Flying Pets in Cargo on Alaska Airlines

On Alaska Airlines, pets in cargo are permitted when the animal, weather, and cargo hold are conducive for safe animal travel. The airline is more permissive than many when it comes to pet travel, but certain breeds and animals are prohibited in the cargo hold. The airline’s pet policies are designed to accommodate safe travel for you and your pet.

Many people fly pets in cargo specifically for when they do not plan to travel with their pet. Even if you book a reservation on the same flight, there is no guarantee you’ll fly together when using the cargo service. If this is important to your travel plans, we recommend you make arrangements to fly your pet as checked baggage. This type of reservation guarantees you and your pet will fly together.

To make sure you can successfully fly a pet in cargo on Alaska Airlines, here is the information you need.

 

How much does it cost to fly a pet with Alaska Air Cargo?

It depends on weight and travel zone. The price can range from $180 up to $1,000 or more. Use this chart to estimate your pet cargo costs.

 

How many animals/pets are allowed on each flight?

Availability is limited and variable.

 

What animals are allowed to fly Alaska Air Cargo?

Permitted pets include cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish. Brachycephalic or “snub-nosed” dogs and cats are prohibited.

 

What is the required kennel size?

The minimum kennel size is 21”L x 16”W x 15”H (Size 100 Kennel). The maximum kennel size for Alaska Airlines is 53”L x 48”W x 34”H, but partner airlines have smaller kennel allowances. See below.

 

What pet travel forms are required?

All animals traveling in the cargo hold on Alaska Airlines must have health certificates issued within 10 days of initial travel and within 30 days of the return flight. See APHIS Form 7001.

 

Where are pets in cargo dropped off and picked up?

You’ll need to visit the air cargo facility associated with that airport and airline. You cannot use the ticketing counter to check-in an animal for cargo travel. Visit our Airport Travel Guide to find cargo facility locations at all major U.S. airports.

 

How to Book a Pet Cargo Reservation with Alaska Airlines

Alaska Air Cargo is a different department within the airline. To make a reservation with the airline’s Pet Connect travel service, call (800) 225-2752 between 7AM-7PM PST. This Pet Connect cargo service can give you an exact price, confirm your drop-off and pick-up spots, and answer any lingering questions you may have about pets in cargo with Alaska Air.

 

Other Types of Pet and Animal Travel with Alaska Airlines

 

More FAQ Information for Pets in Cargo

 

What’s the difference between pet cargo and checked baggage?

Although both forms of air travel will place your pet in the plane’s climate-controlled cargo hold, there are big differences that are important to understand. As with other checked baggage, you must be on the same flight as your pet. The opposite is true with Pet Connect. Nobody has to travel with the pet at all, and there is no guarantee you’ll be on the same flight with your pet. The other big difference is that with pet cargo, you’ll drop off and pick up your pet at Alaska Airline’s cargo facility at the destination airport. With pets in checked baggage, you’ll drop the pet off at the ticketing counter and pick the pet up at excess bag claim.

 

What are the kennel size requirements for partner airlines?

For pet cargo on Alaska Airlines, the maximum kennel size is 53”L x 48”W x 34”H. For Horizon Air, the maximum size is 40”L x 27”W x 30”H. For SkyWest Airlines, the maximum is 36”L x 25”W x 27”H.

 

What are the kennel requirements for Alaska Airlines pet policy?

In addition to meeting the required dimensions, kennels must be clearly labeled with the words “Live Animals” in letters at least one-inch high and marked with arrows to indicate the upright position. They must also be clean, leakproof with absorbent bedding, ventilated, escape-proof, and free of tears, cracks, and breaks. Animals must also be to comfortably sit, stand, lay down, and move around.

Kennels for cargo must meet additional requirements that include:

  • Kennels should meet the IATA pet container
  • Medal hardware or plastic nuts and bolts. (Kennel must not be held together by snap closures, zip-ties, duct tape, or rubber bands.)
  • Food and water dish secured to the inside door and accessible without opening the door.
  • Releasable zip ties securing the door.
  • One small comfort item is permitted inside the kennel.
  • No wire roof and/or top opening door. No sharp edges or protrusions.
  • Retention of moisture characteristics as needed for live animal shipments.
  • A handle that allows the kennel to be moved without tilting.

 

Are there other Alaska Airlines pet policies and travel restrictions?

With or without documentation, pets must be in good general health. The airline may refuse travel to a pet in distress due to injury or illness or in a kennel that’s too small. Sedation is not advised since the effects of tranquilizers at high altitudes are unpredictable. If temperatures at the origin, destination, or connecting airports exceed acceptable limits, Alaska Airlines may also decline acceptance for the animal’s welfare.

Regulations require animals traveling as cargo be offered food and water sufficient for the entire journey within 4 hours of check-in. When dropping the pet off, you will be asked to certify that your pet has been offered food and water prior to acceptance. Customers with a connection of 4+ hours may request access to their pet during the connection to offer additional food and water.