Last Updated:
04 Jan 2018

About Continental Airlines

Continental was the 4th-largest airline in the US, and is a member of the Star Alliance network of airlines. It has since merged with United Airlines. The United Airlines baggage policies now apply.

Looking for Continental Airlines Checked Baggage Policies?

View the 2018 Continental Airlines Baggage Policies page for information about carry-on, checked, and excess baggage fees.

Continental Airlines Pet Policy 2018

Continental is committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for all of our customers, including pets. Because we share our customers' concern that their pets' flights are stress-free, we have enhanced our animal acceptance policy to transport pets as cargo. Our program is called PetSafe®. Under this program, Continental does not accept pets as checked baggage.

The program offers the following options:
Customers can track their animals online at Continental's cargo Web site,, throughout their journey.
Continental will continue to accept small pets for travel in cabin in applicable markets.
Continental's policy for service animals, such as seeing-eye dogs, has not changed, and they will continue to be welcomed on board or as checked baggage.
Pets can travel as QUICKPAK®, Continental's cargo service offering same day, airport-to-airport delivery with features designed to ensure an animal's comfort and safety.
Earn miles for transporting your pet.

Safeguards for Pets Traveling as Cargo
Continental's PetSafe program will allow pets that previously traveled as checked baggage to experience these safeguards when they travel as cargo, keeping them safe and their owners reassured:
Dedicated 24-hour Live Animal Desk (800.575.3335 or 832.235.1541)
Confirmed booking prior to departure
Weather conditions constantly monitored at all points
The ability to track and trace the animal from its origin to its destination
Personal handling in climate-controlled vehicles for connections over Continental's hubs when the animal will be exposed to temperatures above 85°F (29.5°C) degrees for more than 45 minutes
Continental recommends (but does not require) that SENIOR DOGS AND CATS (over 7.5 years old) receive a more extensive health examination (i.e. liver and kidney screens).

Earn Miles with PetPassSM
Earn OnePass miles through our popular PetPass program. OnePass members can earn one (1) OnePass mile for every dollar spent (including tax, fuel and security surcharges) when transporting a pet using Continental's acclaimed PetSafe service (in-cabin pets and service animals do not qualify for this program). Simply present your OnePass number at the time of booking your pet, and the miles will be credited to your account within 6 to 8 weeks.

Terms and Conditions
These pages are for informative purposes only and do not form a contract. As such, any information contained within this site is subject to change with or without notice. Continental assumes no liability for these changes. Continental also reserves the right to interpret and apply these policies and procedures. In each case, Continental's interpretations and applications shall be final and conclusive.

Helpful Travel Tips
The following tips may assist with your pet's journey:
Take along a leash and collar for walking your pet prior to departure, and upon arrival.
Include identification tags with your home address and phone number as well as the address and phone number of your destination.
Check Temperatures: Remember to check with our Live Animal Desk (1.800.575.3335 or 832.235.1541) prior to departing for the airport to verify that temperatures are within acceptable ranges and arrive at the airport early. If your pet is traveling as QUICKPAK®, check-in will be at the airport. If your pet is traveling via Cargo, you will need to bring your animal to our Cargo facility. Most often it is located in a separate building than the airport terminal.
Keep your animal as calm as possible prior to the flight. A walk immediately prior to departure is a good idea. For cats, disposable litter boxes are available at pet supply shops and are easy to take along.
Comfort Stops: Continental will mandate a rest stop (kenneling) for any warm-blooded animal that will be in transit for 18 hours or longer. The transit time starts at tender time through recovery (which could be up to 2 hours after arrival at final destination). The shipper will be responsible for the kenneling charges and we will make the comfort stop arrangements.

Effective July 15, 2008, the in-cabin pet fee will increase to 125 USD per kennel, each way (USD250 for roundtrip travel). The fee will apply to any customers purchasing the in-cabin service on or after July 15, regardless of ticket date.

Continental allows domesticated cats, dogs, pet rabbits and household birds to be carried in the aircraft cabin on most U.S. flights within the U.S. An in-cabin pet may be carried in lieu of a carry-on bag and is subject to a USD125.00 service charge each way (USD250.00 for round trip travel). For travel that is on Continental Connection by Gulfstream International Airlines exclusively, the in cabin pet service charge is USD50.00 each way (USD100.00 for round trip travel). Pets can be booked online or by calling Reservations for assistance.

