Route Restrictions: Alaska Airlines is now carrying small dogs and cats in the cabin into Mexico and Hawaii.
But airline agents are also the ones who will look at your bag to make sure that it is in good condition and can securely contain your dog (if it looks too flimsy, torn, or the zippers dont close tightly, they can reject it, and your dog, from that flight). They also are empowered to (and charged with) making certain that your dog is in a carrier of an appropriate size that you havent stuffed a too-large dog into a too-small bag. Your dog is supposed to be able to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably in the bag. Puppies who are younger than 8 weeks are not supposed to be carried (or shipped) on airplanes, either, and ostensibly, the front counter personnel can ask for verification that the puppy is of sufficient legal age to travel.
A carrier that is 7.5-8.5″ tall will allow only the tiniest of dogs to stand up and turn around, which all of these airlines require an in-cabin pet to be able to do. Trying to come up with a list of dogs that are 8″ tall at the shoulders? (For carrier height, you measure to the top of your dog’s shoulders, not to the top of his head.) Think toy Poodle, or a small Chihuahua or Pomeranian, or a Dachshund.
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Some airlines allow small pets in the cabin of the plane, if they're in a carry-on kennel or approved carrier that fits under a passenger seat; standard carry-on baggage restrictions must be followed. Usually, these flights need to be less than six hours. Animals other than dogs or cats may not be allowed--airlines have very specific regulations--and odor or noise disturbance can get a pet and passenger removed from the plane before take-off. Pets must remain in their carrying case for the duration of the flight. Most airlines allow one pet per passenger and two pets per cabin, though American Airlines allows two per passenger and seven per flight, so again, be sure to check individual rules. The maximum size for cabin pet carriers on American Airlines is 19 inches long by 13 inches wide and 9 inches high. Soft-sided pet carriers made of water-repellent, padded nylon with mesh ventilation on two or more sides may exceed size limits slightly because they are collapsible, but animals must still be able to stand up, turn around and lie down naturally. Pet kennels are counted as a passenger's carry-on bag or personal item, and a cabin pet charge is added the cost of the plane ticket.With various colors and sizes, this is one of the most popular carriers that you can find at any Petsmart or local pet store. The medium-sized version of this bag is “Guaranteed On Board and Airline Approved” on most major domestic airlines, and should work great when flying with a small dog.