Traveling with Pets
Alaska Airlines provides Fur-st Class™ Care for our four-legged friends - because we understand that he's not just a dog, he's your little buddy. Our pet travel program offers options for transporting your pet safely while providing top-notch care for your precious animal.
The information below is intended to answer the majority of questions about traveling with your pet. You can review all of our policies regarding transporting live animals in our Contract of Carriage.
Booking Pet Travel
Space for pets traveling in the cabin or in the cargo compartment is limited and subject to availability. For air travel on Alaska Airlines, PenAir and Era Aviation, please contact Alaska Airlines Reservations at 1-800-252-7522.
If your travel plans include travel on another airline, please contact the airline directly to reserve space, determine fees and obtain additional information about traveling with your pet on the other airline. Please note that Alaska Airlines does not transfer pets traveling in the baggage compartment to other carriers. Pets must be claimed and rechecked to the connecting carrier.
Brachycephalic or "short-nosed" dogs and cats are not accepted for travel in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines flights (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest, or PenAir). Veterinary experts say that short-nosed animals commonly have abnormalities that can compromise their breathing. Stress associated with flight can make those conditions worse.
Brachycephalic or "short-nosed" dogs and cats may still travel in the cabin with their passenger provided their pet carrier fits under the seat.
This applies to the following breeds and mixed breeds thereof:
Dogs: Boston Terrier, Boxer (All Breeds), Bull Dog (All Breeds), Bull Terrier,
Brussels Griffon, Chow Chow, English Toy Spaniel, Japanese Spaniel/Japanese
Chin, Mastiff (All Breeds), Pekingese, Pit Bull (All Breeds), Pug (All Breeds),
Shih Tzu, Staffordshire Terrier.
Cats: Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian
Customers traveling on Alaska Airlines flights 2000-2999 or flights 3420-3499 may not check pets in the baggage or cargo compartments during the following dates:
- November 23, 2015 through December 1, 2015
- December 11, 2015 through January 1, 2016
Pets in Cabin will still be accepted during these time periods.
Alaska Airlines accepts only cats or dogs for travel to Hawaii. Because of Hawaii's unique status as the only rabies-free state, and because of strong headwinds at certain times of year, there are additional requirements for travel. Please visit our Pets Traveling to Hawaii page for further details.
Health and Vaccination Requirements
Only pets in good health are permitted. Any pet in a kennel too small or in obvious distress due to illness or injury will be refused travel.
All pets traveling in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines, (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir) will be required to have a health certificate dated within 10 days of outbound travel and 30 days of return travel. A health certificate will not be required for pets traveling in the cabin with their passenger, however, many states have specific importation health and vaccination requirements. It is recommended to contact the State Veterinarian at your destination prior to travel to determine necessary documentation (such as health and cold weather acclimation certificates) and vaccination requirements.
Alaska Airlines is proud to partner with Banfield® Pet Hospital to provide pets and their owners with a special discount offer to prepare pets for take-off.
Alaska Airlines is not responsible for any costs incurred should customers not have the required health documentation to enter the state or country.
Customers traveling to Kotzebue with a dog must have proof of their pet's Parvovirus and rabies vaccination. Customers checking in without required documentation will be denied boarding. Contact the Kotzebue City Clerk (907-442-3401) for assistance or questions.
Customers traveling to Nome with a dog must have proof of their pet's Parvovirus vaccination. Customers checking in without required documentation will be denied boarding. Contact the Nome City Clerk (907-443-6663) for assistance or questions.
Customers traveling to Hawaii are subject to strict guidelines and specific programs that must be completed before your cat or dog will be accepted into the State of Hawaii. Learn more about Traveling with Pets to Hawaii.
Note: For travel to Canada, Costa Rica, or Mexico, refer to the International Travel section below for additional health and vaccination requirement information.
|Pet in Cabin
||Pet in Baggage
|$100.00 (USD) each way
||$100.00 (USD) each way
Note: Fees indicated are per kennel/carrier and for travel on Alaska Airlines, PenAir and Era Aviation only. If your itinerary includes travel on another airline, the other airline fee may be assessed. Please check with the other airline for more information.
