airline approved dog carrier

8 Best Airline Approved Dog Carriers You Can’t Go Wrong With [2022]

“Should I go on? Or should I cancel?”

The holiday season is just around the corner, and you’re planning to embark on an exciting journey. Flight tickets are on your hands, hotel rooms are booked, the travel itinerary is ready, and you can almost imagine what a fantastic vacation you are going to have!

There is just one small problem.

You don’t have the heart to leave your little furry baby alone.

Your friend was supposed to take care of your beloved pooch, but she suddenly got ill, and there was no way she could take care of your baby.

This is so frustrating! If only you can take her with you on your vacation!

Well, as a matter of fact, you can!

The U.S airlines, in fact, allow pet parents to carry their babies with them during flights, as long as they fully abide by their rules. You need to make a reservation beforehand, then put your babies inside a dog carrier that is approved by them and keep them enclosed during the entire flight.

See? There is no need to leave your babies behind!

Now, let us take a look at the best airline-approved dog carriers and see if you find ones you like. is reader-supported, and as an Amazon Associate, we earn commissions from qualifying purchases (at no extra cost to you). See our disclaimer page for more information.

The Best Airline Approved Dog Carriers in 2022

1. WPS Airline Approved Removable Wheeled Pet Carrier

airline approved pet carriers in cabin

Manufactured by the Katziela, the WPS Airline Approved Removable Wheeled Pet Carrier is the best airline-approved dog carrier if you are a dog parent with high mobility lifestyle. Whether it is business trips, light travels, or vacations, this dog carrier covers all the needs for convenient travel with your beloved pooch.

The carrier features sturdy materials with mesh screen windows on almost all sides for maximum ventilation for your pooch. They can also rest comfortably inside the carrier due to its soft and cozy mini-mattress interior.

Moreover, the most extravagant features of this dog carrier are its easily removable base platform and its detachable wheels. Therefore, you can just remove them for more lightweight travels like going to the gym or supermarket, and put them back on for your vacation.

What We Like:

  • Multiple mesh screen windows
  • Padded adjustable straps
  • Cozy mattress pad
  • Removable base platform
  • Detachable wheels
  • Safety leash
  • Telescopic handle

What We Don’t:

  • The size is a little large; please check with your airline before purchasing.

2. Airline Approved Sherpa on Wheels Deluxe Pet Carrier

airline approved pet carrier with wheels

Another excellent dog carrier from Sherpa is its Airline Approved Sherpa on Wheels Deluxe Pet Carrier, which is available in two different sizes: Medium and Large. The carrier is perfect for you who like to travel a lot with your beloved pooch, and still highly value your privacy.

Without causing inconvenience for your baby pooch, the carrier guarantees your privacy by equipping its mesh screen windows with roll-up flaps on almost all sides of the carrier. Therefore, you can roll them up for your dog’s better sightseeing, but keep them closed should you don’t feel like letting your baby be exposed too much.

While wheels are available, the carrier does not come with a metal handle. On the other hand, there is an adjustable padded strap you can use as a pull strap or a shoulder strap, depending on your needs.

What We Like:

  • Multiple mesh screen windows
  • Roll-up flaps
  • 360-degree rotating carrier front wheels
  • Padded adjustable straps
  • Patented spring wire frame

What We Don’t:

  • No metal handle

3. FrontPet Airline Approved Rolling Pet Travel Carrier

best airline approved pet carrier

You want a dog backpack? Done.

You want a dog car seat? Done.

You want a wheeled carrier? Done.

You want to carry your pooch for a plane ride? Absolutely, go ahead!

The FrontPet Airline Approved Pet Travel Carrier is the perfect go-to carrier for your busy and high-mobility lifestyle. You can bring your baby along on various different trips: on foot, by car, and even on a plane without having to suffer from any inconvenience or shoulder pain.

This carrier measures 12″ W x 14.5″ L x 19.5″ H holding your pooch up to 15 pounds of weight, which is totally approved by most major airlines. Bringing your baby along on your vacations is now a piece of cake.

You just need to make sure that your baby would fit the carrier perfectly, and their total weight does not exceed the airline weight limit. Please measure your dog’s dimensions and weight before purchasing the carrier.

What We Like:

  • 3-in-1 airline approved dog carrier
  • Multiple entry/exit
  • Multiple mesh screen windows
  • Removable bottom platform

What We Don’t:

  • It’s a bit big, please verify with your airline before buying.

4. PetAmi Airline Approved Pet Carrier Backpack

pet carriers airline approved

If you prefer light traveling and don’t want to bother yourself with wheels, you can always decide to go with this airline-approved pet carrier backpack from PetAmi. Available in 7 different colors, the carrier backpack is made of sturdy materials and durable construction with its steel-frame-reinforced body structure to prevent the bag from collapsing in.

We genuinely understand that traveling on vacation can cause a bit of a hassle due to your loads and luggage. That is why we recommend this carrier so you can easily carry your baby pooch inside a comfortable airline-approved backpack.

