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10 Best Airline-Approved Pet Carriers In 2024

Are you planning to travel with your pet? Discover the best airline-approved pet carriers for safe and comfortable air travel on our website. Read our evaluations based on quality, durability, comfort, and design, along with customer feedback.

BestForPets will also provide guidance on how to select the ideal pet carrier based on your pet's size, temperament, and travel requirements.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)


The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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1 Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Pet Carrier Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Pet Carrier View on Amazon
2 Sherpa Airline Approved Pet Carrier Sherpa Airline Approved Pet Carrier View on Amazon
3 Airline Approved Pet Carrier RUFF LIFE 101 Airline Approved Pet Carrier RUFF LIFE 101 View on Amazon
4 TSA Airline Approved Carrier Henkelion TSA Airline Approved Carrier Henkelion View on Amazon
5 Pet Carrier with Soft Sides by EliteField Pet Carrier with Soft Sides by EliteField View on Amazon
6 Airline Approved Travel Carrier X-ZONE PET Airline Approved Travel Carrier X-ZONE PET View on Amazon
7 PetAmi Pet Travel Carrier PetAmi Pet Travel Carrier View on Amazon
8 Pet Carriers Approved by Akinerri Airlines Pet Carriers Approved by Akinerri Airlines View on Amazon
9 Pet Carrier Approved by Zampa Airlines Pet Carrier Approved by Zampa Airlines View on Amazon
10 Pet Carrier Smiling Paws Pet Carrier Smiling Paws View on Amazon

What are airline-approved pet carriers?

What Are Airline-Approved Pet Carriers?

For in-cabin or cargo pet travel, you’ll need an airline-approved pet carrier that meets the requirements and standards of major airlines.

These carriers are specially designed with mesh windows, ventilation openings, zippers, handles, straps, and pockets. They are typically made of durable, lightweight, and breathable materials that can withstand the rigors of travel.

In addition to these features, they have safety and convenience features, such as padded interiors, removable liners, leak-proof bottoms, identification tags, and safety straps.

With a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and styles to choose from, you can find an airline-approved pet carrier that both accommodates your pet and suits your personal preferences.

Why do you need an airline-approved pet carrier?

If you plan on traveling with your pet in the cabin or cargo hold of an airplane, you will need an airline-approved pet carrier. This carrier will protect your pet from injuries, stress, noise, and temperature changes during the flight.

Using an airline-approved pet carrier will also make travel easier and more enjoyable, as you won’t have to worry about your pet escaping, getting lost, or causing any problems on board.

Additionally, using a carrier that is approved by the airline you’re flying with will help you comply with the airline’s rules and regulations, as well as the laws of the destination country. Failure to comply could result in penalties, delays, or even being denied entry for you and your pet.


1. Mr. Peanut’s Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Mr. Peanut's Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

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Mr. Peanut's airline-approved pet carrier  is an excellent option for pet owners who want a stylish, comfortable, and safe way to transport their small pets.

This carrier comfortably accommodates pets weighing up to 15 pounds and measuring up to 16″Lx10″H.

So, it’s best to measure your pet while they are in a comfortable lying position. The carrier has a sturdy plywood base that remains unbent and intact even when carrying your pet.

Soft and thick fleece padding covers the base, ensuring your pet’s comfort throughout the entire journey. The carrier also includes seatbelt attachments to keep pets safe while driving.

One of the best features of this carrier is the breathable mesh design, which allows for proper ventilation on all sides. The tote design features rounded contours, and the interior dimensions are provided as approximate measurements at their maximum points.

Pet owners should also keep in mind that the usable interior space will be less than the exterior dimensions due to the fabric thickness and plush faux fleece padding.

To comply with major airline configurations, the carrier features a soft-sided structure that adjusts to fit under most airline seats.

Additionally, it is waterproof, comes with a removable fleece travel bed, a padded shoulder strap, a name tag, zippered mesh storage for treats, medications, and papers, and a convenient storage pouch with the Mr. Peanut’s cool logo that easily folds down to 3″ for storage.

