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Airline Requirements

Requirements and Restrictions


To transport your pet as checked baggage or cargo, you must use an approved shipping kennel, and it must ship in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. The kennel must provide enough room for your pet to stand and sit up without the head touching the top of the container and to turn around and lie down in a natural position.


All kennels must be capable of loading upright in the aircraft bin as required by the Animal Welfare Act and the International Air Transport Association Live Animal Regulations.


In addition, USDA rules state that the kennel must:

  • Be constructed of rigid plastic, wood, metal or material of comparable strength with solid roofs; no cardboard kennels
  • Have wheels that can be removed or made inoperable (applicable to wheeled kennels only)
  • Have ventilation openings on three sides, in addition to the door opening
  • Have functional handles on the kennel's exterior to prevent tilting and any direct contact with the animals
  • Close securely, but not lock, to allow personnel to open it in case of emergency
  • Display labels with the words "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top and on at least one side
  • Display upright arrow labels indicating kennel's correct position; airlines may be able to provide these labels
  • Contain bedding, shredded paper or towels to absorb accidents
  • Contain two dishes (one for food and one for water) attached to the inside of the kennel door - they must be easily accessible to airline agents without opening the kennel door
  • Display feeding instructions and food, if applicable – these instructions should be affixed to the top of the kennel, along with shipper and consignee information


Prohibited/Restricted Kennels:

  • Kennels made entirely of welded mesh, wire mesh, wicker, cardboard or collapsible materials are strictly prohibited
  • Kennels with opening doors on top
  • Kennels with plastic front doors and/or plastic side latches that secure the top and bottom together without hardware, such as metal nuts/bolts


Please be advised that each airline differs slightly in what they will and will not allow. Our doors, while made of composite material are secured with metal rods. Additionally a metal liner can be purchased as an accessory and side latch rod kits are available for securing the door further. You would also need to include a handle kit for the intermediate, large and XL sizes. Call with any further questions and we will do what we can to get you answers!