Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers On The Market

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It’s always a sad thing when you have to leave your pets behind while traveling. 

Fortunately,  there are many airline carriers these days that accommodate pet parents so that you are able to travel along with your pet.

While there are some strange pets that won’t mind traveling in a box or suitcase, most Airlines do have certain standards when it comes to pet carriers. 

One of those standards includes pets traveling comfortably. Pets need to have enough comfort and room, especially when traveling on long flights.

Various pet carriers out there,  some airline-approved also room enough your pets and some may not be depending on the size of your pet. 

And here are our Top Picks for best airline approved pet carriers.

In a Hurry, Here’s the Overall Test Winner

X-ZONE pet carrier is wide at the bottom and offers expandable side compartments. 

It’s designed to support pets that weigh up to 15 pounds. 

However, before buying it, you should check the length and height of your pet to see how they’ll fair inside this pet carrier.

The expandable sides offer extra room if your pet needs it and also allows them to move around inside freely. 

The X-ZONE travel carrier is airline approved, but you should still check with your airline ahead of time.

It’s easy to set up and folds down flat for storage when not in use. 

There are a total of 4 entrances, and you can even unzip the top and let your pet poke his head out. 

The padded shoulder strap and two carry handles make it easy to move around if you wanted to use the carrier for traveling in the car.

The fleece pad is detachable, and this makes it easy to clean while the side zip pockets can be used as a snack, sweets, and medication storage space. 

The X-ZONE pet travel carrier is ideal for both dogs and cats. 

It’s also affordable, and much cheaper than other travel carriers on the market.

Ultimately, this is a superior travel carrier suitable for cats and dogs and is also airline approved, but just double check that prior to booking your flight.

Our Reviews Of The Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers 

X-ZONE Pet Carrier

Aside from the fact that it has a removable fleece pad for easy cleaning, it can also be secured to your car seat when traveling in the car.

The X-ZONE pet carrier has expandable sides which offer extra room for your pet. It’s designed to support pets that have a maximum weight of up to 15 lbs.

However, it is advisable to measure your pet before buying this carrier.

Likewise, although the carrier is airline approved, you still need to double-check with the airline prior to booking your flight. 

The padded base is removable, and this makes it easy to clean and place back inside the carrier, while the side zip pockets ensure that you can store sweets, snacks, and medication for your furry friend.

The X-ZONE pet carrier is suitable for cats and dogs or any other pets that can fit inside. 

It’s also cheaper than most other travel carriers on the market considering its superior quality. 

This bag also folds down flat and has four access points on this carrier bag that you can unzip and use to check up on your pet. 

The padded shoulder straps also make it easy to carry your pet around while On-The-Go.

Pros

  • Top zipper compartment allows your pet to stick his head out while traveling
  • The fleece pad ensures your pet travels in comfort
  • It can be secured to your car seat
  • It is surrounded by plenty of mesh to ensure proper ventilation

Cons

  • Suitable for small breeds only

Extra Features

Aside from the fact that it has a removable fleece pad for easy cleaning, it can also be secured to your car seat when traveling in the car.

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 11 inch
  • Shipping weight: 3.4 lbs
  • Carrier size: Small and best for small dogs and cats

Bergan Comfort Soft-Sided Pet Carrier

Bergan Comfort Carrier Soft-Sided Pet Carrier Review

Bergan Comfort Soft-Sided Pet Carrier is designed to offer safety and comfort for your pet when traveling. 

So you can also have peace of mind knowing that your pet is comfortable.

This pet carrier will fit underneath most airline seats and offers ventilation while on the go.

There’s a neat little zippered entrance which allows you to reach inside and comfort your pet without putting them in harm’s way. 

It is airline compliant and has a fleece travel bed for our pets comfort. It is also removable so it can be cleaned easily.

This carrier can also be fastened to the car seat via the seat belt, so your pet is secure while you are driving around.

It has multiple pockets which offer extra storage space for your pets treats and accessories. The height compresses to fit under an airline seat.

