Flying Pets in Cargo on United Airlines

In March of, 2018, United undertook a voluntary review of their PetSafe travel program. United Cargo is a proud member of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA), and the airline wants to make improvements. On June 18th, 2018, the airline’s new PetSafe standards will go into effect. This means that, even if you have previously shipped an animal with United Cargo, you will need to review these new guidelines.  

Regardless of the airline’s changes, you should know if United is a viable cargo option for you and your furry friend. To make sure you can successfully fly with a pet in cargo, here is the information you need. 

 

How much does it cost to fly a pet with United Cargo?
Rates are dependent on flight and aircraft. However, you should expect to pay between $200 and $2,000. 

  

How many animals/pets are allowed on each flight?
Availability is limited and variable. 

  

What animals can fly United Cargo?
Cats and dogs only. Short- and snub-nosed (brachycephalic) animals, as well as strong-jawed dog breeds, are not permitted on any flight. 

  

What is the required kennel size?
The smallest available crate size is 21”L x 16”W x 15”H. The largest available crate size is 48”L x 32”W x 30”H. 

  

What pet travel forms are required?
Animals traveling in the cargo hold must have health certificates dated within 10 days of travel. However, much of the required documentation is based on flight destination. Pet parents must also sign the Customer Acknowledgement Form 

  

Where are pets in cargo dropped off and picked up?
If flying a pet in cargo, you will need to visit the air cargo facility associated with your 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.  

  

Other Types of Pet and Animal Travel with United Airlines 

 

How to Book a PetSafe Reservation with United Airlines

PetSafe reservations are accepted via the United Cargo website or telephone. The airline accepts “pre-reservations” between thirty days in advance and five days prior to travel. Additionally, the customer should be able to provide PetSafe with several pieces of information (documents, photos, crate information, &c) before a reservation can be confirmed. The program will provide additional details at the time of booking.  

More FAQ Information for Pets in Cargo 

Which breeds does United consider to be short-nosed or strong-jawed?
United considers the following dog breeds to be unsafe for travel: Affenpinscher, American Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull, American Staffordshire Terrier (“Amstaff”), Belgian Malinois, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brussels Griffon, Bulldog (American, English, French Old English, Shorty, and Spanish Alano), Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chow, English Toy Spaniel, Prince Charles Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Mastiff (American, Boerboel, South African, Bull, Ca de Bou, Mallorquin, Cane Corso, Italian, Argentinian, French, English, Brazilian, Indian, Kangal/Turkish, Neapolitan, Pakastani, Pyrenean, Presa Canario, Spanish, Tibetan, Tosa), Pekingese, Pug (Dutch, Japanese), Shar-Pei, Shih-Tzu, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Tibetan Spaniel.

United considers the following cat breeds to be unsafe for travel: Burmese, Himalayan, Exotic Shorthair, and Persian. All breeds, both cats and dogs, are subject to a flight ban if they are mixed with any of these prohibited breeds. 

  

Are there any weather restrictions to consider?
United recommends monitoring the weather to assess an airport’s capability to handle animals and may prohibit travel if unsafe conditions are detected (extreme temperature or other operating conditions). Additionally, the airline may decline acceptance or alter the routing if temperatures are outside of a safe range.

Passengers should note that United no longer accepts reservation to and from Las Vegas (LAS), Palm Springs (PSP), Phoenix (PHX), and Tucson (TUS) between May 1st and September 30th. This is due to high temperature restrictions which may put your animal at risk.  

  

Did United’s new policy affect their crate restrictions?
Yes—the airline no longer accepts crates taller than 30″ (including the 700 series crates).

Are there any other crate restrictions?
Pets traveling with PetSafe must use a USDA and IATA-approved crate. This container must be large enough for your pet to move freely and stand with its head erect, lie down, and sit in a normal position. The crate should be constructed of rigid plastic, wood, or metal sturdy enough to resist bending. It should have a solid roof with no doors or ventilation openings and a single door made of metal. All nuts and bolts must be made of metal. The carrier should have ventilation on three sides to travel within the U.S. and Puerto Rico (four sides if traveling elsewhere).