Pets in the Cabin
Customers must be 18 years or older to travel with pet in the cabin. A customer traveling with a pet may not occupy an emergency exit row seat. The First Class cabin can accommodate a total of one pet carrier per flight, and the main cabin can accommodate a total of up to five pet carriers per flight.
When traveling with your pet in the cabin, the pet carrier counts toward your carry-on bag allotment. You may bring either a pet carrier and a personal item, or a pet carrier and a standard size carry-on bag. You may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a standard size carry-on, and a personal item.
A customer may travel with a maximum of two (2) pet carriers in the main cabin, only when the adjacent seat is purchased by the same customer.
Pets allowed in the passenger cabin are dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds. Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks old and must have been fully weaned. Up to two (2) pets of the same species and similar size may travel in the same carrier, provided no body parts protrude from the carrier and the animals are not in distress. The pet must stay in its container (including head and tail) at all times while onboard, and be stowed under the seat during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Animals with offensive odors or those that create a noise disturbance must travel in the climate-controlled baggage compartment.
Carriers in Cabin - The USDA and IATA have specific requirements (PDF 289k).
Pets must be small enough to fit and stay comfortably in a kennel under the seat.
The following carrier size is accepted on Alaska Airlines for travel in the cabin:
||Dimensions (height x width x depth)
||7.5" x 12" x 17"
||9.5" x 12" x 17"
Pets in the Baggage and Cargo Compartments
Alaska Airlines accepts most small domesticated pets. Other pets may be accepted with approval. Pets that may travel in the climate-controlled baggage and cargo compartments include: cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish.
The following regulations apply:
- Dogs and cats must be at least eight (8) weeks of age and weaned.
- No more than one (1) live dog or cat, 6 months of age or older, may be transported in the same kennel.
- No more than one (1) live puppy, 8 weeks to 6 months of age, and weighing over 20 lbs, may be transported in the same kennel.
- No more than two (2) live puppies or kittens, 8 weeks to 6 months of age, that are of comparable size, and weighing 20 lbs or less each, may be transported in the same kennel.
Animals must be harmless, inoffensive (not destructive to itself or the kennel), and require no attention during transit.
The health of your pet is important. Due to health risks that could potentially result in the death of the animal, brachycephalic (shortnose) dogs/cats are not accepted for travel. This applies to the following breeds and mixed breeds thereof:
Dogs: American Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bull Mastiff, 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
Cats: Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian.
Climate-Controlled Baggage Compartment
When you check your pet using this transportation method, you must travel on the same flight(s) to your pet's destination. Check in at least one (1) hour, but no more than two (2) hours before departure. Please note there may be specific check-in requirements at your departure airport. Your pet will be available for pick-up in the baggage claim area approximately 30 minutes after the flight arrives.
If your trip includes a transfer to another flight operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, SkyWest Flight Series 3420-3499, PenAir, or Era Alaska, we will allow a maximum connection time of four hours for the animal at the connection city.
If your trip includes a transfer to any other airline, you must allow time to pick up your pet in the baggage claim area and re-check your pet with the connecting airline. Alaska Airlines does not transfer pets to other airlines.
If a delay prevents your pet's flight from departing, your pet may be placed in a kennel facility until it can be transported. Costs incurred due to weather-related delays are the responsibility of the pet owner.
Alaska Airlines will accept a pet and kennel combined weight of up to 150 lbs. Should the pet and kennel weigh 151 pounds or more, please contact Air Cargo for assistance and pricing.
Checked Kennel Requirements
The USDA and IATA have specific requirements (PDF 289k) for kennels traveling in the cargo compartment.
Alaska Airlines is committed to the health and safety of your pet during travel. To ensure your pet travels safely, checked kennels must meet the following requirements, in addition to USDA/IATA requirements:
||Kennel Must Not:
|Be of solid construction and composed of plastic, wood, metal or material of comparable strength and able to withstand rigors of normal transportation.
||Be collapsible, snap-top or soft-sided, or composed of wire, mesh, cardboard or wicker.
|Be secured with nut and bolt type fasteners if the kennel is not constructed as one piece. View example
||Be secured with twist, slide, or snap fasteners. View example
|Be escape-proof with one metal grated door fastened securely to prevent accidental opening.