Pros

  • It comes with an identification tag
  • It is airline compliant
  • It has proper ventilation
  • It also comes with padded shoulder straps for extra comfort

Cons

  • It is only suitable for small pets.

Extra Features

The identification tag is a bonus and ensures you will never lose your pet.

It is constructed from highly durable material that is pet safe and has enough ventilation to keep your pet happy during their trip.

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions: 17 x 8 x 11.5 inch
  • Shipping weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Carrier size: Small

Sturdibag Pet Carrier

STURDI PRODUCTS SturdiBag Pet Carrier Review

When you have a large pet, finding a good quality carrier can tend to be challenging. 

For dogs up to 40 lbs, this is a versatile carrier that is designed for airline travel. 

Irrespective of whether you have a dog or cat or another breed of pet, you always want to ensure that your carrier is secure, comfortable, and durable.

Most of them are designed for miniature dogs. 

The sturdy backpack carrier has many safety features for your peace of mind. It has a handy folding design which makes it suitable for placing under airline seats.

It’s a general carrier, so it’s suitable for any sort of transportation. 

This pet carrier can accommodate pets up to 40 lbs; however, it pays to measure your dog properly before purchasing one. 

There’s also a soft foam insert at the base of it, and as a bonus, it can be removed to make cleaning a breeze.

Ventilation is available on all sides of the carrier to ensure lots of circulation and ultimate pet comfort. 

This pet travel carrier is designed for use on Airlines but is also suitable for use in cars and general transportation.

If you have more than one animal or pet, it’s ideal as you can create an extra compartment for the other pet. 

If your pet has a tendency to chew, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s heavy mesh to help combat this.

There’s also zipper security clips which ensure your pet does not escape. 

You should always check with your airline prior to booking a flight just to ensure that the airline pet carriers are actually allowed. 

Your pet should also be trained a couple of weeks before your flight.

Pros

  • It's a light carrier
  • You can access your pet from all sides of the carrier
  • There's lots of ventilation
  • It can be used across various transportation platforms
  • You can create two compartments for two pets if need be
  • The security zipper clips prevent your pet from escaping

Cons

  • The base could be sturdier
  • The straps could also be stronger

Extra Features

The Sturdibag Pet Carrier has a flexible height design to adjust to your pet’s height.

It also has zipper security clips to make sure your pet does not get out.

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 18 inch
  • Shipping weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Carrier size: for small dogs up to 30 lbs

Mr. Peanut’s Double Expandable Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier

Mr. Peanuts Double Expandable Airline Approved Review

Traveling with your pet can be easy and stylish at the same time with the Mr. Peanut’s Double Expandable Airline Approved Soft Sided Pet Carrier.

The soft-sided travel carrier ensures your furry friend can lay safely underneath the seat in front of you during your journey.

What makes this bag unique is the fact that it is fully expandable on both sides.

This gives your best friend or feline friend his/her own space in which they can relax and enjoy the extra room.

The removable fleece bedding which is padded makes cleaning a breeze.

This bag also has a padded shoulder strap to ensure comfort and convenience when carrying your furry friend around.

The plywood base ensures he is nice and stable inside even when moving around.

The waterproof nylon is durable and easy to clean as well. When it’s not in use, it can be folded away neatly and discreetly.

This carrier is suitable for Pets up to 16 inches long and 10 inches tall. The maximum weight for this pet carrier is 15 lbs.

Pros

  • It is made from military-grade nylon.
  • It's tough enough to protect your furry friend
  • It expands on both sides which is useful for pets that are small to medium
  • It also has self-locking zippers, fleece pads, a leash harness, and a padded shoulder strap
  • The mesh windows provide extra ventilation
  • It does not fit under all airline seats

Cons

  • The base could be sturdier
  • The straps could also be stronger

Extra Features

This premium brand contains self-locking zips for extra security and cannot be pushed open from the inside.

The sides are expandable to create more room for your pet.

The open-air top provides added ventilation for your furry friend.

