Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers -for safe air travel with Dog

If you’re looking for the best airline approved pet carriers, stop your searching! We’re here to help you to find the airline pet carrier.
Who wants to leave their beloved pets behind while they are going on vacation? We know, no one wants to deny his (or her) furry friends a chance to go along. But how is it possible if you’re on air travel and want to take your beloved buddy with you?
Simple solution!
Travel approved pet carrier is an excellent way for flying with a pet.
Sounds exciting? Yes, it is.

In fact, the pet carrier is a comfort zone for your pet while traveling. But with a host of options at your disposal, finding the perfect one can be stressful.

No worry! We, along our research team, have sorted out the best pet carriers for airlines and then review them from an honest point of view. We emphasized on expert’s analysis, the real user’s comments and of course the quality-price ratio.
So, without wasting much of your time, let’s get started.

Dog training collars, dog reflective collars​, dog leash or dog harness- these accessories are essential for anyone who lives with dog.  On the other hand, Soft dog crates create a safe, dedicated space for your furry friend to settle into at home.

But how can you carry your pet if you intend to visit away from your home or anywhere between?

No doubt, your dog or cat would love to travel in pet carriers rather than being left alone in the home for a long time. In natural, dogs are the ideal travel companions. They enjoy being a part of your trip.

Pet carrier is a convenient way to travel with cat, puppy or adult dog. And for air travel, the advantages of using a pet carrier are numerous. Some of these are:

  • A pet carrier let you enjoy traveling with your pet without the need to worry about leaving it behind.
  • The right carrier allows you to transport your pet safely and comfortably
  • Carrying a pet in the pet carrier prevents you from disturbing your co-passengers.
  • Airlines won’t hesitate to allow you to carry your dog/cat around while you travel
  • A pet carrier keeps your pet safe and provides them a sense of security.
  • Pet carrier plays a vital role in ensuring the comfort of your pet.
  • Pet carrier helps your dog/ cat be the part of your family's outdoor activities.

Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers Comparison Chart

Product Name, Size & Weight




Sherpa Original Deluxe

 15”x10”x8.5”,  3.4 lbs 

​​Pet Weight: Up to 8 lbs

Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline Approved Travel Pet Carriers Best-Selling

cheap airline approved pet carriers

18"x 11" x 10", 2.2 lbs
Pet Weight:Small Pets,Cats, Puppies

Pet Magasin Luxury Soft-Sided TSA approved pet carriers Best Budget-friendly

The Versatile-Natuvalle 6-in-1

 17.7” x 9.8” x 11.8” ;  3.28 lbs​

Pet Weight limit : Up to 11.5 lbs

Natuvalle 6-in-1 Pet Carrier Backpack The Best Versatile

The Best-Expandable
Smiling Paws 4 Way Expandable

 19" X 11" X 12", 5.1 lbs​

Pet Weight Limit : Up to 18 lbs

Smiling Paws 4 Way Expandable Soft Sided Airline Approved Pet Carrier The Best Expandable

Suitable For Most Dogs
AmazonBasics Pet Travel Carrier

 19.7x10.2x11.2,  2.8 lbs​

Pet Weight: Up to 22 lbs

AmazonBasics Pet Travel Carrier Best For Most Dogs, Inexpensive

The Best 2-Side Expandable with TunnelPet Peppy Premium

17.9 x 14 x 1.6,  3.0 lbs

Pet Weight: Up to 14 lbs

Pet Peppy Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier with tunnel

Petsfit Expandable

 18”x11” x11”,  2.7 lbs 

Pet Weight: Up to 13  lbs

Petsfit Expandable Travel Dog Carrier  Top-rated

small dogs & medium pet carriers for cats, PETS GO2 Pet Carrier

 18” x 12” x 12”;  3.22 lbs​

Pet Weight: Up to 20 lbs

PETS GO2 Pet Carrier-Best for Small or Medium Dog and Cat Best For Small Or Medium Dog And Cat

Revolutionary Design

Texsens Innovative

12.99"x9.05" x15.74”,  4.1 lbs

Pet Weight: Up to 10 lbs

Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack Pet Carriers  Unique, Revolutionary Designs

The Best Investment Sleepypod Air In-Cabin

22” x 10.5” x 10”,  4.5 lbs​

Pet Weight: Up to 17.5 lbs

Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier The Best Investment

Top 10 Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers List

So, are you ready to discover the Top rated Dog carriers for airline travel?

