Can I Bring My Dog or Service Animal on My American Airlines Flight?

If you have a service dog or other emotional support animals, you can take them with you on your American Airlines flight. The airline will only recognize properly trained dogs as service animals, and other animals must travel as pets. Approved animals can travel with you and receive a Service Animal ID number, good for up to one year.

Jeff Whelpley is the editor / author responsible for this content.
Dec 9, 2022

Service animals are an important part of the lives of many Americans; thus, they can be needed anywhere. This is the case when someone with a service animal needs to fly. American Airlines is one major airline that allows for the accompaniment of service animals. You just need to fill out the proper paperwork.

What You Need to Know Before You Fly

American Airlines has distinct policies for service animals and pets. The airline defines service animals as dogs fully trained to assist an individual with a qualifying disability. Blindness, deafness, mobility impairments and seizures are some of the qualifying disabilities service dogs can handle.

A service animal in training is not considered fully qualified and must travel as a pet. Emotional support animals and other comfort animals also travel as pets. If you have any questions, please reach out to one of American Airlines' customer service agents here or view the company's policies on its website.

Some Important Forms for Service Dogs

American Airlines requires its passengers to submit a form, called the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form. This document provides the service dog's training, health and behavior to the Special Assistance Desk and must be submitted at least 48 hours before the flight. Please note you will need to complete all the necessary forms if your flight also includes one of American Airlines' partner airlines.

If you booked a ticket within 48 hours of your flight, you may complete the form at the airport.

Flights over eight hours long require the submission of a second document, the Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Sanitation Form, which states that your service dog won't need to relieve itself on the flight, avoiding sanitation or health issues.

After the Documents Are Sent

American Airlines will email you once the appropriate forms have been approved. You'll also receive an email containing your Service Animal ID, or SVAN ID. You can use this number for any travel with the airline without needing to resubmit forms. Please keep in mind that this SVAN ID will expire a year from the date of your signature or when your service dog's vaccination expires, whichever comes first. Please bring a copy of the completed documents with you on your flight.

There is also a step for final approval, which happens when you bring your service dog to the airport for American Airlines staff to view.

Some Final Travel Requirements

When you travel with your service dog, it needs to be clean, well-behaved, and leashed at all times. American Airlines also stipulates that the animal can't be younger than four months old to travel as a service dog and must fit at your feet in order to fly at no charge. Animals that are too large may require rebooking on a larger flight or you'll need to purchase a ticket for your service dog.

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Jeff truly believes that all customers deserve good service. He’s been building tools, inventing phone tree hacks and helping customers since before his days at GetHuman. He's also a Google GDE and involved in the Angular community.
Can I Bring My Dog or Service Animal on My American Airlines Flight?

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