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping weight: 4.1 lbs
  • Carrier size: Suitable for dogs and cats up to 15 lbs

Teafco Argo Airline Approved Aero-Pet Carrier

Irrespective of whether you like going on getaways a lot or you simply travel for work a lot, it’s nice to know that you’re able to take your pet with you absolutely anywhere you go. 

More and more people can NOW travel with their pets courtesy of pet travel carriers.

The Teafco Argo Airline Approved Aero-Pet Carrier is mostly for very small dogs and puppies. 

The recommended weight limit is up to 15 pounds, and the best way to tell if your furry baby will be comfortable inside is to measure them prior to making a purchase. 

For example, a chihuahua that weighs 15 pounds may be very comfortable inside, and a 10-pound Dachshund probably would not be. 

So the length of the dog, as well as the breed, does make a difference.

The pet carrier contains five external pockets, and this is a huge bonus because many pet carriers contain pockets with Velcro closures, and this isn’t very secure. 

These external pockets allow you to store treats, doggy bags, medicines as well as small toys for your pet to take with.

Its accessible top makes it easy to check in on your pet while on the airplane. 

There’s proper ventilation throughout this carrier, and the mesh also ensures that your pet doesn’t overheat.

If you need to travel by car,  this carrier has a smart strap which enables you to slide a seatbelt through it and around the carrier to keep it safe. 

The padded base is easily removable, so cleaning is a breeze.

Pros

  • It is airline approved
  • There are five external zips which offer plenty of storage space
  • It weighs only 2 lbs
  • Mesh windows are reinforced
  • The mesh windows provide extra ventilation
  • It is accessible from the top and the sides

Cons

  • No over the shoulder strap
  • The bag is narrow
  • Size is small

Extra Features

This carrier is airline approved and also meets the IATA criteria.

It also contains a safety hook for attaching your dogs’ harness to it.

Technical specifications

  • Dimensions: 20 x 10 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping weight: 4.4 lbs
  • Carrier size: Suitable for small dogs, like the Chihuahua breed

Pet Carrier FAQ

Airline Approved Carriers

What Pet Carriers are Airline Approved?

There are quite a few airlines approved pet carriers on the market today. 

Some of the most popular and sought-after ones include the names mentioned above. 

However, when it comes to searching for airline approved pet carriers, there are certain features that you need to look out for. 

These are standard pet carriers which airlines will definitely approve.

Some of the features that you must have include wheels. 

While some airline friendly carriers have wheels which makes mobility easier, others might not have it.  

A standard dog carrier probably won’t have wheels. 

These include handles and shoulder straps but do not have wheels. 

So if you have a weak shoulder,  you may want to opt for one that does contain wheels now and again.

There are some pet carriers that contain zippers and others that contain velcro. 

Some carriers have velcro closings, which is not as secure or sturdy as zippers. 

They can be potentially opened by boisterous pets and zippers although more secure but can tend to be a nuisance as well.

Pet carriers will include proper ventilation. 

You want to make sure that your airline approved pet carrier delivers plenty of circulation and fresh air since your dog needs to breathe and feel comfortable throughout the trip.

Pockets are always handy to have on your pet carrier so you can cart along with treats, toys and other supplies for your furry friend. 

Some pet carriers have more pockets and others.

What Size Pet Carrier will Fit under an Airline Seat?

Aircraft Underseat dog

Although not all airline seats are exactly the same, there are certain dimensions that you should take into consideration when purchasing a pet carrier. 

Ensure that it will fit comfortably under the Airline’s seat and that it will fit at all.

It is theoretically possible to determine the exact dimensions under the airline seat; however, relying on a particular airline’s dimension isn’t recommended. 

Ultimately you will need to choose a career that’s no larger than the smallest pet carrier dimensions. This should be relevant to any airlines that you might fly with.

Soft-sided pet carriers are recommended, as they can be compressed if it needs to. 

Lots of airlines allow slightly larger dimensions for soft-sided pet carriers, and some Airlines actually insist or have a regulation that they will only allow soft-sided carriers. 

So this is a policy regarding carriers for pets traveling in the cabin.

These policies are usually objective regulations for maximum carry weight and dimensions. 