Read on to discover 10 fantastic examples of flight approved pet carriers.

#1. Sherpa Original Deluxe Airline Approved Travel Pet Carriers, Top Selling

best carrier for international travel

#2. Pet Magasin Luxury Soft Sided TSA approved pet carriers - Budget friendly

best airline approved dog carrier

Perfect Carrier: For most cats, puppies and other small pets

cheap dog crates can be an alternate option for you, if you’re on a budget, still looking the high-quality dog crate.

#3. Natuvalle 6-in-1 Pet Carrier BackpackThe Best Versatile

best cat carrier for car travel

It comes with four high-ventilation meshes. It will not only enhance visibility but also keep bugs out and promote proper airflow. Its inside leash and reinforced lockable zippers keep your pet secure.

No problem, if you need to travel with your pet carrier at night. The reflective security straps will provide improved safety and visibility in the dark. (For the dog reflective collars go through our review here.)You must appreciate its walk-through doors that offer functional, hassle-free entry and exit to your pet.

This in-cabin carrier is super sturdy and durable. Sturdy patented frames reinforce the overall structure. So, your pet won't get crushed. The right amount of flex on the frame allows the carrier to fit snug under most airline seats.

A wooden non-bendable floor creates a sturdy platform. It keeps the base from warping as you lift the carrier. The bedding has a breathable fleece material that keeps your pooch insulated. Durable 600 Denier Oxford fabric forms a water-repellent shell to keep your pet dry.

In a nutshell, there are a lot of beneficial features and aspects to this pet carrier. We would like it to recommend for pet owners who want variety in uses of a simple pet carrier.

Top Features At A Glance

  • 6-in-1 pet carrier versatile options
  • High-ventilation meshes
  • Super sturdy floor
  • Reflective straps for nighttime use
  • Transferable straps for expanded utility

What We Liked

  • Versatile and comfortable
  • Larger-than-average height
  • Six ways to travel
  • Extremely flexible
  • Enhance visibility
  • High ventilation
  • Easy to wash
  • Four available sizes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Only one color (navy blue) available
  • Non-bendable wooden floor

Extra Small Carrier: For pets up to 12 pounds, Fits pets up to 13" in length x 7.8" in height

Small Carrier: For pets up to 14 pounds, Fits pets up to 15" in length x 11" in height

Medium Carrier: For pets up to 16 pounds, Fits pets up to 17" in length x 11.5" in height

Large Carrier: For pets up to 18 pounds, Fits pets up to 19" in length x 14" in height

#4. Smiling Paws 4 Way Expandable Soft Sided Airline Approved Pet CarrierThe Best Expandable

best airline approved dog carrier

#5. AmazonBasics Pet Travel Carrier

AmazonBasics Pet Travel Carrier

#6. Pet Peppy Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier with tunnel.  Two-Side Expandable

Pet Peppy Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier with tunnel

#7. Petsfit Expandable Travel Dog Carrier, Top Rated

Petsfit Expandable Travel Dog Carrier  Top-rated

#8. PETS GO2 Pet Carrier for Small / Medium Dog and Cat

best airline dog carrier

#9. Texsens Innovative Traveler Bubble Backpack Pet Carriers. Unique, Revolutionary Design

best backpack for dogs

#10. Sleepypod Air In-Cabin Pet Carrier, The Best Investment

best dog backpack carrier

Airline Approved Dog Carriers - What You Need To Know 

Before deciding upon a particular product, it's useful first to have a general idea of how to shop for the right airline compliant carrier. Choosing the airline approved dog carrier becomes more comfortable when you know what to consider.

Let's look at some of the most basic requirements.

