Approved or Banned Pet Carriers and Kennels Reviews Reports

WHAT is a Airline Approved Pet Carrier or Kennel? Read our Unbiased Reports and Reviews on some of the Top Selling “Airline Approved” Pet Carriers & Kennels

I have decide to start this page to try and guide pet owners who are shopping for an “Airline Approved” Pet Carrier or Kennel.  At we do NOT sell or benefit from the sell of any brand or style of  Plastic pet carriers / kennels, so you can be assured all the following information is completely honest & unbiased.

Lately, I have had countless calls from dog & cat owners with questions such as “What size DryFur Pads do I need for our newly purchased “Airline Kennels”. Which leads me to ask “What exact Brand & size of Kennel did you purchase?” I am amazed at some of the answers I receive. At least half of them have purchased kennel brands and styles that I know for certain are not “Airline Approved” or even accepted by any airline for use in cargo or as checked baggage. Upon further investigating I can see why these pet owners are so confused. Many of these products are currently listed and promoted by MAJOR Pet SUPPLY Companies as “Airline Approved”.

I am not exactly sure how or why this is the case, my guess is that many many years ago these carriers and kennels were considered “Airline Approved” but as safety issues have progressed & changed in the airline industry so has the rules and requirements for Pets who travel on airlines. And many of these Pet Stores & Catalogs have just not kept up with the new rules and further have not bothered to changed the descriptions of their products, in their retail stores, catalogs or online.


Vari Kennel & Sky Kennel APPROVED

THE NO. 1 Safest and always guaranteed to be “AIRLINE APPROVED” Pet Carrier / Kennel for airline travel in the cargo area of the plane or as Checked Baggage is Sky Kennel or Vari Kennel (they may still need slight modifications if they lack ventilation on back wall or Cable Tie holes around the door) For a more detailed look at Airline Kennels features and history visit our Blog.

ATTENTION: 1/1/12 British Airways has just announced they will no longer accept a size 100 for any pets. They are now requiring all pets to travel in a 200 – 26″ x 18″ x 19″ or larger even for a small pet.


Carry-on Airline Pet Carriers
Sherpa, Sleepy-Pod Air, Sturdi-Bag APPROVED

THE NO. 1 Safest and always guaranteed to be “AIRLINE APPROVED” Pet Carrier for airline travel in the passenger area of the plane as carry-on is Sherpa, SleepyPod AIR & Sturdi Bag. Trying to decide what carrier will fit your needs? Visit our Pet Carrier Safety Features Post.

For Those Looking for a New Airline Approved Kennel, I have recently found a great resource at a Small Online Store, all their Airline Kennels and Airline Carriers are guaranteed to be 100% Airline Approved by ALL Airlines and have all the features required for Domestic and International Flights plus they are now offered with our Deluxe Airline Safety Kits. Contact Sue at Katsnus tell her Lisa from DryFur sent you.


The pet carriers & kennels listed below are not approved or accepted by most airlines yet are promoted as “Airline Approved” or “meets the requirement for Airline Travel” by many reputable Pet Supply Companies Including Drs. Foster & Smith, Petco , PetSmart & MANY OTHERs even by the manufacturer Petmate-Doskocil so please be aware and check with your airline before purchasing a New Airline Travel kennel for your pet and check with your airlines kennel rules.

Now there is other pet carriers & kennels that will be accepted by airlines for travel in the cargo area of the plane as long as they DO NOT have any of the following features:

Double Doors Top Loading

Double Door Top Loading Pet Carrier
NOT Approved

Meaning one wire door in the front of the carrier and one wire or plastic door on the top of the carrier. American Airlines and Delta Airlines site clearly states no top opening kennels allowed, other airlines read must have kennel must have solid roof.

Dial Latch Attachments

Dial Latch Pet Carrier
NOT Approved

Meaning no nuts and bolts to keep the top and bottom of the carrier together, instead they have round plastic dials that often fail. Some airlines do still accept this type of carrier but many do not. For example United Airlines clearly lists with a photo on their pet travel kennel requirements page this type of kennels will no longer be accepted.

Snap Latch Attachments

Plastic Snap Latch Pet Carrier
NOT Approved

Meaning no nuts and bolts to keep the top and bottom of the carrier together, instead they have plastic latches that snap together and often fail to stay snapped closed. This pet carrier kennel is also listed on United Airlines pet page as will no longer be accepted. Please See our page on Kennel Modification for tips on how to secure this type of kennel for airline travel.

Plastic Pegs

Plastic Peg Pet Carrier
NOT Approved

Meaning no nuts and bolts just small plastic pegs that are inserted into the holes and then turned to the right or left to keep the peg in place. Some airlines still accept these types of pet carrier kennels, many do not their rules will read “all plastic attachments are not acceptable”

Although these type of kennels can be refused they are easily modified by removing the plastic pegs and adding Metal bolts & wing nuts. As long as the door is metal grate and not plastic. *Not approved, Unless you replace plastic pegs with our Universal Hardware Kit

ATTENTION: United Air, Delta, Alaska Air & Horizon ALL require kennels to be secure with metal bolts, kennels with plastic attachments are no longer accepted by these airlines. Modify your kennel before flying with our exclusive ONE SIZE FITS all kennel hardware kits.

Plastic Doors

Plastic Door Pet Carrier
NOT Approved

Meaning doors completely made with plastic. Doors must be a metal grate. Plastic lock housing & grips are acceptable. NorthWest Airlines List plastic doors and wire top opening kennels as not acceptable. As well as any kennel missing even a single attachment.


Collapsible or Fold-able

Colapsable Foldable Pet Carrier
NOT Approved

 Meaning crate is able to fold down after use. This PLASTIC type of carrier was banned from airlines many years ago and is still advertised as “Airline Approved”. Alaska Airlines first rules reads the Kennel must be NON COLLAPSIBLE.

Plastic Wing Barrel Door Latches

Plastic Wing Barrel Door Closure
NOT Approved

Meaning door comes out completely when all 4 latches are turned to the open position. Plastic latches can accidentally get turned in open position releasing the door and the pet. Door is also unable to accept Releasable cable ties. Also has plastic pegs which are also not Airline approved.

Wire Metal Crate

Metal Wire Crate Pet Carrier
NOT Approved

Meaning made entirely of metal grate. Lower walls and floor of kennel must be solid and leak proof.