The chest and waist buckled straps will provide better support, in addition to paddings on the back and the straps. You can quickly move around, taking care of your other baggage. Your baby is safe and secured, while you will be free from any shoulder and back pain.

What We Like:

  • Airline approved dimension
  • Padded adjustable straps
  • Additional chest and waist buckled straps
  • 5 safety zipper buckles
  • Multiple storage pockets

What We Don’t:

  • Size can be tricky, measure your dog meticulously before purchasing

5. Prefer Pets: Hideaway Backpack

airline approved pet carrier size

We care that you love your dog so much you cannot leave them behind even just for a while. Yet, you also realize that not everyone can be comfortable being that close to an animal. While you do love your little baby pooch, you also can’t just judge other people’s situations that easily.

Rest assured, with Prefer Pets’ Hideaway Backpack, traveling with your baby pooch is always possible without too much announcing that you are bringing them with you.

This carrier has a very unique design where it shapes like a tote travel carrier but features two shoulder straps for back carrying. The three mesh screen windows are covered with roll-up flaps that can be closed with snap buttons. Your privacy is completely guaranteed so you can carry your pet discreetly.

The hideaway backpack comes with all the features required by the TSA and is recommended for dogs with a maximum weight of 16 pounds. For longer trips like holiday vacations, you can attach the carrier to your luggage with the provided luggage strap, so you don’t put a strain too much on your shoulders.

What We Like:

  • Adjustable padded straps
  • Multiple mesh screen windows
  • Roll-up flaps
  • Luggage strap attachment

What We Don’t:

  • Some users reported problems with the material constructions

6. ibiyaya Soft-Sided Tote Pet Carrier Backpack

pet carrier for airlines

In case you are still not satisfied, and those enormous carriers are just too big for your tiny teacup or toy breed babies, you might want to check out Ibiyaya’s Airline Approved Soft-Sided Tote Carrier Backpack. The carrier’s unique design fits under most airplane seats. You can use it as a small backpack or a carrier tote; it all depends on your needs.

The most important feature of this carrier is that you can easily keep a close eye on your baby through its transparent front entry. Your baby pooch can still have a good view of the scenery outside while staying enclosed inside the carrier.

This carrier also features a padded interior and multiple mesh screen windows for excellent ventilation, as well as a safety tether. Your dog is now ready for a long flight.

What We Like:

  • Transparent front entry
  • Multiple mesh screen windows
  • Double designs: tote and backpack carrier
  • Multiple storage pockets

What We Don’t:

  • The small size is tricky, measure your dog carefully before purchasing

7. PetAmi Premium Airline Approved Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

doggie carrier

We are now back to one of the best airline-approved dog carriers with a classic tote design. PetAmi’s premium soft-sided pet carrier is the best airline-approved dog carrier for a classy and trendy dog parent.

If you travel a lot, but you cannot just give up your elegant and stylish lifestyle, the PetAmi premium soft-sided pet carrier is your best choice! Besides, it is available in 13 amazing colors! It’s just so irresistible to collect them all.

This premium dog carrier measures 19.5 x 10.2 x 12 Inches (L x W x H), with the ability to hold up to 12 pounds of your baby pooch. Therefore, make sure that you have thoughtfully measured your dog’s length and height before purchasing this carrier.

Make an unforgettable airplane trip with this iconic pet carrier as your fashion statement!

What We Like:

  • Available in 12 stylish colors
  • Safety straps and buckles
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Sherpa-lined bedding
  • Luggage strap available

What We Don’t:

  • Construction is a bit flimsy, often collapse inward

8. Paws & Pals Airline Approved Pet Carriers

bag for dogs travel

The Paws and Pals is here again with their high-quality product, available at a more affordable price. You don’t need to worry yourself too much about the cost because Paws and Pals always manage to give you the best high-quality pet products without robbing you of too much of your savings. That is why we believe that their product is one of the best airline-approved dog carriers and one of the most popular indeed.

Do you want to travel in style? Paws and Pals’ carrier is available in 14 fabulous colors, with two different sizes: Small and Large. It is a standard sling tote carrier, holding your dog up to 10 pounds of weight for the small size, and 20 pounds maximum for the large one.

While checking all the lists required by the TSA, Paws, and Pals offers easier and more convenient trips for both you and your baby pooch.

What We Like:

  • Available in 14 fabulous colors
  • Mesh screen windows
  • Padded adjustable straps
  • Removable shoulder strap
  • Light-reflecting strips

What We Don’t:

  • Some users reported problems with the materials

Airline Pet Policy and Pricing Details

Even though the best airline-approved dog carriers should be able to accommodate the policies of all airlines, still, the devils are in the details. There might be some policies that are slightly different between each of the airlines.

Therefore, you should educate yourself on the pet policy of your chosen airlines before purchasing your dog carriers. Here are the current basic rules of some major airlines:

American Airlines

The American Airline allows small dogs to be at least 8 weeks old to travel by plane within the U.S. You can bring your dog inside the cabin if the combined weight of your dog and carrier doesn’t exceed 20 lbs, and they have to remain enclosed inside an airline-approved carrier under the seat during the entire flight.

