Which Airlines Are Still Allowing Emotional Support Animals? (Complete Guide)
Earlier it was free to travel with your Emotional Support Animals on planes in the United States of America. You just needed an ESA letter from a certified mental health practitioner who used to allow your ESA to fly with you anywhere.
However, rules changed in the year 2021. Now, the Department of Transportation no longer offers protection to emotional support animals. Now it’s all up to the airways to allow ESA on their planes or not.
It is possible that you can find yourself in a position standing at the Airport with your cute little ESA, and the airline won’t allow you to carry your ESA with you on the plane. To save yourself from this type of heartbreak and embarrassment, you should know whether the airline you are booking will allow your ESA to fly with you. Let’s say you are planning to take your pup for a short flight, and you consider JetBlue fit for the instance. Before traveling, the first thing you should know is “if JetBlue emotional support animals are permitted to be on board or not.”
In this blog, we will provide you with information regarding which airlines allow ESA on their planes. Other than this, we will try to answer your additional queries related to ESA flights.
Read to know more!
What Airlines Allow Emotional Support Animals?
Well, some airlines are willingly allowing ESA travel even after the removal of obligations. Nowadays, the airlines traveling on the U.S. and Mexico or the U.S. and Canada routes permit emotional support cats or dogs to fly. Here is the list of the North American Airlines that allow emotional support animals:
- Volaris Airlines
- LATAM Airlines
- West jet Airlines
Along with this, the following international Airlines allow ESA travel:
- Air France: Air France accepts ESA’s on board, but they require the patient to sign documents for their dog’s responsibility.
- Asiana Air: Flights that are coming to or going to the U.S.
China Airlines: This is one of the airlines that allow dogs.
- KLM: ESA dogs that are at least four months or older.
- Lufthansa: ESA not more than 8 kg are allowed in flights going to the U.S. or coming to the U.S.
- Singapore Air: Singapore Airlines’ pet policy allows emotional support dogs that are four months or older.
We recommend you to call the airlines first before booking your seat on the airlines as mentioned earlier.
What Type of Animals Do Airlines Allow?
Now even if you have an emotional support animal letter for flying, airlines can treat your ESA as a simple pet. The changes in the rules are as follows:
- The best emotional support animals to travel with are those weighing 20 lbs or Less.
- You can fly with your ESA dog by paying a moderate amount of fee.
- Some airlines allow pets to travel with you, but only in the cargo portion.
- Some airlines don’t allow pets in any condition.
Therefore, it is advisable to contact airlines before booking a flight with an ESA.
All American Airlines are still obliged to accept Psychiatric Service Dogs.
A psychiatric service dog helps to alleviate symptoms of a person’s psychiatric disability. The basic difference between Psychiatric Service Dog and an Emotional Support Dog is that PSD is trained to assist its disabled owner. To identify a dog as a PSD dog, airlines demand a PSD Letter signed by a state-licensed mental health professional.
How Can I Travel With My Pet On Friendly Emotional Support Animals Airlines?
Things you should keep in mind before flying with your ESA:
- Call your airlines and double-check if they accept ESA on their plane.
- You require an ESA Letter from a legitimate ESA therapist.
- Book a comfortable spot for your ESA so that they don’t get anxious while flying.
- Ensure that your pet is in a healthy condition to fly.
Why are some airlines not allowing Emotional Support Animals?
- A survey conducted in 2017 stated that almost 61% of flight attendants were unhappy due to disturbance caused by the airline’s emotional support animal. Most of them mentioned trouble due to the aggressive and violent behavior of ESA.
- In an incident of ESA American Airlines, a pet newly designated as an emotional support animal was flying with its owner when it bit the flight attendant. The condition of the flight attendant went severe, and for the same, she received five stitches. It raised several questions on the allowance of traveling with an emotional support animal on flights.
- In 2019, a person flew with an emotional support dog on a Delta Air lines plane. Out of nowhere, the dog attacked an innocent Alabama man. He suffered from extensive facial damage. Consequently, Alabaman sued the airlines for allowing emotional support dogs to fly without any care and precautions.
Due to this misbehavior of emotional support animals on flights, from January 2021, DOT(department of transportation) gave the green light to airlines for banning ESA.
With this new federal rule, airlines have the power to decide whether to allow ESA on planes or not.
Which Airlines Banned Emotional Support Animals on Planes?
Many airlines were getting complaints due to emotional support animals flying on their planes. That is why most airlines banned ESA. Here is the list of airlines that banned Emotional Support Animals:
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- American Airlines
This ban was inevitable. As mentioned earlier, people were misusing the ESA allowance to another level. You can understand how uncomfortable it was for other passengers and airline staff when ESA parents used to bring giant peacocks, pigs, etc., inside the plane.
We understand things are not the same as they used to be. You won’t be able to see cute little red ESA vests at the Airport much. We are thinking about ourselves and our pets, but officials were helpless to take these strict actions due to so many tragedies caused by ESA. However, if you have a PSD letter, your dog will still be allowed to travel freely on flights. Acknowledging this, we can keep hope in the future that lawmakers will come up with some middle road. The path that can allow emotional support animals to fly without compromising the safety of travelers. Till then, you can fly with your ESA on ESA permitted flights.
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Can I fly with a large ESA dog?
Firstly, whether your dog is small or big depends on airlines to airlines if they allow for ESA travel. After the ACAA fetched protections previously granted to emotional support animals, most airlines don’t allow ESA travel.
Now, if you are sure the airlines you are travelling in allow emotional support for animal flying, make sure that your dog is not too big. For travel allowance, a dog must easily fit in your feet area section under your seat as well as it won’t occupy space of other passengers’ seat feet area and aisle.