The above kennels and carriers are the most common carriers out there with the misconception of being “Airline Approved” if you as a pet owner have any other stories of being rejected at the pet check in counter with your “Airline Approved” kennel please email me I will gladly add them to the list. I hope this helps to be sure your pet is not left behind. Any questions or comments please feel free to call, email or post below. For more information visit

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90 Responsesso far.

  1. I am so pleased with the products I received…and they got here so fast! It took about two days to receive the products and I ordered on a Friday!!!! Lisa is awesome. Thank you for caring about the pets and making suggestions that you know will make their travel experiences comfortable and successful. I will recommend you to other military families traveling with pets because your suggestions and products helped us tremendously!!!
    God Bless,
    Mike and Angie
    US Army Korea

    • Hello,

      I am a new Army wife and will be traveling in the next month to Korea to join my husband with our small dog. Any advice you could give about what is required would be greatly appreciated!!!



  2. So glad I found this info before I shopped! I almost fell into the “trap” of buying a kennel that is listed as approved but obviously by your info and the info found on United Air site, it was a fake. Thanks saved me a few bucks and headache.

  3. Hi,

    We just bought the Petmate Pet Taxi Fashion for our four month old kitten’s upcoming air trip with us (must go in cargo hold on Emirates Airways).
    I bought it off of an “airline approved” list at Amazon.

    What do you know of it and its airline approvability?

    We are stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and are transferring to the U.S. Embassy in Muscat, and getting things sent to us requires an extra two weeks!

    Thanks for all your advice!


      If it is the above one, it is questionable? The snap latches are not approved by United Airlines and a few other major airlines. Not 100% sure about the Airline you are using.

      If you go to this page for United Air,6722,1049,00.html they show this exact snap latch with a picture and it is clearly marked not accepted.

      If your airline does accept please use cable ties to secure and ensure the snap latches stay snapped closed during the flight, I have seen too many of them pop up/open when the carrier is being set down next to things, it catches on the latch and snaps up which leaves the latch opened. Then when the carrier is picked up with the weight of the cat the carrier falls apart, follow this diagram

      The 4th picture on this page were it says reinforce with Cable ties. This should help good luck and have a safe trip.

      IMPORTANT if your airline does not accept this type of kennel you may want to visit our Custom and Modified Kennel page and get some tips on how to add Metal Hardware to this type of kennel.

      • this is really great guys. i just purchased the pet taxi myself bcause of the airline approved label on the tag. ill try the modification and hopefully delta will give it a go (fingers crossed). ill update this post once I am able to fly withmy cats using the pet taxi

  4. I am so glad to find this site. I am selling dog kennels, and have some that are supposed to be air approved. I will review the ones I have and up grade. Nothing gets a vacation or trip off to a ruff start as not having ,your pet properly prepared.

    • Thanks Steven for the report. It is getting tough keeping up with all the airlines separate rules and requirements. I will add an area soon to the above that addresses this issue. Also if anyone else is traveling via American Airlines be sure and visit this page on how to modify your kennel it gives instructions on how to add you own holes around the door to accommodate the cable ties. Also be sure and check out our pet airline travel store where we sell special hand releasable cable ties alone or in our Deluxe airline kits.

  5. Went this morning to send some cats to a friend via Delta. I had new Petmate carriers reinforced with ties since I do not entirely trust the snap/clips. I was told that since last week the rules for ALL AIRLINES have changed and only those carriers with screw type fasteners will be accepted for shipping by air. It cost me about $54 for each carriers from the airline. I will be checking with other airlines to confirm this information but for those breeders shipping in the near future I suggest you check with the cargo desk (not reservations – they do not seem to be fully informed) before you go to the airport.

  6. Other than the Petmate Vari Kennel and Sky Kennel, is the Pet Cargo Cabrio IATA approved? If so what would you recommend for my cats to travel in from Malaysia to Australia ( a nearly 8 hour flight)? They will not be allowed in the cabin and so will have to travel in the temperature controlled baggage compartment.

    I’d be most grateful for your advice.

    Many thanks,

    • It maybe acceptable in your part of the Country but it is absolutely not IATA or airline accepted for pets traveling aboard in the cargo area here in the USA.
      For 3 reasons:
      1. The door is plastic.
      2. The Carrier has a second top door
      3. The Carrier is held together with plastic latches or hinges

      It is a beautiful carrier and has tons of very cool features the designers spent a fortune on research and development but forgot to check the airlines own websites for cargo kennel rules. I see on this page They have disclaimer saying always check with your airline for carrier kennel rules…..

      • Thanks very much for your advice. So sorry for my late reply. Thank you so very much, it has been difficult to get any opinion at all from anyone on the subject. Even the veterinarian and airline don’t seem to know much.

        Just one more question if you don’t mind me asking. Of the Vari Kennel and Sky Kennel which one is more dependable? I’ve read some user reviews mentioning the Vari Kennel has issues with its locks and so on, but most of the negative reviews referred to dogs breaking free, and the Petmate site specifically mentions that Vari Kennels are for cats whilst Sky Kennels are for dogs. Is this a possible reason for the hitches associated with the Vari Kennels, or are the Sky Kennels more dependable?

        • Most Sky Kennel and Vari Kennel are made from the exact same molds, plastic and from the same company, PetMate or Doskocil In TX. So they are = but the size 100 and 700 are slightly different they are still being made with stronger stiffer plastic. They have not been re-design yet. But the 200-500 Vari Kennel and Sky Kennel are pretty much identical. BUT please always use the hand releasable cable ties in our kit to secure the door before giving the pet to the airline personnel. The 200-500 all have pre-drilled holes around the door for this purpose.

      • Hi, I’m a little confused, I have a Cabrio I bought recently and reviewed the IATA guidelines before buying.
        I couldn’t see any requirements on the latches or hinges, the only requirement for the roof is that it is solid (it is, it just opens) and the guidelines specifically say “Doors made of plastic material are permitted, provided that hinges and locking pins are made of metal of sufficient gauge and thickness” which I believe they are. I found the guidelines here:
        Are there other guidelines IATA don’t put on their site? I’m a little worried it might be refused, but as it seems to meet all the guidelines it should be OK shouldn’t it?