However, in a nutshell, airline policy usually, include the following, adequate size meaning that the animal must be able to turn around completely and lie down inside the carrier.

The bag should be leak-proof meaning that the floor of the carrier must be 100 % leak-proof. 

Chew proof means the animal should not be able to chew through the carrier. 

And lastly, it should be breathable, which means that there should be good ventilation and circulation inside the carrier to ensure that your pet is comfortable throughout the trip.

Does a dog carrier count as a carry on?

Carry on Dog Aircrafts

When it comes to finding out whether a dog carrier counts as a carry-on, there are a few things you must know although different Airlines have different policies regarding pets traveling with their owners and so on, most Airlines share the same policies which is standard across the board.

Firstly, if you are traveling with your furry friend, the rules can tend to get complicated. 

However, policies state that if you are flying with your pet, you should make reservations over the phone and check all pets in at the airport counter. 

One pet is allowed per passenger, and it must be transported in a quality pet carrier that is escape-proof, leak-proof, and has enough room for Fido throughout the entire trip.

And yes, your dog carrier will count as a carry-on item with most airlines around the world. 

It’s also equally important when finding out the maximum size of pet carriers allowed prior to making your booking with them.

Is flying bad for dogs?

Dog in carry-on container

If you are a pet parent who’s never taken a flight with your pet before,  then you’ve most likely got a lot of questions on your mind. 

One of the most common questions asked by pet parents is whether it is bad for dogs to fly?

Some people are misinformed and lack all the facts about taking a flight with their pet. 

However, professional pet shippers, veterinarians, and airlines have done extensive research into the safety of flying your dog. 

There are many restrictions in place for flying dogs, which include seasonal bans, restricted breeds, carrier size requirements, and health certificates.

However, if you have all of these in order, then the short answer is that flying your dog is as safe as flying yourself. 

All pets are required to have a Healthcare certificate which is issued by a veterinarian at least a week before traveling. 

This means that your pet has been assessed for potential illnesses and any possible complications during the flight.

Another major requirement, of course, is that your pet travel in a pet travel carrier. 

The carrier should preferably be soft-sided and be roomy enough for your pet to turn around and lay down inside. It should also be properly ventilated.

If you’re wondering if flying your dog will cause him to bloat, you’re not alone. 

While some dogs are susceptible to bloat, others will not be. 

However, some factors that were found to contribute to bloating in dogs is the ingestion of excessive amounts of food or water prior to the flight.

 There’s no need for your dogs to be sedated during traveling although some pets may find it a bit stressful. 

Sedating dogs brings with it the risk of vascular and breathing problems which you definitely want to avoid. 

So don’t sedate your dog but instead train your dog a couple of weeks before your flight.

Can you take the Dog Out of the Carrier on Plane?

Dog on Airplanes

When it comes to your pets traveling with you on an airline, there are some things you need to know. 

You should carry a leash so that you can walk your pet before check-in and after arrival. 

However, the leash should not be kept inside the carrier with your pet.

Another important point to remember is that you are not allowed to take your pet out of the carrier inside the airport or on the airplane. 

This is in line with airport regulations and also out of courtesy to other passengers. 

Your pet can only be let out once you leave the terminal building. 

It is also advisable to have a name tag on your pet’s carrier.

Conclusion

Traveling with your pet can be a stressful experience; however, it can also be a delightful one. 

As long as you get all the necessary arrangements and get all of your paperwork sorted out, you should have no problems.

One of the things that you will definitely need to find out beforehand is whether or not your pet carrier is airline approved. 

Some airlines want you to use FAA approved pet carriers. 

Airlines also prefer soft-sided pet carriers. 

So just make sure the pet carrier is the right one for the airline you are traveling with. 

And it should be spacious enough for your pet to turn around inside and lay down comfortably.

And also make sure that your furry friend is comfortable inside, by throwing a blanket or a favorite toy in so that your pet can remain calm throughout the trip. 

Proper ventilation inside the pet carrier is not negotiable for obvious reasons. 

So if you can check all of these boxes, then the flight should be pleasant for both you and your best friend.

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