Last Updated: Dec 27, 2022
Quick Links: Table of Contents
- Can Collies Fly in-Cabin?
- Can the Collie Fly in the Cargo Hold?
- Is It Safe to fly Collie in-Cargo?
- Collie Crate Size Calculator
- Flying Your Collie on Southwest Airlines
- Flying your Collie on American Airlines
- Flying Your Collie On Delta Airlines
- Flying Your Collie On United Airlines
- Flying Your Collie on Alaska Airlines
- Flying With Collie that is a Service Animal
- Flying an Emotional Support Collie on Airplane
Flying with your Collie is more complex than you flying alone.
To add to the complexity, each airline has a different policy regarding flying a dog.
Fortunately, this article will help you simplify planning a flight with your Collie.
This article will discuss and highlight the important things you need to know on how to fly Collie on different airlines.
To write this article, we spent tens of hours researching the policies of airlines, as stated on their websites.
Moreover, as part of our research, we made phone calls to some of these airlines so that they could clarify some of the ambiguous policies they have on their websites.
We hope our research will help you to properly prepare for air travel with your Collie.
Note there are two ways to fly with a dog on an airplane.
In the cabin: Most Airlines allow you to bring your dog with you inside the plane as a carry-on item if your dog meets the size and behavior requirements. This is the form of dog transport that most dog owners prefer.
In the cargo hold: Some Airlines allow you to check in your dog as a piece of baggage that would be transported in the plane`s cargo hold (belly). You can consider this option if your dog is too big to fly in the cabin with you.
Below are the factors that determine what rules and restrictions apply to flying with your Collie on a plane (for both in-cabin and in-cargo transport):
If the Collie is not a RESTRICTED BREED on an airplane (applies if you are flying your Collie in the cargo hold)
The weather at the time of the year that you are flying with your Collie (also applies if you are flying your Collie in the cargo hold)
The model of the specific aircraft that you will be flying your Collie on
Your seat class e.g. are you are flying economy or first class?
We will discuss how some of these factors apply to flying with your Collie.
Furthermore, this article also goes into the details of the dog transport policies of the following major airlines:
Also, this article includes a calculator that lets you determine the best travel crate/kennel for flying with your Collie based on the size of your Collie.
Can Collies Fly in-Cabin?
Your pet Collie may NOT be able to fly in-cabin because it is likely that your Collie`s dimensions (length, height, and width), is outside the limits of what is allowed by most airlines (United, Delta, Southwest, American, Alaska).
According to dimensions.com, the adult average height of the Collie is 29.0 inches (73.7 cm) and the adult average body length of the Collie is 31.5 inches (80.0 cm).
The maximum dog height and dog length that the least strict airline allows is 11 inches height by 18 length (27.94 cm x 45.72 cm). Unfortunately, adult Collies are typically bigger than this allowed dimension.
However, if your Collie, by some means, happens to be smaller than the typical dimension for the Collie, then you may be able to fly your Collie in-cabin. See how HERE.
Otherwise, you will need to transport your Collie as checked-in baggage in the airplane`s cargo hold/compartment. See how to fly your Collie in the cargo hold/compartment HERE
However, if your Collie is a service animal, rather than a pet, then the law allows you to fly your Collie can fly in the cabin irrespective of its size, as long as your Collie fits within your personal space on the plane.
Can the Collie Fly in the Cargo Hold?
There are two major U.S. air carriers that allow transporting live dogs in a plane`s cargo hold, just like checked-in baggage. These two airlines are American Airlines and Alaska Airlines (This information is current as of July 27, 2022)
If your Collie is too big to fly with you inside the airplane`s cabin, then you have the option of shipping your Collie in the airplane`s cargo compartment.
The Collie is NOT on the restricted/banned dog breed list of American Airlines for cargo transport. Therefore, you can transport your Collie as airplane cargo on American Airlines.
The Collie is NOT on the restricted/banned dog breed list of Alaska Airlines for cargo transport. Therefore, you can transport your Collie as airplane cargo on Alaska Airlines.
Is It Safe to fly Collie in-Cargo?
If your Collie is too big to fly in-cabin, then you may consider transporting your Collie as special baggage that flies in the plane`s cargo hold.
According to The International Air Transport Association (IATA), it is safe to transport a pet in a plane`s cargo hold as special checked-in baggage.
Furthermore, IATA stated that dogs travel because dogs travel better as cargo because a plane`s cargo hold is quieter and darker, compared to an airplane`s cabin. This dark and quiet cargo environment will allow your Collie to properly rest and be more relaxed on its flight.
