Traveling with pets can be a rewarding experience for both pet owners and their furry companions. However, when planning air travel, it’s crucial to be aware of airline policies and regulations, especially concerning pet weight limits. American Airlines, like many other carriers, has specific guidelines in place to ensure the safety and comfort of pets onboard. Let’s delve into the details of American Airlines pet weight limit policies and how they may affect your travel plans.

When discussing pet weight limits, it’s essential to understand what this term entails. A pet weight limit refers to the maximum allowable weight for pets traveling on an airline, including both the animal’s weight and that of its carrier. This limit varies among airlines and may depend on factors such as the type of aircraft and the destination.

For pet owners considering air travel with their furry friends, familiarizing themselves with airline policies is crucial. Understanding the rules and regulations regarding pet weight limits can help prevent any last-minute surprises or complications during the journey.

American Airlines Carry-On Pet Weight Limit

For pet owners wishing to bring their pets into the cabin, American Airlines has specific regulations regarding carry-on pet weight limits. Pets eligible for travel in the cabin typically include small dogs, cats, and household birds. The combined weight of the pet and its carrier must not exceed 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

It’s important to note that American Airlines reserves the right to limit the number of pets allowed in the cabin on each flight. Therefore, it’s advisable to make arrangements well in advance and notify the airline of your intention to travel with a pet.

American Airlines International Weight Limit

Traveling internationally with pets requires additional consideration, as regulations may vary depending on the destination country. When flying with American Airlines on international routes, pet owners should be aware of any specific weight limits imposed by the airline or local authorities.

In general, weight limits for pets traveling internationally may differ from those for domestic flights. It’s essential to research and comply with the requirements of both the airline and the destination country to ensure a smooth travel experience for you and your pet.

Baggage Weight Limit for Military Personnel

American Airlines only allows pets as checked baggage for active duty military personnel and state department officials on order. The AA recognizes the unique needs of military personnel and offers special considerations for those traveling with pets. Service members are typically allowed to transport pets as part of their baggage allowance, subject to certain restrictions and weight limits is up to 100 lbs.

Military travelers should familiarize themselves with American Airlines’ policies regarding baggage weight limits and any applicable fees or exemptions for pet transportation. By adhering to these guidelines, military personnel can ensure a hassle-free travel experience with their pets.

Factors Affecting Pet Weight Limits

Several factors may influence a pet’s eligibility for air travel and its corresponding weight limit. Breed restrictions, size limitations, and the type of pet carrier used can all impact the total weight allowed. It’s essential for pet owners to carefully consider these factors when planning their journey.

Certain breeds may be subject to specific weight or size restrictions imposed by the airline. Additionally, the type of pet carrier chosen must meet American Airlines’ guidelines and provide adequate comfort and security for the animal during the flight.

Tips for Compliance with Weight Limits

To avoid exceeding weight limits when traveling with your pet, take proactive measures to ensure compliance. Weigh your pet and carrier together before the day of travel to confirm they meet the airline’s requirements.

Distribute weight evenly within the carrier to prevent discomfort or imbalance during the flight. Remove any unnecessary items from the carrier to reduce excess weight, and consider investing in lightweight travel accessories to minimize added bulk.

Consequences of Exceeding Weight Limits

Failure to comply with pet weight limits can result in additional fees, denied boarding, or even refusal to transport the pet altogether. Exceeding weight restrictions may also compromise the safety and comfort of your pet during the journey.

If your pet exceeds the weight limit, it’s essential to communicate with airline staff and explore alternative options, such as transporting the pet as checked baggage or rescheduling the flight. By addressing the issue proactively, you can minimize disruptions and ensure a positive travel experience for you and your pet.

Customer Service and Support

For pet owners with questions or concerns regarding American Airlines’ pet policies, the airline offers customer service and support options. Reach out to American Airlines’ representatives for clarification on weight limits, carrier requirements, or any other pet-related inquiries.

Additionally, American Airlines provides resources and information on its website to assist pet owners in planning their travel. Take advantage of these resources to familiarize yourself with the airline’s policies and ensure a seamless journey with your pet.

Frequent Flyer Programs for Pets

For frequent travelers with pets, enrolling in a loyalty program specifically designed for pet travel can offer numerous benefits and rewards. American Airlines offers a pet travel program that allows pet owners to accumulate miles and earn rewards for their pet’s travels.

By participating in American Airlines’ frequent flyer program for pets, you can enjoy perks such as priority boarding, discounted pet fees, and exclusive offers. Take advantage of these programs to make the most of your pet’s travel experiences and enhance your overall journey.


Navigating American Airlines pet weight limit policies can seem daunting, but with proper preparation and understanding, traveling with your furry companion can be a rewarding experience. By familiarizing yourself with the airline’s regulations, choosing the right carrier, and ensuring compliance with weight limits, you can enjoy a safe and comfortable journey with your pet by your side. Remember to prioritize your pet’s well-being throughout the travel process and seek assistance from airline staff if needed. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can embark on memorable adventures with your beloved pet.


What is the maximum weight allowance for pets traveling in the cabin on American Airlines?

American Airlines allows pets traveling in the cabin to weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kilograms), including the weight of their carrier.

Does American Airlines offer special considerations for military personnel traveling with pets?

Yes, American Airlines provides special policies and allowances for military personnel traveling with pets, including exemptions or allowances regarding pet weight restrictions.

What should I do if my pet exceeds the weight limit for travel on American Airlines?

If your pet exceeds the weight limit, consider alternative options such as transporting the pet as checked baggage or rescheduling the flight. Communicate with airline staff for assistance and guidance.

Can I earn rewards or miles for traveling with my pet on American Airlines?

Yes, American Airlines offers a pet travel program that allows pet owners to accumulate miles and earn rewards for their pet’s travels, including perks such as priority boarding and discounted pet fees.

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