American Airlines Service Dog Info for Flying
If you’re planning a trip and looking for American airlines service dog information, you’ve come to the right place. In this article we’re going to answer some common questions. In addition, you’ll be able to learn everything you need to know to have a smooth flight. Let’s jump right into it.
How do Service Dogs Fly on Airlines?
Service dogs may accompany their human on airlines, including American Airlines. Service dogs usually sit quietly at their human’s feet area. They are not to occupy a seat or block the aisles. Advanced notice and paperwork is usually required.
According to American airlines, service dogs that are fully trained can fly in the cabin of the airplane at no charge. This is as long as they meet the requirements listed here.
Table of Contents
American Airlines Definition of Service Animal
The American airlines service dog definition is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability.
This includes physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, and other mental disability. Just a few examples of qualified disabilities are:
- Visual impairments
- Mobility impairments
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Service Animals in Training
American Airlines service dogs must be completely trained. Service animals in training are not accepted as service animals, but they can still fly as a pet.
Emotional Support Animals
Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and companion animals are not service dogs, so they may not travel in the cabin with you. However, they can still travel as pets. All requirements for pets and the applicable pet fees will apply to these situations. Read more on our blog: Service Dog vs Emotional Support Dog
American Airlines Service Dog Advanced Notice Required
In order to be able to travel with your service animal on American Airlines, you will need to do a little bit of preparation work in terms of paperwork. What’s required is the Service Animal Air Transportation Form. You must submit this Department of Transportation form at least 48 hours before your flight. Submit it to the Special Assistance Desk.
This document states that your service animal is in good health, and has the appropriate amount of training, and good behaviour to be able to fly. If you bought your ticket within 48 hours before your flight, you can complete the form at the airport if you need to. Try to leave yourself lots of time.
American Airlines Service Dog Air Travel Transportation Form
American Airlines DOT Form
This form is compatible with the latest version of JAWS and NVDA screen readers. You can complete and sign it on a desktop or mobile device. It uses Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
Traveling on Additional Airlines
If your trip American Airlines service dog trip includes a flight on another airline or airlines, you’ll need to do a bit more work. Before your flight, you will have to contact that airline, too, and complete all required forms for traveling with your service dog.
American Airlines Service Dog Flights Longer Than 8 Hours
If your flight is going to be more than 8 hours, then you’ll need to submit a bit of additional paperwork. The Department of Transportation requires a Service Animal Relief Attestation Sanitation Form.
This basically states that your dog won’t need a bathroom break. Or, that your dog can manage a bathroom break in a way that will be sanitary, and won’t create a health issue.
You can complete this DOT (Department of Transportation) American Airlines service dog form with the latest version of JAWS and NVDA screen readers. It may be completed and signed on your desktop or mobile device. And you can use Adobe Acrobat Reader.
You need to submit this form 48 hours before your flight. Also, keep the form with you during your trip in case it is needed.
Your American Airlines Service Dog ID
Once you have submitted the necessary paperwork, American Airlines will email you with your Service Animal ID. This is also known as SVAN ID. The good thing about your American Airlines service dog ID (SVAN ID) is that you can use it for future trips with the same animal. You’ll be approved and won’t need to fill out paperwork each and every time.
However, this SVAN ID is only valid for one year, or when your animal’s vaccination expires… Whichever comes first. But, it will certainly be nice to have a little less inconvenience if you do a lot of air travel throughout one year.
American Airlines Service Dog Requirements
- Your service dog must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times
- Service dogs that are under 4 months of age may not travel as a service animal; this makes sense
- Your service dog needs to be clean
- Your service dog must be well-behaved
- Your service dog must be able to fit at your feet, under your seat, or in your lap
- Lap animals must be smaller than a 2-year old child
- The final approval for travel won’t happen until you arrive at the airport. Staff must be able to determine that your service dog will safely be able to fit at your feet
- If your service animal is in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of you with your service dog in it
- You are limited to no more than 2 service animals
American Airlines Service Dogs Are Not Permitted To…
- Be seated in an exit row
- Protrude into or block aisles
- Occupy a seat
- Eat from tray tables
Extra Large or Heavy Service Animals
If your service dog is too large or too heavy to be safely accommodated, there are a few options:
- You may need to rebook on a flight that has more open seats
- You might have to buy a ticket for the animal so that you will have more space
- You may need to have your service dog transport as a checked pet
American Airlines Service Dog Behavior
Your service dog must behave properly in public areas. They may be excluded in the cabin of the airplane if they display any form of disruptive behavior. This is especially true if the behavior can’t be corrected or controlled. Some examples of this behavior are:
- Biting or trying to bite
- Jumping on or lunging at people
If your service dog shows any of this behavior during your journey, and you don’t correct or control it, your animal will be considered a pet. Then, all requirements and applicable fees will apply.
Destinations with Special Requirements and Restrictions
Certain places have special restrictions about service animals. Let’s go through them now.
