United Airlines No Longer Accepts Certain Dog Breeds on Planes

UPDATE 7-11-12: United has changed its policy once again, and now will accept for transport the breeds listed below – with certain restrictions. However United will no longer accept adult English bulldogs at any time of the year.

ORIGINAL STORY 3-15-12: As United Airlines moves ever-closer to finalizing its takeover of Continental, vestiges of the latter’s system keep popping up and that includes its regulations on traveling pets.

Earlier this month, United.com adopted the old Continental computerized reservation system when the two websites merged, and there were numerous complaints. Now, new complaints are surfacing as dog owners realize United has also embraced Continental’s “banned breed” list.

What You Should Know: United, Continental Merge Websites

United Bans 9 Dog Breeds

According to its website, United Airlines will no longer accept for transport the following breeds (at least, these dogs will not be accepted once they reach six months old, and/or weigh 20 pounds or more):

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Presa Canario
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Cane Corso
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Tosa (or Tosa Ken)
  • Ca de Bou

Pet Travel: Everything You Need to Know

No Aggressive Animals Allowed

A lot of these names may be unfamiliar, but most are big and powerful dogs. What seems to get a lot of dog owners’ snouts out of joint is the pit bull ban, especially those who are trying to convince the general public that these are not inherently dangerous animals.

It should be noted that United also “reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender,” whether it’s a Pekingese or a Persian cat.

Other Breed Restrictions

United will accept any breed of bulldog plus Boston Terriers and Pugs depending on seasonal temperatures. However, none of the above will be accepted from May 15 to September 15.

There are other temperature restrictions during the rest of the year as well including extreme cold so it is vital that anyone planning to fly any kind of pet check with their airline before they fly.

What’s Your Dog’s Breed?

What if you want to transport a mutt from the pound and you’re not sure what the animal’s breed it? That would be up to your veterinarian, or as the United site puts it, “Determination of breed, age or weight of the animal is to be confirmed by the animal’s Health Certificate (dated within 10 days of transport).”

Do these breed restrictions rattle your cage? Please sound-off, on Facebook.


Published: March 15, 2012