Flying with an Emotional Support Animal - 2022 Guidelines
Are you looking to fly with your emotional support animal? Luckily, you can still travel with your animal, but the Department of Transportation has changed and updated some rules.
As of now, several airlines have changed their policies, and now, most of them do not recognize emotional support animals differently from a pet in terms of charges and pet fees. The department has also introduced new policies and tightened the rules about which animals can fly on the plane.
The new DOT guidelines have caused several airlines to update their policies regarding emotional support animals.
The airlines have been raving about the new rules, and they can't wait to implement them. These changes directly result from those pesky passengers who bring their poorly trained animals on flights- something that has effectively ruined many an otherwise enjoyable flight for everyone else sitting nearby.
In many cases, the passengers brought animals like pigs, ducks, and monkeys that are difficult to handle and could be dangerous for other passengers.
The new rules and policies went into effect in March 2021, and the airlines are adopting those policies. Airlines will decide whether or not they allow emotional support animals on their flights, which could open up a whole new world for those with mental health issues.
1. What are the updated DOT policies about animals in planes?
On Dec. 2, the Department of Transportation announced that it is changing its Air Carrier Access Act to ensure that service animals can be transported safely and easily on planes.
The DOT has permitted airlines to stop treating emotional support animals (ESAs) as service animals. This means that airlines can now treat ESAs as pets.
Airlines are not required to allow emotional support animals in the cabin if the owner has a doctor's note. Even though airlines may allow ESAs, the owner would have to buy a ticket for their animal and follow its rules when flying in the cabin.
2. Can I fly with my miniature horse service animal?
The new DOT rules do not allow miniature horses and thus exclude them from airline travel privileges like first-class seating or other benefits available only via air transportation providers.
Horses are livestock and could not be trained like dogs, making them a less suitable flight companion.
Moreover, horses have hooves and it could damage the aircraft. Considering these potential risks, DOT has decided to opt against allowing them as service animals.
3. Why has the department made the respective changes in its policies?
The main reason for revising the department’s Air Carrier Access Act include:
The department received numerous complaints against the service animals from and on behalf of the passengers.
An uncertain definition and explanation of what defines a ‘service animal’.
Repeated requests of allowing weird animals as service and emotional support animals on planes.
Repeated and increased cases of people trying to pose their animals as service animals to avoid pet fees.
Increased accidents in the flights caused due to emotional support animals.
The department made extensive changes to its policies regarding animals on flights to answer all of these concerns.
4. What are the updated policies of the airlines?
The following airlines have updated their policies differently. We've added the latest information below for your convenience.
JetBlue has announced that they will now be charging a $125 fee for each way, and your pet must fit in one small carrier during the entire flight.
The number of pets that can travel on a flight is limited to six.
You are allowed to bring a pet on the plane as long as it can fit in a small pet carrier that is 17"L x 12.5"W x 8.5"H or less, and the combined weight of your pet and the carrier is 20 pounds or less.
Carry-on bags will not be allowed on the plane. However, you are still allowed to bring a personal item in addition to your pet carrier.
JetBlue does not allow pets on interline/codeshare bookings, regardless of how the reservation was made.
If you are a TrueBlue member, you can earn 300 extra points for every flight segment if you add a pet to your booking.
You cannot bring pets on flights to Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and to/from London.
JetBlue flying with an emotional support animal policy page provides complete information.
Spirit Airlines allows psychiatric support animals on their flights if you have the correct documentation. It is also recommended to have an ID tag for your pet.
Exotic pets like reptiles and rodents are not allowed.
The pet must be in good health, not violent, and not in any physical distress.
The animal must remain in the carrier throughout the flight.
Only rabies vaccination is required.
Birds cannot fly between cities in Puerto Rico or the U.S.V.I.
Only domestic animals like small dogs, cats, and household birds and rabbits are accepted.
The combined weight of the animals and the carrier's combined weight must not be more than 40 pounds.
