Check out the new list of service and emotional support animals that are no longer allowed to accompany you while flying.
American Airlines has followed suit with many other airlines this year that have placed new restriction on service and emotional support animals allowed onboard their planes as reported by Thepointsguy.com.
In mid-January, Delta cracked down on service and emotional support animals. In early February, United also imposed new restrictions after a passenger tried to bring a peacock on board as an emotional support animal. And then in April, Alaska tightened its own emotional support animal policy.
On Monday, May 14, 2018, American Airlines released its new rules in regards to passengers’ service and emotional support animals and their restrictions on 13 animals altogether. The policy takes effect for flights ticketed after July 1, 2018.
The following types of animals will no longer be permitted to travel as service or emotional support animals:
- Sugar gliders
- Non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds and birds of prey)
- Animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses properly trained as service animals)
- Any animal that is unclean / has an odor
Also, service animals and emotional support animals “must be able to fit at your feet, under your seat or in your lap.” The animal can’t “protrude into or block aisles” or “occupy a seat.” And exit row seats won’t be an option for those with large service animals as “you won’t be able to sit in an exit row when traveling with your service or emotional / psychiatric support animal.”
In addition, emotional support animals and service animals “must be trained to behave properly in public; they must be tethered by leash and / or harness and under your control at all times.”
Animals that display any of the following will be banned from the cabin: “growling; biting or attempting to bite; jumping on or lunging at people”
The rules and regulations didn’t stop there. American Airlines has also hardened the process in which intended passengers register their animals with the airline for a flight.
Currently, American Airlines requires a one-page ESA form that must be signed by your mental health professional. For tickets issued on or after July 1, 2018, American Airlines is requiring a three-form packet to be filled out:
- Mental Health Professional Form
- Behavior Guidelines
- Animal Sanitation During 8+ Hours Form (only required if your flight is scheduled to be more than 8 hours).
American notes that “documentation validation will include American Airlines contacting your mental health professional.” Indeed, the new ESA “Behavior Guidelines” form requires passengers to consent to “collecting and processing personal information, including medical information, for use in authorizing travel with the emotional support animal.”
The form also requires that the passenger agree to “reimburse American Airlines for any such loss, damage, or expense” in the case the animal “exhibits any unsafe, untrained or inappropriate behavior” or violates any of the other listed rules.
It can be said that these new rules and restrictions are a result of the increased number of support and emotional service animals flying with their human accompanies.
American says that the number of its customers traveling with a service or support animal has increased more than 40% from 2016 to 2017.