Best Airline Pet Carriers: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

Everyone loves their furry friends, and many times, they are part of the family.

You reward them with tasty dog treats when they do things right, plus you reprimand them lovingly when they are wrong.

Therefore, when it is time to take them on a long trip by plane, you want to keep them secure and safe, and to do that, you need the best airline pet carrier.

The carrier helps your pet stay comfortable during a long trip and airlines often require it.

Best Airline Pet Carrier Reviews

1. Henkelion Pet Carrier

Henkelion is a company that manufactures pet products and sells them on third-party e-commerce websites.

They also sell items related to the home and outdoor sports.

Regardless of what you purchase, the team takes at least three months to produce it for you, which means you can rest easy knowing that your pet will be safe and secure inside the pet carrier.

Product Highlights

The Henkelion Pet Carrier has a medium and large size, though the bigger one isn’t airline approved.

If you choose the medium to ensure that you can take it on the airplane, it comes in gray, black, blue, purple, and pink.

This product is ideal for cats and dogs that weigh 15 pounds or less.

It also features a safety design with an adjustable shoulder strap.

You can utilize hands-free carrying, making it highly convenient, plus your pet will feel comfortable in it.

Of course, durability is also a significant concern.

The Henkelion Pet Carrier is made of lightweight but durable polyester and is also waterproof, except for the mesh.

The four-sided mesh inserts allow you to check on your pet during the flight.

That way, you do not have to take your pet out from under the seat or open the carrier during the flight.

You will also like the portability of this product.

It’s easy to carry with the handles and shoulder strap.

The entire thing can also be machine-washed and dried.

It also includes a fleece pet bed that you can remove.

What We Like

We were impressed with the many openings the Henkelion Pet Carrier has.

With all directions free, you can get your pet in there regardless of their size or needs.

Often, pets don’t want to go inside, but you can open both ends and help gently urge them into the carrier.

What We Don’t Like

While the frame is sturdy, the metal bars do come out at times.

This is likely to help with storage, but it is easy to lose the bars.

Therefore, you must keep that in mind when transporting the Henkelion Pet Carrier without your pet.

Plus, without one or more of the bars, the bag will sag, and your pet will be uncomfortable.

Pros:

  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Easily foldable for storage
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Metal bars not permanently attached
  • Not ideal for car travel; no seatbelt loops
  • Zippers can get confusing

2. Petmate Two-Door Top-Load Pet Carrier

Petmate started in 1959 when Doskocil Manufacturing created the first dog kennel.

With time, a need arose for other pet supplies.

The company recognized this and developed new items.

It continues evolving its methodologies and practices to provide a larger line of products.

Plus, it keeps the well-being of your pets at the center of its work.

Product Highlights

The Petmate Two-Door Pet Carrier is a crate designed for small dogs.

It fits many dog breeds that range in size from 10 to 20 pounds, but they must measure 19 inches long or less.

You will be impressed with the top entry door since it allows you to wiggle the pet into the carrier if they decide they want to be stubborn.

Keep in mind that the Petmate Two-Door Pet Carrier meets almost all airline specifications for cargo travel, and cats and dogs can use it.

For transport, you will find an ergonomic, durable handle with a comfort grip, plus the sides are ventilated so that your pet feels comfortable during the trip.

There are multiple colors available, as well, such as hot pink and black, pearl while and coffee ground, pearl blue ash and coffee ground, and pearl tan and coffee ground.

The top-load door is made of steel, and there is an easy-squeeze latch, which makes it easier to release your pet after the trip.

What We Like

We were quite impressed with the top-open door of the Petmate Two-Door Pet Carrier.

It is large and spacious enough that you can put your pet inside from this angle.

You may also use the traditional door on the front.

What We Don’t Like

There are plenty of holes for ventilation found on the Petmate Two-Door Pet Carrier, but they range in size from small to large.

Depending on the type of animal you have, its nose or paw could get caught in one of these holes, so be aware of this before purchasing.

Pros:

  • Spacious enough for small pets
  • Airline approved
  • Easy to assemble
  • Durable

Cons

  • Sharp ventilation holes
  • No padding included
  • Singular handle; hard to carry with moving animal

3. PPOGOO Large Pet Carrier

Though a newer manufacturer on the market, PPOGOO is taking the world by storm.

It was founded back in 2014 in the hopes of providing more affordable baby products to new parents.

Then it realized a need for pet babies to have safe accommodations for travel, so it expanded its product line.

The company also offers a satisfaction guarantee.

Product Highlights

When you want a pet carrier for a larger animal, up to 22 pounds, the one from PPOGOO might be ideal.

It’s a soft-sided version that can hold both cats and dogs.

While it does claim that it is airline-approved, you should check with your particular or preferred airline before buying.

The goal of the PPOGOO Large Pet Carrier is to be large enough so that pets can play, turn around, and stand up tall.

It also features an upgraded zipper with a bottom plate.