Pet owners should note that each airline establishes its specific requirements, which can vary across domestic, international, and shuttle services. Therefore, it is advisable to check with your chosen airline.

Overall, Mr. Peanut’s airline-approved pet carrier is a great option for pet owners who want a high-quality carrier that meets major airline regulations while providing comfort, safety, and convenience for their furry companions.


Several color options

Fits pets weighing up to 15 pounds

Waterproof as well as breathable

Attachments for seatbelts

It only weighs 2.7 pounds.


One of the more expensive alternative

2. Airline Approved Pet Carrier

Sherpa® Original Deluxe™ Airline Approved Pet Carrier

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After testing several airline-approved pet carriers, the 55552 pet carrier stands out as a top choice for pet owners seeking a high-quality carrier at an affordable price point.

This carrier offers great value for pet owners on a budget, priced at just over half the cost of our top recommendation.

You can choose from three sizes, with the largest size capable of accommodating pets up to 22 pounds, making it one of the largest carriers we tested.

The carrier’s bottom features a soft and machine-washable faux lambskin liner, ensuring that pets stay comfortable and cozy throughout their travel.

Additionally, the carrier features seatbelt straps to provide added safety during car rides, as well as all-mesh walls that allow for excellent ventilation.

However, we found that the zippers on this carrier were a weak point, and the locking function was not always strong enough to keep them closed, particularly for larger and more active pets.

As such, pet owners should be mindful that larger pets may be able to open the zippers, and it is important to keep a close eye on them when initially placing them inside the airline-approved pet carriers.

It features a patented spring wire frame that ensures that the carrier conforms to under-seat requirements, locking zippers for added safety, a padded adjustable no-slip carrying strap, and a seat belt/luggage strap.

Additionally, the carrier includes a rear pocket for convenient storage of treats, a leash, or other small items.

Pet owners should keep in mind that this carrier ensures safe and comfortable travel with minimal excess room for pets to move around.

When selecting airline-approved pet carriers, it’s crucial to choose the appropriate size based on your pet’s measurements, rather than relying solely on their weight. For instance, the medium-sized carrier accommodates pets up to 16″ L x 10″ H and weighing up to 16 lbs.

The medium carrier’s dimensions measure 17” L x 11” W x 10.5” H. Although some may consider the zippers on the carrier to be a weak point, it remains an excellent budget-friendly option for an airline-approved pet carrier that meets most airline requirements.

This carrier emphasizes comfort and safety for your furry companions.


There are three sizes available.

Large accommodates pets weighing up to 22 pounds.

Seatbelt fastener

Mesh allows for optimal breathability.

Reasonably priced


Zipper failures

3. Airline Approved Pet Carrier RUFF LIFE 101

Ruff Life 101 Airline Approved Expandable Premium

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Transporting a pet through an airport can be a stressful and unpleasant experience for both the pet and owner. To address this issue,  RUFF LIFE 101  has designed a wheeled pet carrier with an extendable handle that enables easy portability, similar to a suitcase.

This carrier has a special design to accommodate cats and dogs weighing up to 14 pounds, making it an ideal choice for smaller pets when it comes to airline-approved carriers. When your pet enters the carrier, the sides expand to provide additional space.

While the carrier does have convenient features like wheels and a telescoping handle, it is important to note that it weighs more than 6 pounds and can be relatively heavy. This may occasionally pose a challenge for pet owners, especially if they are already carrying other luggage.

The RUFF LIFE 101 carrier is one of the pricier options we evaluated, so pet owners should expect to pay a premium for the convenience it offers. However, we firmly believe that the benefits outweigh the costs, making it a worthwhile premium option.

Although this carrier is airline-approved and designed to fit under the front cabin seat of major airlines, pet owners should always verify their airline’s policies before flying.

The adjustable shoulder strap and carry handle facilitate travel mobility, and the expandable space allows pets to lay down and unwind comfortably during car journeys or under the airplane seat.

The carrier’s two-sided expansion allows pets to comfortably turn around and stretch out. The mesh interior also allows pets to see their owners’ faces, which can be particularly beneficial for senior pets or those with joint problems.

