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Fly Together

Carry on your bird!

Today, many people choose to travel by air for its speed and convenience, so it’s not surprising that more and more birds are showing up in the cabin. Bird breeders also use the airlines to ship young birds to their new homes, although these birds often ride in the cargo area.

Regulations regarding birds on domestic flights vary by airline. Below is a list of bird-friendly airlines as well as those that do not accept pet birds. This is a general list, so some restrictions might apply. For example, some airlines only allow birds as big as a cockatiel while others will allow macaw-sized birds as long as you bring five or less on board with you. Check with the airline before booking your flight. It’s also likely that you’ll have to pay extra for your bird to accompany you on board, and the only certain carrier cages meet airline regulations.


OK in Cabin (some restrictions apply)

  • Alaska
  • Continental
  • Delta
  • United
  • Northwest
  • US Air
  • America West

No Go

  • Southwest - no birds
  • Frontier - no birds
  • Jet Blue – no birds 
  • American Airlines not in cabin, but in cargo

If you’ve heard of change with one of these or another airline, please let us know by writing to birdtalk@bowtieinc.com.

Traveling


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Reader Comments
I have adopted 3 parrots from a. bird Sanctary/Rescue in the FL Keys (1 Meyers/2 Quakers) and between the sanctuary owner, my sister and myself we have been trying to find a cheap, safe way to get the birds to Texas. Unfortunately it either costs a fortune or the carrier wont take them. Are there alternatives besides commercial flights? I'm disabled and on a limited income and the Sanctuary operates on donations only. All 3 birds have been neglected or abused, so the sooner they are homed, the better it is for them.
Jannice, Waco, TX
Posted: 6/1/2014 8:27:39 PM
Southwest will not accept birds (even in carriers) on domestic flights.
In fact the strangest and worst experience in Fort Myers when this airline took our bird and said the would find a home for it.
Not having any choices as to knowing anyone in this city, we had to surrender our pet bird.
Carl, Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 5/4/2014 3:44:44 PM
3/26/14
Hi. I've been trying to fly my small cockatiel to Tampa, FL for over 2 years. Southwest will not take a bird in the same size carrier that they will take a cat or dog. I have even written to them about why not. Why is this? I flew him home on American Airlines 20 years ago and I would love to have him with me in FL twice a year. His wings are clipped and he sleeps in the carrier. SWA is usually the carrier we always use to get to Tampa.

Has anyone had any luck flying a small bird domestically? What airline have you used? Thanks for any help.
Phyllis, Barrington, RI
Posted: 3/26/2014 3:23:59 PM
Does WestJet allow birds?
Birdy, Toronto, ON
Posted: 1/7/2014 5:10:23 PM
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