Can Rabbits Travel on Planes? (5 Airlines That Allow Rabbits to Fly)

Buckle up your bunny and get ready for takeoff! Flying the friendly skies with your rabbit companion may seem daunting, but it is possible. Major airlines like United, Delta, and American allow rabbits onboard following specific guidelines. With proper preparation, research, and the right accessories, you and your furry co-pilot can jet away on exciting new adventures. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know before takeoff, from airline policies and pet fees to carrier options and in-flight care tips. We’ll discuss how to keep your long-eared travel buddy safe, comfortable, and as stress-free as possible at 30,000 feet. So grab your carry-on carrot snacks and passport – your rabbit is ready to fly!

Can I Take My Rabbit on an Airplane?

Many pet owners wonder if they can bring their rabbit on an airplane for travel. The answer is yes – some major airlines do allow rabbits to fly! However, there are a number of restrictions and requirements to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you'll need to check with the specific airline you plan to fly with to see if they allow rabbits in the cabin or in cargo. Each airline has their own rules around accepting rabbits as pets on board. Some airlines, like United, Delta and American Airlines, do permit rabbits in the cabin if they meet the size and carrier requirements. Other airlines, like Southwest, do not allow rabbits to fly at all.

You'll also need to make sure your rabbit is in good health to travel. Most airlines require a health certificate from your veterinarian stating that your rabbit has been examined within 10 days of the flight and shows no signs of illness. Vaccinations may also be required.

Additionally, airlines have specific guidelines for rabbit carriers. Carriers are generally required to be leak-proof, well-ventilated and allow the rabbit to stand up and turn around comfortably inside. Most airlines have size limits for in-cabin rabbit carriers, such as a maximum height of 10 inches.

It's important to understand any possible temperature extremes your rabbit may experience in baggage handling and while flying. You'll want to take steps to protect your rabbit from the cold, heat, loud noises and unfamiliar environments. Preparing the right documents, researching airline policies, and taking proper precautions will help ensure your rabbit stays safe and comfortable when traveling by air.

Will My Rabbit be Safe on an Airplane?

Rabbits can safely travel on airplanes when the proper precautions are taken. Here are some tips for keeping your rabbit safe and comfortable during air travel:

  • Choose direct flights when possible to minimize layover time in airports. Connecting flights increase the risk of your rabbit's carrier getting mishandled or exposed to extreme temperatures.

  • Opt to have your rabbit travel in the aircraft cabin with you rather than placing them in the cargo hold. The cabin is climate-controlled and you can monitor your rabbit during the flight.

  • Invest in an airline-approved carrier that is sturdy, well-ventilated and large enough for your rabbit to stand up and turn around in. Line the bottom with absorbent bedding.

  • Attach a water bottle to the inside of the carrier so your rabbit can hydrate. Bring treats to prevent hypoglycemia.

  • Acclimate your rabbit to the carrier before the trip so being inside it is not a scary new experience.

  • Request a bulkhead seat with extra legroom to have more space for the carrier.

  • Cover the carrier with a light blanket to provide additional insulation and reduce stress.

  • Ask the flight attendant to let you stow the carrier under the seat in front of you so it is within view.

  • Affix "Live Animal" stickers to the carrier so handlers will take extra care.

With the proper carrier, supplies and monitoring, air travel can be perfectly safe for rabbits. Just take steps to reduce risks like temperature extremes, dehydration and anxiety.

What Airlines Allow Rabbits to Fly?

Many major airlines do allow domestic rabbits to fly, though their individual policies vary. Here are 5 airlines that permit rabbits and their requirements:

United Airlines – United allows rabbits to travel in the cabin on flights within the U.S. The rabbit must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned. Rabbits are not permitted on international flights. The cage must be leak-proof and measure no more than 18 x 14 x 10 inches.

Delta Air Lines – Delta permits domesticated pet rabbits in the cabin on U.S. flights. The cage must be leak-proof and can be no larger than 20 x 16 x 8 inches. Rabbits are not allowed on international Delta flights.

American Airlines – Rabbits are welcome in the cabin on American Airlines domestic routes provided the kennel is under 20 x 16 x 8 inches. Larger rabbits must be transported via cargo hold. Checked pets incur a $200 fee.

Alaska Airlines – Alaska Airlines allows rabbits in the cabin on most flights within the U.S. The kennel must be under 10 x 17 x 11 inches. Rabbits are restricted in number based on aircraft type.

