Pet Friendly Airlines: United’s O’Hare PetSafe Kennel Facility

United PetSafe programTraveling through Chicago with a pet and wondering about layover conditions? Here's a look at what to expect. 

The United kennel facility at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) opened in 2013, offering a new level of care for pets flying through ORD as part of United's PetSafe program.

The kennel is located inside United's ORD Cargo Facility and includes 28 individual enclosures so that animals of different species can be housed in separate ventilated, temperature-controlled areas. This is the third facility of its kind, resembling amenities already in place at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and Liberty International Airport in Newark.

From an official United statement:

“We refer to our new facility as 'State-of-the-Arf',” said Fran Cervantes, United's PetSafe Product Development manager. “It was designed to provide the ultimate in safety and care for animals traveling with us. With the kennel location close to the gate area, and our six specially-built PetSafe vans exclusively used to transport animals, we get our four-legged passengers to and from their O'Hare flights as quickly and comfortably as possible.”

In terms of specific services, pet enclosures are kept clean and sanitized, pets are walked and exercised, and upon request, they can even be bathed and groomed. Staff is on hand to oversee the pet operations, and they include PetSafe runners, Ramp and Cargo Operations teams, and a team of experts available by phone who can assist with advance reservations, monitoring pets en route, and tracking weather conditions.

According to Rod Zimmerman, United's senior manager of Cargo Operations at ORD, “Many of us are pet owners, so we're proud of our role in keeping all the animals traveling through O'Hare as safe, healthy and comfortable as possible. PetSafe's reputation as the premier animal transport service in the industry is very important to all of us.”

Read more about United's PetSafe offerings at United and find out more about additional United product and route enhancements.

As always, contact PetRelocation if you have questions about how to move your pet. We'd be happy to assist!


Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2013 and has been updated with new information. Photo Credit: United.


PetRelocation Team




United States


Add a Comment

By Paula R Schultz on November 9, 2017 at 10:38 am

I am having a bird flown in to Ohare from Dallas...what is the address or department to pick it up? Thank you! This will take place later this month.

By on November 10, 2017 at 10:30 am

Hello Paula, thanks for your question!

United has all of the information for picking up from cargo on their website here, address included. Also, because your bird is considered a pet, you will need to look up the PetSafe details for Chicago on the link provided.

We hope this helps! Good luck with everything!

By Melissa Stockstill on May 2, 2017 at 10:30 am

I had a dog that I adopted in Jackson, Wyoming flown to Memphis, Tennessee a little over 3 years ago via United's PetSafe program. I was very pleased with the entire process. The staff from my initial contact to United about this trip, to the airport personal at Jackson, and the person who brought the dog (in his kennel) to me at the airport - Wonderful! The dog was happy and healthy. The kennel was clean. I have recommended this program to many people. It was the first time the shelter I got him from in Jackson ever used this program and I know they too were pleased and have used it since.

By on May 2, 2017 at 10:46 am

That's great to hear, Melissa! Thanks for sharing, and hope you're enjoying life with your dog!

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