  • Ventilation-In most cases, suffocation might be an issue, and hence, the transporter must contain proper air vents.
  • Portability-The pet parent should be able to move through the crowd without any trouble, and that is why a handle to hold the bag bearing your cute bud should come handy.
  • Wheels-Just as same as the handle, wheels make life easier and faster when moving from place to place with your little ball of fur.
  • Spacing-It is a long journey, and the little kitty should feel more at home.
  • Size- Size is an important variable that you need to consider. Double checking the actual airline pet carrier dimensions are necessary. In most cases, the manufacturer indicates what pet size it accommodates
  • Material and Design-The type of material and design solely depends on what you plan to use the carrier. For instance, a soft-sided carrier makes an excellent choice for in-cabin travel. It can be squeezed to fit in tight spaces. A more fashionable one is accepted, and you would want a carrier that compliments your style and outfit.
  • Safety- To ensure that your pet is safe in the box, you need a carrier strong enough to withstand the pressure above altitude. A built-in leash is also a proper consideration to prevent your pet from escaping.

Additional Air And Flight Requirements To Consider

  • Carriers need to be in good condition to avoid rejection.
  • Most airlines require that a carrier should comfortably accommodate pets both in lying down and standing positions
  • Each flight has a set number of carry-on pets. For instance, business and first class have a fixed number of 1-2. Cabin seating accommodates 4-5 pets. That said, you need to book your flight earlier.
  • Snub-nosed dogs aren’t allowed on most airlines
  • Always choose a sitting position with available under-seat space.
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that rabies immunization is mandatory for pets flying to the US. Vaccination needs to be done 30 days before arrival. Some airlines prohibit multiple pets of same size and species in one carrier, while others do allow.

Remember to double check with the airline before traveling since airline regulations tend to change often.

Air Travel With Pet- How To Prepare Before The Flight

Good preparation is the key to stress-free travel with a pet.

  • To reserve a spot/ seat for your pet, call the airline long before your flight.
  • Learn the airline approved pet carrier size.
  • Have all of your pet’s paperwork organized and packed before leaving for the airport.
  • If the concerned airport requires proof of vaccination of your pet, take it with you.
  • If you plan to travel during the summer, check the forecast for the day you intend before your trip. The reason is some airlines impose an official ban on animal travel on hot days.

If you’re planning to transport your pet via the cargo area of your plane, you will need a heavy duty dog crates that provides more protection.

  • If your pet is travelling for the first time or it’s a nervous traveler, don’t feed it too close to takeoff. If your trip will take a long time, it’s better to feed it 2 to 3 hours before the flight. And don’t give it any food until you get to the destination.
  • You must provide your pet enough drinking water during the trip to keep him/her hydrated. Make sure the cups or bowl is suitable for travelling. 
  • Let your pet to play around before you leave for the airport. It’ll help your pet to run off energy that will keep him/ her to stay cool when you get to the airport. It’ll also give them the chance to empty their bladder.

FAQ (Frequent Asked Questions)

Q: What does airline approved mean?

Ans: It means that the carrier is leak-proof, keeps the pet safe, and has

adequate ventilation.

 Q: How do I know if a pet carrier complies with air travel?

Ans: The easy way to find out is to check for “Airline Approved” tag stated next

to the product name.

 Q: Where in the plane will the pet carrier sit?

Ans: The carrier is designed to fit under the seat in front of you.

  Q: How do I fold the carrier after use?

Ans:  Remove the liner, detach the stability board, put back the cover, and fold


  Q: What does recommendable on board mean?

Ans:  It means the carrier is compliant with an airline’s specific requirements

&will be allowed on board.

  Q: Are pet carriers appropriate for old or disabled pets?

Ans: Yes. In fact, carriers help keep such pets safe, active and entertained since

they'll be close to you.

  Q: Any on-board age restrictions for pets?

Ans: Yes, pets younger than eight weeks aren’t allowed


We hope our in-depth review and guide has provided you a concrete idea what your hard-earned money will buy.

All the above reviewed  Airline Approved Pet Carriers are indeed the right choice to carry your pet comfortably and safely.

Our team has tested all the carriers so you can stay assured that you are getting top quality products. Before purchasing, have a look at our guide which will help you make a proper decision.

Give a chance to your furry friend to go along with you on all of your family vacations.

Rest in a comfy place beside your dog until you arrive at your destination.

Happy travelling!


Michael A Sullivan is a dedicated dog lover, a veterinarian and pet advisor. He’s working for more than 10 years with the intentions of helping pet owners to overcome some of their most pressing issues with their pets. He’s also a passionate blogger and expertise in writing about all types of pets. He’s continuously working to develop in understanding dog behavior and skill. Moreover, he helps new Dog owners to choose the best products for their furry friend canine.

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