Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

Hawaiian Airlines Pet PolicyWhether you’re traveling with a dog as large as a Great Dane, or a snub-nosed dog breed like the Pug, it’s important to make sure you know everything there is to know about Hawaiian Airlines pet policy. This will ensure both you and your beloved pet can have a relaxing, stress-free plane ride.

Boarding with Animals: What Assistance Animals Are Accepted for In-Cabin Flight?

Cat in an airline cargo pet carrier, boarding with animal for Hawaiian Airlines pet policy

Hawaiian Airlines pet policy is strict due to the state’s quarantine laws. Dogs and cats in a pet carrier can fly in the passenger cabin on flights leaving Hawaii and inter-island flights with a fee, but they are not allowed on international flights.

Other animals like birds can travel as checked baggage in the cargo compartment beneath the plane. These restrictions do not apply to emotional support or service animals, who are considered assistance animals and are accepted for in-cabin flights.

Hawaiian Airlines pet policy dictates that they have the right to deny boarding or remove a service or support animal if a flight attendant observes behaviors that could be a threat to the safety of others or be a significant disruption.

Airline policies do change periodically if you are booking a trip in advance, check for any forward-looking statements that may indicate policy change.

Emotional Support Animals

Emotional support animals provide emotional support or psychiatric service to individuals.  They are not trained to perform a specific task.  Emotional support animals must be well behaved during the flight but can fly in-cabin without any fees.  Many airports have grassy areas for pet relief.  If you are traveling with an emotional support animal in the aircraft cabin, you do not need to bring a pet carrier, but if you do, it will be considered a personal item or one of your carry-on bags.

Service Animals

Service animals are trained to assist passengers with a disability and can fly free of charge.  Hawaiian airlines need 48 hours notices if the flight is 8 or more hours long.  You will need to check in an hour earlier than general check-in. If a support/service animal is extra large and needs a seat, a passenger can purchase one and will have double both the free carry-on baggage and checked bag allowance (one for each seat). Only service animals can enter Hawaii without animal quarantine if they have a valid health certificate and meet specific requirements.

Larger animals that are not service or emotional support animals will need to fly in the cargo hold (the baggage compartment), and can count as checked baggage. Cargo and cabin travel is first-come-first-served. There are a limited number of animals allowed on each flight, so check in your pet online early.  If your dog flies as cargo, you will pick your dog in its kennel at a designated area, not baggage claim.

Documentation: The 2 Forms You Will Need Before Arriving at the Airport

In general, Hawaiian Airlines pet policy can be considered a fairly strict pet policy due to their restrictions. This is why it is crucial that you keep all the necessary documents ready prior to your check-in.

ESA Letter

If you are traveling with an ESA or psychiatric service animal, you are required to provide the most recent documentation that is no older than 1 year from the date of your flight trip. Any documentation that required you to have an ESA needs to be written by a health professional or doctor on their professional letterhead.

Animal Health Certificate

In regards to animal health certificate, its crucial that you contact the State of Hawaii Animal Industry Divisions Animal Quarantine Branch to learn more about what entry permits you need.

Additional Documentation

If you plan on traveling with your ESA on a Hawaiian Airlines flight for more than 8-hours, then Hawaiian Airlines ESA policy dictates that you need to provide documentation that states that your ESA will not relieve themselves on a flight, and that you have the proper protocol in place should your pet need to relieve itself.

Cargo Travel: The 4 Main Facts to Know When Checking-In Your Pet

When it comes to traveling with pets, there are four key facts you need to know in order to ensure your journey is stress-free!

1. Costs

$60.00 for travel within Hawaii, from Hawaii to North America $225.00, and from North America to Hawaii $225.00.

2. Breed Restrictions

Snub-nosed breeds (AKA short-nosed dog breeds or brachycephalic breeds) are restricted on Cargo flights.

3. Weight and Height Restriction of Carriers

  • Kennel 100 Series – Maximum Dimensions: 21”L x 16“W x 15”H – Max Weight total weight of Kennel and Animal – 18 lbs.
  • Kennel 200 Series – Maximum Dimensions: 28”L x 20.5“W x 21.5”H – Max Weight total weight of Kennel and Animal – 25 lbs.
  • Kennel 300 Series – Maximum Dimensions: 32”L x 22.5“W x 24.0”H – Max Weight total weight of Kennel and Animal – 40 lbs.
  • Kennel 400 Series – Maximum Dimensions: 36”L x 22.5“W x 27”H – Max Weight total weight of Kennel and Animal – 70 lbs.

4. Regarding Pet Safety

“Animal Health and safety are our priorities” according to the Hawaiian Air Cargo Website.  Hawaiian Airlines pet policy has a strict protocol for animal cargo travel and takes extra precautions to ensure animals have safe travel.

4 Top Tips As You Are Preparing to Travel with Your ESA

1. If you’re flying a short distance, choose a nonstop flight so you have less wait time at the airport

2. You do not need a carrier for an ESA, so you can bring your regular carry-on luggage

3. Exercise your dog before the flight, even if it is short.  The waiting time before boarding should be considered as part of the “flight,” as your animal will have to be well behaved and calm.

4. Avoid feeding your pet before the flight, so they will not have to use the bathroom and in case of motion sickness.  Give minimal water so they do not need to pee.

Flying with Your ESA: Know the Special Requirements when Traveling with Hawaiian Airlines

ESA cat inside a luggage bag preparing for flight on Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy

1. You will need to alert the airline that you are traveling with your ESA 48 hours before your Hawaiian airline’s flight.

2. Arrive an hour earlier than general check-in to start the check-in process, be sure to have the correct paperwork.

3. ESAs will be quarantined for inspection (at owner’s expense) at the Honolulu International Airport (NHL) which is open from 8 am.m to 5 p.m daily. The quarantine can last up to 120 days if you do not have a proper health certificate.

4. Only standard animals, dogs, and cats are accepted as ESAs.

5. If the flight is longer than 8 hours, you will need to provide documentation that your ESA will not need to use the bathroom or can do so in a sanitary way.

6. If you are flying internationally, you must check with the country you are traveling to for their animal entry requirements

Where to Call or Visit for More Information on Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy

If you’ve got any questions about Hawaiian Airlines pet policy then you can contact Hawaiian Airlines directly on their website.

For general inquiries, you can call them at 1-800-367-5320

Taking a Different Airline? Check out More Policies Here

Visit Hawaiian Airline’s website for more information on their pet policy and traveling with animals

Other Airline Policies:

American Airlines

Spirit Airlines

Alaska Airlines


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