        • The Airlines will most likely refuse that carrier. You will need to go to the airline you are traveling and read what they require for pet travel kennels For instance this is the page American Airlines has on their site Kennel Requirement are middle of the page it specifically says no plastic doors and no top opening doors allowed. It really is different at each airline and can even vary from city to city agent to agent. You just never know and it is always best to be ahead of the game not only so you are allowed to travel but also to be sure your pet stays safe. If you get a chance read our page on pet airline incidents and you can read the old ones at the bottom of the page when they still allowed plastic doors and carrier with top opening doors and you will agree they are not safe to travel in while on airplanes. Thanks for visiting

          • OK, thanks for your reply. So just to note then, your statement above: “it is absolutely not IATA or airline accepted” is not correct, I guess it should really say something like “it meets IATA guidelines but buyers should check with their airline before travelling”. It would be so much easier if all airlines just followed the same rules! I’ll check next time I travel and report back.
            Many thanks for your help, Pete.

    • Yes you would, but I would suggest you go back to PetSmart and exchange it for their (House Brand)
      this is their own brand and it has all the bells and whistles of Sky kennels for 1/2 the price.
      1. metal bolts
      2. cable tie holes around the door on all sizes
      3. ventilation on all 4 sides on all sizes
      Overall it is a very good deal and no modifying needed.
      The kennel you purchased will not be accepted at this time by United, Alaska Air, NW or Horizon (possibly Delta) because it does not have metal bolts, It will be rejected by American Air if it does not have cable tie holes around the door. So it has a few feature that would need to be addressed or modified.

  7. Do you happen to know if the PetCo Classic Kennel (500 size) has cable tie holes?
    It is not clear from the photo or description whether it does or not.

    I need to order a crate online sent to someone else to have a puppy shipped to me and don’t have a PetCo anywhere nearby. I was going to call PetCo and ask, but sales people aren’t always accurate, so I thought maybe you had encountered this crate at some point. Thanks.

    • The Petco brand you mentioned does not normally have cable tie holes. At least not the version I have seen in my area (Portland Oregon) but they could vary slightly from west coast to east coast depending on the factory they come from and plastic mold used to produce this item in your area. But I would bet they do not.

      You can drill your own, but if this is difficult or impossible for you to do then I would stick with a Vari Kennel 200-500 only, Sky Kennel 200-500 only or PetSmarts House Brand Kennel has cable tie holes on all sizes. Their house brand like Petco is made by PetMate the same makers as Vari and Sky but the plastic molds are used for their kennels only with their name embedded in the mold. PetSmart was very smart in that they made sure their mold had more bells and whistle than Petmates own Kennels have and they cost less than Petmates brand. You can find them here online
      I think the Medium Intermediate is = to Petco’s series 500 but is cheaper and definitely does have cable holes pre-drilled around the door.
      Thanks for visiting!

      • Thank you for the reply. I’m in the west too (Idaho), so whatever is in Portland is probably here too. I did call the nearest Petco (130 miles away), the salesperson said that it did have cable holes, but frankly he might have been looking at the wrong model. That always seems to be the case when I call around to pet stores asking questions. I thought the Petco one might be a little better because the two halves fit into each other more so than the Petsmart brand kennel, but it is not worth giving up the tie holes. Thank you very much for your help.

  8. I am having my dog shipped to me overseas. I can not physically inspect the kennel, so I am trusting friends to do this for me. We have decided on Petmate Traditional Vari Kennel Giant Portable Kennel due to my dogs size. She is coming to Japan. Do you know if this needs to be modified at all, like holes for cable ties or anything else?
    I am enjoying all the info on your site and shared it on facebook as well and ordered some LIVE ANIMAL stickers. Thank you in advance.

    • It does depend on the mold used at the factory it is made at. They vary from factory from factory… BUT all of them I have seen 700 series (Giants) made by Petmate do not have cable tie holes around the door. Petmate revised the 200-500 series and added cable tie holes around the doors and added a fluid mote in the floor and rounded corners with rounded door.
      If yours has square corners and square door it is the old style and it will need to be modified by drilling holes for the cable ties. Very easy to do.
      Please See this page scroll to the bottom for more information on the Kennel 700 Giant by PetMate. Hope this helps thanks for posting and visiting!

      • Thanks. She is going to be in the 700 series and I’m going to purchase it brand new, just to be safe. I guess I will have someone modifiy it before they ship her to me. Thanks so much for all your info here.

  9. Hello, I am so confused with trying to find a carrier for taking my toy pom on board with me. I want to buy a sherpa, but I am confused with the measurements, as some sites show the medium as being 18 long and some say 17 long. United airlines says the measurements have to be 17x10x10 and I don’t know if an inch for a soft sided would be a big deal, and do I really want to take the chance? The small just seems so small, even though she would fit in it, there wouldn’t be any extra room. Please help!

    • Hi Shannon,
      I think the Original Sherpa Small is 16″ and the Medium is 18″. I am pretty sure they would allow an extra inch, but I am like you… I would hate to be wrong and have them refuse your Pom for travel.
      Another option: If you want to have the best of both… Meaning enough room for your pet to stretch out, yet still fit within United airlines under 17″ length rule…you might want to check out the SleepyPod Air. It is 22″ long but when you compress one end it becomes 19″ and when you compress both ends it becomes 16″ in length. That way if they give you a hard time you can compress it down in size and then once on the plane you can fudge a little and let it out, on one of both ends.
      Or you might want to check out the American Airlines Sherpa Bag it is kind of Ugly red white and blue and all their logos on it…. but it does at least have the correct length of 17″. Hope this helps!
      Good luck and thanks for visiting and posting at

  10. Hello,

    Does anyone know if a handle is required on the top of the carrier? I currently live in India and have only been able to find one carrier that everyone tells me is a flight cage. However, I know from experience that people here will just tell me what they think I want to hear 🙂 It seems to meet all the requirements and even has handle-type groves on the 1 inch rim that runs around the side, but there isn’t a handle on top. My dog is about 25 lbs and I can’t imagine picking him up in a carrier by a handle but maybe it’s required.

    Also, there are only ventilation holes on 2 sides plus the door. Is this ok?

