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Pet Ami, Away, Mr. Peanut’s

Spring break is nearly here, and summer travel is just on the horizon. About 70% of American households have at least one pet and 78% of pet owners travel with their pets. That means traveling with the right airline-approved pet carrier can be a vacation game changer this summer. 

The experts at CBS Essentials have done the heavy lifting, finding the best pet carriers that suit your furry friend’s needs. Keep reading for our picks for the best airline-approved pet carriers of 2024. Now all you have to do is book your flight.

The best airline-approved pet carriers for travel in 2024

Explore our top picks to find the perfect carrier for your furry friend’s next travel adventure.

Learn more about each of our selections below.

Best for frequent fliers: Away The Pet Carrier

Away The Pet Carrier


The Pet Carrier from Away luggage transports canine or feline friends in sleek style. It features sherpa bedding to feel like an at-home pet bed and is lined with water-resistant material in case of accidents.

Latch this pet carrier via a sleeve to your Away luggage when you’re on the move.  

“I bought two of these for my 8-pound dachshund mix and my 14-pound cavalier. Both fit comfortably and have plenty of space,” says one reviewer. “I love the clasps on the back that attach to the seatbelt. We also took them on a Southwest flight and had no issues with the carriers fitting under the seat side by side.”

Why we like Away The Pet Carrier:

  • It holds pets up to 18 pounds.
  • It’s water-resistant for easy clean-up.
  • It meets Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.

Best 2-in-1 carrier and travel bed: Wild One travel carrier


Wild One

Wild One, a brand focused solely on furry friends, has constructed a streamlined and reasonably priced travel carrier that doubles as an on-the-go pet bed. Mesh walls offer breathability during travel, while the shoulder strap detaches to become a travel leash. The interior cushion also folds down completely, so the carrier can double as a pet bed.

This carrier is airline-compliant and is recommended for use with dogs up to 16 pounds. It’s priced at $125.

Why we like the Wild One travel carrier:

  • It comes in two classic colors and two limited edition colors.
  • It fits under the seat in front of you on airlines.
  • The shoulder strap doubles as a leash.

Best for easy clean-up: Diggs Passenger pet carrier

diggs passenger pet carrier


The Diggs Passenger carrier is designed for easy cleaning. You can attach a pee pad to the carrier bed. Then, if your pet gets car sick or has an accident, you can easily swap out the pee pad through the side panel. The carrier meets most airline requirements and has been crash-tested for car travel.

Choose from four colors. One color option is currently on sale.

Why we like the Diggs Passenger carrier:

  • It’s easy to clean if your pet has an accident.
  • The carrier has great ventilation to keep your pet comfortable.
  • It was crash-tested and received a 5-star rating from the Center for Pet Safety for car travel.

Best dog crate for travel: Impact collapsible dog crate



Frequent fliers looking for an indestructible crate for travel should consider investing in an Impact collapsible dog crate. Engineered out of military-grade aluminum, these lightweight, stackable crates offer great features, including handles, airline rails and ample ventilation.

It is available in several sizes to accommodate a range of pets. Prices vary by size.

Why we like the Impact collapsible dog crate:

  • It’s available in seven colors, from neutrals to a bolder pink shade.
  • The crate comes with a lifetime guarantee.
  • It’s made with durable aluminum.

Best pet backpack for travel: PetAmi pet backpack



Those who prefer transporting their pets backpack-style should invest in this highly-rated pet backpack from PetAmi. Designed for small to medium pets, the carrier offers two-sided access, breathable mesh windows, pockets for your personal items and a safety strap to secure your pet during transport. 

“This is so cute and highly functional. I love the support it has for me. It’s lightweight and sturdy all at the same time. I also love how roomy it is for my cat.” shared one Amazon buyer.

Why we like the PetAmi pet backpack:

  • It’s available in 13 colors.
  • The backpack is TSA-approved for airline travel.
  • It fits small dogs and most cats.

  • Best for pets traveling in cargo: Petmate Sky Kennel



    Unfortunately, not all pets can fly in the main cabin of an airplane. Designed for cargo transport, this pet kennel with ventilation on all sides is available in six sizes, ranging from 21 to 48 inches, and protects animals and keeps them safe. 

    It meets most airline cargo specifications for easy and safe travel. All sizes include clip-on bowls and ID stickers, while the 21- and 28-inch versions offer a handle for carrying. Make sure to get the right size kennel for your pet: They’ll need space to stand, turn around, sit erect or lie down.

    Prices vary by size.

    Why we like the Petmate Sky Kennel:

  • It has 360-degree ventilation for optimal airflow.
  • The kennel meets most airline cargo specifications.
  • It features a secure four-way vault door.

  • Most versatile travel carrier: Lesure 2-in-1 pet backpack and travel carrier

    lesure 2-in-1 pet carrier


    This TSA-approved pet carrier doubles as a backpack. The carrier features breathable mesh walls, four self-locking zippers and a built-in safety leash so that you can feel confident that your furry friend is secure. 

    The two-in-one carrier can attach to your luggage, be worn as a backpack or be carried with standard pet carrier handles. It’s suitable for dogs or cats up to 15 pounds.

    Why we like the Lesure 2-in-1 pet backpack and travel carrier:

  • It easily converts from a standard pet carrier to a backpack.
  • The carrier is TSA-approved and airline-compliant.
  • It comes in three colors.

  • Best 5-in-1 pet carrier and stroller: Ibiyaya 5-in-1 combo pet carrier 



    This compact in-flight pet carrier and stroller is manufactured to baby stroller standards and quickly converts to fit all your travel needs.

    This pet carrier is currently priced at $202, reduced from $225.

    Why we like this 5-in-1 pet carrier and stroller:

    • This carrier can easily be converted into a shoulder carrier, a dog back pack carrier, a pet car seat, a dog stroller, or a pet carrier with wheels.
    • It’s compacted and converted within minutes.
    • This carrier is EVA airline-approved.

    What to consider when buying a pet carrier

    Each airline has its own set of rules regarding pets traveling with you inside the plane, or placed underneath the aircraft in the cargo hold. If your pet is traveling with you inside the plane, its carrier will need to fit underneath the seat in front of you. Generally speaking, that means your in-flight pet carrier shouldn’t exceed 45 linear inches (length + width + height), or roughly 21.5 by 15.5 by 9 inches — according to AAA.

    For dog crates traveling as cargo, the crate must be enclosed, but have ventilation openings occupying at least 16% of total wall space on two opposing walls. The crate must open easily, but should also be durable enough to sustain normal cargo transit logistics (loading, unloading and transportation). When shopping for airline-approved pet carriers, it’s a good idea to check your carrier’s website first for restrictions.

    Most soft-sided travel carriers fit comfortably underneath the seat in front of you so your pet stays close to you during the flight. Common features include mesh sides or windows for breathability, removable pads for comfort, straps to attach the carrier to a seat belt or your luggage and pockets to stash essentials.

    If your pet can only fly in the cargo space underneath the plane, look for hard-sided pet carriers to offer the most protection during the flight.

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