For travel outside the U.S. with an in-cabin pet, contact Reservations (800.525.0280 in the U.S.) for assistance and information about international in-cabin pet acceptance and service charges.

Pets must be carried in an approved in-cabin kennel. The kennel must fit completely under the seat forward of the customer and remain there at all times aboard the aircraft. Maximum hard case kennel dimensions are: 17.5" L x 12" W x 7.5" H (44 cm L x 30 cm W x 19 cm H) for hard sided kennels and 18" L x 11" W x 11"H (46x28x28 cm) for soft sided kennels.

In-cabin pet kennels may be available at Continental ticket counters for USD60.00. The dimensions are 18" L x 11" W x 11" H (46 cm L x 28 cm W x 28 cm H) for soft sided kennels.

In-cabin pet restrictions:
Only one pet per passenger is allowed in cabin.
One pet per flight is allowed in the front cabin (select aircraft only).
Four pets per flight are allowed in the Economy cabin on all Continental Airlines, Continental Micronesia, Continental Express and Continental Connection (except flights operated by Cape Air) flights.
One pet per flight is allowed in the Economy cabin for Continental Connection flights operated by Cape Air to/from San Juan, PR and within the state of Florida.
Pets are not permitted on flights operated by Cape Air dba Continental Connection to/from Guam.
Pets are not permitted with unaccompanied minors.
Pets are not permitted in the BusinessFirst cabin of Boeing 757, 767 or 777 aircraft due to inadequate storage space under the seat.
Customers traveling with an in-cabin pet on a Boeing 757-200 aircraft must be seated by the window.
Customers traveling with an in-cabin pet may not be seated in the bulkhead or an emergency exit row.
Pets are not permitted on flights to and from Hawaii.
Pet must remain in the kennel at all times on board the aircraft.
Customer is responsible to determine and comply with all state entry requirements which may apply.
Advance arrangements must be made.
Pets under eight weeks old are not permitted.
Pet must travel on the same flight as the owner.
No oxygen will be administered to a pet in the event of an emergency.

You and Continental are responsible for following all USDA and IATA regulations regarding the size and type of kennels utilized. You may use your own kennel or purchase an approved kennel of various sizes from Continental at all airport locations. Airline approved kennels of various sizes are also available for sale at pet supply shops.

One of the most important steps you can take to ease the stress of travel for your pet is to make sure it becomes familiar with its kennel. Purchase the kennel as far in advance as possible. Veterinarians recommend leaving the kennel door open in the house with an old sock or familiar object inside so that your pet may spend time near the kennel and perhaps venture inside on its own. Since it is important that your pet be as relaxed as possible during the flight, familiarization with the kennel is essential.

All kennels must follow these guidelines:
Type/size of Kennel
The kennel must be sturdy, properly ventilated, and, most importantly, must be large enough for the animal to freely sit and stand with its head erect, turn around, and lie down in a normal posture. To prevent accidental injury, no part of the animal's body can protrude through any openings in the kennel. For this reason, kennels made exclusively from wire are not accepted.

Super Size Kennels
Continental can transport dogs in "Giant" crates/kennels (700 series) whose dimensions do not exceed 48" L x 32" W x 35" H (121 cm X 68 cm X 89 cm). We can load these crates on most Boeing aircraft, but will need permission to alternately route any 700 kennels booked on smaller aircraft such as the 737-300 and 737-500. All bookings must be coordinated through the Live Animal Desk at 1.800.575.3335 or 281.553.5052.

Closing Mechanism
Check the closing mechanism to make sure it works properly. Do not put a lock on the kennel door. In accordance with federal regulations, your pet must be accessible in the event of an emergency.

Continental discourages kennels with wheels on the bottom unless the wheels have a locking device. If your kennel has wheels, it is recommended that they either be removed or taped in order to prevent them from rolling in transit.

Animals per Kennel
Each kennel should contain no more than 1 adult dog or cat, or no more than 2 puppies or kittens younger than 6 months, of comparable size, and under 20 lb (9.1 kg) each. Dogs and cats cannot travel together in the same container.

