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How to Fly with Your Pet with Delta United and American Airlines

Having an emotional support animal could actually add years to your life. Taking your pet along when travelling for holidays can make life much easier for you.

Flying with your ESA isn’t impossible anymore, just that you need to prepare well in advance. You can still make it home with your ESA just in time for the holidays.

Here are major airline requirements for bringing along an ESA on board a flight.

1. Delta Airlines
Passengers traveling with Delta Airlines are encouraged to submit all required documentation at least 48 hours prior to the flight.

The ESA is allowed to stay on the floor beside a patient’s seat or can be seated on their lap. Besides, the size of your animal must also not exceed the “footprint” of passenger’s seat. Also, each passenger is limited to just one ESA.

In addition to the above requirements,

Effective December 10, 2018, ESAs under the age of four months will not be allowed on any flight because of the USDA vaccination requirements.

Effective February 2019, emotional support animals will not be accepted flights that have a duration of more than 8 hours irrespective of the date on which the flight was booked.

To book your flight with Delta Airlines, they will require documentation that is no more than a year old from a certified mental health professional indicating the need for an ESA. You must also have certification of the animal’s health including rabies and DRB shot verifications. All these documentations can be provided via digital copy.

2. American Airlines-
The seating guidelines for your ESA are somewhat similar to that of Delta.

For any bookings on or after July 1, 2018, you will be required to submit the following documents-

An ESA letter
‘Animal sanitation form’ for 8+ hours which is only required if the flight is for more than 8 hours
A signed copy of their behavior guidelines

Besides these, you need to submit your pets veterinary health records as well. The airlines need to validate all your documentation 48 hours before your scheduled flight. If failed to do so, your ESA might have to travel in a kennel with applicable extra charges.

3. United Airlines-
According to the Department of Transportation Rules, Part 382, any qualified individual with a disability who wishes to fly with United Airlines will be required to submit the following documentation when flying with United-

ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional
Passenger Confirmation of Liability and Emotional Support Animal Behavior
Veterinary Health Form verified by a licensed veterinarian.

These forms must be submitted 48 hours before your flight. A passenger will be required to submit these forms to the United Airlines Accessibility Desk by email. Make sure you include the first departure date and the flight confirmation in the subject line of your email.

For all the airlines’ dogs and cats are the most acceptable companions as ESAs.
Please note that emotional support animals may be subjected to additional government regulations at destinations where they will be transported.

If you are flying domestic, make sure you are prepared with the right documentation and get verified well-in-advance.

This year, make sure you celebrate holidays with your ESA and family together!

Have a question?
Drop us a line in the comments section below.

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Pets & Animals