    I’ll be flying United and Lufthansa. Both airline websites are a bit vague on the finer details of the carrier. I don’t want to show up at the airport and get turned down!!


    • Hi Burgen,
      I not sure about India but I can tell you that in the US no on top handle is required and all the most common kennels here in the US do not have top handles if it is over a 200. The only ones that have top handles are the series 100 and 200. The 300-700 have no handles. But many of the Kennels size 300 and up have side handles, for a 2 person lift. The page I have listed will detail all the features like the side handles with photos.
      In regard to ventilation here in the US the rules reads ventilation on 2 sides plus door is acceptable for domestic travel only, If the pet is traveling internationally 3 sides plus door are mandatory. But you can drill holes if you need to very easy see our page on Modified and Custom Kennels for instructions. Thanks for visiting

  11. Firstly, thank you so much for this website.

    I am moving my two cats, both about 10 lbs, 20in long and 14in tall, to Hawaii. They are flying through Continental. Could you recommend an acceptable kennel at a reasonable price? I am really unsure what kennel size to get. For example, I was looking at this one: but small or medium to meet the airline’s criteria?
    Same with Sky Kennel or Vari Kennel, small or medium, you think?

    Thanks for any help!!

    • Hi Megan,
      The kennel you have linked is a very good kennel. These kennels have all the features needed for airline travel. Pre-drilled Cable tie holes around the door, metal bolts, ventilation on all 4 sides…The only thing I do not like about the PetSmart Brand kennel is the doors are tiny which is not really an issue for normal travel but for airline travel this is an issue for trying to fit a normal food and water cup on them. You still can but it is kind of tricky and they might need to be staggered on the door instead of side by side, and I think the small one you will need to buy a double diner type water feeder. like this:,1419.html
      As far as size I would recommend the Medium, but I will double check and reply again tomorrow once I get to my cat boarding kennel since I have that exact same kennels and I have a size Small and Medium and I will see how one of the 10lb cats fit in each..
      Thanks for visiting

      • Thank you so much for your quick reply!

        I was told I needed to get two containers to attach to the door, one for water and one for food. If I purchase the double diner cup that you linked, could I just get one for each kennel? (Water would go on one side and food in the other.) So, that would suffice the requirement for two?

        Thanks for double checking on the sizes- sm vs. med!!


        • Hi again Megan,
          So I have both sizes in front of me and the Small would be fine for the average size cat which yours seem to be by the measurements you gave earlier. The Medium works great too and would give them a bit more room, if you are traveling in the heat of Summer maybe go with the Medium for more ventilation which will help keep your cats cooler. But if you are traveling during lower temps the Small will help keep your cats warmer and more cozy…

          As far as the bowls or cups yes the divided cups are acceptable by all airlines, they even have them for sale at the cargo offices that I have seen in Portland PDX. Hope this helps and thanks for visiting and posting!

  12. I just bought a veri kennel for my BC. I wondered, is there any need to zip tie the metal side piece in place? Has there been any cases of it coming out?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Lisa,
      You can drill holes and zip tie if that makes you feel more comfortable. I am sure there has been some cases in all, but I have not seen any listed on the Official Airline Incident reports, so that would mean if it did occur it did not cause injury, loss or death so no report was made on the occurrence. ( I have read and studied every report since May 2005 )

      Thanks for visiting!

  13. Hello,
    I wonder if you could answer my question regarding the required sizes of kennel for a small cat (19″ long from nose to root of tail, and 15″ tall) whom we will need to ship from USA to UK.
    I have been reading lot of different things with regards to the required kennel sizes from airline websites, the IATA website, and from other sources..and I’m getting a bit lost.
    I bought the Sky Kennel 100 last week, and upon receiving it I am now concerned it wont be long enough for our cat (according to the IATA requirements). The inside measurement of the Sky Kennel 100 is about 17.5″ long. According to the IATA, our kennel would need to be 22″ in length inside, for our cat. But according to someone I spoke to at Delta, they said that the 100 size sky kennel would be fine for our cat as long as the cat can move around in it OK and is comfortable.
    I looked at the medium Vari kennel 200 and I just felt that it is way to big for a smallish cat, and would suit a small dog.
    However, I don’t want to take any chances.
    I would be very grateful if you could advise me of whether the 100 Sky Kennel will be OK or not?
    Are the airlines very strict in adhering to IATA guidelines when it comes to measuring cats and kennels? Do they get measuring tapes out?!?
    Thanks so much for your help, and thanks for all the extremely useful info on your website. I’ve learned a lot about what I need to do to prepare. 🙂

    • Hi Leo, I tried to email just to verify before replying that what you consider a “small Cat” was indeed a small cat. If you can check the weight documented on one of your last vet visits and your cat weighed between 8-10 lbs that is a small cat and I would guess that the 100 would be fine as your airline has said. The good thing about cats is they usually get “smaller” when they are nervous meaning they tuck their feet and go into a lying position and no the Airline does not pull them out and measure them. But if your cat is bold and nothing really phases him and when he is in his/her carrier he stands ups and makes eye contact etc..then you will want to be 100% sure he has a 3-4″ clearance to the roof of the carrier. That is the only reason I have seen a cat be refused at the checkout counter is for height. It was at Delta and he was a very friendly (medium) male cat who was standing in his crate his ears almost touched the top. Delta made the client purchase one of their crates that was a bit larger. (this was at cargo office) His brother who was the exact same size of cat was scared and all curled up and they didn’t say anything about him??? So pay special attention to the height and be sure your cat has plenty of ear room and if so the 100 would be fine…
      Thanks for visiting

      • Hi,
        And thank you for your reply.
        I have now got both the Sky Kennel 100 (Small)and the Sky Kennel 200 (medium) so that I can compare them. I can’t help but feel the 200 is still too big for a 10.2 lb cat, but I realize requirements are different when it comes to pets immigrating on planes, and not just taking them to a vet appointment.
        I take it the medium 200 kennel is popular for other small/medium cats?? It just seems HUGE for a cat!
        I did have one other concern about the bigger kennel: is there any way to prevent cats poking their paws through the bigger gaps in the front door? I noticed that the front door has bigger gaps than the small 100 kennel..
        Thank you so much for your continued help.