The IATA stated that despite all the fears about airline pet cargo travel, millions of animals are transported safely in the cargo hold every year.
Another source to find out if it is safe to fly your Collie as cargo is the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
Furthermore, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to report any incidents involving the death, injury, or loss of an animal during air transport
The DOT compiles these Animal Incident reports in Air Travel Consumer Reports. These reports are available to the public.
Importantly, the DOT provides the public with the specifics of what led to each Animal Incident during air travel.
We can take a look at the DOT data to see how safe it is to fly with a dog. The data covers both in-cabin and in-cargo transport.
For example, in 2017, domestic airlines transported 506,994 animals. Of these animals 24 died, 15 were injured, and one was lost. That puts the incident rate at roughly one for every 12,674 animals transported.
Note that airlines are not the only ones at fault for these incidents. Incidents like these also happen due to pet owner recklessness.
The table below shows more recent (2021) animal incident statistics for all U.S. air carriers that recorded incidents, for the year 2021. Note that these are the statistics for all animals, all dog breeds included, for the year 2021.
Also, note that hundreds of thousands of pets are transported by these airlines every year.
Calculator to Find Out The Right Kennel Size For Flying Your Collie in Cargo
It is important for you to choose the right-sized travel crate for transporting your Collie in the plane`s cargo.
The travel crate must comfortably accommodate your Collie.
Furthermore, the travel crate should meet the airline`s standards.
Use the calculator below to find the right airline-approved travel crate for your Collie based on its size.
The calculator uses the algorithm specified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for determining the right-sized travel kennel for a dog.
Enter the overall length (A), elbow length (B), width (C), and height (D) of your Collie in the calculator to see the right-size crate for transporting your Collie in the cargo hold.
See how to measure the dimensions of your dog in the picture below.
Collie Crate Size Calculator
How to Prepare Your Collie for an in-Cargo flight
If you are checking in your Collie as baggage that will travel in the plane`s cargo hold, below is how to prepare your Collie for cargo transport:
Make sure your Collie is healthy to fly. You may take your Collie to a vet for a checkup before the flight.
Make sure that the flight that you plan to book allows cargo transport of dogs. Check with the airline first before booking a flight.
Book early, days ahead of your flight to secure a spot for your Collie.
Make sure that the forecast ground temperatures at the origin, destination, or connecting airports are safe for your pet to fly. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dogs must not be exposed to air temperatures above 85 °F (29.5 °C) or below 45 °F (7.2 °C) for more than 4 hours. In fact, if the temperature is unsafe, airlines will refuse to transport your Collie in cargo.
Pick the right-sized kennel that will make your dog feel very comfortable. Use our CALCULATOR to find which kennel to use based on your Collie size.
Buy your travel crate early, and train your Collie to enjoy staying in their travel crate many days before the flight.
Do not forget to put soft cushioning materials inside the travel crate to make your Collie feel comfortable during its flight.
Also, make sure you put food and water dishes inside the travel crate. You should attach these dishes securely to the crate.
Arrive at the airport at least four hours before your flight to allow you to properly check your Collie in.
Have your Collie`s health certificate and documentation needed to fly your pet handy. You can find the documentation you need to fly your Collie as cargo on American Airlines here. You can find the documentation you need to fly your Collie as cargo on Alaska Airlines here.
Give your pet the time to do its business before the flight.
Do not tranquilize or sedate your Collie for a flight.
Do not put toys and treats inside your Collie`s travel crate. Airlines do not allow toys and dog treats in the travel crate.
Watch this helpful video to learn how to prepare your Collie for in-cargo travel.
Flying Your Collie on Southwest Airlines
Let us discuss what you need to know when flying your Collie on Southwest airlines.
Southwest Airlines allow the transport of animals only in the cabin. To fly on SouthWest Airlines, your Collie should be small enough to fit under the airplane seat.
Southwest will also allow your Collie to fly in-cabin if it is a service animal, even if your Collie is too big to fit under the aircraft seat.
If your Collie is too big for the cabin and if your Collie is not a service animal, then you have to find another airline that allows cargo hold transport of large dogs.
Flying your Collie on American Airlines
Below are the important things you need to know to fly your Collie on American Airlines
American Airlines allow the transport of pets both in the cabin and in the cargo hold. Therefore, dog breeds that are too big to fly in-cabin can be shipped in the American Airlines cargo compartment, if that breed is not a restricted breed on American Airlines.
