February 21, 2018 Blog Misc Traveling with Pets

New Travel Regulations Affect Service Animals

An emotional support peacock

New Travel Regulations Affect Service Animals

“Can peacocks fly?”
“Pets on the fly”
“Delta tightens the leash on emotional support animals”
These are but a few of the clever headlines online and in print over the past few weeks regarding emotional support animals traveling in airplane cabins. The topic of traveling with emotional support animals came to the forefront when Delta Airlines announced that beginning March 1, 2018, it would require additional documentation for customers traveling with an emotional support animal. For travel after March 1, passengers will need to provide documentation from a certified mental health professional, a veterinary health form documenting the health and vaccination records for the animal, as well as confirming that the animal has appropriate behavioral training. I completed the veterinary health form for a patient of mine today. Forms were readily accessible on the airline’s website.
Can Spiders, Sugar Gliders or Hedgehogs Fly?
One of the issues highlighted in the series of articles with clever titles was the story of an emotional support peacock denied the opportunity to board his flight and occupy the seat his human purchased for the trip. The peacock, named Dexter, was trying to fly on a United Airlines flight, but even if he had switched airlines, he would have also been disallowed on a Delta Airlines flight for not meeting several requirements for a flying service animal: must fit under the seat, cannot occupy a seat intended for a person, must be a household bird. In addition, the emotional support animal cannot encroach on other passengers. Whoever was booked to sit next to the support peacock probably doesn’t know it, but they really dodged a bullet on that flight. I also found a report of some support bees that were not allowed to board a Southwest Airlines flight.
Delta Airlines has a very specific list of what animals cannot be accommodated in the cabin. I could not find a similar list for United, but Southwest Airlines will not accept rodents, ferrets, insects, spiders, reptiles, hedgehogs, rabbits, or sugar gliders, a list nearly identical to Delta’s.
Before You Go
Before traveling with your emotional support animal, service dog or any animal, you have some legwork to do before you buy tickets. First, check the website of your airline for their requirements for traveling with pets or support animals. If you plan to travel outside the United States, each country sets its own rules regarding animal importation. The United States Department of Agriculture maintains a very informative website to assist pet families in navigating these rules. Start early in getting your pet’s travel papers in order as some countries require preapproval and special blood tests for entry. One, you know what tests and documentation are required, make an appointment with your veterinarian to obtain the proper travel papers.

Tags: amcny, american airlines, animal medical center, animals, ann hohenhaus, cats, delta airlines, dogs, emotional support animal, exotic pets, NYC, pet travel, pets, reptiles, southwest airlines, veterinary,

Related Posts

  • Dogs Oncology
    A dog lying in the sun
    September 15, 2021

    Do Dogs Need Sunscreen? Protecting Your Dog from Solar-induced Tumors

    Learn More
  • Misc One Health
    A search and rescue dog and its handler at Ground Zero
    September 07, 2021

    AMC Remembers 9/11 Twenty Years Later

    Learn More
  • Dogs Emergency Pet Safety Responsible Pet Ownership
    An x-ray of an earbud in a dog's stomach
    August 25, 2021

    What happens when your dog eats your earbuds?

    Learn More