Hawaii Service Animal Restrictions
- Trained service dogs can travel in the cabin to and from all Hawaiian islands
- All other animals must first go through Honolulu. This is for acceptance by Hawaiian quarantine officials
- Your service animal must meet American Airlines’ travel requirements and Hawaii’s quarantine restrictions and documentation requirements
- You need to provide applicable documentation for both at check-in
London, England (LHR)
- Any dog traveling to LHR needs approval from the Heathrow Animal Reception Center (HARC)
- It’s best to contact them as soon as possible, at least 7 days before your flight
- The HARC charges a fee (£366) for any animals that don’t meet the criteria for assistance animals
- British Airways doesn’t accept emotional support animals on any of its flights
To fly to LHR:
- Notify the HARC via email
- If approved, a letter will be sent
- Print the letter and provide it at check-in
Edinburgh, Scotland (EDI)
- To fly with your service dog, you’ll need to email Scotland’s animal travel agency at least 48 hours before your flight
- You’ll need to carry an ID card or valid certificate from the organization that trained or supplied the animal
- Email Scotland’s animal travel agency
All Other United Kingdom Destinations
- Your service dog will need pre-approval letters from the Animal Reception Center in your destination city
- You will need to travel with this letter, as well as any required health documentation
- Get pre-approval letter
- Your service dogs can travel in the cabin to and from Ireland
- All service dogs must be fully compliant with the rules for entering Ireland
- You will need to notify the Irish Authorities in advance. You must make arrangements for a mandatory veterinary compliance check upon arrival
- Advance notice and veterinary compliance check
- Service dogs can travel in the cabin to and from India
- All dogs must be fully compliant with the rules for entering India
- You’ll need to notify the Indian Authorities to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) at least 7 days ahead of travel
Animal Quarantine & Certification Service
Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying
Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
Government of India
Kapashera, New Delhi- 110097
Tel.: +91-11-25063272, Fax: +91-11-25060647, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Animal Quarantine & Certification Services Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines
- Service dogs can travel in the cabin
- You will need to contact the Animal Quarantine Service at least 40 days before your arrival
- Animal Quarantine Service
Auckland, New Zealand (AKL)
- Only dogs can be accepted as service animals
- Emotional support animals of any kind are not accepted
- Requirements for service animals
Hong Kong (HKG)
- Only dogs can be accepted as service animals
- Emotional support animals are not accepted
- You’ll need to contact the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department at least 10 days before your arrival to complete all requirements
- Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
Georgetown, Guyana (GEO)
- Service and emotional support animals require an animal import permit from the Guyana Ministry of Agriculture
- You must travel with and provide the import permit at check-in
- Importation of Animals to Guyana
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVD)
- Only dogs can be accepted as service animals
- Emotional support animals of any kind cannot be accepted
- You’ll need to complete the St Vincent and the Grenadines Animal Import Permit Application and submit it to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
- You must travel with and present the import permit and a valid health certificate at check-in for your service dog
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ministry of Agriculture
American Airlines Service Dog Contact
To contact American Airlines regarding flying with your service animal, you have a few options:
- To make special arrangements, call:
- For hearing or speech-impaired assistance:
- Contact their usual reservation system for all other questions
American Airlines Carry-on Pet Charge
How much is the pet charge for carry-on? If you’ll be carrying-on your pet with American Airlines, the basic fee is $125 per kennel. This includes within and between:
- Central America
- The Caribbean
This fee is for flights without any planned stopovers. If your trip will include a voluntary stopover, or a connection longer than 4 hours, then additional fees may apply for each connection segment. Pet fees are non-refundable and apply per kennel, one way.
American Airlines Wheelchair Assistance
Wheelchair service with American Airlines is available if you need it. They can help you:
- To and from your gate
- Between gates, if you will be making a connecting flights
- Through Customs
- To the baggage claim area
It’s best to request wheelchair assistance in advance. You can do this by selecting ‘Add special assistance’ when you’re booking or managing your trip online.
You can also let a staff member at the airport know on the day of travel that you need wheelchair assistance.
- Request special assistance
- To make special arrangements, call 800-237-7976
- For hearing or speech-impaired assistance, call 800-735-2988
- Contact Reservations for all other questions
Issues – American Airlines Disability Team
- If you had a special assistance issue on a previous trip, you can call 800-892-3624
Traveling With Pets American Airlines
Pets can travel as a carry-on with American Airlines, depending on breed and size. Or, they can be transported through American Airlines Cargo. Carry-on pets are limited to dogs as well as cats that meet the size, age and destination requirements.
American Airlines only accept checked pets at the ticket counter for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. State Department Foreign Service personnel traveling on official orders. Fees and restrictions may apply.
Which destinations allow travel with pets?
You can travel on American Airlines with a pet on most flights up to 12 hours or flights to / from select locations:
- Within the 48 contiguous United States
- The U.S. and Canada – special restrictions may apply
- Mexico – special restrictions may apply
- Puerto Rico
- St. Croix
- St. Thomas