pet, travel nursing, travel nurse, best travel nursing company

Tips for Travel Nurses Flying with a Pet

July 7th, 2017 | Posted by Amber in Travel Nursing

Traveling with pets can be tricky. If you plan to fly, instead of drive, here are popular pet-friendly airlines to try!

Pet-Friendly Airlines

American Airlines

Cost: $125 per kennel

With the exception of a few breed restrictions, American Airlines only allows you to carry-on cats and dogs on most flights, unless longer than 12 hours or flights to/from:

  • Within the 48 contiguous United States
  • The U.S. and Canada
  • Alaska

If carrying-on a pet, they must be in a carrier that allows them to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel. Non-collapsible kennels can be a maximum of 19in x 13in x 9in. Soft-sided collapsible kennels such as Sherpa bags can be larger if they’re made of a water-repellent material, are padded or have nylon mesh ventilation on 2 or more sides. Other mandatory requirements include:

  • Your pet is at least 8 weeks old
  • Your pet stays in their kennel and under the seat in front of you for the entire flight
  • Only 7 kennels are accepted per flight (not including service animals)


 Cost: $125 per kennel

Delta accepts dogs, cats and household birds to be carried-on aboard all U.S flights with the exception of pets traveling to Hawaii. Delta has mapped out the following restriction for carry-on pets:

  • Your pet must be small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel without touching or protruding from the sides of the kennel and with the ability to move around.
  • The kennel must fit under the seat directly in front of you.
  • Maximum carry-on kennel dimensions are determined by your flight. You must contact Delta Reservations to determine the appropriate kennel size.
  • Your pet must remain inside the kennel (with door secured) while in a Delta boarding area (during boarding and deplaning), a Delta airport lounge and while onboard the aircraft.
  • Your pet must be at least 10 weeks old for Domestic travel.
  • Your pet must be 16 weeks old if traveling to the U.S. from other countries and must be at least 15 weeks old for European Union travel.
  • Your pet counts as one piece of carry-on baggage. Pet in Cabin fees still apply.
  • One pet is permitted per kennel


Jet Blue

Cost: $100 per kennel

Jet Blue permits you to fly with one pet in a carrier as your carry-on bag that does not exceed 17″L x 12.5″W x 8.5″H and the combined weight of your pet and the carrier must not exceed 20 pounds. Jet Blue has created the following pet “Travel checklist” for a “smooth trip”:

  • Necessary vaccinations and documentation
  • ID tags
  • Pet license
  • Approved pet carrier (no larger than 17″L x 12.5″W x 8.5″H)
  • Pet snacks and treats
  • Pet supplies for the trip
  • A pre-flight workout for your pet. That way they’ll adapt more quickly to their new surroundings and sleep better.


Southwest Airlines

Cost: $95 per kennel

Southwest Airlines allows you to carry-on small cats and dogs aboard all domestic flight. Travelers are each allowed one carrier, containing up to two cats or dogs of the same species. Soft-sided and hard-sided carriers specifically designed as pet carriers that are leak-proof and well ventilated. The pet carrier must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of the customer and be in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The cat or dog must be able to stand up and move around the carrier with ease. Furthermore, Southwest Airlines does not require a health certificate or any other pet-related documentation to board.

Do you have more pet-related travel questions? Contact a recruiter today at

Leave a Reply