Read Spirit Airlines’ official policies page for complete and further information.
No emotional support animals will be accepted now.
Trained and well-behaved service animals will be allowed to travel free of charge.
The size of the animals should not be more than the size of the person’s set or personal space.
The person must keep the animal leashed and in the carrier at all times.
No animal will be allowed to occupy another seat or the tray table.
ESAs that assist a mentally disabled person is accepted on the flight.
Dogs, cats, and miniature horses are accepted as ESA.
Each person is allowed to have a single pet.
The person must complete the required documentation.
Check Alaska Airlines’ complete policies on this policy page for more information.
The Department of Transportation has amended its regulations to no longer allow animals that do not meet the definition of a service animal, including ESAs, to travel on planes. These animals will be able to travel as carry-on pets or cargo pets.
Service dogs that have been fully trained may fly in the cabin for free if they meet the requirements.
The animal must be leashed or in the carrier at all times.
The kennel must fit under the person's seat, and the animal will not be allowed to sit on another seat.
Check American Airlines’ flying with an emotional support animal policy page for more updated policies.
The United airline no longer accepts emotional support animals as special animals.
Service animals are accepted.
People who use psychiatric service animals will not need to show a letter from a mental health professional to prove they need the animal relief. They also will not have to arrive one hour before other passengers.
A service animal must sit on the floor in front of the customer's seat and cannot block the aisle or the foot space of adjacent travelers.
Therapy animals are not considered service animals and must follow the regime for traveling with pets.
Only dogs are considered service animals and should be over four months. This dog has have been trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit that helping individuals with a disability.
Read the United policies page for more information about United Airlines flying with an emotional support animal.
Frontier will no longer allow emotional support animals on their planes. If the animal can travel under the Pet Policy, there will be a fee.
Only dogs that have been trained as service animals are allowed in Frontier cabins.
Frontier does not accept service animals that are still in training.
You are allowed to have only one pet in the cabin per person.
Only allow psychiatric service dogs to accompany their handlers on board as trained service animals.
Trained service animals must always be kept under control by the handler, using a harness, leash, or rope.
For complete and detailed policies, visit the Frontier airlines policies page.
Airlines will only allow trained service dogs on the plane and no longer transport emotional support animals.
Only allow service dogs that have been specifically trained to help people with disabilities travel with the customer.
Customers traveling with a service dog must now present a DOT Service Animal Air Transportation form to the airline. The form will ensure that the dog is healthy and has good behavior. The customer should fill out the form after booking their travel.
Besides, you can know more about the policy details on Southwest’s policy page.
Delta Airlines no longer recognizes emotional support animals as service animals.
Dogs from high-risk countries may be brought into the U.S. only if the CDC approves it in advance.
Even if your dog is vaccinated outside of the U.S., you must still apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit. The requirements for the permit have not changed.
Service animals are expected to sit on the floor or in the customer's lap. They are not allowed to sit in a seat.
Customers are allowed to bring two service animals with them when they travel.
Service animals must be clean and not have a bad smell.
Read through Delta’s policies page regarding service and emotional support animals for complete details.
4. Which animals can fly in the cabin?
Only service dogs that have been trained will be allowed to fly without charge and without being in a carrier. Animals considered emotional support or comfort animals would not be allowed to travel freely or regarded as service animals. These animals could be anything, but they are no longer allowed to travel without a cost and a carrier.
5. Will I be allowed to travel with my ESA if I have a signed ESA letter for an LMHP?
Previously, the airlines used to regard the emotional support animal letters, but due to repeated complaints against ill-mannered and dangerous animals on board, the airlines no longer accept these letters.
However, you can still travel with your animal if it is well-mannered or trained and you are ready to pay the cost of traveling with it.
The prices are different for different airlines and, usually, you can know about it from their official website.
