health Certificate Requirements (Alaska Airlines Pet Policy)

A valid health certificate is required for pets traveling in the baggage compartment. The certificate must be issued, and signed by a licensed veterinarian.

Food, and Water Requirements

Pets traveling as checked baggage must have been offered food, and water within 4 hours of check-in (5-6 hours prior to scheduled departure).

Sufficient food, and water must be offered throughout the entire journey.

Aircraft Restrictions

All Alaska-operated Airbus aircraft doesn’t permit transporting pet as checked baggage. This is due to the reason that the Airbus fleet doesn’t feature a heated cargo space to transport pets safely.

Restricted Pet Breeds

Some specific pet breeds including Brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs, and cats are not allowed to travel in the baggage compartment on Alaska-operated flights including flights operated by subsidiaries: Horizon, and SkyWest.

Restricted Cat Breeds: Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian
Restricted Dog Breeds: American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Mastiff (All Breeds), Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Chow Chow, Dutch Pug, English Bulldog, English Toy Spaniel, French Bulldog, Japanese Boxer, Japanese Pug, Japanese Spaniel, Pekingese, Pug, Shih Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier

You must be wondering why there are breed restrictions. Well, some specific pet breeds are prone to developing stressful situations when flying. For instance, short-nosed animals commonly have breathing abnormalities.

But don’t worry, you can travel with your short-nosed dogs or cats in the cabin.

Temperature Requirements

Temperature is one of the key factors that need to be considered while transporting pets safely. Extreme temperatures may harm pets so, passengers are advised to choose early morning or late evening flights in summer, and mid-day flights in winter.

Alaska Airlines declines acceptance or informs if the temperatures exceed the safe range at the origin, destination, or connecting airports.

Checked Pets Guidelines at the Airport

Alaska customers must arrive at the airport with the required health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian. The pet carrier must fulfill all standard requirements including size, construction, and dimensions.

A specific check-in may be required at the departure airport. After 30 minutes of arrival, your pet will be available for pick-up in the baggage claim area.

TSA Screening (Alaska Airlines Pet Policy)

Alaska Airlines doesn’t recommend sedating your pets as it may harm them at high altitudes. If you have to tranquilize your pet, you need to seek assistance from a licensed veterinarian.

Transporting Pet via Alaska Air Cargo

If your pet exceeds 150 lbs, or can’t be carried in the aircraft’s cabin, it must be transported via Alaska Air Pet Cargo service. All policies and guidelines for the pet cargo service are the same as discussed above.

alaska air pet connect live animal shipping aviatechchannel
Alaska Pet Connect Service (Alaska Airlines Pet Policy)

Here are the key guidelines you need to follow before getting your pet ready for Alaska Air Cargo.

  • Ensure your pet meets health guidelines
  • A valid health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian is required.
  • Restricted pet breeds are not allowed.
  • Pet travel must comply with Hawaii’s Travel Restrictions.
  • Alaska transports pets only if the temperature is between 45F, and 85F at both the departure, and arrival airports. A certificate of acclimation is required for greater temperature variances.
  • The size and dimension of the kennel or pet carrier must not exceed the maximum number.
  • Alaska Pet Connect service accepts reservations at a minimum of 24 hours, and a maximum of 20 days prior to the trip. 

Conclusion on ‘How strict is Alaska Airlines pet policy?’

Alaska Airlines provides pet-friendly travel options as passengers can travel with their pets as carry-on, transport as checked baggage, or Alaska Air Pet Connect Cargo service.

Let’s conclude with some key points listed below.

  • Pets including Cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish are allowed to travel with Alaska-operated flights.
  • Before traveling, ensure your pet is healthy and fit to fly.
  • Prepare documentation including health certificate.
  • Ensure whether your pet is an acceptable breed or not. 
  • Pet Carrier or Kennel must be properly labeled, and of the correct size, and dimensions.

FAQs on Alaska Airlines Pet Policy

Can I bring a dog on an Alaska Airlines flight?

Alaska Airlines allows passengers to travel with their pets including dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish.

How much does it cost to fly a dog on Alaska Airlines?

A one-way fee of $100 is applicable for flying pets on Alaska Airlines flights.

Can my dog sit on my lap during an Alaska Airlines flight?

As per Alaska Airlines Pet Travel Policy, your pet must remain in the pet carrier at all times. 

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Suman Karki
Suman Karki is the founder of the AviaTech Channel blog and YouTube Channel. He is a passionate aviation enthusiast and holds experience working as a Ground Operations Officer for Swissport International. He is currently serving as a Flight Data Feeder for FlightAware (a US-based company for Flight Tracking). Besides, he has worked as an aviation content editor for various aviation media.


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