Roof ventilation and mesh side panels enable continuous air circulation, preventing pets from overheating and ensuring a constant supply of oxygen and fresh air.

This carrier utilizes high-quality, secure, and long-lasting materials, featuring a thick wire frame attached to the top to enhance stability and prevent corners from sagging.

It comes equipped with several practical features, such as removable faux-fleece bedding, a padded shoulder harness, and additional storage compartments.

The nylon material is lightweight, durable, and robust, ensuring hassle-free dependability day after day, use after use, and air mile after air mile. The carrier’s dimensions are 18 inches (L) x 11 inches (W) x 11 inches (H), and it features a shoulder harness, carriage, and wheels.

Pet owners seeking a high-quality, convenient, and comfortable carrier that prioritizes the safety and comfort of their furry companions will find the RUFF LIFE 101 wheeled pet carrier to be an excellent choice. It is an airline-approved carrier that satisfies most airline requirements.


It has wheels.

Handle extends

Pets weighing up to 14 pounds

Expands to provide more space for pets


It weighs more than 6 pounds.

One of the more expensive alternatives

4. TSA Airline Approved Carrier Henkelion

Henkelion Cat, Dog Carrier for Small Medium Cats Puppies

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The Henkelion pet carrier can accommodate pets weighing up to 15 pounds, which is average for this type of airline-approved pet carriers.

This carrier has vented side compartments that provide ventilation and is crafted from water-resistant polyester fabric, making it a lightweight and durable choice.

They included a safety tether for attaching to your pet’s collar inside the carrier, ensuring their safety during transport. While this is a fantastic safety feature, we would appreciate the addition of seatbelt loops.

Although we designed this pet carrier to be collapsible for easy storage, we regret that the walls turned out to be fragile, leading to occasional toppling when pets are inside.

Despite this issue, it is a decent carrier with no other apparent defects.

The Henkelion pet carrier is foldable and portable, featuring padded shoulder straps and carrying handles. It accommodates pets up to 15″ x 9″ x 9″ in size and 15 pounds in weight.

The Henkelion airline-approved pet carrier is a practical and affordable option for pet owners seeking a lightweight and durable carrier.

However, due to its flimsy walls and lack of seatbelt loops, it falls short of our top recommendations. When selecting airline-approved pet carriers, pet owners should consider their pet’s size and weight and choose one that is appropriate and comfortable for their furry friend.



Pets weighing up to 15 pounds


Inside is a safety leash.


Doesn’t remain upright properly

Soft-walled collapses

Occasionally flips over

5. Pet Carrier with Soft Sides by EliteField

EliteField Soft Sided Pet Carrier

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The EliteField soft-sided pet carrier  is available in medium and large sizes and includes essential safety features such as a built-in leash to secure your furry friend and loops that enable the entire carrier to be fastened with a seatbelt.

This carrier weighs only 1.6 pounds, making it the lightest option we evaluated. The portability of this carrier comes at the expense of durability.

Some of the pets we kept in the EliteField carrier nibbled through the mesh quickly. Additionally, the flexible and compressible bottom of the carrier makes it less convenient to carry your pet compared to other carriers.

This can be less comfortable for your feline companion, which is something no pet owner wants.

When we received this package, it had an overwhelming chemical odor. Although the scent dissipated after a few days, we were hesitant to use it while the smell was still present.

The EliteField soft-sided pet carrier is made of water-resistant, lightweight, and durable material. It features a removable fleece sleeping cover and an insertable firm support board to maintain the carrier’s shape and increase your pet’s comfort.

The carrier has a side zipper opening that allows easy access to your pet, and the top and sides are made of mesh material for increased ventilation and visibility.

The carrier also includes two pockets for accessory storage, hand-carrying straps, and an adjustable, padded shoulder harness that provides multiple carrying options.

EliteField, a New York-based pet product manufacturer, offers a three-year warranty and a money-back guarantee.

