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Which Airlines Are Still Allowing Emotional Support Animals? (Complete Guide)

Posted on April 3, 2023 by Patricia Thompson

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!

Flying with Emotional support animal

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:

Inform the Company About Your Arrival

On the day of your travel, arrive at your flight or Coach or train station as early as possible. As soon as you arrive inform someone in charge that you are traveling with an ESA. This person might be the conductor, the driver, or the clerk who checks you in. You may again have to go through the hassle of educating this employee, too, of the laws surrounding travel with an ESA. If this is the case, don’t despair. Remain calm. Explain the laws and Hold your ground. Remember, the law is on your side.

Always Be Respectful to Fellow Passengers

Likely, they will have you board your transport either first or last. When boarding, always be cognizant of other passengers. If you are traveling with a dog, remember that some of your fellow passengers might be deathly terrified of dogs of all shapes and sizes. Though you adore your little pooch Fido and you know she would never bite anyone remembers that the old lady beside you does NOT know Fido and might be unreasonably afraid of her because she was bitten by a dog once while still a child. So be respectful of other passengers, and this doesn’t mean just explaining that Fido would never hurt anyone, but instead holding onto Fido’s leash tightly enough that there is no way Fido could possibly even reach the little old lady just beside you.

Train Your Pet for long Journeys

What do you do if your flight is seven hours and halfway through Fido starts prancing around in circles, indicating that her bladder needs to let go? This is a tough one. You definitely don’t want your ESA to piddle on the floor. That would be more than embarrassing. It would be downright unsanitary. This is where some foresight comes in handy…I know, I know. Fido is well-trained to piddle outside and not on the carpet, but traveling on moving vehicles has a way of testing even the most reliable bladders, making the best of us have to urinate. Start training Fido to let loose in the house on one of those puppy house training pads. They are like a flat, rectangular diaper that you spread out on the floor for a puppy to do their stuff upon. But use them now to begin training Fido on getting used to using the pads.

Ensure Everything Before Journey

Then on the day of your trip ensure you bring several of these puppy pads in the cabin with you and then when Fido begins doing her little pee dance you can whip out a couple of training pads for her to do her business upon. Simple, really — but it will earn you the great respect of both your fellow passengers and the cabin crew if Fido is not pissing on the floor. At the end of your travel, the cabin crew will likely direct you to either disembark first or last, depending on what makes the most sense to them. Follow their directions to ensure the smoothest transition from traveling to arriving, and all will go well.

Tips To Prepare Your Dog For Air Travel.

Preparing Your Dog For Air Travel

Your dog is not like you. He does not understand that, while on the plane, that this moment isn’t going to last his lifetime. Dogs have no sense of time, and so some form of difficult situations might seem interminable to him. So let’s try to figure out a method to make him more comfortable during his flight.

Exhausting Your Dog

One of the most loving things that you can do for your newly appointed ESA is to exhaust him several days beforehand to ensure he is appropriately calmed before boarding the flight with you.

Dealing with Anxiety

Yes, Fido might be anxious on the flight despite how vigorously you exercised him in the days before his flight. If you think your dog might be overly concerned before flying, you might think about visiting your vet beforehand and asking for some medication to help Fido calm down on his big day.

Monitor Fido’s Food and Water Intake

Watch Fido closely in the two days before boarding the plane. This is the time you will need to be exercising strenuously, but also the time you will want to restrict his food intake. The reason for this is that air travel can make us sick to our stomachs, so even our pets.

Get a Good Kennel

You will need one that matches the airline’s specifications for in-cabin kennels. Each airline has certain specifications for enclosures that must be met, or they might refuse your dog entry on the flight. Usually, they are looking for a kennel with hard walls and roof and large enough for the dog to comfortably stand up inside.


Don’t ever forget to throw in a few of Fido’s favorite toys and chew things to keep him amused during the flight. He will be much better off if you do.

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:

  • Frontier
  • Alaska
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • JetBlue

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.

End note

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.

Posted in: Blog


  1. Forrester Dulany

    Can I fly with a large ESA dog?

    • Blake Quinn

      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.

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