Can I Buy A Seat For My Dog On An Airplane?

Can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane? Flying with a dog on an airplane is a fascinating experience for both the owner and the pet. The excitement surges, especially if it is the first time boarding an airplane with your dog to another city or country.

Whether you are travelling to the warm climates of the Caribbean or the chillier Alaska, taking your furry friend is a great way to explore a new environment and enjoy unique sights.

Although dogs can travel with you, it is crucial to plan many things in advance to ensure everything goes smoothly.

If you want to fly with your dog on an airplane without any problems, make sure you are prepared and have all the essential things to streamline your journey.

Depending on the airline company’s policy, your dog can travel in the cabin or via cargo. Many pet owners ask: Can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane?

No! unfortunately, you can not buy a seat for your dog on an airplane. However, if your dog is small enough it can be placed under the seat in a suitable dog carrier for a fee.

With that said, your dog can only travel in the cabin if you have an appropriate carrier that meets the airline requirements, such as the right size, breathability, luggage strap, fleece pad, and three-door design.

So in this article, we will talk about flying with your dog on an airplane, and why can’t you buy a seat for your dog. We will also explain how to plan and travel safely with your furry friend.

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Why can’t you buy a Seat for your Dog on an Airplane?

Now they are some claims that United Airlines allows pet owners to buy seats for their dogs, but this is not true. There are various reasons why your dog can’t travel in the seat next to you.

Even if the airlines allow your dog to sit in the seat next to you, it’s not a wise decision. The reason is that some dogs bark a lot and develop this into compulsive behavior.

If other passengers hear the excessive barking, they will complain against you to the airline staff.  

Besides, an untrained dog will run away or roam around the airplane, disturbing other passengers and could even biting children onboard.

Any accident caused by your puppy on the airplane will be an embarrassing experience for you. It usually happens when the owners take out their dogs from their carriers.

Likewise, if you take out your furry friend from its carrier or forget to close the doors properly, your puppy can come out and do things that are strictly against the airline regulations.

Airline Policies

Although you cant buy a seat for your dog on a airplane they can travel under the seat! and to give you an idea of what the airline policies are below is a list of all the airline that accept your dog in the cabin.

Each airline company has its specific policy and set of requirements for a dog carrier that you can place under the seat in front of you during the flight.

So below you will learn about the different airlines requirements including the Carrier Price, dimensions and weight.

American Airlines

American Airlines allows small dogs to travel in the cabin. Bear in mind that your dog should be at least eight weeks old and weigh no more than 8kg or 20 pounds.

The Airline requires owners to ensure their dogs remain in their respective carriers, with all doors closed and placed under the seat throughout the duration of the flight.

The company does not allow dogs to travel in the cabin to and from Hawaii, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, and Venezuela. However, you can travel with a small dog between the US, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Carrier Price & dimensions

  • Dimensions 48 cm x 33 cm x 22 cm
  • Price 125 per dog carrier
  • Weight 8kg

The airline also requires owners to have non-collapsible carriers and your dog must feel comfortable, be able to stand up, lie down, and turn around easily in the carrier.

If you wish to bring a soft-sided carrier, make sure it has nylon padding with water-repellant properties and ventilation on two or more sides.

United Airlines

United Airlines is a pet-friendly company that allows small dogs to travel in the cabin. United Airlines also require the pet to remain inside the carrier and underneath the seat during the flight.

The airline staff will provide you with a dog tag at check-in, which you can attach to the carrier. United Airlines does not allow more than one dog in the cabin. The pet fee in the cabin is $125. Moreover, you can bring a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier.

Carrier Price & dimensions

  • Hard Side Carrier 44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm
  • Soft Carrier 44 cm x 30 cm x 19 cm
  • Price 125 per dog carrier
  • Weight 8kg

United Airlines accepts carriers made of metal, wood, or rigid plastic. Make sure the bag is adequately ventilated and secured with zippers or metal bolts. Place the food and water dishes security inside the bag or crate.

You must access these things from the outside without opening the carrier’s door.

Delta Airlines

Delta airlines allow small dogs to travel with their owners in the cabin. Like other airlines, the carrier you bring must be placed underneath the seat in front of you.

The airline allows travelling with dogs to-from the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Delta Airlines does not permit dogs on flights to Hawaii.

If you want to fly via delta airlines, make sure your pet is at least 16 weeks old. Otherwise, the airline won’t allow you to travel with your dog. Fees for traveling with your dog in the cabin vary from location to location.

However, it can cost you $125 to and from the US and Canada. If you are traveling to Brazil, you will have to pay $75.

For dogs traveling underneath the seat in the cabin, the carry-on bag dimensions depend on where you are traveling. Therefore, we suggest you call Delta Reservations to get more information about the acceptable carrier sizes.

Anyway, you have to bring a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier with meshed windows and lockable doors.

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How to keep your Dog Relaxed in the Cabin?

If you haven’t travelled with your dog in the airplane cabin, you may worry about your pet. The important thing is to keep your pet calm throughout the flight.

The purpose is to make things easier for yourself and avoid your fellow passengers complaining against you for your dog’s behavior.

Most owners find it daunting to deal with a barking dog for hours until the plane lands. So, how to keep your pet quiet, calm, and relaxed in its carrier during the flight? Let’s answer that question…

Don’t Remove Your Dog From Its Carrier

Some owners attempt to remove their dogs from their carriers. Let me tell you that you should under no circumstances try to take out your furry friend from the carrier during the flight.

However, if you want to keep your dog relaxed, make sure he is isolated from other passengers and their bizarre activities, such as loading the gear in the compartments above or finding their seats.

