These Are the Must-Have Pet Carriers for Jet-Setting With Your Fur Baby—and They’re Airline-Approved

Even if you’re flying coach, your cat or dog will feel like they’re traveling in first class with one of these comfy carriers that make flying a breeze.

By Camila Quimper Feb 14, 2024 8:17 PMTags
Shop Best Airline-Approved Pet CarriersPhoto Courtesy of Wild One

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If you're anything like me, your fur baby is probably your entire life/personality. And nothing makes me happier than traveling the country with them by my side so they can enjoy the world as much as I do. The only thing is, traveling for them may not be as easy or comfortable as it is for us (or honestly, just as uncomfortable). It can sometimes be anxiety-inducing, especially if you're going on quite a trek and your fur baby is still new to traveling. But one necessity that helps cut down on the pre-flight anxiety for both you and your pet is having the right airline-approved carrier that's spacious enough for your little one and keeps them safely tucked inside.

Thankfully, many small cats and dogs are welcome to accompany you in the main cabin on domestic flights, as long as you notify the airline in advance and possess an appropriately sized cat or dog carrier backpack that can easily fit beneath the seat in front of you. While size restrictions for pet carriers may vary slightly across airlines—for example, American Airlines and United recommend dimensions of 18" x 11" x 11", while Southwest enforces a maximum of 18.5" x 13.5" x 9.5", and Jet Blue suggests 17" x 12.5" x 8.5"—most carriers within the recommended size range should fit snugly beneath the seat. It's also recommended that your carrier be soft-sided and contain plenty of ventilation sides, so your pet has enough space to stand up and move around, and comfortably sleep the entire flight.

If you're not sure where to even start looking, you can stop spiraling bestie because we have you covered with a roundup of all the best airline-approved pet carriers. Whether you're flying coach or not, make sure your fur baby stays feeling like they're flying first class in one of these chic and comfy carriers below.

Sherpa Original Deluxe Travel Pet Carrier

If there's any carrier that's simple, affordable, and does its job incredibly well, it's this Sherpa deluxe pet carrier from Amazon. The carrier boasts mesh panels ensuring ample airflow, while its removable cozy base liner offers a plush resting spot for your pet during travel. We also love that its flexible spring wire frame allows for easy adjustment to fit snugly under the seat.

Diggs Passenger Travel Carrier

This E! approved passenger travel carrier from Diggs not only comes in a beautiful peachy blush color, it's also a five-star crash-rated carrier for any pet weighing up to 18 pounds. Its quality is phenomenal and was even used by my very own little furball on over three flights so far. Its size fits under most airline seats and provides a generous amount of storage for extra treats and portable dog bowls. And the features I love the most? It can be securely strapped to your car seat for premium pet safety, comes with an included pee pad for accidents, and features an escape-proof one-hand locking system. What more can you want?

Petsfit Expandable Carrier

For avid travelers who find themselves spending significant time in airport terminals, investing in an expandable pet carrier is essential. The Petsfit carrier features a convenient expandable mesh side, providing your furry companion with extra room to stretch out before, after, or during layovers. All you have to do is zip the expandable side closed when it's time to board, and rest assured that the carrier will easily fit beneath the seat in front of you.

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PetAmi Backpack Carrier

Even with a small furball, a few hours navigating the airport terminal can make them feel as heavy as a Great Dane resting on your shoulders. That's why a backpack carrier is a game-changer, reducing strain on your back while fitting comfortably under the seat in front of you. With three side pockets for essentials and fully unzippable sides, getting your pet in and out is a breeze.

Wild One Travel Carrier

Wild One has redefined pet carriers with a design that's both stylish and functional. With features like adjustable mesh panels for privacy, a convertible top for use as a travel mat, and a built-in collar clip for added security, it's the ultimate blend of comfort and convenience for your furry companion.

Away The Pet Carrier

With its sleek duffle bag appearance, the Away pet carrier stands out as a stylish travel accessory. Crafted from durable water-resistant nylon and featuring three mesh panels with a privacy cover, it offers both sturdiness and comfort for your pet, complete with a plush sherpa bed for optimal relaxation.

Max Bone Go Everywhere Backpack

Not only is it cute enough to wear as an everyday backpack for yourself, this pet carrier backpack also offers all the essential features you need for hassle-free travel. From ventilation mesh and a safety hook to multiple pockets for travel essentials and a removable, washable lining, it's the perfect blend of style and functionality.

Vceoa Pet Carrier Soft-Sided Carrier

This soft-sided cat carrier stands out as a bestseller on Amazon, offering a sleek design at an affordable price. Featuring three mesh sides for ventilation, top and side entry, a convenient zip pocket, and a removable fleece cover, it combines practicality with comfort for your pet's journey.

Now that you have your carrier covered, check out these 15 products that help manage your dog or cat's anxiety while traveling.