American Airlines Tightens ESA Rules
The good news is you can still travel with your Emotional Support Animal on American Airlines—as long as your pet meets the new criteria. But if your ESA is out of the ordinary, the airline’s new rules mean it can’t ride in the passenger cabin with you.
Industry-wide, airlines are tightening the rules about what types of critters will be considered acceptable as ESAs. The airline says its new regulations, which take effect on July 1, aim to keep all passengers safe and comfortable during the flight, including those flying with their ESAs.
Animals Not Allowed
Overall, any animals that might hurt or disturb people in the cabin are not allowed. This might seem obvious, but before the new regulations, it was never officially stated.
Amphibians like frogs and salamanders are banned. Insects, like your pet spider, are out. Birds that are not considered regular household birds are now allowed.
Goats can’t ride with you. If you own an animal with hooves, tusks and horns, it is barred. Hedgehogs are not permitted.
To ensure compliance, all passengers with an ESA must sign and submit a form at least 48 hours before boarding the flight. This states the animal will not harm or distract other passengers.
At the same time, you must also submit a letter signed by a professional in the mental health care field. This says that you require an ESA to accompany you on the flight for emotional support.
More policies are still in the planning stages at American Airlines. They are working on more ways to:
- Make sure all passengers stay comfortable and free from danger on flights
- Determine which passengers need support animals and have legitimate ESAs
To that end, Delta and Alaska Airlines now require passengers to submit vaccination records and veterinary health forms for ESAs. It is not clear yet if American Airlines will add these to their new rules.
The Benefits of the New Regulations
It might seem like airlines are cracking down on ESAs. Actually, they are targeting people who simply want to fly free with their pets.
The extra paperwork and tighter rules make it harder for people to take advantage of the ESA system. By getting rid of everyday pets masquerading as ESAs, passengers with genuine Emotional Support Animals won’t be stigmatized by the dangerous, chaotic behavior of untrained pets.
USA Service Dog Registration Can Help
USA Service Dog Registration knows how important your Emotional Support Animal is to you. Whether it’s a dog, cat or other creature, you feel safer and more secure you’re your ESA is with you. This is especially true on airline flights, which can cause anxiety in even the most low-key passengers.
To help you meet the new regulations, USA Service Dog Registration can provide an ESA letter for travel and housing. We have a group of licensed therapists to help. On our website, we also offer a wide range of resources and information to explain about the letter and laws dealing with ESAs.
We also offer free and simple registration for your Emotional Support Animal. It takes just three easy steps to officially register your ESA.
Here at USA Service Dog Registration, we want to provide everything you need to property support your ESA. Our online store has ID cards, tags, patches, letters, vests, collars and leashes.
Check out USA Service Dog Registration today to see how easy it is to register your animal and get your ESA travel letter.