Airline requirements to travel with your emotional support animal

Sep 6, 2021 | Airlines, Emotional Support Animals, Uncategorized | 0 comments

On December 2nd, 2020, DOT (The United States Department of Transportation) came up with a set of specific rules that no longer necessitate airlines to offer privileges to emotional support animals, which have been provided till now.

The rules set forward by DOT came into effect on January 11, 2021, and because of this reason, airlines operating in the United States no longer provide special benefits to emotional support animals.

If you possess an emotional support animal as of now, your ESA should be able to abide by the general regulations that have been set for normal pets. In addition to that, ESA owners would be required to pay fees that are usually applicable to pets.

ESAs of smaller sizes, which can fit into a pet carrier, are the only animals that would be allowed to travel in the cabin of an airplane along with the individual. Regardless of all these aspects, all psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) are allowed to travel along with their owners. Psychiatric dogs would be allowed in cabins of airplanes even if they are considerably larger, and additionally, the PSD owner would not be required to pay any sort of fees.

Psychiatric service dogs are similar to emotional support animals, yet the only difference between these two types of support animals is that PSDs receive an extensive amount of training related to supporting a person suffering from a mental or emotional disorder. Some of the tasks through which PSDs assist their owners with their disabilities are as follows:

  • Licking or pushing the owners with their noses when the owners need physical stimulation.
  • Touching the owners with a certain amount of deep pressure to calm them.
  • Pushing or physically interfering with the owner when they are about to experience a freezing behavior or paralysis related to fear.
  • Disturbing or diverting the individual when he or she is about to go into a self-destructive state.
  • Stopping the handlers from moving viciously or helping them become stable while they are having an anxiety attack.
  • Waking the handlers so that they don’t sleep excessively.
  • Making the handler remember their medication on time.

It is possible to provide training to an emotional support animal so that it can be converted into a psychiatric service dog, specifically when you require such tasks to be performed by your dog to assist with your disorder. However, the process of training itself can require a considerable amount of time and effort from you.  Nevertheless, the support provided by a PSD is indeed worth all the time and effort. Along with that, you should also remember that not every dog can become a PSD.

If you are enthusiastic about getting qualified for a psychiatric service dog, then a licensed mental healthcare expert or a therapist, or any similar medical professional can be able to determine whether you meet the eligibility terms necessary for owning a service dog. One must be able to meet these criteria under the ADA and Air Carrier Access Act for acquiring the privileges offered to PSD owners. After successfully being qualified for a PSD, you would be offered a signed PSD letter to prove that you are suffering from a qualifying condition.

 

If you need a psychiatric service dog letter, then it would be a pleasure for us to assist you in connecting with a licensed mental healthcare provider who specializes in services related to assistance animals.

Get your Psychiatric Service Dog Letter
The following guide would allow you to have all the necessary information regarding how you can travel along with a psychiatric service dog

To get access to the information related to traveling on a plane along with your psychiatric service dog or pet, then click on the links provided below.

Disclaimer – It should be taken into careful consideration that the information provided from here onwards is just for reference and should not be considered as actual guidelines. As we have mentioned earlier in this article, ESAs are no longer being provided with privileges on US flights. We highly suggest you contact your specific airline to acquire the relevant information regarding their actual policies concerning assistance animals.

American Airlines

American Airlines recognizes the necessities of people who need an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service animal. The company seeks the relevant supporting documentation to provide the required services like an ESA travel letter that has been issued to an individual before one year of travel.

This particular document should be acquired from a licensed mental health professional or a doctor that should contain the details given below according to the American Airlines website.

  • The individual should be suffering from a mental or emotional disorder that has been recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • The individual has a mandatory need for his/her emotional support animal or a psychiatric service dog to accommodate their handler during the travel or for a specific activity upon arrival at the destination.
  • The assessment has been done by a mental healthcare professional or a doctor
  • Information i.e., date of issuance, type of mental health profession/medical doctor’s license, and the state/locality where the documentation was issued.

