The Adventures of Django and Arya

Alaska Airlines

The Alaska Airlines pet policy 2023 includes options for flying with small dogs or cats in the cabin, and in the aircraft hold as checked baggage or cargo. For cats and dogs to fly in the cabin, they must be at least 8 weeks old and travel with an adult passenger. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are no longer accepted under the Alaska Airlines ESA pet policy 2023 due to changes in US laws. However, trained and registered Assistance & Service Dogs, including Psychiatric Service Dogs, may fly in the cabin free of charge. If you’re importing a dog to the USA, your dog’s age and vaccine requirements depend on the risk of rabies where your trip starts. Dogs arriving from high-risk countries are currently banned from entering the US, due to a Center for Disease control ruling to prevent a rabies outbreak. Check out pet travel reviews for Alaska Airlines, or leave an Alaska Airlines pet travel review! Read on for the full Alaska Airlines pet policy for 2023.

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Dogs & Cats in the Cabin of the Plane
Dogs & Cats flying as Checked In Baggage
Pets flying as Cargo
Assistance Dogs in Cabin
Psychiatric Service Dogs in Cabin
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) in Cabin
Alaska Airlines Pet Policy 2023

Does Alaska Airlines Allow Dogs and Cats in the Cabin?

The Alaska Airlines pet travel policy accepts small dogs and cats to fly in the cabin within their FAA approved travel carrier. Pets can only travel in the Alaska Airlines cabin with an adult passenger, aged at least 18 years. In addition to cats and dogs, rabbits and domestic birds can also be transported in the Alaska Airlines passenger cabin.

The travel bag or kennel must also meet the Alaska Airlines specifications outlined in their pet travel policy. The maximum dimensions for your cat or dog’s travel carrier are:

Hard Travel KennelL 17″ x W 11″ x H 7.5″
Soft Travel BagL 17″ x W 11″ x H 9.5″
Alaska Airlines Pet in Cabin Carrier Dimensions

On the flight, the travel bag will be stowed underneath the seat in front of you, you can’t remove your cat or dog during the flight for safety reasons.

The pet travel carrier counts as a carry-on bag, therefore, you can take a pet carrier plus one personal item, or a pet carrier and a small carry-on bag.

Two pets of the same species, and similar size, can fly in the same travel carrier, provided that they each have enough space.

In addition, the following rules apply when flying your pet in the cabin with Alaska Airlines:

  • Pets must be able to stand and sit up, turn around normally and lie down in a natural position in their kennel, without touching any side or the top of their travel bag.
  • Soft-sided collapsible kennels can be slightly larger but still need to fit under the seat in front of you. They also have to be secure, padded, made of water-repellant material and have nylon mesh ventilation on two or more sides.

Each Alaska Airlines main cabin can accommodate five pet carriers, while First Class allows space for one pet travel bag.

IATA Regulations for Cats & Dogs Flying in the Cabin

While you need to ensure that your pet’s travel crate meets the maximum dimensions set by Alaska Airlines to fly in the cabin, remember that you must also adhere to the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This includes calculating the minimum inner crate dimensions allowed by the IATA LAR for your cat or dog to fly in the cabin. In addition, the airline pet travel carrier must adhere to the criteria set by the IATA LAR, in terms of ventilation, design etc.

If you’re new to pet travel, check out 8 IATA Compliant Airline Pet in Cabin Carriers.

Cost of Flying a Pet in Cabin with Alaska Airlines

It costs $100 each way to take your pet as additional carry-on baggage in the cabin with Alaska. Flights departing from Canada are $105 per pet carrier.

Which Alaska Airlines Routes allow Cats & Dogs in the Cabin?

Pets are permitted in the cabin on all Alaska Airlines routes, however, only cats and dogs are accepted on pet flights to Hawaii.

Be aware that some countries don’t allow pets to arrive in the cabin of a plane.

Does Alaska Airlines Accept Pets in the Hold as Checked Baggage?

Alaska Airlines accepts accept the following domesticated pet species’ to fly as checked baggage.

Alaska Airlines Permitted Pet Species in Hold
birds
cats
dogs
birds
ferrets
guinea pigs
hamsters
non-poisonous reptiles
pot-bellied pigs
rabbits,
tropical fish
Pet Species Allowed in Alaska Airlines Hold

In order for your pet to fly as checked baggage with Alaska Airlines, or any pet friendly airline, you must be travelling on the same flight.

When puppies and kittens are flying in the Alaska Airlines baggage hold, be sure to adhere to these rules:

  • Dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old, and weaned
  • No more than one dog or cat, aged six months or more, may be transported in the same kennel
  • No more than one puppy, aged eight weeks to six months, and weighing over 20 lbs, may be transported in the same airline travel crate
  • No more than two live puppies or kittens, eight weeks to six months of age, that are of comparable size, and weighing 20 lbs or less each, may be transported in the same kennel.

IATA Requirements for Pets Flying in Hold

For the safety of your pet during air transport, the airline travel kennel must meet the legal requirements of the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Therefore, in addition to ensuring that your cat or dog in their travel crate adheres to the maximum weight and dimensions set by Alaska Airlines, the minimum inner kennel dimensions defined by the IATA LAR must also be met.

