American Airlines tightens rules for travelling with emotional support animals

American Airlines tightens rules for travelling with emotional support animals

"We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal".

United's policy on comfort animals changed in March after an incident involving an emotional support peacock, which a passenger attempted to take on a cross-country flight in January.

The passenger must also have a letter from a mental-health professional describing the disability and proof of the professional's license. But the animals, like service animals for the blind and others who are physically disabled, fly in the cabin for free, instead of being stowed and costing a fee of about $125 on most airlines, which may explain their massive popularity.

American Airlines announced Monday that it would be making a change to its support animal policy. "Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft".

In Canada, both Air Canada and WestJet permit travelling with emotional support animals, although with some conditions.

Owners had been allowed to fill out paperwork the day of their flight, or even at the airport, a spokesperson for American Airlines said. Other airlines, like United and Delta, have also updated their animal policies in recent months.


A United Airlines spokesperson said at the time that the airline experienced a 75 percent year-over-year increase in customers bringing emotional support animals on flights. The airline says it will have procedures in place to accommodate last-minute bookings.

Tusked animals will be banned from flying, but miniature horses will not.

American also laid out rules for the behaviour of allowed emotional support or service animals, saying they must be trained to behave in public. They include: amphibians, ferrets, goats, hedgehogs, insects, reptiles, rodents, snakes, spiders, and sugar gliders.

Last year, more than 750,000 emotional support animals were transported by USA carriers, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Since more passengers are bringing pets with them for emotional support, American is clarifying what kinds of animals are allowed on board for that goal.

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