Different airlines have different policies around traveling with animals. But according to a new Department of Transportation

Airways No Longer Have To Deal with Emotional Help Animals As Service Animals

WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Solely skilled canines qualify as service animals on U.S. airways, as regulators rejected requests to increase authorized protections to miniature horses, monkeys and different species, below remaining U.S. Transportation Division guidelines issued Wednesday.

Airways can nonetheless select which different species to permit onboard, however the guidelines issued on Wednesday largely resolve years of disputes with passengers who falsely declare pets as “emotional assist animals,” which can journey within the cabin with little oversight.

Beneath current guidelines, airways had been required to acknowledge with restricted exceptions emotional assist animals as service animals. Now they will classify them as pets.

Legally protected service animals at the moment are restricted to canines skilled to do carry out duties for an individual who could also be visually impaired or have psychiatric or different disabilities, and airways don’t have to permit “emotional assist animals.”

Completely different airways have totally different insurance policies round touring with animals. However based on a brand new Division of Transportation rule, airways are not required to acknowledge emotional assist animals as service animals. As a substitute, ESAs may be handled as pets, and topic to regardless of the airline’s pet insurance policies could also be.


Airways cost as a lot as $175 to move pets, cause to say pets as emotional assist animals. As lately as 2017, U.S. carriers transported 751,000 of them.

Species resembling horses, cats and capuchin monkeys is not going to get service animal standing from U.S. regulators, however airways could acknowledge them as service animals in the event that they select. Airways should still not refuse a service animal based mostly solely on breed or generalized bodily kind.

Airways for America, an trade commerce group, stated the rule”will shield the touring public and airline crew members from untrained animals within the cabin.”

U.S. carriers together with Southwest Airways Co, Delta Air Strains, United Airways and American Airways in recent times have restricted emotional assist animals in cabins to largely canines and cats after passengers boarded with unique pets resembling monkeys, pigs and birds that would pose a security danger.


Spirit Airways Inc informed regulators it had misplaced”hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in pet carriage charges from passengers fraudulently claiming their ‘home pets are service or assist animals.’”

In 2018, Delta famous some passengers “tried to fly with consolation turkeys, gliding possums referred to as sugar gliders, snakes”and spiders. That 12 months, American Airways stated it could not enable all kinds of creatures on flights as assist animals together with goats, ferrets, hedgehogs, amphibians and reptiles.

The brand new guidelines will take impact 30 days after publication within the federal register.

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