Pet owners should ensure that they select the correct size of carrier for their pet to avoid having to return it. The carrier dimensions are 17″L x 9″W x 12″H, and it is airline-approved for cats, small dogs, and other small pets.

Overall, the EliteField soft-sided pet carrier is a safe, lightweight, and convenient option. However, pet owners should be aware of its reduced durability and chemical odor upon arrival


At only 1.6 pounds, it is extremely light.

Integrated leash

Loops for seatbelts


Chemical odor is really strong.

When carrying a pet, the soft bottom collapses.

Mesh is easy for pets to gnaw through.

6. Airline Approved Travel Carrier X-ZONE PET

 X-ZONE PET Cat Carrier Dog Carrier Pet Carrier

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The X-ZONE PET airline-approved soft-sided pet travel carrier is priced in the middle of the pack and has one of the maximum weight capacities (20 pounds) of any carrier we tested.

This carrier, measuring just under 20 inches in length, provides ample capacity for your furry companion while fitting under the majority of airplane seats. However, it cannot be expanded, so you are limited to its current dimensions.

When we attempted to position a puppy inside, we discovered that despite its impressive dimensions on paper, it was actually slightly smaller than stated. Additionally, this carrier feels cheap and lacks durability in comparison to other carriers we evaluated.

Although no animals were able to escape during our tests, our excursions left a noticeable amount of wear on the carrier.

Overall, the X-ZONE PET airline-approved soft-sided pet travel carrier is a decent product. However, we believe that several other airline-approved pet carriers offer better value and will provide you and your furry friend with a more pleasant and comfortable travel experience.

This large cat carrier measures 19.5″ L x 12″ W x 12″ H and has a maximum carrying capacity of 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

However, we recommend choosing a carrier based on the length and height of your cat rather than its weight. This cat-specific carrier is airline-approved, allowing you to bring your cat with you wherever you go.

The carrier is constructed from durable, lightweight, and waterproof polyester fabric with mesh openings for ventilation and top and side entryways with locking closures for added security.

It also includes a removable base insert that provides a solid surface for your pet to stand on, as well as a removable and hand-washable cozy fleece pet bed that offers a comfortable sleeping space for your traveling pet.

With carrying handles and an adjustable shoulder harness that doubles as a seatbelt, this carrier allows for hands-free transport, making it the most secure and convenient pet carrier bag for travel.


Pets weighing up to 20 pounds can be accommodated.

Fits beneath most airline seats.


Dimensions are less than those listed.

Low-cost construction

Not extensible

7. PetAmi Pet Travel Carrier 

PetAmi Premium Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

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If you’re looking for an airline-approved soft-sided pet travel carrier with the most color airline-approved pet carriers, the PetAmi carrier is a great choice.

This carrier is available in both small and large sizes and comes in 15 different colors, making it the most colorfully diverse carrier on the market. Despite its wide range of colors, the PetAmi carrier is still reasonably priced, sitting in the middle of the price range.

However, we found that this carrier is shorter than claimed and only supports pets weighing up to 12 pounds. This weight limit restricts the carrier to very small pets.

Additionally, the PetAmi carrier didn’t maintain its shape during travel and collapsed, which can cause discomfort and anxiety for pets. We found that other carriers had stronger frames that kept their shape throughout transportation.

For these reasons, the PetAmi carrier ranks eighth on our list of recommended carriers. We recommend choosing models that maintain their shape throughout transportation and have weight limits greater than 12 pounds.

The PetAmi carrier is designed for the most convenient travel experience for you and your pet. It measures approximately 17×10.2×11.2 inches (LxWxH) for the small size and 19.5×10.2×12 inches (LxWxH) for the large size, with a weight limit of up to 18 lbs.

This carrier is suitable for most small and medium-sized pets, but it’s important to measure your pet’s length and height before purchasing.

The carrier’s well-ventilated design provides optimal airflow and allows you to keep an eye on your pet during travel.

Designed with safety in mind, the PetAmi carrier comes with safety buckle zippers and a safety strap to prevent escape. Additionally, the carrier can be strapped to a car seat or luggage to ensure the safety of your pet throughout travel.

