The United States Department of Transportation has issued its “final rule” Wednesday, allowing airlines to limit animals and say “no” to emotional support animals in cabins after a number of passengers complained some were taking advantage of traveling with animal companions, who were sometimes unruly on the flight.
The Department of Transportation reported receiving more than 15,000 comments on their new policy, most of which were comments that the previous regulations were being abused by some owners.
One of the most memorable and bizarre case of an “emotional support” animal that tried to be boarded on the plane was a peacock back in 2018. The United Airlines flight could have allowed the animal companion onboard, but it did not meet size guidelines.
Here are important guidelines and changes to the policy that you have to remember if you plan on boarding the plane from the US.
- The only animal airlines will be required to allow onboard are dogs, and only dogs that are considered service animals that are “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.”
- All other nonservice animals can be considered pets and required to be stored in a plane’s cargo hold, for which airlines will be able to charge a pet fee.
- Airlines can now require passengers to fill out a Department of Transportation form that attests to “a service animal’s health, behavior and training.”
- Under old regulations, airlines were required to allow passengers who had a doctor’s note claiming animals were there for emotional support to bring them onboard.
- Airlines will be allowed to apply the new rules starting in 30 days.
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