In such a situation, you can keep your dog in its crate on your lap. You can even stroke your dog if you have a soft-sided carrier.

Keep your dog close to you when others load their gear in the overhead compartments or finding their seats.

Pacify your puppy by saying something like, “it’s going to be okay” or “good boy.” Your words will calm your anxious furry friend.

Place The Carrier Under The Seat

The flight attendants will ask you to stow your pet’s carrier under the seat in front of you. Make sure you follow the instructions to streamline the entire process.

Check if your dog is lying down inside the carrier and if he is not, make sure you give him a few strokes and let him lie down comfortably.

Once done, leave the crate between your feet for a few minutes and then slowly slide it under the seat in front of you. Don’t forget to give your pet a lot of soft and lovely vocal assurances.

That way, you can keep your dog calm and alleviate his anxiety during the take-off.

Keep An Eye On Your Dog  

After the plane takes off, you can keep the carrier between your feet. Don’t let your dog out of sight and continue giving him verbal assurances from time to time. That way, your furry friend will know that it is safe.

You may notice your dog is fussing. In that case, offer your dog a pet calmer by unzipping the bag 1-2 inches. The plane’s sound will soothe your dog’s ear and encourage him to sleep.

However, if there is too much activity in the cabin, your dog may not rest properly.

In such a situation, extend your finger into the carrier and give your furry friend a head scratch to let him know you are still there. Experts do not recommend giving dogs a full meal before the flight.

If your pet is hungry, offer a piece of chow at a time – this is another way to stay connected with your dog.

Attach A Piece Of Scented Cloth Inside The Carrier

Research shows that dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. The reason is that their noses have over 300 million olfactory receptors.

You can attach a piece of your old t-shirt or clothing with your scent inside the carrier. Your scent will keep your dog calm and relaxed throughout the flight.

How To Choose A Suitable dog carrier that fits Under The Seat?

Each airline company has specific policies regarding carriers for dogs traveling in the cabin. Their policies usually focus on regulations for carrier dimensions and the weight of the kennel with the dog inside.

For instance, airline policies include some subjective rules, such as bite-proof, leak-proof, adequate size, and breathable carriers. Here are a few considerations when choosing a carrier for your dog that you can place under the seat in front of you.

Airline Approved

carrier or dog travel bag is useless for flight if the airline does not accept it. The good news is that airlines that welcome dogs in the cabin have detailed information on their official websites.

If you have any queries, you can contact the airline company and ask them about your dog’s space reservation in the cabin.

Although pet owners usually don’t have a problem when they follow the airline policy, it is crucial to learn about the domestic US and Canadian flights to avoid penalties.

Durable Mesh

A dog carrier with durable mesh is necessary for travelling on an airplane. For example, if your puppy scratches, bites, or attempts to claw its way out of the bag in an unpleasant situation.

So make sure the carrier’s mesh is durable enough to stop him.

Keep an eye on the dog’s carrier if you have any doubts about its mesh durability. We recommend bringing some duct tape to secure the mesh. That way, you can avoid the problem of your dog escaping the carrier during the flight.

Lockable Zippers

A carrier with lockable zippers is useful for owners who have aggressive dogs. The locked zippers can prevent your dog from escaping the carrier mid-flight.

Some bags come with simple clasps or clips, which can secure the zippers once the dog is inside the carrier. Others come with zippers, which can easily be locked with a luggage lock.

Door Locations

Pet carriers have doors, which are half or full zip on one or both sides of the product. Some dog carriers come with a zipper on the top side.

If your dog has problems entering or exiting the carrier, you can use the top zipper to place and retrieve your furry friend.

A carrier with suitable doors can help you quickly remove your dog at various security checkpoints. That way, you can save time and reduce stress for yourself, your dog, and the security personnel.

Sturdy Floorboard

Choose a carrier with a sturdy floorboard so that you can carry it easily and avoid pet accidents. Besides, it is wise to have a washable floorboard.

That way, you can clean food and fur from the carrier. Some products have a machine-washable pad to keep your dog comfortable warm. You can also place a soft blanket inside the carrier to provide extra comfort for your furry friend.

Mesh Sides For Openness

Some dogs have anxiety when they are confined in a carrier with solid or semi-solid carriers. If you think your dog will feel anxious during the flight, choose a carrier with mesh sides to some openness and comfort to your pet.

That way, your dog will feel safer inside the carrier and can see around.

Expandability Options

Travelling with a dog on an airplane can become frustrating if your pet does not feel comfortable inside the carrier placed under the seat. Choose a carrier with expandable features to allow more space for your pet during the flight.

Although the extra material will add weight to the carrier, it is a viable option if you have a small puppy.

Carrying Features

There are different types of carriers available on the market. Some come with a handle, and others include a shoulder strap. Some products even have wheels and backpack straps.

However, the backpack ones are not suitable for most dogs. Choose the one that meets the airline requirements and your needs.


Pet owners can carry essential items for their dogs during the flight. These include food, wipes, and medications. If your dog weight combined with that of the carrier is less than what the airline requires, it becomes easy to carry these essential items in the bag.

Make sure you choose a bag or carrier that comes with several compartments and pockets to store these essential items.


Can I buy a seat for my dog on an airplane? No, unfortunately, you can’t! However, you can place your small dog inside a soft-sided or hard-sided carrier with features like mesh windows, breathability or ventilation, and a comfortable floorboard or padding.

Make sure you know the airline requirements for dog carriers. we have given details on three of the most popular and pet-friendly airlines in this post.

Keep your dog calm with the tips and tricks shared above to ensure a safe and comfortable flight.

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