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Delta Bans Emotional Support Animals

Delta emotional support animals
In this Aug. 8, 2016, file photo, a dog named Jazzy waits in line with Delta passengers at a ticket counter in Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. If your pet must travel, experts say that the cabin is safer than the cargo hold. Pets too large to fit in an under-seat carrier must go cargo unless it’s a service or emotional-support animal. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(Atlanta, GA) — Emotional support animals are no longer allowed on Delta flights. The Atlanta-based airline announced yesterday it is following new federal guidelines that don’t require the company to allow emotional support animals. Effective Jan. 11, Delta will no longer accept emotional support animal bookings on any Delta flight. Delta’s updated policy follows a final rule issued last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which states carriers are no longer required to recognize emotional support animals as service animals. Documentation will be required for trained service dogs.

Delta’s updated policy includes input and guidance from our frontline teams, as well as recommendations from Delta’s Advisory Board on Disability. “Delta’s updated policy follows a nearly 85 percent increase in animal incidents since 2016, including urination, defecation and biting,” said David Garrison – S.V.P. Corporate Safety and Security. “Our top priority is the health, safety and comfort of Delta customers and our people. We strongly believe this policy change will enhance the overall travel experience for everyone.” Service animal policy changes effective Jan. 11, 2021: Delta will no longer accept new bookings for emotional support animals. Customers who hold a ticket with their emotional support animal(s) confirmed for travel prior to Jan 11. may still travel as planned on Delta. Trained service animals are defined as dogs regardless of breed, specifically trained to assist a person with a disability. Delta will lift its ban on pit bull type dogs that meet documentation requirements for trained service animals; however, in line with Delta’s current policy, pit bull type dogs will not be allowed to travel as emotional support animals for those customers ticketed and confirmed before Jan. 11. Customers traveling with a trained service dog(s) should submit DOT documentation via Delta.com attesting to the dog’s health, training and behavior 48 hours prior to departure. If travel is booked less than 48 hours prior to departure, a customer may present the documentation at the ticket counter or at the departure gate. Customers traveling with a trained service dog on flights scheduled for eight hours or more must also submit a DOT Relief Attestation form available on Delta.com attesting that the dog will not relieve itself in the aircraft or can do so without causing health or sanitization issues. Delta will continue to deny boarding to any trained service animal that poses a threat or demonstrates aggressive or inappropriate behavior in a public setting. Customers may continue to elect to travel with a pet in cabin if they meet Delta’s Travel Policy requirements. More information on Delta’s updated service animal policy, which takes effect on Jan. 11, is available on Delta.com.