This airline-approved carrier bag is easy to use and is the perfect carry-on. It features an easy identification name tag, two-sided access, a side zipper opening, and a detachable strap, making it the most convenient airline-approved pet carriers for your travels.


There are two sizes available.

There are numerous color variations.


12 pound maximum weight

Shorter than stated

Doesn’t want to keep its shape

8. Pet Carriers Approved by Akinerri Airlines

Akinerri Airline Approved Pet Carriers

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The Akinerri pet carrier is available in medium and large sizes, making it great airline-approved pet carriers for pet owners who prioritize affordability and durability.

The medium carrier can accommodate pets up to 15 pounds, while the large carrier can hold pets up to 18 pounds. Both sizes are available in three color options. The carrier’s sturdy frame is a desirable quality. However, we discovered several issues that could be improved.

The carrier’s padding is thin and less comfortable than other competitors, and its lack of expandability limits its carrying capacity. The most significant issue we encountered was with its durability.

During our tests, the shoulder strap broke while transporting one of our test canines, which was concerning. We also found that the carrier’s closures failed after only a few journeys.

In contrast, Mr. Peanut’s carrier has a longer lifespan and greater durability than the Akinerri carrier, which is why it earned our top spot.

The Akinerri pet carrier measures 17.5″L x 11″W x 13″H and can accommodate canines weighing up to 15 pounds. However, we recommend that pet owners select a carrier based on the length and height of their companion rather than its weight.

The carrier is easy to assemble and collapse for storage, and its original metal frame provides additional support. The carrier has two entrances, making it easy to access, as well as an upper entrance that allows your pet’s head to protrude.

Additionally, the carrier is approved by airlines and can be secured in a vehicle seat or attached to luggage for increased safety during travel.

The carrier’s carrying handles and adjustable shoulder strap make it easy to transport, and it includes a plush fleece pad and mesh windows for ventilation, allowing your companion to breathe fresh air and enjoy the view during travel.


Large accommodates pets weighing up to 18 pounds.

Reasonably priced

It is supported by a frame.


The pet pad isn’t particularly thick or comfortable.

The shoulder straps are extremely frail.

Zippers frequently fail.

Not extensible

9. Pet Carrier Approved by Zampa Airlines

Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier by Zampa

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The Zampa pet carrier is the most affordable airline-approved pet carriers we examined, priced at the low end of the spectrum and available in five colors. However, it can only accommodate pets weighing up to 10 pounds, which is less than what we had hoped for.

Due to its low price, the carrier lacks a comfortable mattress for your pet to lie on. Instead of soft fleece, the Zampa comes with a thin black pad that is less comfortable than what we recommend for pets to travel on.

Additionally, the bottom of this carrier collapses while carrying your pet, which can be uncomfortable for them. We prefer sturdy bottoms in our pet carriers to prevent them from collapsing when being transported.

The Zampa pet carrier is designed with several openings that zip easily and can be folded to save space. It’s flexible, lightweight, and sturdy, making it a great option for pet owners on a budget.

The carrier measures 19 x 13 x 10 and can accommodate medium-sized cats or puppies.

According to customer reviews, the carrier is sturdy and provides great visibility for your pet. It comes with a removable pad for comfort and easy cleaning, as well as storage space to treat your pet while on the go.

The carrier also features an interior leash clip for increased safety and an adjustable shoulder strap for a perfect fit.

The Zampa pet carrier is suitable for airline travel and is designed to fit under your seat. Zampa Pets offers a one-year guarantee, ensuring customer satisfaction. If the carrier does not meet your expectations, the company will exchange or refund it on request.


Very low cost

A variety of colors


Only accommodates pets weighing up to 10 pounds.

There is no cushy pad for your pet’s comfort.

During transport, the bottom tends to collapse.

10. Pet Carrier Smiling Paws

Smiling Paws Pets

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The Smiling Paws pet carrier is one of the priciest airline-approved pet carriers we evaluated. We had high expectations for its performance, but it fell short in some areas.