This user-friendly design ensures that your pet can’t get out of the carrier.

With the firmer bottom, it maintains its shape and is comfortable for your pet.

You’re going to like the modern design of the PPOGOO Large Pet Carrier, as well.

It comes in black or blue and looks very high-tech.

Still, it is easy to clean, waterproof, and well-ventilated.

The fine mesh allows you to see your pet, and they can look outside, plus they won’t get their noses or claws stuck in it.

When folded up completely, it weighs only about two pounds, which means you can easily transport it or carry it around without a pet.

What We Like

We were quite impressed with the overall design of the PPOGOO Large Pet Carrier.

It’s very modern and features a slightly angled appearance at the top, which helps it fit underneath an airplane seat better.

What We Don’t Like

Most airlines recommend that the pet carrier isn’t over 18.5 inches long, but this one is almost 21 inches long.

Thus, if you plan to use it on an airplane, you must read the airline’s rules on pet carriers.

Otherwise, it might be a waste of money.

Pros:

  • Stable and sturdy
  • Plenty of mesh windows to see in and out
  • Holds its shape when your pet is inside
  • Easy to clean and use

Cons:

  • Might not be airline approved in all cases
  • Wrongly positioned shoulder strap
  • Only the front opens

4. Vceoa Pet Travel Carrier

Vceoa is a brand-new company, which just opened in 2019 and currently sells a variety of products, including ropes, nets, sails, and pet carriers.

Not much can be said about the manufacturer, but it does sell its products on third-party e-commerce sites only at this time.

Product Highlights

If you need an airline-approved pet carrier, the one from Vceoa might be ideal.

It’s only 17.5 inches long, so it is perfect for many airline rules.

However, you should measure your pet to ensure it is going to fit properly.

The Vceoa Pet Travel Carrier has mesh windows for ventilation, plus your pet can see outside, which makes them less anxious.

You can also see what your pet is doing, making it perfect for you.

It has a top and side entry, as well as locking zippers, which makes it safer since your pet can’t wiggle open the zipper.

Additionally, no one else can let your pet out if they do not have the key.

With the removable base insert of the Vceoa Pet Travel Carrier, you can take it out and wash it.

Of course, you can add your own blankets and pads, if you prefer.

The fleece pet bed is removable, as well.

It can be hand-washed, but you should not put it in the washing machine.

You also get two carrying handles and an adjustable shoulder strap, which you can use as a backstrap to fasten your carrier to the luggage.

What We Like

We really liked that the Vceoa Pet Travel Carrier uses anti-scratch mesh.

Pets with long claws won’t do any damage, which is essential when they are pawing to get out during a long trip.

Plus, it has plenty of padding so that your pet will be comfortable.

What We Don’t Like

The biggest complaint we have is the strong chemical odor when you first take it out of the packaging.

It does go away and should be left outside until the smell is gone.

Still, if you hope to take it out of the box and use it immediately, you may want to reconsider.

Pros:

  • Rectangular design for use under airplane seats
  • Anti-scratch mesh
  • Inner leash included
  • Pets stay comfortable and safe

Cons:

  • Initial chemical odor
  • Even with top opening, hard to get pet inside if they are active
  • Must be exact with pet measurements

5. BERTASCHE Large Pet Carrier

BERTASCHE was established in 2012 and offers a variety of bags and cases for men and women.

It recently branched out to also sell pet carriers for your furry friends.

The company’s goal is to provide practical and fashionable bags and cases for every walk of life and possible need.

Though a few retailers sell it, the products are mainly found on third-party e-commerce websites.

Product Highlights

The BERTASCHE Large Pet Carrier is expandable but still contained.

On long flights and car trips, you can open it up so that your pet has a bit more room to move around.

There is also a top and side opening, which ensures that you can get your pet inside more easily.

You will find a thicker wireframe at the top of the BERTASCHE Large Pet Carrier, which helps the pet bag to stay sturdy, even when expanded all the way.

There are two pockets inside the carrier that allows you to store toys and food for your pet.

Plus, you can find multiple ways to carry the bag.

Use the handles, shoulder strap, or attach it to your luggage.

What We Like

The BERTASCHE Large Pet Carrier includes a small leash.

We liked this idea because your pet can still move around, but will not be able to escape.

If you need to open the carrier to give your pet food or do something while onboard, you can do so safely.

What We Don’t Like

While plenty of zippers are important, the BERTASCHE Large Pet Carrier seems to have too many.

It can be a trial to figure out which one to use to get your pet in or out of the bag.

When you’re in a rush, this is a minor issue.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and well-made
  • Expandable parts
  • Velcro on bottom
  • Spacious enough

Cons:

  • Too many zippers
  • Chemical smell
  • Might be too large for in-cabin storage

Buyer’s Guide

Whenever you are buying anything for yourself or your pet, you want to make sure it does its job.