        • My thoughts were the 100 would be fine, unless your cat is way too tall? But as far as the 200 they are nice because they have been re-designed and have pre-drilled cable tie holes around the door. But in regard to the gaps around the door.. I am not aware of any methods on how to modify the gaps. I am not sure I would worry too much about the gaps, so far I do not remember any incidents caused from this issue. If I was you I would lean towards the 100. Just be sure and drill your own cable tie holes around the door if you decide to keep it and do not plan to return it.

  14. Hello again,
    I would much prefer to use the 100 kennel, but I was worried that it would still be too small..When my cat sits in it, his ears very nearly touch the top. I measured him and he is 15″ tall, and the kennel is supposed to be 15″ tall. So, overall, using the 100 kennel, there isn’t any room to spare heightwise or lengthwise, but he has enough room widthwise. It’s a difficult one to decide, it seems either kennel is slightly too small or slightly too big 🙁
    I may, like you say, lean towards the 100, and if the airline requires the bigger 200 one then I can just switch him over to that one. Thanks for all your help again. Leo.

  15. I’m wondering if the SleepyPod Air would be ok for a cat to be checked in as extra baggage? I have a move from Hong Kong to the US coming up and I think my cats would prefer a comfortable and dark SleepyPod over a big plastic crate. I also have domestic flights and car travel once in the US and would love to get one crate that would work well for all of them.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    • SleepyPod Air and any soft bag type carriers are only acceptable and SAFE for use as carry-on pets that travel in cabin under the seat in front of you.
      You would never, even if they allowed it, want your pet to travel in cargo with a soft carrier as they could be harmed or worst if other heavy luggage was to shift during turbulence. If your cat is traveling with you in the cabin the SleepyPods are great but for travel as Excess or Checked baggage you will need a hard plastic crate for your cats safety.
      Thanks for Visiting

  16. I just wanted to thank you guys so much for the great information! I have been dreading our move here from California to Okinawa later this year with such strict flight regulations for pets. I had zero information on the process of taking them on the plane, I am still unsure if they will be flying in the cabin with me or not but I am grateful to now have the knowledge that if they go in cargo, that as long as I do what I need to, they should be just fine. =) Thanks again for such a reliable website!

  17. Hi, I am taking my dog to Italy and need a crate approved for travel on Delta and Lufthansa specifically. I think I have 2 choices and can’t figure out which one to buy

    Pet Mate Sky Kennel Large
    Pet Mate Vari Kennel Ultra Plastic Large
    What’s the difference?

    Help and THANKS!

  18. When I flew with my two cats to Costa Rica in 2007, I spent hours researching pet carriers for the flight. I finally decided on the “Sherpa Delta Pet Carrier” because it seemed to be well made and, since I was flying Delta, I knew that I wouldn’t be questioned about the size. Boy, was I wrong! Shortly after boarding the flight, BOTH cats had torn through the mesh ventilation area and one had even escaped! My friend and I spent the whole 5 hour flight bent over physically holding the ripped areas closed to prevent them from escaping again. Miserable experience, to say the least.

    I’m planning my trip back in a few months, so I contacted several vendors about the construction of their mesh ventilation areas. Within hours I received a reply from Don at SturdiBag, who offered to upgrade the mesh areas of the SturdiBag Pet Carrier with a heavier grade, more durable material at a reasonable cost. Most of you will never have a problem like I encountered on the flight to Costa Rica, but now I can travel with the peace of mind knowing that Brother Boy and Gringo will be safe and secure in their carriers. I can’t speak highly enough about the customer service at SturdiBag, and even though I haven’t actually used the product yet, I have complete faith that it will alleviate my concerns. Above and beyond customer service is so rare these days, and so nice to encounter.

  19. I am traveling with a 90 lb German Shepherd who wore his cainine teeth down from chewing on the metal door last time I traveled with him. I followed the vet’s instructions and gave him 2 mg of alprazolam, which had no visable affect. We could hear him barking the whole way form Ancorage to Seattle.
    I want to put a piece of plexiglass on the inside of the metel door to prevent him from breaking his teeth. Has anyone ever done this? And will the airline accsept this? Thanks

    • Wow this sounds awful. I don’t have any info on this but my guess is you might have some issues. The ventilation on that front door is mandatory. Unless you could drill some holes in the plexiglass? But then he might find the holes a way to chew. I think the best thing to do is get your dog into some crate training and quick. Check out Acclimating and Crate Training I wish you luck and hope this trip goes a little better than the last one. Thanks for visiting!

  20. Hi. I don’t mean to sound like an ass, but you stated that “At we do NOT sell or benefit from the sell of any brand or style of pet carriers / kennels, so you can be assured all the following information is completely honest & unbiased.”

    But then I click on the link of that “great resource at a small online store” that you claimed to have found and they have a nearly identical website, nearly identical content and they sell kennels bundled with DryFur products.

    Don’t get me wrong, if you have another website and you sell stuff through it, I think it’s great. I’m actually inclined to buy stuff at Katsnus. But can you see how this can be a bit confusing in regards to the unbiased kennel reviews?

    • Hi Sebastian and thanks for your comments on I am sorry for any confusion this may have caused you or other visitors, but is not one of our stores. is owned and operated by Phil and Sue Lyster of Oregon City. is owned and operated by myself Lisa Kelly of Portland Oregon. I also run a first class Cat boarding facility called is a vendor of ours they purchase airline kits from us only. I do not benefit from the sale of her crates. We list her site on our site to help simplify the ordering process for our clients. We shared a lot of the same clients and felt it would be a benefit if they could get the crate and the kit in one simple transaction. That way they did not have to pay two separate shipping fees and Sue could customize the kits to fit the crate they purchase perfectly. She insures that there is exactly enough metal nuts and bolts and the bowls are the correct size to fit the door etc…
      In regard to the site design both our sites were made with Studio Press a wordpress theme template that many sites use because it is simple to use and very user friendly. Again I am sorry for any confusion but I can guarantee does not sale or benefit from the sale of any crate brand or style and I will be sure to let my blog readers know if this ever changes.