Include two empty food dishes
Include two empty dishes (one for food and one for water), accessible from the outside.

Absorbent Material
The kennel must contain absorbent material or litter. (Black and white printed newspaper is a good choice. However, newspaper with colored ink or advertisements can be toxic to animals.) Please note that the use of straw, hay or wood shavings is prohibited for international shipments.

Continental handles all specialty shipments, especially pets, with the greatest care. We understand the special requirements of shipping animals, and we adhere to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations, as well as International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations.

To further ensure the safety of animals when they travel on Continental, we require animal shippers to follow these guidelines:
For QUICKPAK service, pets must arrive at the QUICKPAK counter at least one hour prior to the scheduled flight's departure time. For international flights, pets must arrive at Continental's freight facility at least two hours prior to the flight's scheduled departure time.
Continental and the USDA require that your pet have a Health Certificate issued by a veterinarian dated within 10 days of travel for both the outbound and return trips.
Track a pet's itinerary online or call the Live Animal Desk at 800.575.3335 or 832.235.1541. Please have the shipment's air waybill number available.
Kennels and crates must conform to IATA and USDA regulations.
Continental Airlines supports the recommendation of the American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) to not accept animals that have been sedated. Continental will not knowingly accept a dog or cat that has been sedated and accepts no liability for the death or sickness of an animal caused by any drug.
The Continental agent will use the Live Warm-Blooded Animal Acceptance Checklist (PDF: 92.2 KB) at the time you tender your pet. Please feel free to print it out and utilize it in the preparation of your pet for shipping.

Documents may require the Adobe Acrobat reader, available for free from Adobe for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX and other platforms.

If you have any questions about procedures, please call our Live Animal Specialists at 1.800.575.3335 or 832.235.1541.

In addition to the special care provided animals when they travel as cargo, Continental's QUICKPAK service offers a shorter cut-off time and guaranteed, flight-specific service, based on the time of tender. Pets will also be available for pick-up within normal baggage recovery time.

Please contact the Live Animal Desk (800.575.3335 or 281.553.5052) for current rates and pick-up/ drop locations.

Continental's booking, handling and acceptance procedures apply
The tender time for QUICKPAK service is one hour prior to flight departure.
QUICKPAK animal shipments must be prepaid.
Call the Live Animal Desk at 800.575.3335 or 281.553.5052 for further details. See additional QUICKPAK information.

Additional details about the PetSafe program may be found within Continental's Animal Policy or you may contact the Live Animal Desk at 800.575.3335 or 281.553.5052.

Continental Airlines' consulting Veterinarian recommends that customers shipping small or toy breeds that are less than 12 weeks old and less than 3 lb (approx 1.5 kg) follow these precautionary steps to ensure their safe transportation:
Do not vaccinate these puppies within 3 days of transport
Do not worm these puppies within 3 days of transport
Ensure that no medical procedures are performed on the puppy within 3 days of transport
Use honey or White Karo syrup for "carbohydrate loading" for the 24-hour period just prior to shipping (to help maintain glucose levels in the puppy while in transit).

Continental's consulting veterinarian recommends these steps because a puppy less than 3 lb (approximately 1.5 kg) and 16 weeks of age cannot store glycogen in its liver which means it may not be able to regulate its own sugar/glucose levels. Lowered glucose levels in these pups could result in hypoglycemic episodes including seizures, reduction of body temperature (hypothermia) and could severely compromise the health of your pet.

Continental is committed to the safe and humane transport of all animals, and we believe that following the above steps will help ensure that your pet has a positive experience. For questions concerning the transportation of your pet, please contact our PetSafe® Desk at 1.800.575.3335 (or 281.553.5052) or via e-mail at

Federal regulations require that each kennel be properly labeled with the words "LIVE ANIMAL" on the top and at least 1 side of the kennel in 1" (2.5 cm) letters. Also, the kennel must have orientation labels on at least 2 sides.

Indicate the Top with arrows or "This End Up" markings on at least two sides.

Certification and Feeding Instructions
Certification must be attached to the kennel stating that the animal has been offered food and water within four hours prior to dropoff (or tender) with Continental. If food is necessary it must be attached to the outside of the kennel.

