Can I Take My Dog With Me On The plane?

Can I Take My Dog with Me on the Plane?

Nowadays, people have much more traveling opportunities compared with previous decades. The culture of basically living on the road has become more and more popular thanks to the possibility of working remotely, the desire to explore, and other factors that can significantly affect an individual’s lifestyle.

However, with this new routine, people now have to think about different aspects of life, such as what to do with their four-legged friends while traveling.

And if one decides to choose such an option as an animal hotel or make a trip longer but more comfortable for a dog (for example, by car or train), others learn everything about a flight with dogs and nuances that can occur during this process.

Think about it: it’s faster, cheaper, and you can get practically anywhere by plane. So, let’s dig into this topic and learn more about flights with dogs, various options available for this vehicle, and each important aspect a dog owner should be aware of. 

Can My Dog Ride on the Plane with Me

Even though traveling with pets is now something everybody is used to, those who have never done that before can be a little worried about troubles that can occur before and during the flight.

Before even considering how to bring a dog on the plane, you need to learn more about the delta pet policy of the airport of your choice because the rules can vary from place to place.

Next, you have to get in touch to discuss your trip with the staff at the airport and mention all key factors – what is your dog’s breed, is there an option of in-cabin dog transportation, are there any special rules for the owners of service dogs or ESAs, and so on.

Let’s talk about the last two options in more detail because there are some rules that should be followed when it comes to plane flights and people with special needs. 

Service Dogs

The first thing you should remember is that if you need a service dog on the plane, the workers have no right to forbid this transportation (unless it’s mentioned in the airport policy or if all the rules are not followed).

If everything is agreed upon beforehand (at least 48 hours before the flight) and all paperwork is done correctly (it should also be checked in advance), workers in the airports have no right to deny a person with a service dog.

According to safety rules, a dog has to sit in front of the owner in the space between their legs or on their lap. 

In order to prove the status of the pet, it is essential to have a special letter from the doctor that claims there is a particular disability and the assistance of a service animal is required. 

You also need to fill out a dot form before the flight with the following information: weight and special features of the dog, veterinarian contact details and dates of rabies vaccinations.

Moreover, a dog should also be registered as a service dog and added to a special Service Animal Registrar; after doing this, a unique license number is given to the pet, so it is very simple to check their status online. 

There are plenty of places that allow people to do this, for example, MyServiceAnimal Registrar. Not only that, but all important accessories for a service dog can be purchased there, such as an ID card, leashes, vests, and other vital items.

It is not required to buy all of those things, but with their help, it is easier to demonstrate that the dog is working and shouldn’t be disturbed in public. 

Emotional Support Dogs

When it comes to ESAs (Emotional Support Animals), the rules here are pretty similar to service dog plane rules.

A dog (or any other pet) can be denied or removed from a plane if it cannot behave appropriately, is aggressive, or can be dangerous to other passengers.

It is also required to have a letter of recommendation from a doctor to prove that an animal is indeed needed to provide comfort to a person or help them with their mental conditions.

Without this letter, it would be impossible to go to the cabin with a pet. 

Cargo Vs. Cabin. What Is the Difference

There are two ways a pet can be transported on the plane: in the cabin together with its owner or in the crate in the shipping cargo.

A suitable option is picked based on the animal’s size, behavior, status, and other crucial aspects.

So, consider them and discuss them with the manager/customer support because sometimes the regulations can vary based on an airport’s location or policy.


The rules here are pretty simple and understandable: a dog should weigh less than 20 pounds (approximately 9 kg), it should be inside of the carriage during the flight, as well as behave well.

It counts as a carry-on bag and cannot sit in a separate place. We think it is important to mention this fact because there are plenty of dog owners who have tried to buy a separate seat for their four-legged friends and, as expected, failed. 


This option is the only one for the owners of bigger dogs – flying as cargo in a special temperature-controlled compartment, which is actually pretty similar to the passengers’ compartment.

Once again, we would like to remind you that it is crucial to check in with the airline of choice to make sure all rules are followed (for example, some of those need to be informed about the dog 14 days before the flight).

And we want to remind you one more time about special rules of service dogs’ transportation – those should be discussed separately with the airport workers. 

The Bottom Line About Service Dogs on a Plane

Hot to fly with a service animal legally

Traveling with dogs is a normal activity in the twenty-first century. The hardest thing here is to go through the first flight and deal with all the unknown nuances that can occur during this process.

In case such things as “what if my dog barks on the plane” or “what if they will get scared” bother you, make sure to talk with somebody who has already had such experience.

And don’t forget that there is always a possibility to discuss every little detail with the customer service at the airport; overall, it’s their job to help clients.

And we hope that we explained the basics well enough for you to build a plan in your head on how to travel with your dog. Thank you for reading! 

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