6. Under the updated laws, how can I fly with my ESA?
According to the updated emotional support animal laws, if your animal meets the guidelines and requirements of the airline, then you can travel with your animal. As per the requirements, your animals must be well-trained, disciplined, and not a danger to other passengers and animals traveling on the flight.
However, you must know everything about flying with a dog before you move forward with your ESA.
7. Will I have to pay to fly with my emotional support animal?
Yes, most airlines will not recognize an ESA; they will be treated as other pets. Due to this, you will have to pay to bring your animal to the cabin. The price ranges from $99 on Frontier Airlines and $125 on others, including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and United. The cost may vary, and you may have to pay more or less than stated here.
8. What are the policies regarding flying with a large emotional support dog?
If your dog could fit into the pet carrier, then yes, you can travel with your dog. Due to the latest update in the policies, people with comfort and emotional support animals could no longer have their animals in the cabin.
These animals are treated as other pets and would travel in the cargo since having a large emotional support dog on the plane could be potentially dangerous.
9. Do all airlines allow Emotional Support Animals?
Some airlines are still accepting emotional support animals, and all airlines are required to accept psychiatric service dogs.
10. Which airline does not allow Emotional Support Animals?
Almost all airlines changed their rules. American, Delta, and United have already banned emotional-support animals. Southwest said it would no longer transport emotional-support animals.
11. What are Emotional Support Animals allowed on planes?
There are a lot of animals that you can't bring on a plane. This includes emotional support cats, ferrets, spiders, and pigs.
But there are some animals that you can bring. These include trained service dogs, and they need to be in a carrier or on a leash.
12. Can an airline deny an emotional support animal?
The US Department of Transportation announced in December 2020 that emotional support animals are no longer considered essential service animals. This means that airlines are not required to allow them on board with their owners for free.
13. Do emotional support animals have the same rights as service dogs?
Emotional support animals do not have the same legal rights as service dogs. Service dogs are allowed access to all public places, but emotional support animals are not.
Service dogs help people with physical disabilities, whereas emotional support animals help people with mental health issues.
14. Can airlines ask for proof of emotional support animal?
Airlines can request documentation or 48 hours notice before bringing an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal on a flight.
15. Can I bring a service animal on the plane?
You are allowed to have a service animal with you on an airplane. The service animal must be able to fit under the seat in front of you, or if it is small enough, it can sit on your lap. Airlines cannot refuse to let your service animal travel with you just because other passengers or crew members are uncomfortable.
Since the policies were updated, airlines have adopted them slowly and at their own pace. Some airlines have already implemented these policies while others are working on them.
To be on the safe side, you must communicate with the airline before boarding your plane with your emotional support animal.
What if you order a “discounted” or “bargain” ESA Letter online?
There are strict penalties under law for offering non-legitimate documentation to landlords, transportation providers, or public facilities. Those penalties include
A criminal record.
A felony conviction that may result in serious jail time.
Fines up to $100,000 or more (Penalties vary from state-to-state).
Why take the chance?
Getting a legitimate, legally-enforceable ESA Letter is a simple process
Your consultation is protected by our Money-Back Guarantee.
If your application is not approved for any reason by our licensed mental health professional your amount will be refunded. No questions asked!
Under law, all ESA certification letters expire in a year.
Select this option to have a new letter sent to you automatically for a discounted rate.
You will be charged after 365 days. You can cancel your renewal at anytime by emailing. info@RealESAletter.com
By ordering priority letter. We will prioritize the fulfilment of the digital letter usually within 24 hours but it can take up to 48 hours.
We will send you a physical letter within 2-3 working days.
How does this relate to your ESA letter purchase? Many airlines and housing complexes require additional forms to be filled out in order to verify the ESA status of your animal.
These forms are all different, as each require different levels of verification and requirements. Other ESA services charge PER FORM, which can really add up with each time you travel or move. With us, you only pay $10/month for this service. First 30 days are free and you will be billed after that.
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