New changes in Airline rules shocked many ESA owners shocked by end of the year Dec 2020. In January 11th, 2021, the (DOT) published news that no longer allows airlines to accommodate emotional support animals. Before the rules changed, all ESA owners were required to have a legal document from a licensed mental health practitioner. This news was not only shocking but discouraging, to millions of ESA owners around the world. Not all expectation is lost, still there are some Airlines allowing Emotional Support Animals.
The new rules of DOT may allow Airlines to discontinue their ESA plan, yet some are still allowing Emotional Support Animals. We are in the early phase of viewing how DOT’s new rules will affect ESAs and Air Travel. Many of the Airlines have not decided whether they have to ban ESAs or allow pets as carry on within the plane. If you are planning to travel on Airlines which are allowing Emotional Support Animals, Pet Psych Center will contact you immediately, to check whether you qualify.
Whenever you fly with your Emotional Support Animals it is mandatory to confirm with ESA policies. Many Airlines may often change their ESA rules and policies. It is important before booking to confirm the current policies of ESA in Airlines.
Which Airlines Are Still Allowing Emotional Support Animals?
As of January 11th, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) no longer requires airlines to accommodate emotional support animals. However, certain Airlines are still accepting emotional support animals with proper documentation from a Licensed Mental Health professional.
Airlines Accepting Emotional Support Animals
ESA-friendly international airlines that are currently accepting Emotional Support Animals. Please call ahead to confirm what your airline’s current policy is before booking and confirm that there will not be issues with your return flight as policies may change.
Airlines of North America:
- Latam Airlines
- Air France
- Asiana Air (Flights from/to the United States. However, rules will change.)
- China Airlines (Emotional support dog only.)
- KLM (Emotional support dog only, from 4 months and older.)
- Lufthansa (Flights from/to the United States. ESA’s up to 8 kgs.)
- Singapore Air (Emotional support dog only, from 4 months and older.)
Latam Airlines, the largest airline in Latin America, still accepts ESAs on flights to/from Mexico and Colombia, and on domestic flights within Colombia.
Volaris is continuing its ESA program for owners who are travelling to/from Central America and domestic flights within Mexico.
Westjet accepts emotional support animals and has flights in Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
General Requirements for ESAs
- An emotional support animal Letter on participating airlines from a licensed mental health professional.
- A form provided by the airline to be filled out by the LMHP and submitted 48 hours prior to departure.
Which Airlines are No Longer Accepting ESAs?
As of March 1, 2021, the following airlines have announced that they do not accommodate emotional support animals anymore:
Airlines of North America:
- Alaska Airlines
- Allegiant Air
- American Airlines
- Air Canada
- Delta Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Jet Blue
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- Sun Country
- United Airlines
- Air China
- Air New Zealand
- All Nippon Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- China Eastern Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Eva Air
- Korean Air
- Qatar Airways
- Turkish Airlines
Many Airlines recognize ESAs as a normal pet in the plane. Pet’s are a matter of payment and banned in planes by sizes, breed, and weight. Some Airlines ESAs do not allow travel in the cabin only permitted to travel in cargo. And some are completely banned in flights.
Airlines are very strict in the ESA plan in planes. After, DOT has released the Airlines rules for emotional support animals in Planes. Before flying with your emotional support animals you need to check your Airlines whether they allow ESA in the plane.
Future for ESAs and Air Travel incoming Day’s
The Airlines rules changes are opposed by many ESA owners, disability groups, and many parts of the country. They complained about the cost and inconvenience of allowing ESA in planes. As DOT rules are not mandatory, that means Airlines can allow emotional support animal, even though they are not lawfully compelled to do so. Airlines may modify the procedure, by accepting ESA if they decide.
There is also great hope that authority changes at the DOT will also help to review the rules and regulations of ESA. Reconsidering the assistance of animals toward disabled people, they are not happy with the new Airlines rule. ESA still enjoys federal rights for housing, and state additional protection.