United Airlines Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and Psychiatric Service Dog Policy
United Airlines Main Takeaways:
- United Airlines allows trained service animals to travel on their flights free of charge when accompanying a person with a disability.
- Passengers must complete the required DOT forms for their service dog and submit them online or in person, depending on the type of flight.
- Advanced notice of at least 24 hours is required for traveling with a service dog.
- Passengers with disabilities can bring up to two service dogs, which must be fully trained and at least four months old. Exit rows are not allowed for service dog owners and their dogs.
- United Airlines charges a fee of $125 each way per pet for non-service animals.
- There are breed restrictions for pets, and certain breeds are not allowed due to health concerns.
- Pet carriers must fit at the passenger’s feet with specific size requirements for both hard-sided and soft-sided kennels.
- United Airlines has specific travel requirements for in-cabin pets based on the type of flight, including age restrictions and rabies vaccination certification.
United Airlines allows service animals on their flights free of charge provided they are accompanying a person with a disability and have had the correct forms filled out.
Remember that only fully trained PSDs can accompany you on your flight. Your service dog must fit right in front of your seat (without spilling over into anyone else’s space or any aisles). If you have a more petite service dog, an in-cabin kennel may be allowed if it meets United’s storage requirements.
United’s Required Documentations
To bring your service dog on your flight, you must complete the following DOT forms: the Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form and the Service Animal Relief Attestation Form. For domestic mainland flights, these forms are to be turned in online (using the “Special accommodations” section of your “Trip details page”).
However, if you’re flying internationally or back or forth from Guam or Hawaii, you’ll need to bring a physical copy of both completed forms in person. For these flights, call the United Accessibility Desk at 1 (800) 228-2744 to add your service dog to your itinerary.
United requires that you turn in your forms online or call the United Accessibility Desk at 1 (800) 228-2744 at least 24 hours prior to your flight’s departure time. It’s a good idea to get started filling out the forms well ahead of time, as they require a lot of information that may take you some time to round up (such as vaccination dates, breed, and veterinarian information).
Note that any single person with a disability may take up to two service dogs with them on a United flight. The dogs must be fully trained and at least four months old. For service dog owners and their service dogs, exit rows will be off-limits.
Other United Pet Policies To Know
While service animals have their own set of rules and freedoms to consider, there are other United Airlines policies to be aware of if you’re bringing an ESA or typical pet with you on your flight.
United’s Pet Fees
There is a fee of $125 each way per pet. There is also an additional charge of $125 if a domestic stopover is involved for more than four hours or an international stopover for more than 24 hours.
United’s Breed Restrictions
Along with other airlines, United has adopted a list of embargoed breeds due to certain health issues common to those breeds and the potentially harmful effects of flying on them. The list includes bulldogs, affenpinschers, boxers, Boston terriers, mastiffs, and Tibetan spaniels. For a full list, check the United Airlines website.
United’s Pet Carrier Size Requirements
To bring your pet with you on your flight, you’ll need to have them in a carrier or kennel that can fit at your feet in front of your seat. Hard-sided kennels shouldn’t exceed 17.5 inches long x 12 inches wide x 7.5 inches high. Soft-sided kennels have slightly more flexible maximum dimensions and can be no longer than 18 inches, no wider than 11 inches, and no higher than 11 inches. If you are uncertain of your carrier or kennel, it’s a good idea to measure it, and you can always contact United with questions.
United’s Travel Requirements
United Airlines has various travel requirements for in-cabin pets depending upon whether the flight is domestic, international, or U.S. inbound.
On domestic flights, your service animal must be at least two months old and be with a legal adult. Keep in mind that, in an emergency, no oxygen service will be available for pets.
For flights to, from, or through Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, the UK, and Guam (among several other locations), United Airlines does not allow any in-cabin pets. See United’s website for a complete list of these countries.
If you’re flying into the US from another country, your puppy or kitten will need to be at least four months old, and regardless of the age of your pet, you will need to have a certification that your pet has a rabies vaccination.