Alaska Airlines Dog Travel Policies
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Traveling with pets
Alaska Airlines provides great care for your pets. Our pet travel program offers options for transporting top-notch care for your precious animal.
This page will answer most of your questions about traveling with a pet. You can review all of our policies regarding transporting live animals in our contract of carriage.
Booking pet travel
Space for pets traveling in the cabin or in the cargo compartment is subject to availability. For travel on Alaska Airlines, PenAir and Ravn Alaska, please contact Alaska Airlines reservations at 1-800-252-7522.
If your plans include travel on another airline, please contact the airline directly to reserve space, determine fees and obtain additional information.
Alaska Airlines does not transfer pets traveling in the baggage compartment to other carriers. Pets must be claimed and rechecked to the connecting carrier.
Note: 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.
Brachycephalic or "short-nosed" dogs and cats are not accepted for travel in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines flights (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest, Ravn Alaska, or PenAir). Veterinary experts say that short-nosed animals commonly have abnormalities that can compromise their breathing. Stress associated with flight can make those conditions worse.
Brachycephalic or "short-nosed" dogs and cats may still travel in the cabin with their passenger provided their pet carrier fits under the seat.
This applies to the following breeds and mixed breeds thereof:
Pets in the cabin will still be accepted during these time periods.
Health and vaccination requirements
Only pets in good health are permitted. We may refuse travel to a pet in obvious distress due to injury or illness or is in a kennel that is too small.
All pets traveling in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest, Ravn Alaska, and PenAir) must have a health certificate dated within 10 days of initial travel and 30 days of return travel, when the return flight is booked in the same record. Pets traveling on a return flight booked in a separate record are required to have a health certificate dated within 10 days of that flight. A health certificate is not required for pets traveling in the cabin with their passenger; however, many states have specific importation health and vaccination requirements. Contact the state veterinarian at your destination "This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines." prior to travel to determine necessary documentation (such as health and cold-weather acclimation certificates) and vaccination requirements. Alaska Airlines is not responsible for any costs incurred should customers not have the required health documentation to enter the state or country.
Discounted pet preparation
We're proud to partner with Banfield® Pet Hospital to provide pets and their owners with a special discount offer to prepare pets for take-off.
Passengers traveling to Kotzebue with a dog must have proof of their pet's parvovirus and rabies vaccination. Passengers checking in without required documentation will be denied boarding. Contact the Kotzebue city clerk (1-907-442-3401) for assistance or questions.
Passengers traveling to Nome with a dog must have proof of their pet's parvovirus vaccination. Passengers checking in without required documentation will be denied boarding. Contact the Nome city clerk (1-907-443-6663) for assistance or questions.
Passengers traveling to Hawai'i are subject to strict guidelines and specific programs that must be completed before your cat or dog will be accepted into the State of Hawai'i. Learn more about Traveling with pets to Hawai'i.
Note: For travel to Canada, Costa Rica, or Mexico, refer to the international travel section below for additional health and vaccination requirement information.
Note: Fees indicated are per kennel/carrier and for travel on Alaska Airlines, PenAir¹ and Era Aviation only. If your itinerary includes travel on another airline, the other airline fee may be assessed. Please check with the other airline for more information.
Pets in the cabin
Passengers must be 18 years or older to travel with a pet in the cabin. A passenger traveling with a pet may not occupy an emergency exit row seat, bulkhead, or any seat with an airbag safety belt (row 6 on flight numbers 001-999). The First Class cabin can accommodate a total of one pet carrier per flight, and the main cabin can accommodate a total of up to five pet carriers per flight.
Important notes for travel with your pet in the cabin:
Carriers in cabin - The USDA and IATA "This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines." have specific requirements "This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines.".
Pets must be small enough to fit and stay comfortably in a kennel under the seat.
The following carrier sizes are accepted for travel in the cabin:
To be accepted for travel, your pet carrier must:
Pets in the baggage and cargo compartments
Alaska Airlines accepts most small domesticated pets. Other pets may be accepted with approval. Pets that may travel in the climate-controlled baggage and cargo compartments include cats, dogs, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, household birds, non-poisonous reptiles, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, and tropical fish.
The following regulations apply:
Animals must be harmless, inoffensive (not destructive to itself or the kennel), and require no attention during transit.
Climate-controlled baggage compartment
When you check in your pet using this transportation method, you must travel on the same flight(s) to your pet's destination. Check in at least 1 hour, but no more than 2 hours before departure. Please note there may be specific check-in requirements at your departure airport. Your pet will be available for pick-up in the baggage claim area approximately 30 minutes after the flight arrives.
If your trip includes a transfer to another flight operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, SkyWest Flight Series 3300-3499, PenAir, or Ravn Alaska, we allow a maximum connection time of 4 hours for the animal at the connection city.
Note: Pets are not permitted to travel in the baggage compartment on flights operated by PenAir outside the State of Alaska
Alaska Airlines does not transfer pets to other airlines. If your trip includes a transfer to any other airline, you must allow time to pick up your pet in the baggage claim area and re-check your pet with the connecting airline.
If a delay prevents your pet's flight from departing, your pet may be placed in a kennel facility until it can be transported. Costs incurred due to weather-related delays are the responsibility of the pet owner.
Alaska Airlines will accept a pet and kennel combined weight of up to 150 lbs. Should the pet and kennel weigh 151 pounds or more, please contact Air Cargo for assistance and pricing.
Checked kennel requirements
The USDA and IATA "This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines." have specific requirements "This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines." for kennels traveling in the cargo compartment.
To ensure your pet travels safely, checked kennels must meet the following requirements, in addition to USDA and IATA requirements:
The following kennel sizes are allowed on Alaska Airlines:
* Extra large (Size 500) kennels are only accepted on Boeing 737 aircraft, Alaska Airlines flight series 001-999, and some 2000 series flights operated with Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Contact Reservations to confirm your pet’s kennel can be accommodated.
Cargo is a term used to denote goods or produce being transported generally for commercial gain. It does not include passenger baggage or animals traveling with a passenger.
Food and water for checked animals
Extreme outdoor temperatures
Extreme hot and cold temperatures can pose a health risk to pets. In summer, choose early morning or late evening flights. In winter, choose mid-day flights. Whenever possible, book nonstop or direct flights. If temperatures at the origin, destination, or connecting airports exceed certain limits, Alaska Airlines may decline acceptance for the animal's welfare.
Sedation is not advised since the effects of tranquilizers on animals at high altitudes are unpredictable. The decision to prescribe a tranquilizer for your pet should be made by your veterinarian.
For information regarding service animals, please review our Service and emotional support animals page.