You can calculate the minimum inner space permitted by the IATA LAR, in addition to learning about the required construction, design etc for the pet in hold travel crate.

IATA dog crate calculator pet kennel dimensions formula airline approved cat dog carrier

Should you need a new travel kennel, check out 4 Popular IATA Compliant Pet in Hold Crates.

Cost of Flying a Pet in the Alaska Airlines Hold as Checked Baggage

It costs $100 each way to take your pet in the Alaska Airlines hold as checked baggage. Flights departing from Canada are $105.

Flying a Pet in the Alaska Airlines Cargo Hold

In some cases, your pet may have to fly as cargo, rather than checked baggage. For instance, if you’re travelling on a different flight as your pet, or you’re flying to a country that doesn’t permit pets to arrive in the cabin. For example, all animals, including cats and dogs must arrive in the United Kingdom (UK) as cargo, they can’t enter in the passenger cabin or in the hold as checked baggage.

The charge for Alaska Airlines pet cargo varies, and you’ll be provided with a personal quotation based on your specific requirements.

Pet Travel Documentation & Vaccines

Alaska Airlines is an American international pet friendly airline, so for flights to the USA, your pet must meet the requirements of the US Pet Travel Scheme. Note that Hawaii has different pet travel requirements to the rest of the USA. Also, be aware that there’s currently a dog import ban in the USA from high risk rabies countries. The same rules apply if your dog has visited one of these destinations within six months of their travel to the US.

For flights to the EU, your cat or dog has to meet the EU Pet Travel Scheme criteria. This means that you’ll need to arrange either a Pet Passport or Animal Health Certificate, and ensure that your cat or dog is microchipped and vaccinated against Rabies.

You can also check out the pet travel laws for other worldwide destinations in 2023.

Alaska Airlines Assistance & Service Dog and Emotional Support Animal (ESAs) Policy

As of 1 March 2021, the Alaska Airlines pet policy no longer recognises Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), therefore no new ESA reservations will be accepted. Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are now subject to the standard Alaska Airlines pet travel policy.

Only professionally trained Assistance & Service Dogs can fly in the cabin free of charge if they meet the requirements. A Service Dog is defined as a dog that’s individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, including but not limited to:

  • Visual impairments
  • Hearing impairments
  • Seizures
  • Mobility impairments
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Trained Psychiatric Service Dogs are therefore permitted to travel with Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines Excluded Pet Flight Routes

Customers travelling on Alaska Airlines flights 2000-2999 or flights 3300-3499 can’t fly with pets as checked baggage or cargo during the following dates:

  • November 15 – January 10

Pets in the baggage or cargo compartments may be accepted on Alaska Airlines flights 2000-2999, operating wholly within the State of Alaska during this period, subject to space and availability.

Due to government pet travel rules, you can’t fly your cat or dog in the cabin to certain countries. These rules are in place in some pet friendly destinations that are currently rabies free, in order to protect their borders. For example, when flying to the UK (Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland), all pets arriving on a plane must travel as cargo in the hold.

As previously mentioned, only cats and dogs are permitted in the cabin on flights to Hawaii.

Are Pets Safe on Planes?

If you’re worried about your furry travel companion’s wellbeing when flying, check out our comprehensive post regarding pet safety on planes.

In the USA, a monthly report is provided for pet incident rates for each airline. The US Department of Transport (USDoT) defines an incident as the loss, injury or death of a pet during airline transport.

Between January 2015 and December 2021, Alaska Airlines transported more than 730,000 animals, whilst maintaining an average incident rate of 0.26, the lowest of all the airlines.

In December 2021, Alaska Airlines reported 10 pet incidents, which in many cases were due to animals escaping their travel crates. So, be sure to purchase a strong, safe crate for your pet to travel in the hold. You can read more about the types of incidents in December 2021 on Alaska Airlines pet flights.

No doubt, at some point your trip will involve a car ride, so have a look at our 12 Essential Pet Car Safety Tips too. Should your cat or dog suffer from motion sickness, we’ve also compared some of the treatments, strategies and medications for pet travel nausea.

It’s important to be aware that you can’t sedate or tranquilize your cat or dog for their flight, whether your pet, or pets, are travelling in the Alaska Airlines cabin or hold.

In addition, to protect your pet’s health and wellbeing in a new country, be sure to keep your cat or dog safe from vector-borne diseases. In particular, Heartworm from mosquitoes and Leishmaniasis from sandflies in Southern European destinations pose a serious threat.

You might also want to check out 10 Pet Friendly Airlines in the EU and Pets in Cabin from the UK and 7 Transatlantic Pet Friendly Airlines.

And don’t forget the all important Essential Pet Travel Accessories!

Prior to booking, always view the Alaska Airlines pet travel policy on their website for any recent changes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, some airlines are frequently amending their rules for pets on planes.

Have a safe and wonderful trip, and remember to leave a pet travel review for Alaska Airlines if you fly your pet cat or dog, in the cabin or hold!

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