Carriage of Animals Policy

Star Marianas Air, Inc. recognizes the importance of shipping pets and other live animals to the communities we serve and therefore will make all efforts to accommodate our customers’ requests. Certain USDA, IATA, and other international regulations require Star Marianas Air to follow strict guidelines in the shipment of these animals to ensure the health and safety of the animals as well as the safety of our aircraft and flight crewmembers.  Animals offered to Star Marianas Air for air shipments that do not conform to these guidelines must be refused.


Travel Requirements and Restrictions

  • Star Marianas Air, Inc. reserves the right to refuse live animals as checked baggage and as cargo if the animal's health is in question and/or if the health of the animal may be jeopardized by extreme weather/temperature conditions.

  • Advanced booking for pets as checked baggage or cargo must be booked at least 48 hours before departure.  Small dogs and cats may be accepted as carry-on baggage if they are kept in appropriate containers at the discretion of the pilot in command.

  • Animals other than dogs, cats, or fowl must not be shipped on passenger carrying flights.

  • The animal/s must be harmless, inoffensive, odorless, and require no attention during transit.

  • The animal must be confined in a cage or container subject to inspection and approval by Star Marianas Air before acceptance and in conformance with 9CFR or IATA live animal regulations.

  • Environmental conditions must pose no hazard to the safety or comfort of the animal.

  • The passenger must make all arrangements and assume full responsibility for complying with all applicable laws, customs, and/or other governmental regulations, requirements, or restrictions of the country, state, or territory to which the animal is being transported.

  • If the animal is not claimed within 6 hours after arrival, the animal will be placed in a local kennel at the passenger’s expense.

  • Trained service animals are accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability. A service animal should sit in the floor space in front of the customer's assigned seat but cannot protrude into the aisles. Customers may use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller animals provided its use meets stowage requirements. Exit row seating is prohibited.



All shipments of live animals, other than pets travelling as checked or carry-on baggage will be assessed a live animal handling fee in addition to the dimensional or actual weight charges. Live animal fees very by flight routing / destination.  Please contact our reservations department for more information or for a quotation.


Kennels or other approved shipping containers may also be available for rent.


Kennel Requirements

To transport pets in the cabin, either soft- or hard-sided kennels must be leak-proof and ventilated on at least two sides. Kennels are not sold at SMA Ticket Counters, but may be available for rent with prior scheduling.


To transport pets as checked baggage or cargo, an approved shipping kennel must be used, and it must ship in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. The kennel must provide enough room for your pet to stand and sit erect — without the head touching the top of the container — and to turn around and lie down in a natural position.

All kennels must be capable of loading upright in the aircraft bin as required by the Animal Welfare Act and the International Air Transport Association Live Animal Regulations.


In addition, USDA rules state that the kennel must:

  • be constructed of rigid plastic, wood, metal or material of comparable strength with solid roofs; no cardboard kennels

  • have wheels that can be removed or made inoperable (applicable to wheeled kennels only)

  • have ventilation openings on three sides, in addition to the door opening

  • have functional handles on the kennel's exterior to prevent tilting and any direct contact with the animals

  • close securely, but not lock, to allow personnel to open it in case of emergency

  • display labels with the words "Live Animal" in 1-inch letters on the crate's top and on at least one side

  • display upright arrow labels indicating kennel's correct position; SMA can provide these labels

  • contain bedding, shredded paper or towels to absorb “accidents”

  • contain two dishes (one for food and one for water) attached to the inside of the kennel door — they must be easily accessible to customer service agents without opening the kennel door

  • display feeding instructions and food, if applicable — these instructions should be affixed to the top of the kennel, along with shipper and consignee information


Kennel Labeling

All animal kennels must display the following;

  • Live Animal Checklist (includes feeding and watering instructions)

  • Live Animal label

  • Directional arrows

  • Wild Animal label, when applicable

Prohibited/Restricted Kennels

  1. Kennels made entirely of welded mesh, wire mesh, wicker, cardboard or collapsible materials are strictly prohibited

  2. Kennels with opening doors on top

  3. Kennels with plastic front doors and/or plastic side latches that secure the top and bottom together without hardware, such as metal nuts/bolts.


Reptile, Amphibian and Fish Containers

Reptiles, amphibians and fish are accepted only as air cargo, not as carry-on or checked baggage. Shipments must comply with the container requirements of the current edition of the IATA Live Animal Regulations.

Reptiles, other than snakes, need to be placed in a container constructed of wood, plastic or corrugated material. For flight purposes, animals in this category include (but are not limited to):

  • Caiman

  • Chameleons

  • Frogs

  • Geckos

  • Iguanas

  • Lizards

  • Newts

  • Salamanders

  • Toads


Animal Breed Restrictions (Snub- or Pug-nosed Dogs / Snub-nosed Cats)

These breeds are known to have breathing difficulty and SMA will not assume responsibility for safe transport of these animals.

  • American Bulldog

  • American Staffordshire Terrier

  • American Pit Bull Terrier

  • Boston Terrier

  • Boxer

  • Brussels Griffin

  • Bulldog*

  • Chinese Pug

  • Chow Chow

  • Dutch Pug

  • English Bulldog

  • English Toy Spaniel

  • French Bulldog

  • Lhasa Apso

  • Japanese Boxer

  • Japanese Pug

  • Japanese Spaniel (Chin)

  • Mastiff (all breeds)

  • Pekinese

  • Pit Bull

  • Pug

  • Shar Pei

  • Shih Tzu

  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  • Tibetan Spaniel

  • Burmese

  • Exotic

  • Himalayan

  • Persian


Carriage of Fowl

All birds must be in at least a cardboard container that is leak proof and can be handled without contact with the bird. The container must have adequate ventilation on at least three sides.


Safety and security concerns for SMA personnel and customers prevent removal of live snake shipments from shipping containers.