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Southwest Airlines ESA Pet Policy

People suffering from emotional or mental disabilities like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD may feel difficulty when traveling on flights. Thankfully, emotional support animals could be with you in-cabin to help you during these overwhelming times. Though this is not valid when traveling on international flights.

Southwest Airlines is one of the most popular airlines in the country, and all you require is an ESA letter to fly with a dog without paying any extra fees. Though flying with an emotional support dog in Southwest Airlines comes with specific rules and regulations. Take notice of these policies of Southwest airlines and experience flying with a dog in-cabin without any hassles.

Flying with your Emotional Support Dog

When at the airport, you must check-in at the ticket counter with your emotional support animal and all the required documents. Once they are verified, you will be given an updated boarding pass. When booking your flight, Southwest Airlines encourages travelers to notify them about the emotional support animal in advance. So, if you are seeking to travel with an emotional support animal, you may use the “Special Assistance” link on the passenger and payment info page when booking your flight. After selecting the option, click on continue and complete the process. If you’ve already reserved the seat, click on the “Flight | Hotel | Car” link situated on the homepage of Southwest Airlines. Then, from the “Flight” column, select “Manage Reservations” and enter the required information. Once done, select “Continue.” Then use the “Special Assistance” link on the page and after choosing the option, click on “Continue,” and the information will be saved.

Also, before booking your flight with Southwest airlines, there are some requirements that you need to ensure.

  • Your emotional or mental disability must follow the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM-IV).
  • The ESA letter should be signed by a certified mental health professional. The letter should be on his letterhead and contain the license number of the professional.
  • The date of the issue of the letter should be less than a year.
  • This is valid only for domestic flights as the laws and regulations regarding ESAs are country-specific.