We know your pet is important to you. Your pet is also important to all of us at PenAir. This page will assist you with general information for transporting your pet on PenAir. Pets must travel with you on the same flight. An exception is transporting your pet as cargo (available in Alaska only; see Shipping Animals as Cargo for more details).
Please call the PenAir Reservations Center at 800.448.4226 to ensure the flight you are traveling on will accept pets and book your travel. The online reservation system should not be used if traveling with a pet or service or emotional support animal. For more information regarding travel with a service or emotional support animal, see Service and Emotional Support Animals.
Preparing You and Your Pet for Travel
To comply with humane standards, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulate the transportation of animals. These regulations apply to you, the shipper, as well as all airlines. We can assist you in making certain you comply with these laws to ensure a safe trip for your pet. USDA regulations require that your animal be at least 8-weeks-old and fully weaned before traveling.
Health certificates are required for any travel crossing state borders. A Rabies Vaccination Certificate is required for all travel within the State of Alaska only. Service & emotional animals are exempt from having to supply a health certificate or a rabies vaccination. Alaska State Law requires PenAir to obtain proof of a current rabies vaccination for each dog or cat over 3-months-old being transported, each time they are transported with PenAir.
Because it is not always possible to obtain a document in Alaska bush locations, we will provide an agreement form out of the bush without a current vaccination certificate. This form will state that before the animal is shipped out of Anchorage on our carrier, the owner will have acquired a current rabies vaccination and will present the appropriate certificate at the Anchorage counter at the time the dog or cat is being transported.
Live Animals in the Cabin
Animals that are acceptable for travel in the cabin include small dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, tropical pet fish (only in a leak proof container). They must fit under-seat and remain in the kennel at all times. Service and emotional support animals are exempt from this rule. Nylon, soft-sided, carry-on bag-type kennels are acceptable as long as they fit the requirements of space and cleanliness and have a leak-proof bottom. The max kennel size for a nylon, soft-side, cabin pet carrier is 16L X 16W X 9.5H.
The kennel must be placed under the passenger’s seat and remain there during takeoff and landing. Obstructing the aisle or passageway is not allowed. Animals may not create a noise disturbance in the cabin or they will have to travel as cargo. Only 1 animal per kennel and only 2 animals per cabin (each in their own kennel) will be accepted. Reservations for cabin kennels are required and must be made by calling PenAir Reservations directly at 800.448.4226.
The following are exempt from the two (2) per-cabin rule:
- Service and emotional support animals
- Dogs trained for search and rescue.
- Dogs trained for drug/explosive detection.
- Law enforcement dogs
- No limit to number or location of passengers with tropical fish in leak proof containers.
When multiple dogs are onboard, there must be at least 3 rows between each dog.
Service and emotional support animals must remain under the control of the owner/handler at all times. An airport supervisor may require an out-of-control animal to ride cargo in a kennel. For more information regarding travel with a service animal, see Service and Emotional Support Animals.
Cost of Kennel Transportation
See Fees page.
Live Animals Checked as Baggage
The Animal Welfare Act protects animals transported by air. The USDA enforces these laws. No other species are allowed to share kennels, e.g. dogs and cats cannot travel together in the same kennel.
- Advanced reservations must be made with PenAir. Reservations cannot be made online. Call PenAir Reservations at 800.448.4226 for pet reservations.
- Littermates at least 8-weeks-old may be shipped in the same kennel provided it is large enough for them to turn around and stand up in the kennel. Two littermates in one kennel count as one animal.
- Prior to acceptance, the animal must be contained in a kennel, cage or container subject to the inspection and approval of PenAir.
- The animal must be harmless, inoffensive, odorless and require no attention during transit.
- The passenger must make arrangements and assume full responsibility for complying with any applicable laws, customs and government regulations, or restrictions of the country, state or territory to which the animal is being transported.
You and PenAir are responsible for following USDA and IATA regulations regarding the size and type of kennel that is acceptable:
- Each animal must have sufficient space to turn around freely in a standing position, and be able to sit or lie down in a natural and comfortable position.
- The kennel must be escape-proof, structurally sound and strong enough to withstand the normal rigors of transport. Collapsible kennels are not accepted by PenAir.
- The kennel must be leak-proof, with absorbent bedding made of material which is safe and non-toxic to the animal.
- The kennel must be clean, and not have any broken wires or protrusions that could injure animal.
- The kennel must have all screws and door latches. Check the closing mechanism of the door to make sure it works properly. No taping or wiring is allowed.
- To prevent accidental injury, no part of the animal’s body can protrude through any openings in the kennel.
- The customer must provide two (2) empty dishes for food and water which are secured inside the kennel and can be filled from outside without opening the door.
- The kennel must be unlocked to ensure that the animal could be quickly and easily removed in the case of an emergency.
- The kennel must have adequate air vents with at least 1/3 ventilation on upper half of the kennel. Vents must be covered with permanent bars, wire or mesh.
- The kennel must have handholds or handles on the exterior that enable it to be lifted without being tilted. Handles must ensure that anyone handling the kennel will not come in physical contact with the animal.
The kennel must be properly marked. Federal regulations require that the following also be applied to each kennel:
- The words “Live Animals” – in letters at least 1 inch high – must be marked on the top and at least one side of the kennel.
- The words “This Side Up” must be marked on the sides of the kennel.
- The name, address and phone number of the customer must be marked on the kennel. It is recommended to include the animal’s name as well.
Helpful Travel Tips
One of the most important steps you can take is to make sure your pet is familiar with the kennel. Purchase the kennel as far in advance as possible. Veterinarians recommend leaving the kennel door open in the house with an old sock or familiar object inside so that your pet may spend time near the kennel and perhaps venture inside on its own. Since it is important that your pet be as relaxed as possible during the flight, familiarization with the kennel is essential.
- Take along a leash and collar for walking your pet prior to departure, on an extended layover and upon arrival.
- Never ship an animal with a choke collar or muzzle, as both are dangerous when an animal is alone or in transit.
- Remember to check with our Reservations or Cargo offices to book space for your pet well in advance.
- Due to the size of our aircraft, we are limited to how many kennels we can transport. Therefore, it is important to reserve kennel space for your pet in advance if it is traveling as baggage.
Get to the Airport Early
If your pet is traveling as baggage, check-in will be at the airport. If your pet is traveling via cargo, you may need to take your pet to our cargo facility, which may be in a separate building than the airport.