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Which seat works best with an in-cabin dog? [American 737 -800]

I hardly ever fly on American, so I was pleased to find myself flying from Seattle to Dallas and back recently on a couple of American’s 737 (-800 series) planes. I was in Economy class, but the under-seat spaces in First Class looked the same (keep in mind, though, that I only had brief chances to glance, from walking height, at the First Class spaces).

On both flights, the best choice was the middle seat, which had an under-seat space 20″ wide. The aisle seat space was only 14″ wide, but the window seat space was a respectable 18″ wide. The usable depth of the space (that is, measured from the bar behind the heels of the person in front of you to the plane of the seat pocket in front of you) is 17 inches. The height of the under-seat space varies from 11.75″ to 10. 25″ — the lower height is on the right sides of the spaces, and the obstruction that causes the change in height starts about 6 inches in (that makes a difference to me, since Chloe’s favorite carrier, the large SturdiBag, has a curved top — if an obstruction is deep under the seat, like this one is, it causes us less trouble).

This post is part of an ongoing series recording under-seat measurements of the various planes we fly on. 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).


  • Thank you, Teri! I’ve only flown once with one of our cats — it went well, but I can’t say he’ll be globetrotting anytime soon. I admire you and Curlz and Swirlz, and I’m glad the info helps!

  • Rita

    i am flying with my 17 # rescue mutt, Sara. We will be in first class. I have a large sturdi pet. Which seat do I want, aisle or window please

  • Hi, Rita — If you’re flying on this particular plane, a middle or aisle seat would be best (keep in mind that different airlines have different configurations for the same model planes, so if you’ll be on a Delta 737-800, it may be a whole different deal).

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