Flying Your Collie In-Cargo on American Airlines
If your Collie is too big to fly in-cabin, then you can fly your Collie in the cargo hold of American Airline planes
You can find American Airlines policy on how to fly your Collie in cargo here.
Before booking an in-cargo flight for your Collie, make sure you call the cargo department of American Airlines first. Their phone number is 1-800-227-4622
Your Collie must be at least 8 weeks old to fly in cargo.
Use this calculator to find the right-sized travel crate for flying your Collie in the cargo hold of American Airlines.
You can make an in-cargo transport reservation for your Collie within a time window of a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 10 days prior to travel.
The flight you book cannot be more than 12 hours long.
You can find the documentation that you need to fly your Collie on American Airlines here.
Flying Your Collie On Delta Airlines
Below is what you need to know when flying your Collie on Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines only allow small dogs to fly with their owners in the airplane`s cabin.
Flying Your Collie In-Cargo on Delta Airlines
On April 1, 2020, Delta Airlines temporarily paused its in-cargo transport of pets until further notice. (last updated August 1, 2022).
If your Collie is too big to fly in-cabin, then you will need to find another airline that is different from Delta to transport your Collie in-cargo
Flying Your Collie On United Airlines
Here are the important things that you need to know when planning to fly your Collie on United Airlines.
United Airlines only allow in-cabin transport of pet dogs on its airline. Only pet dogs that are small enough to fit under the airplane seat can fly in-cabin.
Flying Your Collie In-Cargo on United Airlines
United Airlines temporarily paused its in-cargo transport of pets until further notice. (last updated August 6, 2022).
If your Collie is too big to fly in-cabin, then you will need to find another airline that is different from United Airlines to transport your Collie in-cargo
Flying Your Collie on Alaska Airlines
Here are the important things that you need to know when planning to fly your Collie on Alaska Airlines.
Alaska Airlines allow you to fly your dog in the cabin with you or in the cargo hold as checked baggage. Alaska Airlines transports dogs that are too big to fly in the cabin in the cargo hold (checked baggage).
Flying Your Collie In-Cargo on Alaska Airlines
If your Collie is too big to fly in-cabin, then you can fly your Collie in the cargo hold of Alaska Airlines planes
You can find Alaska Airlines policy on how to fly your Collie in cargo here.
Use this calculator to find the right-sized travel crate for flying your Collie in the cargo hold of Alaska Airlines.
Before booking an in-cargo flight for your Collie, make sure you call the cargo department of Alaska Airlines first. Their phone number is 1-800-225-2752
You can make an in-cargo transport reservation for your Collie on Alaska Airlines within a time window of a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 30 days prior to travel
Flying With Collie that is a Service Animal
The only animal species that are allowed to be service animals are dogs.
A service animal is defined as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.
To qualify as a service dog, your Collie should be fully trained to perform tasks that help you with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. These disabilities include but are not limited to: Visual impairments, Deafness, Seizures, Mobility impairments, Post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
Airline Policies on Flying Service Collie
Your service animal Collie can fly with you in-cabin if your Collie can fit in the floor space in front of your assigned seat or on your lap.
Airlines will not charge you a fee for flying your service animal Collie.
Most Airlines allow you to bring up to 2 service animals with you on a flight.
Also, some airlines allow service animal trainers to bring a Collie that is in service animal training on a plane if they provide documentation that the Collie is in training.
Note that it is a federal crime to make false or fraudulent statements/claims to fly your Collie in an airplane cabin as a service animal when your dog is not a service animal.
Can Collie be a Service Animal?
Yes, the Collie can be a service dog. In fact, any dog breed, including the Collie can be a service animal provided the dog has been individually trained to assist an individual with a disability with specific tasks. Importantly, the dog also has to be a well-behaved dog.
Flying an Emotional Support Collie on Airplane
On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that it has revised its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the transportation of service animals and this revision stated that emotional support animals are no longer considered service animals.
Emotional support animals no longer have special privileges that allow them to fly in-cabin with their owners even if they are too big for an in-cabin flight.
Therefore, the rules and restrictions that apply to flying pet Collie similarly apply to emotional support Collie.
Traveling With a Therapy Animal Collie on an Airplane
Therapy animals are pets that have been trained and registered by a therapy organization in order to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and other facilities. Therapy animals are not considered to be service animals.
Airlines do not give therapy animals special treatments like they give service animals.
The same rules and restrictions that apply to flying with a pet Collie apply to flying with a therapy Collie.