  21. Hi I’m flying from Okinawa Japan to north Carolina soon.. Around April and I’m stuck. I have a shiba Okinawa mix dog she’s knee high and weighs about 25pounds.. I need to buy an airline approved kennel fast or I’m gonna have to end up leaving my dog and I really dnt want to do that.. I dnt know what size if either large or extra large nor what type or where to go to find and buy one… All I know is that it needs to have wing nuts and bolts.. Please please help me she’s our families first pet we love her very much and don’t want to leave her.. Thanks

    • You can try the airport cargo stations if you are close to the airport. Most of them here in the US sell them. (not sure about Japan) They do not offer them to the general public but if you tell them she is flying soon on their airline as checked baggage they might be able to sell you one. If you can not find an airline approved kennel there you can order from the US or modify one to be airline approved. I have a video I can send you that shows you how to make modifications, let me know by emailing or posting here if you decided to go this route and I can email it to you. Or you can call some pet shippers in your area they will know where to get one but many of them are not too interested in helping pet owners do it themselves. I can look up a few in your area if you want to try…Other than that I would go to the stores and just take a look. As long as they have a way to add nuts and bolts and they have a metal door and no top opening or door you can always drill cable tie holes for securing the door yourself, and if they have snap latches our video shows you how to add metal nuts and bolts by drilling your own bolt holes…good luck and thanks for visiting!

  22. Hi Lisa, I’m a little bit confused with all the “airline approved carrier” thing, I live in Canada and I am going on vacations to Mexico then from there to Turkey and then back to Canada, I will be flying with two different airlines, all this with my cat in cabin. I been searching about the carriers, but the more I search the more I get confused, few days ago I bought a pet carrier in a store called Canadian Tire, it’s soft sided, it does not say is airline approved there is only a drawing plane, the brand is PET BUDDY, but I could not find any website or anything about that brand. I found the store’s website page where I bought it from and somebody says in there that, they used on Westjet flight without any issue.,+Soft-sided.jsp?locale=en#BVQAWidgetID
    My main question is, if it meets the size requirements, for what other reason could be rejected ??
    Please help!!

    • Hi Nancy,
      The carrier you linked to is a Petmate Brand not Pet Buddy and the website is they are located in Arlington TX here in the USA. They are a huge company but they really specialize in Hard Sided Carriers and have recently started selling the softsided maybe about 4 years ago +/-…

      It really is a good carrier and will be fine if the size is small enough or you can compress it small enough to fit the airlines underseat requirements.
      Other than that there is some rules about ventilation but 1. This carrier has plenty of mesh so it would be fine, 2. I have never heard any stories of pet carriers for CARRY-ON In Cabin use being rejected for any other reason other than size, In cargo or as checked baggage whole different story.
      So I would say you will be fine. You might want to check out some of our new items we will be launching this Mid spring 2012 for In Cabin Pet Travel. Like our TSA Fast Pass Leash Harness

      Thanks for visiting

  23. Thanks Lisa, your advise and comment it’s being a big relief. I know the link that I sent you shows Petmate Brand, but for some reason the description and product number is the same as the one on the package of mine, it is quite same as the one on the picture, just without the petmate logo on the side. And well since I am here, I would like to ask one more question…
    I got a moisture lock training pads, to place at the bottom of the carrier, I heard that works, is that right?? they are 100% leak prof and the brand is OUT! I believe.
    Thanks again, I am really grateful 🙂
    And I will definitely check your new products.

    • Hi Nancy,
      The Out Brand is probably “leak proof” but what that means is if you have fluid absorbed in the pad and you wait then lift it it will not leak out of the pad. It does not mean if you apply pressure to the top of the pad it will not leak out and get the pet wet. SO you have to read between the lines many pads say “leak proof” to give a false perception. Our DryFur pads LOCK the fluid in meaning even if you apply the weight of your pet on top of the wet spot the fluid will not come back out it is locked inside the pads. Also the DryFur SMALL PCI is rigid so it will stay flat and add cushion to the soft sided pet carrier. The rigid core keeps it under the pet. When you put pads in that are not rigid they tend to get bunched up in the corner and no longer under your pet were they have to be to be effective… I think you are from Canada I think has the DryFur SM PCI that they sell, just in case.

  24. Hi
    My cat is going to be traveling with me soon on a plane back to the US. I have brought a Petmate Vari Ultra kennel for her to travel in. Do you know if this is too big? Or if there are any restrictions on a cat being in a large carrier? I wanted for her to be able to move about if needed. Also we have a long car journey after the flight.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Hanna,
      No rules that I am aware of in regard to carrier/kennel being too big. I know British Airways has rule in regard to kennel being too small for cats. They require a 200 or large for any cat. So I think you are fine even though you have not mentioned the size of the kennel only the brand I am assuming it is larger than a 100 since that size would not offer much room for your cat to move about as you described. Hope this helps. Thanks for visiting DryFur!

  25. Hello!

    I’m traveling from the US to the UK with my two cats, and I can’t decide whether to go with one large carrier or two smaller. They’re larger cats, about 17lbs each, brothers, not terribly cuddly with each other particularly in stressful situations. At this point I’m kind of leaning towards separate carriers, but now I’m panicking about what size I should get. I attempted to measure them (they are paranoid little beasts) and seemed to have gotten measurements of kennel sized 23″x12″x15″. I want to get them something comfortable (and big enough that the airline won’t turn me away) but also not too big because it’s going to cost more (perhaps needlessly) since I’m shipping them as cargo. I’m looking at the Petsmart Classic series 400… is that too big for each cat? Can I got a bit smaller? HALP!

    (Also, just wanted to say thank you for this site, it’s been so insanely helpful as I try to plan this trip. ALL THE LOVE!)

    • Hi Melanie,
      I think separate is probably a better plan. They will still be aware they are together since the airlines do not have a bunch of pets on each flight they will be loaded right next to each other in cargo, I am certain. In regard to kennel size you will want to stick with a STANDARD 200 or larger since British Airways new rules requires all cats to be in a 200 crate or larger and they will turn you away if not the right size. But the kennel you are referring to I think you mean a PETCO CLASSIC, Petsmart does not carry a CLASSIC, their house brand is Grreat Choice. And one thing I hate about Petco Classic is the sizes are completely different than the industry standards. Their 200 is nowhere close to the industry standard 200 which measures = 28″L x 20.5″W x 21.5″H. So I think the Series 400 you are describing even though it is a bit smaller than the industry 200 would be big enough, but if you are flying British Airways be sure and call them first and tell them the dimensions of the Petco Classic Series 400 and let them tell you if they consider this acceptable for their flights. If you are not flying British Airways you will be fine unless you are forced to fly them on the way back??? Have a safe trip and Thanks for visiting!

