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Reader’s report: Flying with an in-cabin pet on an American Airlines CRJ-700 and MD-80

Reader Eva took a couple of flights with her cat Bogart last month, and kindly send me a report about the under-seat spaces she encountered. They flew on American, and their planes were a CRJ-700 and an MD-80. Bogart’s carrier is an older hard-sided Petmate Kennel Cab measuring 19″ x 11″ x (just over) 10″ (Eva noted that the current version has slightly different measurements: 19″ x 12.6″ x 10″).

Here’s what she told me:

“The maximum size a carrier can be on an American Airlines flight [per the AA website] is 19″ long x 13″ wide x 9″ high. My carrier is 10.25″ high. I had no trouble fitting the carrier on the CR7 plane in an economy aisle seat. I would estimate the under-seat space to be around 11” high. However, upon return on a S80 plane, the carrier did not fit all the way under the seat. A large bar (larger than that described in Dog Jaunt’s American 737-800 description, and characteristic of all seats regardless of aisle, middle or window) deterred the carrier from fitting.

Unfortunately, I did not have measuring tape with me to give you more accurate feedback. But a 19″ long x 13″ wide x 9″ high carrier will fit on a CR7 but not on a S80.”

I asked how the flight went for them, overall, and Eva said that “The trip went okay — the flight attendants either didn’t notice the kennel sticking out or didn’t care to delay the flight,” but Bogart, comfortable with car travel, was a bit overwhelmed by the airplane experience.

Thanks so much, Eva, for your report — I seldom fly on American, so I really appreciate your picking up my slack! All good wishes to you and Bogart, and fingers crossed that the next trip is a bit easier on her. I’ve added this post to Dog Jaunt’s ongoing series recording under-seat plane measurements. 

2 comments

  • Tricia Moore

    I just took my 10-pound Bishon Frise on American flights from West Palm Beach to Dallas and then Dallas to Oklahoma City. I bought a medium-sized Sherpa container that is 10-1/2 inches tall. Phoebe can’t quite stand up inside the container but there is plenty of room for her to turn around and move in there. I was a little concerned the container wouldn’t fit under the seat but there was no problem at all, not even on the smaller plane from Dallas to Oklahoma City. The American employee who checked me in in West Palm Beach didn’t ask any questions, just glanced at the container and took my $125.00. When boarding the second flight in Dallas, the gate agent made me wait for a second while they checked to make sure I had reserved a space for the dog in advance (which I had). Phoebe is a good traveler and the flights weren’t too long, so everything went very smoothly.

  • That is the best news, Tricia — I love it when travel goes smoothly! I hope you and Phoebe have made many trips since, and continue to adventure together.

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