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Cat Travel Delta Airlines

Updated on April 9, 2008

Cat Travel – Delta Airlines


Delta Airlines provides the same three types of pet travel as other major carriers in the United States. Your options include bringing your pet into the passenger cabin with you, checking your pet as luggage, or shipping your pet as cargo. There are also six commuter carriers that fly under the Delta banner. Each one defaults their pet policy to that of Delta Airlines’ with the only difference being the commuters do not allow extra large or giant kennels because of space limitation. Otherwise, Delta’s pet policy applies to: Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Shuttle America, Chautauqua Airlines, Comair, SkyWest, and Freedom Airlines. ExpressJet is a Delta commuter but will not take a pet as checked baggage or cargo; only traveling in the cabin with the owner.


- Your cat can travel in the cabin of the aircraft with you for a one-way fee of $100.00. Travel includes anywhere within the United States (except Hawaii), Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean. The fee is collected when you check in for your flight at the airport.

- There is a limit as to how many pets will be allowed in the cabin on any one flight. You must contact Delta in advance to make arrangements to bring your pet onboard. The number to call is: 800-221-1212

- Your cat must fit comfortably inside a pet kennel, and the kennel must fit under the seat in front of you. Your cat must remain in the kennel at all times while in the airport, during enplaning and deplaning, and while on board the aircraft.

- Delta only allows you one pet and the pet must be at least 8 weeks old.

- The maximum size of the carry on kennel cannot exceed 45 inches when you add the length plus the width plus the height. The kennel must be able to fit inside the sizing receptacle found at the ticket counter which is approximately 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches (or 45 inches overall).

- A passenger is allowed two carry-on pieces and the kennel counts as one of those pieces.

- Be sure to make advance arrangements by calling the number above as soon as you decide that your cat will be accompanying you. Cabin space is reserved on a first-come basis.

Checked Luggage

- Advance arrangements are necessary if you plan to take your cat and transport as checked luggage. This type of transportation assures your cat will be on the same flights as you, but will be traveling in the baggage compartment rather than the passenger compartment.

- Two kennels per passenger are allowed as long as they are not considered extra large or giant in size. Extra large and giant kennels can only be transported as cargo and not baggage.

- The one-way cost to check your pet as baggage is $200.00 per kennel. This fee only applies to Delta Airlines. If your travel plans call for the transfer to another carrier at a connecting city you must allow enough time to claim the kennel in the baggage claim area for the arriving Delta flight and then recheck the kennel on the carrier you are flying from the connecting city. At minimum allow two hours connecting time.

- Delta restricts pets’ traveling as checked baggage from May 15 through September 15. During this time your pet can be shipped as cargo or carried in the passenger compartment with you.

- Cats are not allowed to travel as checked baggage or as cargo during periods of high or low temperatures. If the temperature is, or forecasted to be, below 45 degrees Fahrenheit at the point of origin, destination, or any connecting city, the cat will not be accepted without an acclimation certificate signed by a veterinarian. Cats will not be accepted for travel if the temperature is or forecasted to be below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is or forecasted to be 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher at point of origin, destination, or any connecting city your cat will not be accepted for travel. Certain breeds, Burmese, Exotic, Himalayan and Persian will not be accepted if the temperature is or forecasted to be 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Cargo or Air Freight

- If you plan to ship your cat as cargo you must make advance arrangements. You can do that by calling Deltas’ Pet First at 888-736-3738.

- These pre-booking arrangements can be made from seven days in advance of travel date to the day before travel.

- Charges are based on the total weight of the cat and the kennel and can be figured on either the actual weight or dimensional weight, whichever is higher. One-way rates will range approximately from $178.00 to a high of $250.00.

General Conditions:

- Delta reserves the right to accept or deny you pet for travel regardless of how you are transporting. Any animal showing signs of poor health or very aggressive behavior will be denied transport.

- Aircraft size, airport facilities and weather conditions can play a role in accepting or denying transport for your pet. Be sure to check with the airline soon after you decide your cat will be accompanying you to make arrangements and check for any restrictions.

- A health certificate is not required by the airline if your pet is traveling in the cabin with you, or as checked luggage. One is required is you are shipping your cat as cargo. Some states may also require you to have a health certificate. The best source to find out if a health certificate is required by the State to which you and your cat are traveling is your veterinarian or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

- If a health certificate is required it must be issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel date.

Other Helpful Links:

USDA Pet Travel

Hawaii Travel

State Requirements

Delta Airlines

The information contained herein is subject to change by the carrier or government with or without notice. The airline makes the final determination as to whether or not it will accept the animal for transportation. You must contact the carrier for the latest information and requirements prior to travel date. It is suggested you make arrangements at least four weeks in advance.

Tom Kartes


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