To prevent any unintended disturbances, this particular document should be provided to the respective airline at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled flight. If this is not done correctly, then the emotional support animal would be taken into a kennel present in the compartment of the plane for the entire duration of the flight.

Traveling along with an ESA on American Airlines

  1. Each individual would be allowed to travel with only one ESA or a psychiatric service animal.
  2. The assistance animal should be neat in terms of hygiene and must behave well with other passengers or pets.
  3. The types of emotional support animals accepted by American Airlines are as follows:
  • Emotional Support Dogs
  • Emotional Support Cats
  • Miniature Horses
  1. When allowed, your ESA must always be in your lap or at your feet, or under the seat.
  2. If you elect to put your support animal in a kennel, then it should be able to fit under the seat existing before you.
  3. Under any circumstances, ESAs should not sit in the exit rows or block the way or eat from trays or sit in another seat.

American Airlines Emotional Support Animal Forms

An individual should complete 3 additional forms and submit them while traveling along with their ESA via American Airlines. These three forms are as follows:

  1. Medical Form or Mental Health Professional Form
  2. Veterinary Health Form, or a record containing the vaccination details, especially the information related to rabies vaccination
  3. Confirmation of Animal Behavior Form

How to submit these ESA forms

These ESA forms should be submitted by the individual at least 48 hours before departure of the flight.

These ESA forms can be submitted to American Airlines via their official email or fax at (817-967-4715)

Forms necessary for flights longer than 8 hours

When the flight duration is more than 8 hours, then American Airlines necessitates an addition form known as the ‘Animal Sanitation Form’ belong to the ESA.

Emotional support animals are no longer accepted by US Airlines as per the new DOT rules. Nevertheless, you would still be allowed to travel with a psychiatric service dog in the cabin of an airplane while being exempt from any sort of restrictions imposed on normal pets. If you are looking to acquire a PSD letter offered by a licensed mental health professional, then you can get started on the process by clicking on the link provided below.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines suggests individuals notify them about traveling with animals during the time of booking reservations. At that time, an individual can request a seat assignment. Nonetheless, the support animal has to stay on the floor near the handler’s seat. It is even mentioned on the company’s site that animals won’t be allowed to occupy the seats that have been particularly designed for passengers. If you want to talk to a representative working with Delta Airlines, then you can call on their number 404-209-3434.

Apart from that, the airline expects the emotional support animal to behave in a good manner. They also require the handler to provide all the relevant documentation before travel. The letter should contain the following information according to the airline company website.

  • Information related to the mental health professional, i.e., license information, state/jurisdiction where it was issued, mobile number, and authorized signature.
  • The individual should be suffering from a mental or emotional disorder that has been recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual – 4th edition.
  • Information stating that the individual requires an emotional support animal or the assistance of a psychiatric service animal during the journey of the flight or upon reaching the destination.
  • The person who has the letter should be acquiring the treatment from the mentioned mental healthcare professional or doctor.

Delta Airlines allows an individual to provide a digital letter. With the help of ESAcertificate.org, you can obtain such a type of letter. This digital letter can be saved on a device such as your mobile or a laptop. However, such a type of digital letter should consist of the following information.

Traveling along with an ESA on Delta Airlines

  1. Only one emotional support animal is allowed per passenger.
  2. ESA must stay within the area of the passenger’s seat.
  3. The ESA should be present on the handler’s lap or the floor beside the passenger’s seat.
  4. Support animals must not sit in the exit rows or block the way, or eat from a tray table.

Delta Emotional Support Animal Forms

Delta necessitates providing 3 additional ESA forms while opting to travel along with your ESA via Delta Airlines. The additional forms required by Delta Airlines are as follows:

  1. Veterinary Health Form
  2. Mental Health/Medical Professional Form
  3. Confirmation of Animal Training Form

How to submit these ESA forms

These completed ESA forms should be submitted to Delta Airlines along with your ESA letter 48 hours before the departure of your flight. Even a digital copy of your ESA letter should suffice.

