Pet Carrier Guidelines for Cabin Pets:

Your pet in-cabin counts as your one piece of carry-on baggage on most airlines.
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Once the plane is in the air, you should be allowed to keep the carrier between your feet. If your pet is fussing, offer them a pet calmer by unzipping the carrier an inch or two and extending the treat to your pet. This should calm them down. The drone of the engines should encourage them to rest unless there is too much activity in the cabin. You should be able to extend a finger or two into the carrier for a head scratch so that your pet will know that you are still there. Also, a finger tip that has been dunked in a glass of water is a good way to keep your pet occupied.
Southwest Airlines will only carry pets in the cabin; pets are not permitted as checked baggage.
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In fact AA even mentions this fact on their site where they say, "The maximum size for cabin pet carriers is 19" long x 13" wide x 9" high. Soft-sided pet carriers such as Sherpa bags may exceed these dimensions slightly because they are collapsible." The carriage of pets in the aircraft cabin is not permitted, with the exception of Guide Dogs.
Photo provided by FlickrIn cabin pet carriers: 19"L x 13"W x 9"H.
Photo provided by FlickrPet Product Review – Sleepypod Air in-cabin pet carrier & Dry Fur inserts
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As in-cabin pet policy is not regulated by the FAA and is done so by each airline, it has been tricky for people traveling with their pets to get a clear answer as to whether or not an airline approved carrier would fit beneath the seat on a particular airline. As a result, we have partnered with a number of pet-friendly airlines to create Guaranteed On Board®. GOB allows pet parents to get an actual guarantee that their carrier will be allowed on board. Simply go to , select the airline and complete flight, pet and carrier info. If everything is in compliance, print the form and present it at check-in. If you’re refused entry due to their Sherpa® carrier, we will reimburse you for your ticket and their pet fee. Essentially, we’ve worked with the airlines to build an online form that encompasses all of their specific requirements so you and your pet can travel stress-free. Guaranteed On Board - fly with peace of mind.Taking your pet with you when you travel can be a lot of fun. It can also be stressful, getting them through the airport, though. But, when you have a carrier that is comfortable for you both, it will be much less burdensome. When choosing an in-cabin pet carrier, choose one that is both comfortable and safe.Secondly, does your pet exceed the size and weight limits to travel in the cabin? Remember that airlines require that your pet be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. Stuffing your pet into a carrier that is too small will almost guarantee that neither one of you will get on the plane. Normally, a pet that exceeds 18″ from the front of the shoulder to the base of the tail and 10″ high will be too large to travel in the cabin except in First Class or overseas flights. You can always call the airlines and ask what the measurements are under the seat in front of you. This will help in deciding whether your pet’s carrier will fit. All airlines have different requirements for in-cabin carriers, and they also allow different pets. It’s important to check with your airline before you book your flight! Most airlines consider the carrier as either a personal item or carry-on. If you have to take other things with you on board, you should choose a pet carrier that has storage pockets.If your dog or cat meets the requirements listed in to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved . The carrier must have a waterproof bottom, have room for your pet to stand up and turn around, must fasten securly and have adequate ventilation. If your dog or cat meets the requirements listed in to travel in-cabin, you will need an approved . The carrier must have a waterproof bottom, have room for your pet to stand up and turn around, must fasten securly and have adequate ventilation. The carrier should measure L45cm (17.71”) x W 24cm (9.44”) x H 28cm (11.02"). If your carrier is flexible and will push down, the height can be a little bit higher. The combined weight of your pet and their carrier should not be more than 17 pounds (7.7 kg).