      • Great, thanks so much! I think you’re right that it’s better to go with two separate crates. I’m not flying British Airways (am flying Iceland Air) so I think the 400 should be ok. (And yes, I meant Petco, sorry, my brain is filled with crates of all sizes and types in a big jumble eek.)

        Thanks again, you rock!

  26. Hi Lisa,
    I recently purchased the above kennel for flying my Golden Retriever to the UK from Texas. We will most likely fly with British Airways. I spoke with a pet shipping company who advised that he will require the giant size kennel due to his size. My question is, many of the giant size kennels that I’ve found don’t come with back vents or cable tie holes. Is this because they aren’t necessary on giant crates? Can you advise another crate or how to adapt this one if it’s not appropriate? We have already purchased the airline kit from Katsnus (it was short by one bolt unfortunately!) He is an escape artist so the locking the mechanism on this crate was particularly appealing. Also, do you do DryFur pads in this size?


  27. I am planning on taking my Greyhound/German Shepherd Dog mix from Florida to Sweden and I have a hard time finding a carrier that is tall enough. From the ground to the top of her ears she is 37″ and apparently too tall for any crates. This is silly because she isn’t That big of a dog. Many large breeds surpass that. Do you know what I can do? I appreciate any possible help.

    • You may want to look into 700 + a kennel height extension kit. That would give you the height you need without the cost of purchasing a custom built wood kennel. Email us and we can get you some details on ordering the kit. We don’t offer them but we can refer you.
      Thanks for visiting DryFur!

  28. I am flying my dog back to the UK in the summer. She flew out in a custom wooden crate that unfortunately had to be left at the cargo office as it didn’t fit in the hire car! She’s a leggy, 35lb border collie cross and stands 26inches tall. We will likely be flying BA. Which kennel do you recommend? Do all kennels require metal bolts additions etc? She wasn’t right for about 2weeks after her flight out; I want to make it as comfortable as possible.

  29. My Yorkie is only 3 lbs and I am looking at the soft sided type of carrier. Do you know of the rules\regulations for these? Also, maybey a muzzle as she is pertty “yappy” and I don’t want to burden other passengers on our 2 hr flight. Thank You!

  30. I’m about to fly on american airlines from NY to LA. Moving there. Took your recommendations of the Grreat choice kennel. Thanks. Well one of your choices.

    Do the airlines require a food dish. The trip is 6 hours. I’ll go 2-3 hours early. I’d want to feed and give them water before I leave my place. It’s 8-9 hours with them with no food or water. I can see this being an issue in hot weather, but it’s not summer. I’d rather them be hungry/thirsty when I get there then them miserable and have to go the bathroom. What’s your advice with that?

    Also I called them and they said that both cats can go in one carrier. Completely opposite of what it says on their site. Note they are going in cargo. Reasons for that. I think I can only have one in cabin. Rather then be together in a cage or next to each other. Anyway the guy said if the cats are under 20 lbs each they can go in one crate. While another employee of there says only if the cats each are 10 lbs or less.

    Also they can’t have a small liter box right?

    Do you know the restrictions on the bedding. Like i was going to use a blanker for both kennels or a towel.

    Also I believe this is just an informative site, because people need to know this info, so ignore negative comments. I just sold all my stuff and I was getting emails just to say I made a typo, or you should make your post better.

    Your site is meant to help. Maybe you get a buck or 2, but you know this area very well, so you made this site. People need to get that.

    Anyway just saw this above ” It will be rejected by American Air if it does not have cable tie holes around the door. So it has a few feature that would need to be addressed or modified.”

    What should I do. I’ll search the site.

    • Hi Michael,
      Yes you will need a food and water dish, but really only in case you are laid over and the airlines needs to water or feed. They will not normally offer food and water during the trip, it is not good to have a full stomach while traveling.

      Yes I have heard many airlines allow more than one cat in the same crate, I am not sure of the weight restrictions. But whatever info you get try and get it in writing and take with you to the airport.

      No Litterbox is needed or required and most cat wouldn’t use it anyway they are usually much too nervous to use.

      The padding I would recommend the DryFur pads they will keep the kitties completely dry and comfortable. If you kitties do need to urinate they normally do so on accident meaning they get frightened and it leaks out while they are lying down. SO the DryFur pads are very important it will LOCK the wetness deep in the pad and they will not get wet even if they sit or lay in the same area.

      If you get the Grreat Choice you will not need to modify it comes with predrilled cable tie holes around the door and ventilation on all 4 sides so you would be good to go no modifications needed.

      Thanks for posting!

  31. Hi, I will be moving from Alaska to South America in the Fall and have been looking for a high quality crate. I have used one within Alaska with the snap sides which subsequently broke. I have a husky “escape artist” who has broken/unlocked two different crates.

    I have come across a new transport crate being marketed by “Trixie” at Petco (, but manufactured in Germany I think (,17017).

    Do you know if this meets requirements and if it is a good quality?

    Otherwise, I will decide between Sky Kennel and Zinger Winger, thank you!!

  32. Hi
    I need to ship an adult american bulldog 70# from KC to Seattle. United has lifted their embargo on them, but now require a crate that is IATA compliant reg. CR82 reinforced. So far I have found ONE supplier of metal ones and for a 40 inch crate wants $500. There has to be a better answer!! Can you please direct me??

  33. hello,
    im planning to take my dogue de bordeaux from montreal to phoenix in one month and just got a kennel delivered
    from another company. but it only has 3 ventilation sides and they asked me to make some holes on the remaining side with drill… is it okay to modify the crate in that way? and if so, how do i do that? is there any guide to that?
    i will really appreciate your answer.. thanks in advance.