You can submit these forms with the help of the Delta My Trips portal, and if you have any queries, then you can contact the accessibility assistance line at 404-209-3434

Emotional support animals are no longer accepted by US Airlines as per the new DOT rules. Nevertheless, you would still be allowed to travel with a psychiatric service dog in the cabin of an airplane while being exempt from any sort of restrictions imposed on normal pets. If you are looking to acquire a PSD letter offered by a licensed mental health professional, then you can get started on the process by clicking on the link provided below.

JetBlue Airlines

Similar to the requirements of other airlines, JetBlue’s requirements for having an ESA while traveling is a specific type of documentation, which is according to the rules of the company website.

  • The customer should be suffering from a disorder related to his/her mental health.
  • The support accommodating the customer is essential for the customer’s health.
  • The type of animal and number of animals
  • The customers should have been assessed by an individual who is a licensed mental health professional or a doctor.
  • The customer should be under the professional care of the above-mentioned licensed mental health professional or doctor.
  • The information regarding the mental health professional, i.e., their license number, type of license, date of issuance, state or jurisdiction where the license was issued.

The letter must be dated below one year from the date of the flight and it must be provided along with the JetBlue ESA Forms.

These completed forms should be submitted at least before 48 hours of the flight’s departure.

Traveling along with an ESA on JetBlue

  1. Let your ESA get added to your reservation by calling JetBlue on 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) or you can do so while booking your ticket online.
  2. It is highly important to notify JetBlue at least 48 hours after the flight’s departure.
  3. Only the following animals are allowed by JetBlue as ESAs:
  • Emotional Support Dogs
  • Emotional Support Cats
  • Miniature Horses
  1. ESAs should only sit on the passenger’s lap if it fits, or else, they should remain on the floor.
  2. ESAs should be neat in terms of hygiene and should behave well with other people or pets.
  3. Animals should be allowed on the seats under any circumstance.

JetBlue Emotional Support Animal Forms

JetBlue also necessitates you to provide 3 additional forms while traveling along with your ESA on JetBlue Airlines. These forms are as follows:

  1. Medical/Mental Health Professional Form
  2. Veterinary Health Form
  3. Customer Confirmation of Animal Behavior

If you intend to travel along with your ESA internationally with the help of JetBlue, then click here.

How to submit ESA Forms 

The ESA letter along with JetBlue Airlines ESA forms are to be submitted at least 48 hours before your departure.

  1. You can submit those forms on JetBlue Airlines’ website.
  2. For assistance with your forms or if you have any queries regarding a special service request, then you can contact JetBlue at their phone number 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).
Emotional support animals are no longer accepted by US Airlines as per the new DOT rules. Nevertheless, you would still be allowed to travel with a psychiatric service dog in the cabin of an airplane while being exempt from any sort of restrictions imposed on normal pets. If you are looking to acquire a PSD letter offered by a licensed mental health professional, then you can get started on the process by clicking on the link provided below.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines allows people to travel along with their ESAs in the cabin of their planes, except for flights routed to Jamaica. As per Southwest Airlines documentation guidelines, people traveling with ESAs should provide a travel letter obtained from a licensed mental health professional, which should contain the following information.

  • The passenger should be suffering from a mental or emotional disability as recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM IV).
  • The individual has a mandatory need for his/her emotional support animal or a psychiatric service dog to accommodate their handler during the travel or for a specific activity upon arrival at the destination.
  • The customers should have been assessed by an individual who is a licensed mental health professional or a doctor.
  • The customer should be under the professional care of the above-mentioned licensed mental health professional or doctor.
  • Information related to the mental health professional, i.e., license information, state/jurisdiction where it was issued, mobile number, and authorized signature.

Traveling with an ESA on Southwest

  1. The ESA must either be an emotional support cat or an emotional support dog.
  2. Each passenger is allowed to bring only one emotional support animal.
  3. The support animals should either be in a kennel or on a leash for the entire duration of the flight.
  4. The animal should be neat in terms of hygiene and should behave well with other people and pets.
  5. ESAs should not block the aisles or sit in emergency exit rows.

Southwest Emotional Support Animal Forms

Since August 2019, Southwest doesn’t need any additional forms for traveling with an emotional support animal. ESA letter that has been obtained within one year is required.