You must also make a prior reservation with the fee of 125 USD /carrier since they only accept up to 7 kennels on American Airlines flights. Find more about the policy here.

United Airlines

For boarding inside the United Airlines cabin, your dog must be at least 16 weeks old and fit inside an airline-approved dog carrier.

There is a 125 USD service charge for each carrier and an additional 125 USD fee for each stopover of more than four hours within the U.S. Your dog must remain enclosed inside the carrier while in the airport and onboard the aircraft. Check out the complete policy here.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines allows each passenger to bring a maximum of two pet carriers, as long as you are willing to purchase two seats under which the carrier will be placed. The fee charged for one pet is 100 USD each way, with an age limitation of 8 weeks old for dogs and cats.

Your pets must also remain enclosed inside the carrier when you are in the boarding area, lounge, and while aboard the aircraft. You may read more on the policy here.

Delta Airlines

With Delta Airlines, pet travels are allowed on a first-come, first-serve basis, as they limit the number of pets permitted on each flight: 2 in first class, 2 in business class, and 4 in the main cabin. The age restriction is 10 weeks old for U.S. domestic travel, and the fee charged for each pet is 125 USD.

If you have 2 pets of the same breeds with ages of 10 – 24 weeks, they are allowed to travel in one carrier and will be charged as one pet. This is of course if they are small enough to fit the carrier. Check out the complete policy here.

Southwest Airlines

Cats and dogs are the only pets allowed to board Southwest Airlines, and they have to remain enclosed inside an airline-approved carrier placed under the passenger seat. You can bring up to 2 small pets of the same species inside one carrier.

No pets are allowed to board in the cargo bin, they can only be carried in the cabin. The fee charged for each pet is only 95 USD, with a total of 6 pet carriers for each scheduled flight. Find out more of the policy FAQ here.

JetBlue Airlines

For JetBlue Airlines, traveling with pets is allowed with a fee of 125 USD for one pet each way for each customer. The combined weight of your pet and the carrier must not exceed 20 lbs, and your airline-approved carrier must fit comfortably under the passenger seat in front of you.

JetBlue Airlines requires all pets to remain enclosed inside the carrier while at the airport and on the plane. Check out more of their policy here.

Virgin Atlantic Airlines

Virgin Atlantic Airlines does not allow any pet onboard the aircraft inside the cabin. If you want to bring your dog along while using this airline, they will be carried inside a secure, heated, and air-conditioned compartment in the hold instead.

Also, you should put them inside an airline-approved carrier while boarding the cargo hold. Read more of the airline’s pet policy here.

FAQ – Airline Approved Dog Carriers

1. Any recommended airline approved pet carrier with wheels?

The best airline-approved pet carrier is the one that can both fulfill all the requirements from the airlines, and still provide the best convenience and comfortable travel for both you and your dog.

That is why we believe that FrontPet Airline Approved Rolling Pet Travel Carrier will be the one most suited for your airline travel. We recommend this carrier for it checks all the required lists from most airlines, and give the best convenient travel with its multifunction feature.

2. What size pet carrier fits under an airplane seat?

The size required for your best airline-approved dog carrier may vary between each aircraft. However, the primary maximum dimension for a dog carrier that fits under the passenger seat is about 17.5” L x 7.5” H x 12” W (based on United Airlines) for hard-sided carriers.

Whereas the maximum dimension for dog carriers with soft sides is about 18” L x 11” W x 11” H. Soft-sided carriers are allowed to slightly exceed these dimensions due to their collapsible and ability to adapt to space under the passenger seat without blocking the aisle.

3. I have a Corgy, will she fit in an airline pet carrier?

Corgies are one of the most adorable pups indeed. However, they are considered small to medium types of dogs due to their tricky weight and measurement. That is why it is hard to travel with them sometimes.

Some Corgies fit well inside an airline-approved dog carrier, but you really have to meticulously measure your Corgies before deciding whether to bring them along on your travel.  

However, if your Corgy’s weight far exceeds 20 pounds, although she might fit inside a dog carrier, there is a chance that you cannot bring her with you in the cabin as most Airline only allows 20 pounds of maximum pet weight.

Wrap Up

So, did you find ones that you like? You don’t need to hesitate in going on your vacations anymore. You do not need to leave your dog behind as long are you are prepared with the best airline-approved dog carrier.

Pay attention, though. The best airline-approved dog carrier does not only check all the requirements from your preferred airlines but also offers the most suitable features for you and your baby pooches’ situation.

Let us once again remind you that you need to measure your dog’s length, height, and weight meticulously to make sure that your carrier will fit them comfortably.

Also, you should check with your chosen airline about the details of their pet policies. This way, you will be more prepared for your trips, and your vacation will be as amazing as what you have had imagined!

Stay safe and have fun on your journey!

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