||Have a plastic door.
|Be constructed with original or standard replacement parts.
||Use zip ties, duct tape or rubber bands to construct the frame.
|Have handles or handholds on the exterior to lift without tipping.
||Have permanently attached wheels. Wheels must be removed or rendered inoperable.
|Have a solid roof. Ventilation slots are permitted if roof integrity remains intact.
||Have sharp points or edges, with no protrusions that could injure the animal.
|Have adequate air ventilation. Vents must be covered with permanent bars or other sturdy material.
||Be secured with a lock.
|Be clean and leak-proof with absorbent bedding made of material that is safe and non-toxic to the animal.
||Contain bedding material when traveling to Mexico. Shredded paper or absorbent pads are acceptable.
|Contain a food and water dish clipped inside the door to allow feeding without opening the door.
||Have a plastic or fabric covering such as a tarp or kennel cover.
|Allow the animal to stand up (head erect and not touching the top), lie down and turn around in a normal, comfortable position.
|Have releasable zip ties securing the closed door to the frame, utilizing all original drill holes. (Alaska can supply)
The Following Kennel Sizes are Allowed on Alaska Airlines:
||Dimensions (height x width x depth)
||15" x 16" x 21"
||19" x 20" x 27"
||23" x 22" x 32"
||26" X 24" x 36"
||30" x 27" x 40"
* Extra Large (Size 500) kennels are only accepted on Alaska Airlines flights 001-2999.
Note: Alaska Airlines is unable to accept a carrier larger than a 500 size kennel.
Cargo is a term used to denote goods or produce being transported generally for commercial gain. It does not include passenger baggage or animals traveling with a passenger.
View information on shipping your pet via Air Cargo
Food and Water for Checked Animals
Regulations require animals traveling as checked baggage to be offered food and water within four (4) hours of check-in. Animals must be offered sufficient food and water to last the entire journey. Customers with a connection of four or more hours may request access to their animal in the connection city to offer additional food and water. The customer is responsible to re-check the animal in the connection city and provide the paid receipt when rechecking the animal. During check-in, you will be asked to complete a Pet Check Record to certify your pet has been offered food and water prior to acceptance.
Extreme Outdoor Temperatures
Extreme hot and cold temperatures can pose a health risk to pets. In summer, choose early morning or late evening flights. In winter, choose mid-day flights. Whenever possible, book nonstop or direct flights. If temperatures at the origin, destination, or connecting airports exceed certain limits, Alaska Airlines may decline acceptance for the animal's welfare.
When traveling to any country, it is strongly advised to research what health and vaccination documentation is required for the country you are visiting.
Alaska Airlines is not responsible for costs incurred should customers not have the required health and vaccination documentation to enter a foreign country.
Travel to Canada
Only dogs and cats will be accepted for travel.
Travel to Costa Rica
Only dogs and cats will be accepted for travel.
Travelers will be required to have a valid health certificate with specific documentation when transporting pets in both the aircraft cabin and baggage compartments. For more details on specific requirements please visit one of the following links:
Embassy of the United States — Costa Rica
Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture — APHIS
Travel to Mexico
Only dogs and cats will be accepted for travel.
No bedding or similar materials are allowed to enter when packed in the kennel with the pet. Shredded paper or absorbent pads are acceptable.
Only enough food for a day's travel is acceptable.
Travelers with three or more pets are subject to additional importation fees of approximately $1,600 pesos (approximately $150 USD) as mandated by the SAGARPA (Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock Production, Rural Development, Fishery and Food). Upon arrival with three or more pets, Customs will direct you to the cargo area where the required commercial importation process takes place. The clearance may require a customs broker.
Refer to the Senasica website for more information.
Alaska Airlines does not accept pets for Cargo or GoldStreak service to and from Mexico.
Sedation is not advised since the effects of tranquilizers on animals at high altitudes are unpredictable. The decision to prescribe a tranquilizer for your pet should be made by your veterinarian.
For information regarding service animals, please review our Service/Emotional Support Animals page.
Animal Relief Areas
View a list of Airport Animal Relief Areas
Pet Travel Q & A
View a comprehensive list of Questions and Answers about Pet Travel, prepared by our partners at Banfield® Pet Hospital.