Emotional support animals are no longer accepted by US Airlines as per the new DOT rules. Nevertheless, you would still be allowed to travel with a psychiatric service dog in the cabin of an airplane while being exempt from any sort of restrictions imposed on normal pets. If you are looking to acquire a PSD letter offered by a licensed mental health professional, then you can get started on the process by clicking on the link provided below.

United Airlines

The documentation required by United Airlines to travel along with an ESA is almost the same as the documentation required by other companies. Anyhow, there are some specific rules regarding where the animal must be in the plane’s cabin. To be more specific, the animals should stay near the customer’s feet while staying away from the aisles so that they can abide by the safety regulations. Customers can opt for an approved in-cabin kennel designed for smaller animals. Animals should not occupy the exit rows of the plane. These are the major guidelines on where the ESA should stay in the cabin, as per the official website of United Airlines.

According to United Airlines, travel documentation along with other arrangements should be submitted at least 48 hours before the departure of the flight.

Traveling with an ESA on United Airlines

  1. ESAs should sit on the floor space located below the handler’s seat.
  2. Animals should not stray away into the aisles.
  3. ESAs should behave well and follow their handler’s instructions at all times.

United Airlines Emotional Support Animal Forms

United Airlines necessitates an ESA letter along with 3 additional forms while flying along with your ESA via American Airlines. These forms are as follows.

  1. Mental/Medical Health Professional Form
  2. Passenger Confirmation of Liability form and Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Behavior Form
  3. Veterinary Form

Submitting your ESA forms to United Airlines

An individual is required to submit 3 additional United Airlines ESA forms along with their ESA letter at least 48 hours before the departure of the flight.

  1. These forms can be submitted via United Airlines’ official website.
  2. If you need assistance or have queries regarding your United ESA forms, then you can contact the United Airlines accessibility desk at their number 1-800-228-2744.
Emotional support animals are no longer accepted by US Airlines as per the new DOT rules. Nevertheless, you would still be allowed to travel with a psychiatric service dog in the cabin of an airplane while being exempt from any sort of restrictions imposed on normal pets. If you are looking to acquire a PSD letter offered by a licensed mental health professional, then you can get started on the process by clicking on the link provided below.

Alaska Air 

The ESA policy of Alaska Airlines for people traveling with emotional support animals is general as others airline companies and the ESA letter should be obtained within a year before the travel. It must be provided by a licensed medical professional as per the information on Alaska Airline’s website.

The documentation must make sure that:

  • The passenger should be suffering from a mental or emotional disability as recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM IV).
  • The individual has a mandatory need for his/her emotional support animal or a psychiatric service dog to accommodate their handler during the travel or for a specific activity upon arrival at the destination.
  • The customers should have been assessed by an individual who is a licensed mental health professional or a doctor.
  • The customer should be under the professional care of the above-mentioned licensed mental health professional or doctor.

Alaska Airlines Emotional Support Animals

Alaska Airlines necessitates an ESA letter and 3 additional forms while you are flying along with your ESA via Alaska Airlines. These forms are as follows.

  1. Animal Health Advisory Form
  2. Guest Confirmation of Liability and ESA Behavior Form
  3. Mental Health Professional Form

Submitting your ESA forms to Alaska Airlines

  1. These completed documents should be signed by the individual and sent via email to animal@alaskaair.com
  2. Alternatively, these can be sent via fax on the number 206-392-2804.
Emotional support animals are no longer accepted by US Airlines as per the new DOT rules. Nevertheless, you would still be allowed to travel with a psychiatric service dog in the cabin of an airplane while being exempt from any sort of restrictions imposed on normal pets. If you are looking to acquire a PSD letter offered by a licensed mental health professional, then you can get started on the process by clicking on the link provided below.

Disclaimer: This content was provided for informational purposes to our audience and should not be used as accurate information. The policies can differ, and the companies can modify their rules and regulations whenever they want. We highly suggest you conduct your analysis and research the details regarding flights before booking tickets.

 

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