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Agencies and Terminology

  • IATA  (International Air Transportation Association) determines minimal container structure requirements​

  • USDA/APHIS  (US Department of Agriculture & Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service) Regulates health requirements and documentation

  • TSA (Transportation Security Administration) Responsible for airport security for passengers and freight. TSA does not regulate crate specifications but may check for exposives and/or drugs

  • Airline compliant vs Airline approved - IATA and individual airlines do do not endorse, certify or "approve" crates and claims of such are considered fraudulant.  IATA determine container specifications that will define whether or not a crate is in compliance. All airlines must be in compliance with IATA mnimum requirements however individual airlines may add additional requirements and restrictions to the IATA minimums. 

IATA kennel requirements

  • Crate size

    • stand, turn around and lie down comfortably

    • 2" clearance over top of head when standing in natural position for US domestic travel

    • 3" clearance over top of head when standing in natural position for international travel

    • measure dog height, length, and width to determine appropriate size

  • Crate specifications (minimal requirements for all kennels)

    • constructed out of rigid plastic, metal or wood  

    • metal nuts and bolts

    • inside of crate must have nothing sharp or projecting that could injure dog

    • ventilation the whole of one end (door) of crate and upper portion sides and back of crate minimal 16% surface area  

    • 2 preferably 3 secure door fasteners

    • 1' side rails/ spacer bars to prevent blocking ventilation holes​

    • leakproof solid floor

    • solid roof

    • handles

    • 2 accessable bowls

    • absorbant bedding

    • live animal stickers and name of dog

  • Airline restrictions

    • metal nuts and bolts only (no plastic or twist locks)

    • no wheels unless they are rendered inoperable

    • no wire or mesh crates

    • no toys, collars or leashes

    • no straw or hay

    • no dogs less than 8 weeks of age

    • no folding or collapsable crates unless you drill additional holes and add metal nuts and bolts to render the crate unfoldable.  Please note that the required metal nuts and bolts require a wrench to tighten. Twist locks, butterfly locks, link locks, dzus fasteners, wing nuts and plastic attachments are not acceptable to secure the crate open.

  • IATA-82 regulation (additional kennel requirements for restricted breeds)

    • solid side with additional required reinforcements

    • entirely constructed out of metal or wood

    • no plastic parts anywhere on the crates

    • mesh door panel cover so nose and paws can not protrude


Health Certification from Vet

  • current rabies and vaccinations

  • health certificate and letter of acclimation from vet

  • international travel will need an internationsl health certificate from a certified vet, USDA endorsement of all documentation and rabies. There may be varying requirements and time constraints depending upon destination, such as an internationally recognized microchip or tatoo, rabies titer from specific lab, additional vaccinations and worming as well as waiting periods and specific order in which the requirements are performed.

Handy Tips:

  • plan ahead and be prepared ​ 

  • familiarize yourself with terminology, rules and regs of airlines and USDA requirements of destination

  • purchase appropriate airline compliant kennel and acclimate pet to kennel ahead of time if possible

  • make reservation for pet flight

  • make appointment with licensed vet for domestic health certificate

  • make appointment with licensed and USDA certified vet for international health certificate

  • make appointment with USDA office for endorsement for international travel

  • determine location of pet drop off and pick up (cargo or baggage)

  • drop off pet 2-3 hours ahead of flight per instructions of airline

  • feed and water lightly day of flight

  • walk pet well before embarking

  • decrease stimulation = decrease anxiety (lower light, lower noise, lower temperature)

  • sedation is not recommended because it is a safety hazard

  • tape collor, leash, small ziplock of food and special instructions on top of crate

  • take rabies certificate, all required health certificates and any additional required documents with you

  • take paper copy of airline's shipping and kennel requirements with you

  • when picking up dog take a bottle of water, an extra collar, leash and paper towels just in case


American Airlines 

United Airlines 

Delta Airlines 

Alaska Airlines

IATA Kennel Requirements (Kennel requirements and Regulation 82)


An East Coast Crate is The only way to Fly !!

Making your trip a positive and safe experience for both you and your dog is a priority for East Coast Crates. All East Coast Crates dog crates exceed airline kennel requirements including our folding crates making East Coast Crates the only airline compliant folding dog crate on the market. The unique design, expert engineering, and highest quality construction make East Coast Crates the sturdiest and safest airline kennels to ship your dog.  Our crates are handcrafted and are fully assembled by expert fabricators leaving nothing to chance and insuring your dog's safety and comfort. We will gladly manufacture a kennel according to your dog’s size and needs.

Shipping Dogs

Tara at airport with ECC.jpg
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