This is a bit of welcome news for all you pet lovers out there. Amtrak is now allowing travel with small dogs and cats. And the fee is quite affordable, only $25.00. Now, for those of you who would rather not deal with animals on a train (no not like snakes on a plane), take heart. There are restrictions that will hopefully make the journey much calmer than you think. For instance, pets aren’t allowed on every route, weight cannot exceed 20 pounds, there is a maximum trip length of seven hours, and more). Found below are a few particulars; check out the full details at the Amtrak website.
Pet Friendly Routes
- Call a reservation agent at 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit a staffed station to make a reservation (online reservations are in the works).
- Pet reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis, and may sell out quickly. There’s a maximum of five pets per train (service animals do not count towards this limit), so we encourage you to make your pet reservations in advance.
- One passenger may book one pet.
- Pets are permitted in Coach Class (sorry, pets are not allowed in Sleeping cars, Business Class or other accommodations).
- Our pet fare is a great deal at $25.00 for each travel segment.
- Pets unfortunately cannot be booked with multi-ride tickets, Amtrak Guest Rewards redemption reservations, Thruway Connection Services or with unaccompanied minors.
- In the event of a service disruption, Amtrak will make reasonable efforts to seek (but cannot guarantee) pet friendly hotel accommodations, if sheltering is necessary.
Approved Pet Carriers
- Pet owners must provide a pet carrier. The maximum size for pet carriers is 19″ long x 14″ wide x 10.5″ high. Maximum weight of pet with carrier is 20 pounds. The carrier may be hard or soft sided but must be leak proof and well ventilated.
- For your pet’s comfort and safety, it must be able to sit and lie down without touching the sides of the carrier.
- Your pet carrier counts as one piece of carry-on baggage.
Onboard and Station Guidelines
- Pets must remain inside their carrier while in stations and onboard trains. Please keep your pet with you at all times.
- Onboard, place your pet carrier under your seat (not under the seat in front of you), except on Amtrak Cascades trains where you can put your pet carrier on the floor in front of the seat next to you.
- Pets are welcome in Coach Class, but please remember they may not travel in other accommodations or food service cars.
- Some routes designate a specific Coach car for pets: Amtrak Cascades, Carl Sandburg, Illinois Zephyr, Illini, Saluki, Pere Marquette, Wolverine, Blue Water, Hiawatha and Missouri River Runner. On other pet friendly routes, you and your pet may ride in any Coach car.
- To confirm pet eligibility, we need to have you read and sign a Release and Indemnification Agreement for each leg of travel.
- At staffed stations, please check in at the ticket office no later than 30 minutes before departure to take care of the confirmation.
- At unstaffed stations, the conductor will confirm pet eligibility and provide you with the document to sign. Before your trip, find your station and check to see if it is staffed.
Pet Age & Health
- Your pet must be at least eight weeks old and be odorless, harmless, not disruptive and require no attention during travel.
- Amtrak maintains the right to refuse acceptance, and may remove any pet exhibiting these issues from stations or trains.
- You certify that your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and accept liability for your pet by signing the check-in document. Amtrak does not accept liability for the health and well-being of pets.
BTW, for ideas about pet-friendly hotel accommodations review a previous blog post from yours truly.
The Travel Diva