While the carrier’s expandable sides provide ample space for pets, this feature may not be necessary for air travel. Additionally, it weighs approximately three pounds, which can be cumbersome during long walks to the terminal.

The carrier’s Velcro enclosure is a significant flaw. Although one portion of the top is secured with Velcro, it is insufficient to keep some pets inside. If detected mid-flight, this defect could be disastrous.

Fortunately, we discovered it before it was too late. We recommend choosing one of the more durable carriers that received our highest ratings to avoid any issues.

The Smiling Paws pet carrier is designed to comply with TSA and IATA requirements and is airline-approved. It measures 9 inches in height and is intended for small dogs and cats weighing less than 15 pounds.

The carrier comes with safety self-locking zippers, reinforced rotating metallic clamps, a machine-washable soft cushion, and an internal leash for added security.

The carrier is also collapsible and portable, making it easy to store and transport. Its four-way expansion and top entry provide a comfortable space for pets, reducing travel-related anxiety.

The internal fabric is laminated and waterproof, and every inch of the carrier is reinforced, making it ideal for active pets.

Overall, the Smiling Paws pet carrier has a few flaws, but it has several beneficial features for pet owners traveling with small dogs or cats. If it meets your needs, it may be worth considering, but we recommend researching other models before making a final decision.


All sides enlarge


Extremely costly

The Velcro enclosure is insufficiently sturdy.

At 3 pounds, it’s quite heavy.

How to choose the Best Airline-approved Pet Carrier?

1. Size and Fit

  • Measure your pet’s length, height, and width before purchasing a pet carrier
  • Choose a carrier that is large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably
  • Check the size restrictions for in-cabin and cargo pet carriers with the airline you’ll be flying with

Discover the best cat carriers for large cats on BestForPets.org – travel comfortably with your feline friend!

2. Materials and Features

  • Choose a pet carrier made from high-quality, durable, lightweight, water-resistant, easy-to-clean, and breathable materials
  • Look for features like mesh windows, ventilation openings, secure closures with locks or clips, padded interiors or removable inserts, leak-proof bottoms or trays, ID tags or labels, safety belts or harnesses, handles or straps, and more

3. Types of Airline-Approved Pet Carriers

  • Soft-sided carriers: suitable for pets weighing up to 15 pounds, foldable and easy to store, can fit under the seat in front of you, but not as sturdy or secure
  • Hard-sided carriers: suitable for medium to large dogs weighing up to 25 pounds, can be used for cargo travel, more durable and easier to clean than soft-sided carriers, but heavier and more cumbersome
  • Backpack carriers: practical for navigating airports and public transportation, ideal for pets who enjoy exploring, but not very spacious or comfortable
  • Wheeled carriers: useful for transporting pets over long distances and uneven terrain, beneficial for senior or disabled pets who need extra support or mobility, but not as stable or maneuverable in confined or crowded spaces.

4. Choosing the Right Pet Carrier

  • Choose a pet carrier that matches your pet’s personality and your travel requirements
  • Compare different pet carrier brands and models based on consumer reviews, ratings, comments, and recommendations
  • Look for pet carriers that have received positive feedback from pet owners who have used them for air travel
  • Avoid pet carriers with poor quality, durability, comfort, design, or customer service ratings or complaints

Explore the best cat carriers available on BestForPets.org – ensure comfort and safety for your beloved feline companion!

Tips for flying with your pet in an airline-approved pet carrier?

Tips for flying with your pet in an airline-approved pet carrier?

1. Check the airline’s pet travel policies and restrictions before booking your flight.

Every airline has its own set of policies and restrictions when it comes to pet travel, including fees, weight restrictions, size restrictions, breed restrictions, and health requirements like certificates and vaccination records.

Don’t forget to check the destination country’s pet travel requirements too, including quarantine, microchip, and rabies test.

2. Choose direct flights whenever possible to avoid delays, layovers, and transfers that could stress or harm your pet.

If you absolutely have to take a connecting flight, make sure you have enough time to check on your pet, feed and hydrate them, and let them use the restroom if they need to.

