Is United Strict on Pet Policy? (2023 United Airlines Pet Travel Policy)

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Traveling with pets can be worrisome, especially while flying on a plane. Airlines are sometimes stricter with their pet travel policies which include limitations, strict rules, and handling requirements.

United Airlines is one of the big airline companies in the United States that serves flights to various destinations worldwide. United also has its own pet travel policy which you have to strictly follow to carry your pets on the flight.

To make it easy, and understandable for you, we have prepared this detailed blog on the latest United Airlines Pet Travel Policy. Without any delay, let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Explore United Airlines Pet Travel Policy 2023 

United Airlines only allows its passengers to carry a cat or a dog. You can bring your cat or dog with you on your United flight when there’s space available, however, there are some rules you need to strictly follow at the airport, and on the plane.

Before bringing cats and dogs to the aircraft’s cabin, you need to make sure of the following policies, and requirements.

Size Requirements

There are no weight, or breed limitations for carrying pets on United flights. Pets must be carried either on a hard-sided carrier or a soft-sided carrier that fits under the seat in front of the passengers.

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Pet Carrier Dimension Requirements (United Airlines Pet Travel Policy)

The maximum allowed dimension for the hard-sided carrier is 17.5in (44cm) by 12 in (30cm) by 7.5in (19cm) – (Length X Width X Height). Likewise, the soft-sided carrier must not exceed 18in (45cm) by 11 in (27cm) by 11in (27cm) – (Length X Width X Height).

Aircraft Limitations

United Airlines and United Express (regional carrier) operate with varieties of aircraft including Boeing 787 Dreamliner, B777, B767, Airbus A320, A319, B737, Bombardier CRJ, Embraer 175, E145, and so on.

You can carry only one pet with you, and the maximum number of pets allowed depends on the aircraft type as illustrated in the table below.

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Aircraft Limitations (United Airlines Pet Travel Policy)
AIRCRAFT TYPEMAX PET ALLOWED
Airbus 319
Airbus 320
Boeing 737
Boeing 757-300ER
Bombardier CRJ
EMB 175
EMB 145
2 pets in Premium Cabins
Airbus 319
Airbus 320
Boeing 737
Boeing 757-200
Boeing 757-300ER
Bombardier CRJ
EMB 175
EMB 145
4 pets in Economy Class
(Passengers must select a window seat on Boeing 757-200 to fit the pet carrier under the seat in front of them).
Boeing 767
Boeing 777
Boeing 787
Up to 6 pets in Economy Class
Important note: Passengers are not allowed to sit in an emergency exit row, Premium Plus seat, or in the front row of each cabin with their pets.

Paperwork Requirements

Traveling with pets on flights is not that easy at all because there are stricter rules, and regulations. Some countries don’t allow pets to travel while others require authentic proof for rabies vaccines. That’s why you need to ensure you are carrying all your paperwork, and proof of vaccination.

United advises its passengers to get a certificate of health from the vet within 30 days of their trip. The certificate must include the information of passengers, their pets, and a list of recent vaccines.

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Paperwork Requirements (United Airlines Pet Travel Policy)

United Airlines, and United Express passengers can carry their cats or dogs on flights to all countries except the following listed states, and countries.

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Cuba
  • Guam
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Hawaii
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Marshall Islands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan)
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Tahiti
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • UK
Important Note: Even though you have a connection flight on above-listed states, and countries, you are not allowed to travel with pets.

How do I add a pet to my United flight?

To book your ticket with pets, you can simply visit the official website, and book your ticket by selecting ‘Travel with a pet’. You can also add a pet to an existing trip by accessing the My Trips section if you haven’t. 

You must be wondering if you can add a pet via the United app. Unfortunately, the United app doesn’t allow you to book pet tickets.

How much does United charge for pets?

Talking about the cost, you are required to pay $125 each way for traveling with your cats or dogs. In addition to this basic cost, there is also a $125 fee for each layover of more than four hours for flights within the U.S. and more than 24 hours internationally. 

United Airlines Pet Policy for International Flights

If you are flying to an international destination with United Airlines, you need to add a pet to your booking by calling 1-800-864-8331. Remember, the countries and states listed above don’t allow you to carry pets even if you are on a connecting flight.

Furthermore, you need to check the pet travel policies of each airline if you are traveling on multiple airlines including United partner airlines.

United Airlines Pet Policy for Cargo Flights

United Airlines used to allow transporting pets in the cargo hold however, this service termed ‘PetSafe’ has been suspended. The airline no longer accepts PetSafe reservations.

Requirements at the Airport

Once you arrive at the airport for your trip with United, you need to check in for your flight at the ticket counter. The counter staff will ask you to provide both your own and your pet’s confirmation numbers. You can find the confirmation numbers in your email or in the ‘My Trips’ section.

The airline will provide you with a special bag tag for your pet’s carrier. The majority of airports in the United States provide animal, or pet relief areas where you can take your pet to use the bathroom. For United flights, you can use the airport maps feature on the United app to find the pet relief areas.

Requirements on the plane

After the completion of check-in with your pet, you will now board the flight with your pet. United Airlines requires you to follow only one main rule while you are on the plane with your pet, and that is, your pet must stay in the carrier with the door closed, and under your seat at all times.

Conclusion on United Airlines Pet Travel Policy

As a United Airlines, and United Express passenger, you are allowed to carry your cats or dogs if you meet requirements and follow all guidelines discussed above.

Before concluding, let’s explore some recommendations provided by the airline while carrying pets.

  • Always carry all the necessary things such as plastic bags, treats, leash, a collapsible water bowl, and so on. These items are required to care for your pet while you’re still at the airport.
  • You can keep your pets calm on the flight by carrying their favorite toy, blanket, or pillow.

FAQs on United Airlines Pet Travel Policy

Is United Pet travel still suspended?

United Pet Travel is not suspended however, there are certain rules, and guidelines you need to follow before carrying pets on United flights.

What are the requirements for a dog to fly United Airlines?

You need to carry your dog in a hard-sided, or a soft-sided carrier, and also bring paperwork including rabies vaccine documentation. 

How do I add a pet to my United flight?

You can book your United flight by selecting ‘Travel with a pet’. You can also add a pet to an existing trip by accessing the My Trips section if you haven’t.

Can I buy my dog a seat on a plane?

The majority of airlines don’t allow passengers to purchase separate tickets for their pets. For instance, you need to carry your dog in a hard-sided, or a soft-sided pet carrier, and keep it under the seat in front of you on United Airlines flights.

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