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Which seat works best with an in-cabin dog? [JetBlue E-190]

I started this series in December 2009, when I wrote a post about the space available under seats in Southwest’s 737 (-700 series) planes. Southwest had published its under-seat dimensions, but I felt that more info would be helpful. Here’s the second in the series, for JetBlue’s Embraer 190 planes.

Keep in mind that most domestic and international airlines have rules about the maximum size of in-cabin pet carriers they allow on board (see Dog Jaunt’s handy charts under the “Taking your pet on a plane” tab above).

JetBlue Embraer 190

An Embraer 190 holds about 100 passengers, so it’s a smallish plane. Knowing that, I was worried about using Chloe’s large SturdiProducts carrier, and chose instead to use a new carrier that I’ll be reviewing soon. The new carrier was great, but I shouldn’t have worried. It turns out that the SturdiProducts bag would have worked fine.

There are two seats on each side of the aisle. There is a bulkhead in front of the first row, so you can’t sit there with a dog, nor can you sit in the exit row. The rest of the rows are the same, and they all have a shared underseat space measuring 9″ tall by 37″ wide by about 16″ deep (that is, front to back). The 9″ height is quite fixed in the middle portion of the underseat space, since it’s defined by a metal bracket; for about a foot on each side of the bracket, however, you can squeak in another inch or so.

The SturdiProducts bag has a very flexible top, so it could have bent to fit under the bracket. It will just fit, lengthwise, in your half of the available 37″ width. The bag I was using doesn’t flex as much, height-wise, and it’s 10.5″ tall, so I chose to put it under the seat front-to-back, just to the side of the metal bracket, and that was acceptable.


  • darby

    Great blog! Very helpful! I bought the large SturdiProducts bag for my 15lb poodle mix and have tickets for JetBlue, with the first flight being on an A320 and then changing planes to the E-190. Having bought the ticket on I cannot choose my seat however one can choose a preference, so I chose the aisle after reading your recommendation for the A320. Do you think the aisle seat in the E-190 will be OK? or would the window be less of a hassle, as far as getting out for people to use the bathroom, what would you do? I know this might be kind of redundant sorry for that. Thanks! darby

  • No worries, Darby! I’m happy to weigh in with my thoughts. Either seat on an E-190 will work with your large SturdiBag, as you know — I might choose the window seat, because I likely wouldn’t have to get out on such a short flight, and I wouldn’t have to move my pup back to her completely-under-the-seat location every time my seat mate wanted to get out. I also like snoozing against the plane walls.

  • darby

    Thanks Mary-Alice! The SturdiBag is AWESOME!!! There were no problems getting the bag under the seat on JetBlue’s E-190. I don’t even think the flight attendants notice Guy on a couple of the flights, even with his head popped out of the top and being on the aisle. Now we just have to make it to Japan in May. Thanks again-darby

  • Woo-hoo!! Fantastic, Darby!! I’m so pleased — and I’m looking forward so much to hearing about the Japan trip. Would you let me/us know what prep work you have to do to bring an in-cabin dog into Japan? And what airline you fly on? And how it goes?

  • Sarah

    I am going to be booking a flight to travel with my cockapoo. We have a Sherpa medium carrier with the dimensions of 17 x 11 x10.5. Do you think that will work with the smaller Jet Blue plane?

  • I do indeed, Sarah. In fact, I can’t imagine any airline looking twice at a medium Sherpa bag. How lucky you are that your dog fits in it!! Have a great trip, and let us know how it goes!

  • Dianne

    I’m so glad I discovered your blog website! I followed your advice and bought an XL Sturdiproducts carrier for Moxie, our 21 lb Boston/Frenchie mix. The bag hasn’t arrived yet, and I’m worried that the XL won’t fit under the seat on the aircraft Jetblue E-190. Should I order the Large Sturdiproducts instead for our 3 hrs max. each way in a couple of weeks. I know she’ll fit in the roomy XL Sturdiproduct, but I worry that the Large will be too tight and uncomfortable for any length of time. Thanks a bunch!!!

  • Hi, Dianne! I’m a huge fan of the large SturdiBag — I don’t have the nerves for the XL, and indeed, Chloe fits fine in the L. I’m thinking that a Boston/Frenchie mix should too: Those 21 lbs., I’m guessing, are muscle. Chloe’s about 12″ at the shoulder, and about 16″ long from back of neck to base of tail. Surely your pup is in that size range? If so, I’d go with the large, and give your nerves a break.

  • Dianne

    Thanks! You were right. The Large Sturdi Pet Carrier worked great on our JetBlue flight. Moxie could turn around and she fit under our 2 seats. We didn’t try putting her under one seat but it looked like that would’ve been fine. She loved popping her head out of the round zipper hole provided on top, and I liked knowing she was leashed to the bag and couldn’t escape. She was a real trooper throughout out trip in FL, and she even seemed to enjoy watching 4th of July fireworks in New Smyrna Beach.

  • Emily

    I’m considering purchasing the Large Sturdibag after reading these comments. I’ve never flown with a dog and am very nervous to do so, but I want to take my 13-14 lb Shih-Tzu with me to a family funeral in FL. The Jet Blue customer service rep was a bit inflexible on the phone saying that they will measure the carrier from end to end, not necessarily taking into consideration the flexibility of the carrier height. I’m terrified I’ll get to the airport, or onto the plane and they’ll turn me and Patch away. I will be flying on E-190 planes for both legs of the trip. And have reserved window seats, but I still feel I need more assurance. This will be a nervous pet / nervous owner combo, but we both have anxiety drops / meds to use. 😛

  • Take heart, Emily, from all the blog posts about folks who have successfully flown with their pups, including many larger than your very reasonably-sized Shih Tzu. You can totally do this. As I always say, once you get to the airport, do not volunteer your concerns to any airline rep. Project an air of calm confidence, as if you and Patch have done this several times before. Coo at your pup, tell anyone who’ll listen what a great little traveler s/he is, and roll onwards with no concerns in the world — and indeed, you need have none, given the collective experience gathered on Dog Jaunt. As a side benefit, the very act of projecting confidence and cooing at Patch will, in my experience, also calm you and your dog. We’re all sending you support!!

  • Emily

    I just want to confirm… I received the Large Sturdibag in the mail today and it measures 18 (L) x 12 (H) x 12 (D). Is that the one that people have used successfully? It looks a bit big, but maybe with squishing I can make it work? Also, do you keep the foam bottom on the bag? I imagine I could squish it more without it if I had to. Thanks.

  • That’s the one, Emily! Please note how its top and sides squish downwards (and outwards) on demand. We love it, and use it nearly every time we travel. Yes, there’s a stiff but light board in the very bottom, that gives it its floor, and it comes with a thin foam mattress — the floor is essential, but you could swap the mattress for something else if you like. I’ve kept the SturdiBag one since it’s so thin, and Chloe seems to like it.

  • Joel

    Hi, I have flown with my Havanese (16 pounds) about 75K miles total on many cross country flights, without a problem. We use a large Sherpa Bag. We try to fly on 737’s, window seat, sometimes spring for First Class, and Airbus 319/320 range of aircraft. We have never been on a Regional Jet with Harry and it looks like we may be taking an ERJ 190, on a flight operated for American Airlines. I assume the ERJ’s are configured the same for most airlines in regards to under seat room. The Sherpa Bag has semi-flexible sides and top and we have never had a problem on any flight. Sometimes the person next to me will ask at the end of a Transcontinental flight, has he (Harry) been under the seat the whole time? I have been tempted to say, so we stopped in Denver to pick him up when you were asleep, but have figured they might not get the joke. Thanks for this info on the ERJ 190.

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