Of course, a pet carrier needs to be appropriate for any airline to allow you to travel almost anywhere with your pet.

There are many factors to consider, such as durability and sizing, but you also want to ensure that your pet is safe.

We will talk about many of these points so that you can better understand what makes a good airline pet carrier.

1. Size

To find the right-sized pet carrier, you should measure your pet’s height and length.

For height, you should measure from the floor to the top of your pet’s shoulder.

Then, measure from the pet’s neck to the base of its tail to get the length.

Whether you own a dog or cat, make sure that the animal will have between two and four inches of space inside the carrier, including width, height, and length.

Then, your pet can easily turn around, stand up, and lay down.

That way, they are comfortable for the duration of their trip.

The goal here is to ensure that the pet carrier isn’t too big or small.

If it is larger than your pet, it could hurt if there is turbulence or while you transport it to and from the airplane.

A pet carrier that’s too small will cause your pet to be cramped and uncomfortable.

In a sense, it is best to look for carriers that are about twice the size of your animal.

2. Durability

It is important to find something that is airline-approved.

Often, that is a hard-sided carrier because the soft-sided ones may not have enough support and framing to keep the animal safe during travel or transport to and from the plane.

You also want to ensure that the product is made with sturdy materials.

It is likely one of the most expensive pieces of equipment you will have for your pet, but it’s improbable to buy one every year, so you want to make sure it will last.

3. Comfort

Many things affect the comfort of your pet.

For example, you need to get the sizing right and make sure there is plenty of ventilation.

As for you putting your pet in the carrier, you want it to be comfortable, as well.

Hence, you may want to consider how many access points there are.

Consider multiple access points so that you can put your pet in from the top or side, depending on how much they fight you.

4. Ventilation

Every pet carrier on the market should have enough ventilation so that your pet can breathe, but this is based on what the manufacturer thinks is sufficient.

Therefore, it might not be enough so that your pet stays cool during the trip.

Your pet will be in the carrier for a while, and things are sure to get warm.

Adequate ventilation ensures that air can flow naturally throughout the carrier, removing some of that heat.

5. Safety

Safety features should be included with the pet carrier to protect your furry friend.

Make sure the carrier has appropriate straps so that it can be carried safely to the destination.

You may also want to have an adjustable strap to allow hands-free carrying, which is ideal for any pet carrier bag.

Of course, you can also find hard-sided carriers.

For safety concerns, look for options that have a lock on the openings to keep your pet safe because they cannot get out of the carrier unless someone lets them.

6. Other Features

There are many other features to consider for your pet carrier.

For example, you may want to have padded shoulder straps if you plan to use the included shoulder strap, which isn’t included with all of the products.

It’s also important to consider the handles.

You want it to be balanced when you’re holding the pet in the carrier.

A single handle might not be ideal because the pet could be on one side or the other, making it uncomfortable for you to carry.

If space is a concern, it can also be helpful to choose a soft-sided pet carrier.

That way, you can fold it down to make storage easier.

Though not a requirement, you may also want to consider pockets on the pet carrier.

Those who travel abroad are sure to have to go through that country’s Customs.

It might be easier to stick essential papers there so that you don’t lose them.

Also, the pocket can help to keep your pet’s toys and other accessories.

FAQs

1. What Size Pet Carrier Will Fit Under an Airline Seat?

If your pet will travel in the cabin of the plane, you need a pet carrier that is 18.5×8.5×13.5 inches maximum.

This applies to both hard- and soft-sided products.

Also, the pet must be able to move around and stand in the carrier without any difficulties.

2. Can I Take My Dog out of the Carrier on a Plane?

No, you are not permitted to take your pet out of the carrier while you are onboard the plane.

This includes before departure, while in the air, during the landing procedure, and while waiting to de-board the airplane.

3. Are Airlines Strict With Pet Carriers?

This answer is two-fold because airlines have specific rules in place that you must follow.

Each airline can have different rules, but you will not have any issues if you ensure that your pet carrier is airline approved.

4. Do Dogs’ Ears Hurt When Flying?

Yes, the cabin pressure changes can cause your dog’s ears to hurt.

To avoid this problem, clean your dog’s ears before the flight.

You may also include a chew-toy, such as a dental bone.

Ask your veterinarian about other options and possibly consider an anxiety pill for your pet, as well.

5. Can I Buy a Seat on a Plane for My Dog?

No, airlines do not allow you to purchase a seat ticket for your dog, plus it is more expensive to do this.

Instead, think of your pet as carry-on luggage.

They can be placed under your seat and are sure to be more comfortable and tame.

Conclusion

Though we found most of these products to be suitable for the task at hand, there was a clear winner here.

The best airline pet carrier is from Vceoa.

This soft-sided airline-approved pet travel carrier works for both cats and dogs.

The measurements are ideal for many airlines.

Still, make sure to check with yours before traveling to be sure.

We also really liked the included pet bed.

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