What You Must Know About Flying With Your Pet

If you want Fluffy to come with you, get your paperwork ready — and prepare to pay.

(Image credit: jodi jacobson)

Update: In late March, a dog died after being stowed in its carrier in an overhead bin on a United flight. Soon after, United announced that it would suspend reservations for cargo transport of pets while it reviews its program, a process it expects to complete by May 1. (It will honor reservations confirmed as of March 20, 2018.) The suspension doesn’t affect pets that travel in the cabin. However, United now identifies on-board pet carriers with a brightly colored tag.

Airlines publish guidelines and rules on their websites for traveling with or transporting pets. The rules differ for domestic and international travel, as well as for service animals. Here are some highlights for domestic travel.

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Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.