Going through airport security with a pet

Traveling with pets: TSA does not prohibit travel with pets. However, it is very important that you contact your airline first so they can let you know about any requirements, fees, or restrictions they might have.

Checkpoint Screening: Your pet will need to be screened via checkpoint screening if it’s traveling with you in the cabin of the plane.

  • We do not X-ray pets. However, there have been many occasions where passengers have assumed their pet needed to go through the X-ray. You can imagine the surprise of the X-ray operator when they see Fluffy’s skeleton roll across their monitor. It is not an unusual occurrence.
  • Your pet will need to come out of its carrier, so it is a good idea to know how your pet will react. Many times a cat has gone into a feline frenzy after being removed from its carrier. An angry cat is never a good thing.
  • Even if your travel is “off the leash,” you should strongly consider keeping your pet on a leash. The checkpoint is a noisy environment that can cause your pet to flee at its first opportunity. This happens with humans occasionally as well.
  • Your pet can be carried through the walkthrough metal detector or walked through on leash. If your pet triggers an alarm, one of our officers will have to take a closer look.
  • Pets are not screened with advanced imaging technology.

Checked Baggage: If your pet is traveling in a kennel, your airline will arrange for a TSA Officer to screen the kennel.

  • Officers will need to inspect your kennel/carrier for prohibited items with you present. Sometimes this can be done visually, but it’s good to have a leash handy in case the officer asks you to remove your pet from the kennel/carrier.

If your pet isn’t the usual cat or dog and you would like to give TSA a heads up, you can contact a TSA Customer Support Manager at your departure airport using Talk to TSA.

Source: Transportation Security Administration TSA: www.tsa.gov

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