Flying with Emotional Support Dog
Recent law changes with the Air Carrier Access Act now allows for up to one prescribed emotional support dog to fly in the cabin of an aircraft with its handler. Under the new guidelines, airlines do require an emotional support animal letter from a licensed therapist or Dr recommending the animal for emotional or mental disabilities.
Many of the air carriers have limitations with size and breed restrictions so always check the airlines guidelines prior to flying. You can find these guidelines for each carrier under our menu bar emotional support animal. When planning your trip we always recommend choosing a carrier that can best accommodate your dog instead of price shopping. For example, try to pick direct flights and always try to get bulk head seating, as there is more room in this seating area for your dog. In most cases, your dog will need to fit at your feet or on your lap.
Inform Airline You Will Be Flying with Emotional Support Animal
Once you have chosen the airline and booked your ticket, call your airline to inform them that you are traveling with an ESA. The airline will require you to either upload or email your ESA Letter or the Airlines ESA forms. Each airline has their own policy and procedure so contacting the airline ahead of time is a must, all airlines require 48 hour notice to accommodate your ESA. Make sure you have a legitimate ESA letter, there are many companies online selling fraudulent ESA letters we get calls every day with folks stuck at the airport. The letter or Airline Documents must be signed by a licensed Dr or Therapist, it must have their license number and contact information. As long as you have a legitimate ESA letter and give the airlines proper notice, you will not have an issue traveling with your ESA. However, if the airline staff determines your dog can cause harm to the other passengers, they can deny access. Do not travel with your ESA if they may hurt other passengers. This will cause further discrimination against all ESA handlers.
Preparing Your Emotional Support Dog for Travel
We always recommend having a plan and being organized for your flight. If you are stressed and anxious you may cause your dog to be also. So be prepared and have a good plan. Always exercise your dog with a long walk or jog prior to travel, we recommend an hour of exercise to help your dog sleep during the flight. Most airports now have relief areas for dog’s, you can find airport relief areas at this link. It is also a good idea to have a travel water bowl for your dog. Make sure to have your medical recommendation letter with you at the gate in the event the gate attendant asks for it. We also recommend having an emotional support animal vest on your dog so people know he is not a pet.
That is all you need to traveling with your ESA, you can purchase travel letters at this link.