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American Airlines PSD Policy Guide

Posted on July 11, 2023 by Patricia Thompson
If you have a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) and are wondering how it can accompany you to your destination with American Airlines, we have the answers for you. Psychiatric service dogs can fly in the plane’s cabin if they meet the American airline’s service dog requirements. You must familiarize yourself with your options before you board.

We are here to explore the Psychiatric Service Dog Policy Guide of American Airlines, a leading airline that prioritizes inclusivity and accessibility. Understanding American Airlines’ PSD policy is crucial for individuals with disabilities and their loyal service dogs. It ensures a seamless travel experience for all.

American airline psd policy guide

Flying With a Psychiatric Service Dog on American Airlines.

Fully-trained service dogs or PSD fly in the cabin if they meet the requirements. A service animal that’s trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, including a physical or mental disability, including but not limited to:

  • Visual impairments
  • Psychiatric impairments
  • Mobility impairments
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

For the role of service animal, american airlines only recognize a dog. Remember, service animals in training may travel as pets, not as service animals. All requirements and applicable pet fees will apply.

Forms Requirements for Service Animals on American Airlines.

To travel with a service animal on American Airlines, you must submit the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form.

If your flight time is over 8 hours, you must also submit a Service Animal Relief Attestation Form that outlines your animal won’t relieve itself or can do so in a way that doesn’t create sanitation issues. Remember to keep the form with you during your trip.

If your trip includes a flight on a partner airline, you must contact them and complete all required forms for traveling with a service animal.

Service Animal Travel Requirements with American Airlines

A service animal must be:

  • Harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times.
  • Clean and well-behaved.
  • Able to fit at your feet or under your seat.
  • Smaller than a 2-year-old child to sit on a lap.

If your animal is in a carrier or kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of you with the animal in it. You can bring up to 2 service animals. Additionally, please note that you cannot travel if your service animal is under 4 months of age. Remember, final approval for travel will only be granted upon your arrival at the airport and after it is determined that the animal can safely fit at your feet.

Advance Notice is Required for Service animals.

You can submit your form to the Special Assistance Desk 48 hours before your flight. You can also complete the form at the airport if you bought your ticket 48 hours before the flight, but be sure to arrive early.

Temporary Suspension of the Dogs From the High-Risk Rabbi’s Countries.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has temporarily suspended dogs, including service dogs, traveling to the U.S. from countries considered high-risk for dog rabies.

Only service dogs with a CDC Dog Import Permit or those meeting CDC U.S. vaccination and microchip requirements may travel on American Airlines.

How To Get CDC Permit for Dogs?

Permits will be issued only for dogs vaccinated against rabies in a foreign country. Dogs with current valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificates do not need a permit.

To obtain a CDC permit, your dog must be at least 6 months old, as verified by submitting current photos of the dog’s teeth.
Getting a CDC permit is easy. You must visit the CDC website and Application for a special exemption for a permitted dog import. You need to fill out and submit this form.

After getting the form, submit an approved CDC Dog Import Permit to the American Airlines website here.

Service Animal ID for Traveling with Service Animal on American Airlines.

Once you’ve submitted your form to American Airlines, they will email you your Service Animal ID (SVAN ID). You can add the SVAN ID when booking future travel with this animal and be approved without resubmitting forms. Remember, your SVAN ID will expire after 1 year or when the animal’s vaccination expires, whichever is first.

However, you can add a Service Dog Pass ID (SDP ID) instead of an SVAN ID when booking travel with us and be approved without submitting forms. SDP ID allows you to enjoy a more seamless travel experience.
You can get your SDP ID with The American Service Dog Access Coalition.

Sitting Requirement For Service Animals on American Airlines.

  • A service animal may not be seated in an exit row.
  • A service animal may not Protrude into or block aisles.
  • A service animal may not occupy a seat.

If your service animal is too large or too heavy to accompany you in the cabin, you may need to:

  • Rebook your tickets with more open seats
  • Buy a ticket for the animal
  • Transport the animal as a pet.

Psychiatric Service Dog Fees on American Airlines.

American Airlines does not charge any fees for psychiatric service dogs. By waiving additional charges for PSDs, American Airlines ensures that individuals can travel with their much-needed companions without financial burdens. However, if your dog does not meet the service dog requirements, it will be considered a normal pet, and you must pay a pet travel fee.

How A Service Animal Should Behave on American Airlines.

Animals must be trained to behave appropriately in public and not be permitted to travel if they display disruptive behavior. American Airlines requires the following:

Calm and Well-Behaved: Service animals must remain calm and composed in the bustling atmosphere of airports and aircraft cabins.

Focus on Their Handler: Service animals are attentive to their handler’s needs and follow their instructions promptly. They remain focused on their handler, assisting as required.

Quiet and Non-Disruptive: Service animals must be quiet. They must be trained not to bark, whine, or cause disturbances that may disrupt the travel experience of other passengers.

Well-Mannered in Tight Spaces: Aircraft cabins can be tight spaces, so a service animal must be trained to adapt to these environments. They must be comfortable sitting in their designated space under their handler’s seat without encroaching on neighboring passengers.

Toilet Trained: Service animals must be well-trained in toilet etiquette and understand that they should relieve themselves only in designated relief areas before or after the flight.

Non-Aggressive: Service animals must be friendly and non-aggressive. They do not pose a threat to other passengers or airline staff.

Well-Socialized: Service animals must be accustomed to being around people and other animals without displaying signs of fear or aggression.

Service animals’ primary focus must be assisting their handlers with their specific disabilities without interfering with the duties of the airplane crew.

Posted in: Airline Guide

About the Author

Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson
Patricia Thompson is a highly skilled clinical psychologist with over five years of expertise in the field. She possesses extensive knowledge and experience in using clinical guidance and providing recommendations for emotional support animals (ESAs) as a form of treatment for mental illness. Patricia's profound understanding of the therapeutic benefits of ESAs enables her to offer valuable insights and practical advice to individuals seeking emotional support. In addition to her clinical practice, Patricia also writes for Fast ESA Letter, sharing her expertise and advocating for the importance of ESAs in mental health care.


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