  34. Hi!
    We are moving to Hawaii (via Alaskan Airlines) on July 31st — flying out of Seattle. We will be moving a 60 pound lab mix and a 70 pound white German Shepherd. I just bought a Petmate Pet Shuttle at Pet Smart and wanted to see what you thought about this product — I can’t seem to find any reviews online. It is a large — 40x27x30. The helper at the store said that he thought I would need an extra large for my Shepherd, even though the large says that it is good for dogs up to 90 pounds (Sophie is 73 pounds). I went ahead and bought the large (which was on sale for memorial day) in order to test it out on both girls. Sophie seems to have plenty of room and we think that we may even be able to go down a size for Phoebe – the lab. We are driving from Indiana to Seattle for the flight, so size is an issue. The crate is hard plastic, with ventilation on 4 sides, one metal door, and molded in zip tie holes. The only issue that I can really see might be that you are able to open the door from either side? Will this be an issue? What do you think? Also – I’m confused about the food and water dishes — how do you find dished that sit inside but are able to be filled from the outside without opening the door?
    Thanks! Any advice would be appreciated. We are still looking for a second crate for our smaller dog and all of the added stuff that is needed (pads, food and water dishes, etc).

    • Hi Lindy, The Pet Shuttle is basically the same crate as the vari kennel without the name brand. So yes you will be fine with this crate. The door that has spring loaded door latches on both the right and left side are fine.. I would just be sure and use hand releasable cable ties on all four sides of the door frame to secure the door during the flight same as any other kennel.

      AS far as the dishes that sit inside clipped to the door and are still fillable from outside without opening the door this is really not complicated… the agent is able to access the dishes through the metal grate of the door (click link for image)

      Thanks for posting….

      • Thanks! I’m glad that I bought the large, as she has more than enough room and the airline will not accept carriers with larger dimensions!

  35. Hello! I’m looking into a Grreat Choice kennel for my cat’s upcoming flight on Delta. From the Petsmart website, I can’t tell if the bolts are metal or plastic. Does anyone know the standard bolt on these kennels? Thank you!

  36. Hi, please can you help us. We are wanting to fly our dog and 2 cats from the Philippines to Amsterdam. We will fly with Malaysia airlines but are struggling to ensure we have the correct carriers. Over the phone they do not seem very clear on what they want- can they refuse you if they have not made it clear? We have a ferplast atlas 70 carrier which is very safe and sturdy but does not have metal nuts and bolts- do you think this is ok? If not would it be acceptable if we added them or do you think it better to get a different carrier? They said it’s ok but as it was a phone call we have no proof (their email is not working!!). Also they said it was ok to have locking wheels but it seems most want it to be wheelless. Do you think it would be better to not chance it? It is hard to find good carriers here!
    Also regarding sizes of containers- do you think it is more comforting and secure for them on a 19 hour journey to be closer to the mimimum size required according to the pet size or better to be more spacious? We want to minimise their trauma as much as possible.
    Many thanks

  37. Hello, the carriers sold at Tractor Supply Co are good with all the features needed to pass inspection (but we will have to replace plastic nust with metal ones) for air travel EXCEPT they have one row of ventilation holes around the bottom portion of the carrier along with the normal vent holes on three sides of the upper portion. They are “Remington” brand and the vent holes are right under the lip where the two halves connect to make the whole carrier. Is this accepted by air lines (specifically Delta)? We fly out in less than a month and need to get this right (we have 7 total pets to take from TN to Vieques, Puerto Rico). Thanks, in advance, for your help!

  38. Hello – I just got my “Giant Kennel Accessory Kit” from you guys and have a couple of questions. Regarding the pad for the bottom, does the dog crunch it up / does it slide around? Do you know if it is OK to double stick tape it down? Or put something soft underneath it? Also, I just learned that United wants the length of the kennel to be nose-to-butt PLUS height to elbow. 1st time I heard about the elbow part. That appears to be a couple of inches more than the Giant kennel we were getting for his trip from the Midwest to England. Are you aware of how “picky” airlines are with these measurements? Also, where do most people mount the dishes? I assumed on the door at a height he would eat while standing? (Never done this before) Thank you!

  39. I’m flying on Korean airline. Is the sleepy pod air approved for that airline? Is it approved for all airline that allows pet in cabin? I’m worried because the dimension seems a bit over the requirements for Korean air even when folded.

  40. I am flying between Bangkok and the Middle East on an airline that has a 32 kg weight limit for pets as accompanied baggage. I really want her on the same flight I’m on. She was 26.5 kg so has been on a diet. I purchased a local crate that has vents in (the top and) the lower half of the crate, but these end 10 inches from the bottom so I hope that’s OK. It has holes for cable ties near the door. But it does not have crate tie-down holes unlike my Ultra Vari XL. Any thoughts on that?

  41. Hello
    I am traveling with my dog from united state to Spain. I did it before from spain to EEUU, but its been a while. I still have the old kennel, it actually has one year. ( Gulliver basic number 7, “102x72x76′ cm) , and i would like to know if it is accepted to travel in American airlines.

    Thank you

    Best Regards

  42. I have a carrier that has a top loading door. Can I use cables to make this carrier airline approved or will it be denied no matter what I do?

    • If the airline personnel is on their job it will be refused. None of the airlines are suppose to accept a carrier with top door. But I have seen a few come through usually as checked baggage, but never as cargo.

  43. I am traveling from Texas to Australia in beginning of June, which is TX summer, but Australias (brisbane to be exact) winter. I currently have this kennel;pgid=aVR2u_ZM7yxSRpfILk4EVkYI00003tX6G79Y?SKU=36-531 in the size 24″L x 16″W x 15″H. I am sending two dogs (in two separate crates). They are a yorkie and a yorkie poo. The yorkie poo is about 4/5lbs and the yorkie 6lbs. I was just wondering if you think i should stick with this size, or if i should go up to the 28″L x 20.5″W x 21.5″H size. I didn’t know if it would be TOO big and then they won’t feel safe, or if the one i currently have is TOO cramped for them. The yorkie poo doesn’t weigh much but she does have long legs. It is a long flight so I just want them to be as comfortable as possible.

    Thank you!!!

  44. Are the Ruffmax kennels suitable for air travel? Any issues with them being unacceptable or unsafe?
    Also I have a kennel that is larger than required for the size of dog. I know it’s a problem if the kennel is too small but have airlines ever deemed them too large for the size of pet? I will be flying into the U.S. From Sri Lanka on Qatar Air. Appreciate any guidance you can provide.

    • Ruffmax are fine they are made by Petmate almost same kennel as Vari with color change. No issue with Kennel being too large airlines will not complain they prefer more room and better airflow.