Alaska Airlines Changes ESA Policy
Emotional Support Animals on airplanes have been in the news over the last year. In response to a number of negative situations, airlines are changing their policies when it comes to ESAs in the passenger cabin on flights.
Like Delta and United, Alaska Airlines has come up with tougher rules. The goal is to clarify when an ESA can travel with a passenger, and to ensure that the animal will behave on the flight. The goal is to make flights safer and more predictable for ESA owners and other passengers.
Why the Change?
The press and social media have had a field day with numerous ESA-on-plane stories, some funny, some unusual, and sadly several that were dangerous. Owners have claimed that their snakes and even a peacock keep them calm and happy on flights. Flight personnel weren’t so sure.
Most animals never cause a problem on a flight. But the few that do cause serious problems for airplane safety and comfort. As more and more people fly with their pets, the number of incidents have increased dramatically.
Unfortunately, not all the dogs, cats, pigs, turtles or even a kangaroo behave themselves. That’s to be expected because ESAs are almost always pets, not highly trained service dogs that know how to handle the crowded conditions of a flight.
Flight attendants have a multitude of stories about animals relieving themselves on seats and in the aisles, and dogs barking and cats hissing at other passengers. There have been several instances of scared or unruly dogs biting other passengers, requiring medical care.
When ESAs disrupt a flight, the airplane must land and deal with the problem. That throws airline schedules into disarray and angers other passengers. Officials point out that in an emergency situation, these animals could prevent a safe evacuation of the plane.
New Rules Help Everyone
Alaska Airlines says that the new rules will keep airplane passenger cabins safer, quieter and more pleasant for everyone, from attendants to passengers and ESAs.
The new rules require that you submit 3 forms at least 48 hours before boarding a flight with an Emotional Support Animal:
- Animal health advisory form
- Animal behavior form
- Mental health form
You can send them by email or fax. The forms will be available on the Alaska Air website, beginning April 30.
The new rules affect just ESAs, not regular, trained service dogs.
Help for Your Emotional Support Animal
USA Service Dog Registration wants to provide every owner of an Emotional Support Animal with the most informative resources available. We know how important an ESA can be for your emotional needs.
First off, we offer free and easy registration for an ESA. It takes just three steps to register your Emotional Support Animal. Through our network of licensed therapists we can provide the proper documentation required for Alaska airlines and any other carrier that accepts emotional support animals.
We also offer a wide variety of informative articles and links to answer your questions. Do you wonder about your tenant rights? What about public places? Check our website for information about airline requirements, housing laws, and state laws.
We can help you with the right gear for your ESA at our online store. We provide ID cards, vests, leashes and collars.
Check out USA Service Dog Registration today. We are here to help, whether you need questions answers, gear for your animal or want to register it.