3. Acclimate your pet to the carrier before traveling.

Gradually introduce your pet to the carrier by placing treats, toys, or other familiar items inside and letting them explore it at their own pace. Additionally, practice transporting your pet around the house or on short trips to get them used to the motion and noise.

4. Ensure that your pet is healthy, well-groomed, well-fed, well-hydrated, and well-rested before the flight.

Don’t give your pet sedatives or tranquilizers unless prescribed by your veterinarian. These substances may cause adverse effects or complications during the flight.

5. Pack food, water, bowls, treats, toys, comfort items, wipes, and a carrier in a carry-on bag or the carrier’s compartments.

Attach a label or tag with your name, contact information, flight details, and any special instructions for your pet.

6. Arrive early at the airport and check in with the airline personnel.

Inform them that you are traveling with a pet and provide any necessary documentation or certificates. Follow their instructions on how to manage or secure your pet during security screening or boarding.

7. Keep your pet calm and comfortable during the flight.

Speak softly to your pet, offer them water or treats occasionally, and cover their carrier with a blanket or towel if they are anxious or scared. Also, avoid opening the carrier or taking your pet out unless it’s necessary or authorized by airline staff.


1. Do airlines check if dogs can stand in carriers?

Yes, airlines require that pets can stand up and turn around comfortably in the carrier. This is to ensure that your pet is safe and comfortable during the flight. If your pet is stuffed into a carrier that is too small, you run the risk of being turned away at the gate.

2. Does TSA measure pet carriers?

No, TSA does not measure pet carriers. Instead, owners must remove their pets from the carrier and place the carrier through the X-ray machine. Animal carriers will undergo a visual and/or physical inspection to ensure that they are safe and secure for air travel.

3. Do airlines check pet documents?

Yes, most airlines require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) issued within 10 days of travel.

This is to ensure that your pet is healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations before flying. Federal regulations also require pets to be at least 8 weeks old and weaned at least 5 days before flying.

4. Are dogs allowed on international flights?

Yes, pets can travel on international flights with their owners either in-cabin, as accompanied baggage, or as cargo.

However, some airlines no longer offer this option, and some countries do not allow pets to enter the country in-cabin. It’s important to check with the airline and country regulations before booking your pet’s travel.

5. Can I use a soft-sided pet carrier for air travel?

Yes, owners can use a soft-sided pet carrier for air travel as long as it meets airline regulations. Soft-sided carriers are often more comfortable for pets and easier to carry for owners.

6. Is it necessary to have a carrier with an internal leash?

No, an internal leash is not always necessary for air travel. However, it can provide added security and comfort for pets during the flight. It’s important to choose a carrier that is appropriate for your pet’s size and needs.

7. Can I provide food and water for my pet when traveling by air?

Yes, but check airline restrictions and ensure enough food and water for the flight.


BestForPets hopes you now have a good notion of what to look for in a pet carrier. You should also have a good idea of which one will best suit your requirements. We covered a lot of ground in our reviews of the best airline-approved pet carriers, so we’ll summarize here.

Overall, we thought Mr. Peanut's soft-sided pet carrier was the finest option.

Even though it barely weighs 2.7 pounds, it was robust enough to transport a 15-pound pet without collapsing. It’s fashionable, comes in a variety of colors, and has vital safety features like seatbelt loops.

Look no further than the 55552 pet carrier for the best airline-approved pet carrier for the money.

It comes in three sizes and can accommodate pets weighing up to 22 pounds at a very reasonable price. Furthermore, it is breathable and contains a seatbelt strap for your pet’s protection.

Finally, the Airline Approved Pet Carrier RUFF LIFE 101  was our premium pick. It is the most practical carrying choice because to the wheels and extensible handle.

It also expands to make traveling with your pet more comfortable. We have complete confidence in recommending all three goods.

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Dr. Freddie T. Young is a highly qualified veterinarian who specializes in emergency and critical care for tiny animals. Now, she serves as a relief veterinarian for various emergency and speciality hospitals, providing skilled treatment to animals in need.

Dr. Freddie Young


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