Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy: Everything You Need to Know

Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy: Everything You Need to Know

Updated on May 29, 2024
Written by Brenda Mejia

fact checked by Stephane Bandeira

Traveling with pets can be a bit overwhelming. Hawaiian Airlines makes it easier for pet owners to bring their furry friends along for the ride. Understanding the Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy is crucial to travel safely and smoothly.

This guide covers all the essential details you need to know about flying with your pet on Hawaiian Airlines, ensuring a comfortable experience.

Hawaiian Airlines Pet Travel Rules

To travel with your pet on Hawaiian Airlines can be simple if you understand their pet travel rules. For in-cabin travel, they only accept pets like small dogs and cats. The combined weight of the pet and carrier must not exceed 25 lbs.

Each ticketed guest can take one pet carrier, which can contain one adult dog or cat. You need to measure and weigh carriers at check-in to ensure they meet the airline’s requirements.

For larger pets, the airlines offer the option of transporting them as check-in baggage or cargo. The maximum allowable size for kennels is 36 inches.

All kennels are subject to inspection by airline personnel. Additionally, you need to have an animal health certificate issued within 10 days of travel to ensure they are fit to fly.

Dogs and cats can be subject to animal quarantine for up to 120 days unless they meet the State’s 5-Day-Or-Less program requirements. Hawaiian Airlines require documentation for pet travel; make sure to check all requirements and prepare accordingly.

TLDR: Hawaiian Airlines accept small dogs and cats in the passenger cabin if they and their carrier weigh 25 lbs or less. Larger pets can travel as check-in baggage or cargo. In the State of Hawaii, animal may face animal quarantine unless they meet specific program requirements.

Hawaiian Airlines Fees for Pet Travels

When flying with your pet on Hawaiian Airlines, it’s important to be aware of the associated travel fees.  For pets traveling in the cabin, the fee is $35 for inter-island flights within Hawaii. 

The fee increases to $125 if you’re flying between the State of Hawaii and North America. It includes any connecting flight during the state of Hawaii and North America journey. 

Live animals transported as check-in baggage will have different costs depending on the route, pet’s size, and carrier’s size. It’s crucial to check with the airline’s pricing.

Additionally, pets and their kennels should not exceed 70 lbs in combined weight. If they do, Hawaiian Airlines’ temperature-controlled cargo compartment offers transport options for larger pets.

ESAs are Exempt from Pet Fees for Housing

According to the FHA, Emotional Support Animals and Service Dogs are exempt from any housing pet fees, deposits or pet rents.

Learn More about Pet Fees

Hawaiian Airlines Standards for ESA and Service Animals

Hawaiian Airlines has specific guidelines for emotional support animals (ESAs) and service animals. Service animals must remain harnessed, leashed, or otherwise tethered and under control at all times during the flight. 

The airline does not charge a fee for service animals. ESAs are not given the same exemption and must meet the pet travel requirements. 

All animals traveling in the passenger cabin must fit in a carrier that adheres to the size requirements. Additionally, airlines may require paperwork such as an animal health certificate issued within 10 days of travel.

Hawaiian Airlines and the ACAA

Hawaiian Airlines complies with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). ACAA mandates accommodations for passengers with disabilities traveling with service animals.

To travel with your pet, a service animal, passengers must submit the necessary U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal forms before their flight. These forms ensure that the service animal behaves appropriately in public settings.

The airline does not accept ESAs as service animals, aligning with recent changes in ACAA regulations. This means ESAs must travel according to the regular pet policy, including all associated fees and kennel requirements. However, some pet-friendly airlines provide inclusive pet policies, which give ESAs many benefits.

Allowed Support Animals

Hawaiian Airlines allows specific types of animals to travel either in the cabin or as checked baggage. The fees and restrictions vary based on the type of animal and the travel destination.