IMPORTANT: Do not feed your animal in the two (2) hours prior to departure, as a full stomach can cause discomfort for a traveling pet.

Contact Information Label
Label with your name, address and phone number at origin and destination cities. It is also a good idea to include your pet's name.

Sample labels that you can acquire from Continental at the time you tender your animal:

Brachycephalic (Short-Nosed) Dog Breeds
Extra care is required when the following breeds are shipped because they often have hereditary respiratory problems. These animals are susceptible to increased risk of heat stroke and breathing problems when exposed to stress or extreme heat:
Boston Terrier
Brussels Griffin
Bull Terrier
Dutch Pug
English Bulldog
English Toy Spaniel
French Bulldog
Japanese Chin
Japanese Pug
Shih Tzu

On the recommendation of our consulting veterinarian, Continental Airlines will now require the following to reduce stress and heat exposure when shipping or handling the above-mentioned breeds:

Use 1 size larger kennel than is normally required
Use a kennel with ventilation on 4 sides. (If the kennel does not have ventilation on 4 sides, modify the kennel by drilling 7 holes in the rear top and 7 holes in the rear bottom of the kennel using a 3/4 inch keyhole bit).
Acclimate the animal to the kennel by letting the animal spend time in the kennel for several days before its departure
Do not place food in the kennel during the flight, just water
Provide plenty of water to the animal. Frozen water bottles with tiny holes punched in the sides make a great watering tool for several hours when placed in the kennel's watering dish.

Restricted Cities or Countries


Dangerous Dog Breed Restrictions
Continental will not accept the following breeds of dogs once they have reached either 6 months of age or 20 lbs (9 kgs) in weight (whichever comes first). The includes mixed breeds of these dogs. No exceptions to this embargo will be permitted.
Restricted Breeds:
Pit Bull Terriers
American Staffordshire Terriers
Presa Canario
Perro de Presa Canario
Dogo Argentino
Cane Corso
Fila Brasileiro
Tosa (or Tosa Ken)

Determination of breed, age or weight of the animal is to be confirmed by the animal's Health Certificate (dated within 10 days of transport). Additionally, Continental reserves the right to refuse any animal that displays aggression or viciousness at the time of tender.

All Boston Terriers, Bulldogs and Pugs
Continental Airlines will accept Boston Terriers, Bulldogs (of any breed including English and French ) or Pugs according to the following conditions:
Puppies of these breeds which are between 8 weeks and 6 months of age and are less than 20 lbs (or 9 kgs) will be accepted at any time of the year.
Adults of these breeds (older than 6 months of age and/or weighing more than 20 lbs or 9 kgs) are subject to the following restrictions:
May 15 - Sept 15 None will be accepted
Sept 16 - May 14 These animals will be accepted as long as the forecasted temperatures along the itinerary are expected to be less than 85 degree F (29 degrees C) or lower at the time the animal's flight(s) is scheduled to arrive and depart. Animals may also use the option of "day kenneling" to avoid the heat of the day for connecting flights.

Adult Poultry Embargo
In order to ensure compliance with the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, Continental will no longer accept shipments of live adult poultry, at any of our worldwide cargo or QUICKPAK locations. With the exception of the U.S. Postal Service contract, the embargo prohibits the acceptance of live adult poultry shipments for transport on any Continental, Continental Micronesia, Continental Express or Continental Connection flight until further notice. Please note that baby chicks or day-old chicks will continue to be carried per our guidelines.

Embargo for Regional Jets operated by ExpressJet Airlines
Due to heating limitations, Continental cannot transport pets on the Embraer Regional Jets (ERJ and SRJ) operated by ExpressJet Airlines. Regional Jets operated by other Continental Connection or Continental Express carriers may carry animals without difficulty.

Continental Airlines (CO) is the first U.S. airline to be approved under the United Kingdom's "Pet Travel Scheme" (PETS), which eliminates the usual six-month quarantine for cats, dogs and ferrets traveling to Manchester, England, and was also the first U.S. carrier approved for both London and Bristol, and currently has more long-haul route authorities under the UK's Pet Scheme than any other U.S. carrier.

