United to ban nearly 50 dog breeds from cargo hold for their safety

United to ban dozens of dog breeds with small noses from the cargo hold over health concerns months after a French bulldog died in an overhead bin

  • Nearly 50 breeds of dog are banned from United Airlines cargo hold travel
  • The change comes amid a policy revamp designed to make flying pets safer
  • Only dogs and cats can fly, and no animal will be taken to Australia in cargo

United Airlines will change its policy on how it transports pets after a 10-month-old French Bulldog died when it was stashed in the overhead bin. 

Nearly 50 dog breeds and four cat breeds will be banned from travelling in cargo, ‘out of concern for higher-adverse health risks’.

In a statement released by United on Tuesday, the airline announced it ‘will implement several new policies and customer requirements for pet air transportation to improve the safety of the travel experience’. 

Any pet that is not an approved breed of dog or cat will also be prohibited from travelling in the cargo hold, so would need to be able to fit into a cabin-approved container to fly.

Nearly 50 breeds of dog and four breeds of cat will be banned from flying in the cargo hold of United Airlines planes (stock image)

United are now selling pet crates in appropriate sizes for aircraft cabin storage (stock image)

The airline has partnered with American Humane for its animal policy overhaul (stock image)

The airline has partnered with American Humane to ensure the way animals are transported is safe and kind.

Many of the other new changes are weather-related and focused on not exposing pets to extreme heat. 

Animals will no longer be transported in cargo to India or Australia at any time, and cannot be taken to or from Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix or Tucson between May 1 and September 30.

The airline is also now selling carriers on their website to ensure passengers arrive with their pets correctly stored to stay in the aircraft cabin. 

The change comes as part of a massive policy overhaul for how pets travel on the airline (stock image)

In March, a french bulldog died after a United staff member allegedly told a passenger to put her dog in the overhead locker (pictured)

Pets will not be able to travel in cargo to certain destinations at any time or to some US cities during summer

Jan Krems, United Airlines’ vice president of cargo said the airline chose American Humane for their policy revamp due to a long history of excellence, and hinted more changes were to come.  

‘We look forward to a long-term collaboration and appreciate their expertise in helping us further improve our service on an ongoing and continual basis,’ she said. 

‘As we continue our review process to ensure that we are always doing what’s right, we are committed to making significant improvements in our program and adhering to the best practices of animal comfort, well-being and travel on behalf of our customers and their pets.’  

In March, a United Airlines flight attendant allegedly told a dog-owner to put her 10-month-old pup into the overhead compartment for the duration of her three-hour flight.   

Papacito, the puppy, was dead when the plane landed in LaGuardia airport.  


From June 18, United Airlines will no longer accept many breeds of short- or snub-nosed dogs and cats and strong-jawed dog breeds, ‘out of concern for higher adverse health risks’.

The airline will also ban any animal from travelling that is not an approved breed of dog or cat, and will no longer fly pets to India or Australia.



American Bully

American Pit Bull Terrier/Pit Bull

American Staffordshire Terrier/’Amstaff’

Belgian Malinois

Boston Terrier


Brussels Griffon


American Bulldog

English Bulldog

French Bulldog

Old English Bulldogges

Shorty Bulldogs

Spanish Alano/Spanish Bulldog/Alano Espanol

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Chow Chow

English Toy Spaniel/Prince Charles Spaniel

Japanese Chin/Japanese Spaniel

Lhasa Apso


American Mastiff

Boerboel/South African Mastiff

Bull Mastiff

Ca de Bou/Mallorquin Mastiff 

Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff 

Dogo Argentino/Argentinian Mastiff

Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff 

English Mastiff  

Fila Brasileiro/Brazilian Mastiff/Cao de Fila

Indian Mastiff/Alangu

Kangal/Turkish Kangal

Neapolitan Mastiff/Mastino Napoletano

Pakastani Mastiff/Bully Kutta

Pyrenean Mastiff

Presa Canario/Perro de Presa Canario/Dogo Canario/Canary Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff / Mastin Espanol

Tibetan Mastiff

Tosa/Tosa Ken/Tosa Inu/Japanese Mastiff/Japanese Tosa



Dutch Pug

Japanese Pug

Shar-Pei/Chinese Shar-Pei


Staffordshire Bull Terrier/’Staffys’

Tibetan Spaniel



Exotic Shorthair



Nearly 50 breeds of dog and four breeds of cat will be banned from flying in the cargo hold of United Airlines planes after a french bulldog puppy died in the overhead locker in March (pictured)

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