Frontier Airlines – Frontier permits rabbits under 20 pounds to fly in the cabin nationwide. The cage must be under 18 x 14 x 10 inches. An in-cabin pet fee applies. Larger rabbits must go in cargo.

Always review your airline's current rules before booking a flight with a rabbit. Policies are subject to change. Some airlines, like Southwest, JetBlue and Allegiant Air, do not allow rabbits to fly at all.

How Much Does Flying with a Rabbit Cost?

Flying with a rabbit onboard a flight typically incurs an additional fee from the airline. Here are typical costs associated with bringing a rabbit on a plane:

  • In-cabin pet fee: $100-$125 each way. This is the fee airlines like United, Delta and American charge to permit a small rabbit in the main cabin.

  • Larger rabbit cargo fee: $200-$300 each way. If your rabbit is too large to fit under the seat, airlines will charge this fee to transport them in the temperature-controlled cargo hold.

  • Carrier purchase: $30-$100. You'll need an airline-compliant carrier, usually made of hard plastic or wire mesh. Well-ventilated options with removable litter trays are ideal.

  • Health certificate: $50-$100. Most airlines require a veterinarian health certificate issued within 10 days of travel to confirm your rabbit is fit to fly.

  • Rabbit exam: $50-$150. A vet exam is usually required prior to obtaining a health certificate. This ensures your rabbit has a clean bill of health.

  • Vaccinations: $20-$60. Airlines may require documentation of current rabies and RHDV2 vaccinations for rabbits.

  • Boarding pre/post-flight: $25-$50 per day. Some bunny owners board their rabbits the day before and after a flight to reduce transport stress.

While fees vary between airlines, expect to spend $300-$500+ above airfare to fly with your pet rabbit. Traveling with a bonded pair of rabbits may incur higher pet and carrier costs.

My Rabbit is an Emotional Support Animal

If your rabbit provides emotional support or you have an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional, special accommodations apply when flying with your rabbit:

  • No pet fee – Airlines cannot charge a pet fee for an ESA rabbit. Proper documentation is required as proof.

  • May fly internationally – Unlike regular pets, ESAs can fly internationally with proper health certificates.

  • Can ride in cabin on most airlines – Even airlines that ban non-ESA rabbits allow ESA bunnies in cabin.

  • No carrier size limits – For ESAs, airlines waive standard carrier size rules that apply to pets.

  • Can ride at your feet – Some people have ESA rabbits that sit at their feet during flights instead of being crated.

  • Housing rights – ESA status grants rabbits access to no-pets housing under Fair Housing laws.

While ESAs receive special privileges, general animal care rules still apply. Air travel can be stressful, so take steps to reduce risk and keep your ESA rabbit comfortable on planes. Proper documentation is key to accessing ESA allowances when flying.

Is Shipping Rabbits by Air Safe?

Shipping rabbits via air cargo rather than flying with them on a passenger flight is an alternative option some owners consider. Here are some factors to weigh when deciding if air shipping a rabbit is safe:

  • Temperature control – Airlines have climate-controlled holding areas for animals being shipped as cargo. This protects them from extreme temperatures on the tarmac.

  • Direct flights – Opt for direct shipping routes without layovers or plane transfers to minimize time in transit.

  • Sturdy kennels – Ship rabbits in an IATA-compliant kennel labeled with "Live Animal" stickers and feeding/care instructions.

  • Kennel acclimation – Letting rabbits adjust to their travel kennel ahead of time reduces flight anxiety.

  • Food and water – Provide bowls secured inside the kennel along with ample hay, pellets and treats.

  • Health risks – Shipping puts extra physical stress on rabbits. Vet exams before and after are recommended.

  • Cost – Shipping a rabbit by air starts around $300 but depends on factors like distance and kennel size.

While air shipping rabbits with the proper precautions can be low-risk, many owners prefer to have their rabbit travel in the cabin with them when possible for peace of mind and to monitor their pet during the flight.

Do Rabbits Need Passports to Travel by Air?

Domestic rabbits traveling within the United States by air do not require passports. However, pet passports are recommended or required under certain circumstances:

  • International flights – Most overseas destinations like the UK and EU require rabbits to have a pet passport with up-to-date rabies vaccination records.

  • Inter-island Hawaii flights – Rabbits flying between the Hawaiian Islands must have the 5-day or 30-day rabies quarantine exemption certificate.

