United Cargo trains its staff to assist with the unique challenges involved in transporting
animals. While in transit, animals ride in specially designed compartments that are pressurized the
same as the passenger cabins. On the ground, both aircraft and warehouse facilities are climate
controlled for the comfort and safety of the animal. And, of course, animals are always given the
highest priority with EXP service.
Please read the information below as well as the requirements for transporting animals to make sure this service is right for you.
For the safety of your animal, United Airlines does not accept the following short-nosed dog breeds
as either checked baggage or cargo between June 1 and September 30. This restriction does not apply to
animals traveling with you in the cabin.
- Boston Terrier
- English/French Bulldog
- King Charles Spaniel
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
Reservations for this service are not available online. If you have any questions regarding the TSA security policy or
United's rules and regulations for transporting animals, please
contact United Cargo for further assistance.
- Airport-to-airport air freight service
- Booked on selected flights
- Interlining available worldwide
- High priority/special handling
- US locations: Generally 3-4 hours prior to scheduled flight departure
- International locations: Local drop times apply
- Generally 2 hours prior to scheduled departure
Recovery time after flight arrival at destination
- US locations: Documents and freight available 3-4 hours after flight arrival
- International locations: Local recovery times apply
- Generally 2 hours after flight arrival
- Warm-Blooded Animals:
- Transported as EXP service
- Cold-Blooded Animals:
- May be transported as EXP or GEN service
See Station Information for specific drop-off and recovery locations and times.
Requirements for Transporting Animals
To ensure that the shipping process goes as smoothly as possible; please adhere to the following
requirements and animal/kennel checklist:
- Air freight shipments must meet specific TSA security requirements before
being transported on passenger or cargo aircraft. Contact United Cargo
for further details regarding the shipment of animals.
- Advance arrangements are required.
- All animal shipments must comply with IATA Live Animal, USDA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulations:
- The container must be suitable for the species being transported and appropriate for air transportation. Cargo will be inspected to ensure that it complies with United Airlines packaging requirements.
- The animal must be able to stand, turn and lie down in a natural manner (this rule will vary by species).
- The container must be leak-proof, and have absorbent bedding suitable for the species provided by the shipper.
- Food and water containers suitable for the species being transported must be provided inside and accessible from outside the container.
- Shipping kennels for cats and dogs are available for purchase at most locations. Contact United Cargo for details.
- Shipper must comply with all local, state, federal and international regulations.
- Shipper must obtain the appropriate documentation required for the species being transported. For warm-blooded animals, United Airlines requires a Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian not more than ten days prior to flight departure for the outbound and return trip, unless otherwise specified.
- Weather conditions may affect the transportation of animals. Shippers will be required to confirm cargo reservations no more than 24 hours prior to flight departure.
- For international transport, customers must contact the appropriate consulate office for the country of origin and destination. Certain countries prohibit the importation of animals as cargo, other countries require permits be obtained in advance of any shipment.
- United does not participate in the DEFRA Pet Scheme program. Customers who are planning to ship their animals into the United Kingdom under the United Kingdom Pet Travel Scheme will not be able to ship their animals on United Airlines.