7 Awesome Airline Approved Pet Carriers  For In Cabin Air Travel

If you’re considering flying with your dog, you will want to know the best options for making yours and your K-9 companion’s journey go as smoothly as possible.  

Many airlines allow small dogs (under 20 pounds) to fly in the cabin with you, but they need to be in a TSA approved carrier that is well ventilated and must fully fit under the seat in front of you.  

To keep the airlines and your dog happy, you should consider investing in an airline pet carrier!

Many kennels and crates are too big to fit in the designated areas under airplane seats, but airline pet carriers are designed to be compatible with airline regulations.  But, just as all dogs are not alike, not all airline pet carriers are alike either.

When choosing a pet carrier, you’ll want to consider its size, weight, comfort, visibility and durability.  Each pet carrier has size specifications depending on the size of the carrier.

Measure your dog according to the carrier’s instructions.  Make sure you consider your pet’s comfort too!

Don’t squeeze him into a pet carrier simply because he fits.  Try to find an option that allows your dog a little room to adjust.

Remember, these carriers are designed for airlines, but each airline has its own regulations.  Always check beforehand to make sure your plans to travel with your dog are compliant with your airline of choice.

To help you make an informed decision on picking the right pet carrier, we’re going to break carriers into two categories: hand-carried and wheeled. 

Hand-carried airline pet carriers

Hand-carried pet carriers are a good option to consider when your other luggage is wheeled.  These carriers usually come with shoulder straps, so you can carry your dog while wheeling around your other luggage.  They’re usually pretty flexible too.

If this sounds like it’s up your alley, then take a look at our three favorite hand-carried pet carriers below:

Mr. Peanut Soft Sided Pet Carrier

What you may like about it:

  • It weighs in just under 3 pounds! 

  • Its sides are made of a durable, breathable mesh that allows your dog ample visibility, and fold out for more comfort.

  • It has storage compartments on the side for your dog’s food or medication.

  • It is comprised of waterproof materials, making it easy to wipe down and clean.

The Mr. Peanut Soft Sided Pet Carrier comes with a padded shoulder strap for your comfort and a removable fleece bed for your dog’s comfort.  When not in use, it folds up flat for convenient storage.

This carrier is stylish and designed for comfort and functionality.  Learn more about this carrier at Amazon

Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier

What you may like about it:

  • It has a wire spring frame to help it fit under a variety of seats.

  • It features roll down flaps on the side, which is great for dogs who like an enclosed and secure feeling space.

  • Its liner is removable and machine washable. 

The Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier is included in Sherpa’s Guaranteed on Board program.

This program was designed to ensure its carriers are in compliance with major airlines. 

Guaranteed on Board outlines steps to take before traveling and will even refund you for your airline ticket if denied a flight due to your pet carrier!

The Sherpa Travel Original Deluxe Airline Approved Pet Carrier’s prices vary depending on size, but it won’t break the bank.

Learn more about this carrier at Amazon

Amazon Basics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier

What you may like about it:

  • It allows a ton of visibility, which is great for dogs who are skittish about enclosed environments.

  • It comes with a machine washable, removable liner.

  • Its base is removable, so it folds up small for storage when not in use.

The AmazonBasics Soft-Sided Pet Travel Carrier ranges in price depending on size, but you won’t pay more than $30 for the largest option.  The smallest option is about $20 and great for some of the smallest breeds like the Shih Tzu!

This carrier doesn’t come with an ID tag or covers for the sides, so if these amenities are important to you, you may want to consider one of the other two carriers.  But, if visibility for your pet and simplicity are what you value, then this carrier is a great option!

Learn more about this carrier at Amazon

Wheeled airline pet carriers

Pet carriers with wheels are not as flexible and collapsable as hand-carried pet carriers, but they make up for it with their functionality.  To state the obvious: wheels!

These carriers are great for getting around the airport more easily without needing to burden your shoulders. Take a look at our four favorite wheeled pet carriers below!

Pettom Rolling Pet Carrier

What you may like about it

  • It has backpack straps, which are helpful if you need to be hands-free or are in an area where wheeling isn’t an option.

  • It has a built-in leash to connect to your dog’s collar so he doesn’t jump out and run off when you unzip the entry.

The Pettom Rolling Pet Carrier comes with storage compartments on the side so you can pack food, medicine, and toys for your dog.  Also, the bottom of this carrier is removable for easy cleanup.

Of our four-wheeled options, the Pettom Rolling Pet Carrier is the most economical at approximately $65 on Amazon

Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier

What you may like about it:

  • It is spacious!

  • It can allow full visibility or full privacy since all four sides are mesh but have roll down flaps.

  • Its pull handle doubles as a shoulder strap when wheeling isn’t an option.

As with the Sherpa Travel Original Pet Carrier, the Sherpa on Wheels Pet Carrier is part of the Guaranteed on Board program.  We also like that its wheels rotate a full 360 degrees, allowing for maximum control.

This carrier offers a lot for its price! Learn more about this carrier at Amazon

Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Carrier

What you may like about it:

  • It has backpack straps for hands-free use.

  • It allows a lot of visibility from its mesh sides.

  • It comes with storage compartments for food and medication.

The Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Carrier comes with a bit of a higher price at over $100, but it is stylish and comfortable!  It is made of a durable material to resist scratching and chewing, and its bottom is removable for cleaning.

Although this carrier will fit under the seat of some airlines, we highly recommend contacting your airline with the dimension to be sure. 

Learn more about this carrier at Amazon

FrontPet Rolling Pet Travel Carrier

  • It has memory foam inserts for the sides, back, and bottom to allow maximum comfort.

  • Its mesh sides allow for plenty of visibility.

  • Its side compartments are large, allowing you to carry an ample amount of supplies for your dog.

  • It has backpack straps so you can easily go hands-free.

The FrontPet Rolling Pet Travel Carrier offers a lot of space for small dogs to get cozy in.  It comes with a mid-range price.

This pet carrier is a well-rounded option that capitalizes on comfort and functionality!

Learn more about this carrier at Amazon

Final thoughts on airline pet carriers

When choosing a pet carrier, consider your dog’s personality.  Some dogs like visibility and others prefer their privacy.  Does your dog like treats or require a lot of medication?  Then you may want to consider pet carriers with larger storage compartments.

It’s hard to go wrong with the pet carriers we’ve outlined here.  They each have their own advantages, so think about which ones are best suited for both you and your dog.

Last, but not least, we wish you happy travels!


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