$35 (Inter-island)


Permitted on



Cabin and Cargo

(Checked Baggage)

$125 (Mainland-Hawaii),

Cabin and Cargo

(Checked Baggage)

$125 (Mainland-Hawaii),

$35 (Inter-island)

Household Birds


(Checked Baggage)

$60 (Standard fee)

Take Note:

  • Dogs and Cats: Small dogs and cats are allowed to travel in the cabin on flights from all domestic destinations except Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. They can also be transported as checked baggage.
  • Household Birds: Birds are not allowed in the cabin and must travel as checked baggage.

Breed Restrictions on Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines discourages traveling with snub-nosed dogs (brachycephalic) and cat breeds due to their increased risk of health complications during flights.

These breeds are prone to respiratory issues, which can occur due to stress, extreme weather conditions, and conditions of air travel. While not banned, owners of these breeds should consider the potential risks before travel.

Allowed Cat Breeds in Cabin

  • All domestic cat breeds

Allowed Dog Breeds in Cabin

  • All domestic dog breeds

Hawaiian Airlines ESA Requirements

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) come under specific guidelines. However, recent changes in regulations mean they must adhere to the same policies as regular pets. This includes meeting size restrictions and paying applicable fees.


  • Pet in Cabin: One pet per ticketed guest, either one adult dog or cat.
  • Carrier Size: Approved carriers must not exceed 16” long x 10” wide x 9.5” high.
  • Weight Limit: The weight limitations are that the pet and carrier combined must not exceed 25 lbs for passenger cabin travel.
  • Health Certificate: You need a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel for checked baggage and cargo transport.


  • Species: Only dogs and cats can travel in the cabin. Household birds and other pets are not permitted.
  • Size and Weight: The combined weight of the pet and carrier must not exceed 70 lbs for checked baggage.
  • Carrier Inspection: All carriers are subject to measurement and inspection by airline personnel.

What to Know Before Flying Hawaiian Airlines With Pets

When planning to fly with your pet on Hawaiian Airlines, it’s important to know that it only allows domesticated dogs and cats. Make sure to notify the airline in advance, or inform the check-in agent if advance notice isn’t possible.

For those flying to the state of Hawaii, dogs and cats may be subject to quarantine unless they meet specific program requirements. 

It’s essential to have all necessary health certificates and documents ready. Also, consider calling Hawaiian Airlines Reservations department to confirm all details and ensure a smooth journey for you and your pet.

Prepping the ESA for Travelling

To ensure a stress-free trip for your Emotional Support Animal (ESA), follow these best practices:

  1. Familiarize Your ESA with the Carrier: Before your trip, allow your pet to explore and spend time in its carrier. Place the carrier in a familiar area and put some treats inside to create positive associations. This step is crucial for reducing anxiety on the day of travel.
  2. Exercise Before the Flight: A tired pet is usually calmer and less likely to become anxious. Take your ESA for a long walk or engage in a play session before heading to the airport. This will help them spend some of their energy and make them more likely to rest during the flight.
  3. Comfort Items: Bring along your pet’s favorite blanket or toy. Familiar items with their scent can provide a sense of security and comfort. Place these items inside the carrier to help your pet feel more at ease.
  4. Hydration and Feeding: Ensure your pet is well-hydrated before the flight. However, to prevent motion sickness, avoid feeding them a large meal before traveling. Instead, offer a light meal a few hours before departure. Keep a collapsible water bowl handy to offer water before boarding and after the flight.
  5. Calming Aids: Consider using natural calming aids. These products can help reduce anxiety and stress. If your pet is prone to severe anxiety, consult your veterinarian for advice on other calming options.
  6. Call Hawaiian Airlines Reservations: Call Hawaiian Airlines reservations ahead of time to confirm all details and any special requirements for your ESA. Discussing your plans with the airline can help prevent any last-minute surprises at the airport.

Required Forms and Documents for ESAs

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When traveling with an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) on Hawaiian Airlines, you need several forms and documents. It is to ensure compliance with regulations and facilitate a smooth travel experience.

ESA Letter or PSD Letter

An ESA letter or a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) letter can impact travel arrangements. An ESA letter allows your pet to be legally recognized as an emotional support animal. However, it does not exempt them from pet fees.

