Flying with Pets in Checked Baggage on Alaska Airlines

On Alaska Airlines, pets in checked baggage are allowed provided the animal, weather, and cargo hold are conducive for safe pet travel. While Alaska Airlines is more permissive than many airlines when it comes to pet travel, certain breeds are prohibited. Cabin travel is generally recommended for smaller pets, but animals that do not fit under the seat will have to fly in the cargo hold.

Unlike pet cargo, however, you will be required to be on the same flight as your pet—as with other types of checked bags. As part of its pet policies, Alaska Airlines is committed to the safety and peace of mind of both passengers and pets in checked baggage. This includes written assurance that your pet has been safely loaded on your plane before taking off.

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

 

How much does it cost to fly a pet on Alaska Airlines?

$100 each way.

 

How many animals/pets are allowed to fly as checked baggage?

Availability is limited and variable.

 

What animals are allowed to fly as checked baggage on Alaska Airlines?

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 maximum kennel size and weight?

The maximum dimensions are 30″H x 27″W x 40″L. Kennel and pet together may not weigh more than 150 lbs.

 

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.

 

How to Make a Reservation for Pets in Checked Baggage with Alaska Airlines

As with cabin pet travel, call (800) 252-7522 to make your reservation. You can also make your own travel booking first with a vendor that offers a free 24-hour free cancellation policy. Then, you can immediately call Alaska Airlines to make a pet reservation while this grace period is still in effect. With limited spots available for pets in checked baggage, it’s essential that you make a reservation as soon as possible and that you confirm your pet’s spot before finalizing your own travel plans.

 

Other Types of Pet and Animal Travel with Alaska Airlines 

 

More FAQ Information for Pets in Checked Baggage

 

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 does the Alaska Airlines pet fee include?

The $100 fee is good for one-way travel on Alaska Airlines, PenAir, and Ravn Alaska only. Other airlines, including partner airlines, may assess an additional fee.

 

What are the kennel size requirements for partner airlines?

For checked baggage, extra large kennels 30”H x 27”W x 40”L are only accepted on Boeing 737 aircraft, Alaska Airlines flight series 001-999, and some 2000 series flights operated with Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Pets are not permitted to travel in the baggage compartment on flights operated by Virgin America, also known as Alaska Airlines flight series 1000-1999.

 

What are the kennel requirements for Alaska Airlines pet policy?

In addition to meeting the required dimensions, kennels must 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 checked pets must meet additional requirements that include:

  • Kennels should meet 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 checked baggage be offered food and water sufficient for the entire journey within 4 hours of check-in. 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. Customers with a connection of 4+ hours may request access to their pet during the connection to offer additional food and water.