  • Emotional support animals – While not required, ESA travel documentation like ID cards and physician letters are recommended to access rabbit accommodations.

  • Certifying health status – Some U.S. states use animal passports to confirm current vaccinations and health status, which may facilitate travel.

A pet passport serves primarily as an official health certificate verifying the animal meets the destination's import requirements. Only domesticated pet rabbits can be issued passports. Wild rabbits do not qualify.

Be sure to research the latest international travel regulations when planning to fly overseas with your rabbit. Proper documentation can prevent issues with immigration officials or mandatory quarantines. Consulting with your veterinarian early in the planning process is also wise.

Do Rabbits Need Vaccinations Before Flying?

Airlines and travel destinations may require rabbits to have certain vaccinations before they are permitted to fly:

Rabies – Proof of up-to-date rabies vaccination is often required for rabbits on international flights or crossing state borders. Domestic flights may also ask for documentation.

RHDV2 – Airlines flying to Hawaii require documentation of vaccination against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, which is highly contagious among rabbits.

Myxomatosis – Vaccination against myxomatosis may be recommended for rabbits traveling overseas, as this rabbit-specific disease is more prevalent in some countries.

Vet Check – Most airlines need a veterinary health certificate issued within 10 days of travel stating the rabbit appears healthy. An exam may be required before this certificate is issued.

While not all travel scenarios require vaccinations, they do provide an added layer of protection for rabbits exposed to new environments. Checking airline regulations well in advance helps ensure your rabbit meets the proper protocols for vaccinations and health documentation before their flight.

Will My Rabbit be Quarantined upon Landing?

Depending on where your rabbit is traveling to, a quarantine period may or may not be required upon arrival:

  • Domestic U.S. flights – No quarantine period is necessary when traveling between U.S. states and territories.

  • International flights – Many countries do not require quarantine for pet rabbits from the U.S. Exceptions include the UK (30 days quarantine) and Australia (minimum 10 days).

  • Hawaii flights – Rabbits flying to Hawaii from mainland U.S. can avoid quarantine if they provide proof of current rabies vaccination.

  • New Zealand – New Zealand requires imported pet rabbits from any foreign country to complete a minimum 30 day quarantine.

Quarantine periods for rabbits help prevent the spread of contagious diseases like myxomatosis and rabbit hemorrhagic disease. Often, quarantine can be avoided by following proper vaccination protocols and securing the required health certificates before arrival.

Research the quarantine regulations relevant to your destination. If your rabbit must undergo quarantine, identify boarding facilities ahead of time that are comfortable housing rabbits during the isolation period apart from other animals.

Flying with Two Rabbits

Many rabbits are happier traveling and living in bonded pairs. While it involves a few additional considerations, flying with two rabbits is absolutely manageable. Here are some tips:

  • Use an appropriately sized carrier that allows both rabbits enough room to move around and lay down. Soft-sided carriers with multiple entrances often work well for two.

  • Add a divider panel if your rabbits are not bonded yet. It allows them separate space while still traveling together. Remove if bonded.

  • Expect to pay a pet fee for each rabbit, unless they are ESAs. Fees vary by airline.

  • Ensure the combined weight of both rabbits and their carrier does not exceed any airline or aircraft weight limits.

  • Feed and water each rabbit separately either in the same carrier or in two separate carriers.

  • Monitor both rabbits closely in flight for signs of stress or overheating.

  • Have identification and all travel documentation prepared for both rabbits to avoid issues.

  • Follow all quarantine and vaccination mandates that apply for each rabbit individually.

With a few simple steps, flying together helps social rabbits feel more secure. Solo rabbits may also benefit from having a partner as an added sense of comfort when traveling by air to a new place.


While air travel with rabbits requires preparation, many major airlines do accommodate rabbits in the passenger cabin or as cargo. To fly safely with a rabbit:

  • Research your airline's specific rabbit policies well in advance.
  • Obtain the approved carrier and required health documents for your rabbit.
  • Ensure your rabbit is comfortable inside their carrier.
  • Take steps to regulate temperature, prevent dehydration and reduce anxiety while traveling.
  • Follow all vaccination and quarantine rules for your destination.

With proper planning, the right equipment and specific airline approval, rabbits can be transported safely and comfortably by air to travel to new destinations with their owners.


Leave a Comment