A PSD letter, which is only applicable to already trained dogs, exempts the dog from extra fees, and carrier restrictions due to ADA protections. An LMHP who diagnoses and confirms the need for an ESA or PSD must provide these letters.

Note that, according to the latest regulations, ESAs are no longer considered for free travel under the American Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

Behavior Form

You need a behavior form to ensure that your ESA or PSD is well-behaved and capable of handling the travel environment. This form is essential for verifying that the animal will not pose a risk to other passengers.

ESA Pet offers this as an additional service when you acquire your ESA letter. The ESA letter helps ensure that your pet meets the necessary behavior standards.

Health Form

A health form, signed by a veterinarian, confirms that your ESA or Service Animal is healthy and fit to travel. This document is particularly crucial given Hawaii’s tropical climate and strict animal import regulations.

You need to submit the health form before travel. ESA Pet offers this service to ensure your paperwork is complete and accepted by Hawaiian Airlines.

Getting an Official ESA Letter and Additional Documentation

ESA Pet makes the process of getting an ESA letter straightforward and hassle-free. Here’s a simple three-step process to follow:

Quick and Confidential Screening 

Begin by filling out a brief, confidential survey. This questionnaire will help mental health professionals understand your needs.

Professional Evaluation 

After completing the survey and paying, you’ll connect with a licensed healthcare professional in your state. They will review your survey responses and check whether an Emotional Support Animal would benefit you.

Receive Your ESA Letter 

If the healthcare professional determines that an ESA is appropriate for you, they will issue a signed ESA letter. You’ll receive a digital copy of this letter within three business days. This ESA letter makes it easy to start enjoying the benefits of having an ESA.

Get your Official ESA Letter Consultation from a licensed therapist.

Get ESA Letter Now

Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy FAQ

What Is Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy?

Hawaiian Airlines allows domesticated dogs, cats, and household birds to travel. You can transport pets either in the passenger cabin or in the checked baggage compartment. It depends on their size and the route.

How Much Does Hawaiian Airlines Charge for Pets?

The fee for a pet traveling in the cabin is $35 for inter-island flights within Hawaii and $125 for other flights between the state of Hawaii and North America. The charges for pets traveling as checked baggage depend on the route and the size of the pet.

Does Hawaiian Allow Pets in Cabins?

Yes. Hawaiian Airlines accepts pets, including small dogs and cats, to travel in the cabin. Pets must be in an approved carrier. The carrier should not exceed 16” long x 10” wide x 9.5” high. It should be leak-proof and allow the pet to be in its natural position.

Can I Buy My Dog a Seat on a Plane?

No. You cannot buy a separate seat for your pet on Hawaiian Airlines. Pets must travel in an approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. The airline does not allow pets to occupy passenger seats.

How Do I Add a Pet to My Flight?

To add a pet to your flight, notify Hawaiian Airlines reserves in advance by calling them. If advance notification is not possible, inform the check-in agent at the airport ticket counter. Ensure you meet all the carrier requirements and have the necessary health documentation for your pet.

Can Emotional Support Dogs Fly on Hawaiian Airlines?

Yes. Emotional support dogs can fly on Hawaiian Airlines, but the airline considers them as pets. You must notify the airline in advance, use an approved pet carrier, and pay a pet fee. Ensure your dog meets health and vaccination requirements. 

Wrapping Up Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy

Understanding the Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy is key to smooth travel with your pet. If your pet is small enough to join you in the cabin or you need to transport them as checked baggage, knowing the rules helps ensure a stress-free trip.

Small dogs and cats can fly in the cabin if their combined weight with the carrier is under 25 lbs. However, larger pets can travel in the checked baggage compartment with all the right paperwork. 

There are specific guidelines for service animals and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). The Hawaii Department considers ESAs pets and must meet the same criteria, including fees and carrier requirements. 

To make your journey easier, make sure all your paperwork is ready and prepare your pet in advance. Also, consider calling Hawaiian Airlines Reservations department to learn about other rules.

Contact ESA Pet for Personalized Assistance