Are you planning a vacation or want to go visit your parents in a different city?
Worried about how you will function without your emotional support animal?
Do you wish to take them along with you?
Well, then there’s good news for you!
The American Airlines Emotional Support Policy lets ESA owners travel with their four-legged companion.
You can travel with an emotional support animal in the cabin as long as you abide by their rules and regulations.
The flexible American Airlines Policies allow pets and ESAs to accompany their owners on the flight. The American Airlines Policy enables pets, service animal or ESA to be checked, transported via American Airlines Cargo, or accompany you in the cabin.
However, the travelling cost and requirements differ for each of them.
Lucky for service and emotional support animals owners because they can travel without having to pay any additional pet fee. You can have your emotional support or service dogs in front of your seat or in your lap.
According to their policies within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the transportation cost of a checked pet is $125 per carrier. And the combined weight for the carrier and the pet must not exceed 45 kg (100 lbs.)
If you are an emotional support animal owner, you must be aware of the laws that protect you and your ESA. The Air Carrier Access Act is one of them as it helps you fly with your emotional support animal without any hassle or stress.
However, there are certain responsibilities on your part as well. 0n July 1st, 2018, a regulation was passed that any passenger who wants to travel with their ESA needs to sign a form. It should state that their ESA is well-behaved and wouldn't pose a threat to other passengers or the staff.
Here are the three forms that you will need before departure when flying with American Airlines:
To avoid any hassle, it is required that you send out the completed forms to the America Airlines Special Assistance desk. Note that an advanced notice is necessary. These forms must be sent out 48 hours before your flight.
In case you are travelling with your ESA and don't have your letter, you can acquire one from the licensed mental health professionals at realesaletter.
Fill out this simple questionnaire and get the process started!
The American Airlines Pet and ESA policy was updated in April 2019. The update states that the airlines will only allow emotional support cats and dogs in the cabin. This holds true for pets and psychiatric service animals too.
While the airline has allowed cats and dogs to fly, there still are certain restrictions on the breed. Short-nosed or snub-nosed cats and dogs breeds are not allowed.
If your cat is of the following breed it might not be allowed to fly:
Cats (Burmese, Himalayan, Persian, Exotic Shorthair)
List of dogs that are prohibited from flying:
Dogs (Affenpinscher, Boston Terrier, Boxer, English Toy Spaniel, Brussels Griffon, Dogue De Bordeaux, Bulldog, Japanese Chin)
However, not every animal is allowed on planes according to the airline policies. There are some emotional support animals on no fly list that can be a possible threat to other passengers.
In case your ESA isn't mentioned in the list, it is advisable that you call the American Airlines for more information.
You can't travel with more than one emotional support or psychiatric service animal
You can only have a cat or dog as an emotional support animal. Trained miniature horses are allowed only as service animals.
Your ESA must be four months or older and fully vaccinated.
No foul odor or aggressive behavior (biting, growling, jumping on people) should be displayed by the animal.
If you want your ESA on your lap, make sure that they aren't bigger than a two-year old child.
In order to have your ESA or psychiatric service animals next to you on the plane, there are certain rules that must be followed.
These rules, include:
Unfortunately, emotional support animals can't travel all over the world.
There are certain destinations where emotional support animal restrictions do apply. For instance, if you are travelling to:
It is better that you check the guidelines specific to your destination in order to avoid any trouble at the airport.
When you decide to travel with the American Airlines while booking it is best to let them know about your ESA/service animal. So, they can make necessary arrangements and equipment if needed. If you fail to do so, your ESA might be kenneled and in the cargo hold.
Secondly, download their forms and documents. If you are under 18, the forms must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
Send the documents 48 hours before the flight and you must have all the documents with you during the trip as well.
In order to avoid unnecessary stress of your ESA running off, not standing still or displaying unwanted behavior it is best that you prepare them for the flight beforehand. Though emotional support animals aren't required to go through specific training, it is better for your own convenience to train them for such situations.
Make sure that your ESA is under control, or you might be denied boarding. It is also useful to put a tag on your ESA, identifying them as a support animal, saying “no-petting.” This will stop random people coming up to your pet making them distracted. Or you can take help from your veterinarian for travelling safely with your ESA.
This was everything you needed to know before flying with your emotional support animal on the American Airlines. Just remember to look up all the information necessary regarding your ESA, destination and requirements. Most importantly, don't forget to keep the required documentation with you. There are many scammers out there who trick people into buying an illegitimate ESA letter, so you must be careful where you get yours from.
Getting caught with a fake ESA letter will not only stop you from travelling with your furry friend but can also lead to fine and imprisonment.
To get a legit ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional, reach out to us. We will ensure that you and your ESA get to take the long-awaited vacation!
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