Continental customers whose pets meet guidelines established by Great Britain's Dept. for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs may travel with their animals on Continental flights to Manchester without the pet being quarantined. Before finalizing travel plans, customers should get further information on Britain's PETS program at Britain's PETS program. Continental serves London Heathrow from its hub in New York/ Newark (EWR) and Houston, Texas (IAH) as well as Manchester and Bristol from its hub in Newark (EWR).

Continental's official agent at London's Heathrow airport, Manchester Airport and at Bristol Airport for clearing and processing live animals is PBS International Freight Forwarders Ltd. After confirming a booking for your pet, customers must contact PBS directly to plan for the arrival of their pet and to ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed in advance for the UK Customs clearance of your animal.

For assistance, please call the PetSafe desk at 1-800-575-3335 or 281-553-5052 or contact them via e-mail at

PBS International Freight (Agent / Customs Brokers)
9 Meadowbrook Industrial Centre
Maxwell Way, Crawley
West Sussez RH10 9SA
Phone: 44-129 355 1140
Fax: 44-129 355 1169

London Heathrow Animal Reception Center
Dept. of Enviromental Services
Beacon Road
Heathrow International Airport
Tel: 0208 745 7894 or 7895
Fax: 0208 759 3477

Manchester Animal Reception Center:
Pets on Jets
c/o BA Regional Cargo
Building 300
World Freight Terminal
Manchester Airport
M90 5BA
Phone: 0161 489 8220
Fax: 0161 489 8222
Pets on Jets Brochure (PDF: 215K)

Bristol Animal Reception Center:
Travel to Bristol with animals is not available at this time.

Continental operates the only on-airport kennel managed by an airline in the United States at its Houston Bush Intercontinental cargo facility. The kennel provides 1,100 square feet of space for runs and exercise pens. It also provides the ability to contain separate species in separate rooms.

With this facility, Continental can provide grooming, on-site servicing (or day kenneling) and overnight kenneling. You can book these services at the time you book your animal with our PetSafe desk. Fees will be collected at the time you tender your pet.

Fees for our Kenneling and services are:
On site servicing (8 hours or less):

Fee for the first animal 75.00 USD
Additional animals (on the same Air Waybill) 25.00 USD

Overnight Kenneling:
Fee for the first animal (for the first night) 100.00 USD
Fee for additional animals (on the same Air Waybill) 50.00 USD
Additional nights for all animals 15.00 USD

Grooming Services
Available upon request - call for a quote

Trained Service Animals

Trained service animals are accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability. A service animal should sit in the floor space in front of the customer's assigned seat but cannot protrude into the aisles. Customers may use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller animals provided its use meets stowage requirements. Exit row seating is prohibited. Documentation may be required for an animal traveling to international destinations. Customers traveling with a service animal to Hawaii must contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Animal Quarantine Station for exact requirements.

Psychiatric Assist/Emotional Support Animals
Psychiatric assist animals and emotional support animals are also accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability if certain documentation requirements are met. Additional documentation may also be required for an animal traveling to international destinations. Customers traveling with a psychiatric assist or emotional support animal to Hawaii must contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Animal Quarantine Station for exact requirements.

An animal should sit at the customer's feet without protruding into the aisles to comply with safety regulations. Customers may elect to use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller animals. Exit row seating is prohibited. Refer to DOT 14 CFR Part 382 or contact Continental for additional information.

Customers traveling with an emotional support or psychiatric assist animal must provide a minimum forty-eight (48) hour advance notification to Continental reservations. The disability desk in reservations (1-800-228-2744) must receive and validate the required documentation prior to the time of travel. Verification of documentation will include Continental contacting your mental health care professional. If we are unable to validate the documentation or if the advance notification is not given, customers will be required to transport the animal as a pet, and pet fees will apply.

Service Animals in Training
Continental only recognizes service animals which have been trained and certified. Those animals that are currently in training are not recognized as a service animal and will be subject to normal pet acceptance procedures.

Useful Links

  1. Continental Airlines Carry-on Allowance 2018
  2. Continental Airlines Baggage Allowance 2018
  3. Continental Airlines Excess Baggage Fees 2018 © Copyright 2011 - - Privacy - Disclaimer
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