American Airlines Emotional Support Animal - Policies

Are you planning to travel with American Airlines? You should be familiar with the process before you take your dogs and cats to the airport with you. There are some rules that you should follow if you plan on traveling with your emotional support animal.

Most of the time, the airline hands out several documents that need to be filled by the passengers before boarding the plane.

Are you wondering whether airlines accept emotional support animals to fly with their owners or not?

It depends on the airline whether they allow you to travel with your emotional support animal or not. There was a change in policy in 2020 to not allow emotional support animals on airplanes.

Move on with the blog to find out more on this issue.

American Airlines - Emotional Support Animal Policy

American Airlines was one of the first airlines to ban the free pet travel of emotional support animals. Following them, several other airlines have also introduced this policy.

According to the new rule, ESA owners will now have to bring a carry-on if they want to fly with their fluffy friend. You will also have to pay an amount of $125 within the United States, Mexico, and Canada, or bring the ESA as cargo. It depends on the airline how they allow you to take your ESA with you.

The President of cargo of American Airlines, Jessica Tyler, has explained that this step will help them take care of the passengers better and also guarantee their safety. It allows them to make sure that people with disabilities travel safely with their service animals.

It is not just for the safety of the passengers but the crew members too. Due to a lot of fake ESA letters, and a few incidents mid-flight, American Airlines’ emotional support animal policy was changed.

Policy for Service Animals

Service animals on flights are allowed but only after they have submitted American Airlines emotional support animal forms confirming that their dog is well-disciplined.

Things to Know Before Going to the Airport with your Dog

If you have an emotional support animal, you must be familiar with the rights that are given to ESA owners. The Air Carrier Access Act regulates traveling with emotional support animals. They decide the rules and what documents are necessary before traveling with the ESA.

After you submit the pet fee required to travel with an ESA, there are some forms that you need to submit that confirm your ESAs entry on the airplane:

  1. An Emotional Support Animal letter issued by a licensed medical health professional. The letter contains complete details of why you need the ESA and in what ways the animal helps its owner.
  2. Another important document is a behavior document that confirms that your animal is well-behaved. It is a guarantee that the animal can be taken in public safely.
  3. You will also need the vaccination records that state your dog is completely vaccinated and healthy.
  4. In case the flight is more than 8 hours, you will need to submit an additional sanitation record.

A wise step is to send these documents almost 48 hours before your flight. Once they receive the documents, the airline will verify them as soon as possible and let you know if there is anything wrong.

Remember a thing, these documents and papers are only valid if the airline agrees to allow your ESA animal on-board.

If the ESA is approved to fly as cargo with its owner, they will go through a checking process just like luggage is checked at the airport. Checked pets are then allowed to board the plane.

Do you need an emotional support letter for your ESA? Don’t worry, contact for authentic ESA letters.

Can an airline deny an emotional support animal?

Yes, an airline can deny access to an ESA if the animal is harmful to the passengers or in case of any missing document. Infact, the airline can reject the entry of an emotional support animal on any basis.

Which Animals are Allowed on American Airlines?

American Airlines allows service animals to travel on the airplane with their owners. However, the Department of Transportation demands a service animal relief attestation form that must be submitted before traveling.

A psychiatric service dog has no restriction on flying because unlike ESA, they are individually trained to help their owners. The difference between emotional support animals and service animals is important to understand. Service animals work or perform tasks for the benefit of the owner, and are trained to do work that is specific, unlike ESA that provides support and love to its owner.

Which Animals are Not Allowed on American Airlines?

American Airlines has a list of animals mentioned on their website that are not allowed to fly. It is obvious that you can’t carry an animal that is huge in size or which is harmful to the people around. There is a list of dogs that have stubbed noses and are not allowed inside the airplane.

The reason behind this restriction is to eliminate health issues on height such as breathing problems for these dogs. Similarly, some cat breeds that are feral are also prohibited from flying.

The list of dogs not allowed on the airplane are:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • English Toy Spaniel
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • Bulldog
  • Japanese Chin

Cat Breeds not allowed on the airplane are:

  • Burmese
  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Exotic Shorthair

Requirements in the Airplane Cabin

  • Your pet should fit under your seat, in front of you, or just beside where you are sitting.
  • The emotional support animal should be under control at all times, well-behaved, and also groomed.
  • If the airline allows the ESA to fly in the cabin, you can get bulkhead seating for your large size animal.
  • The ESA should not block the aisle.
  • Make sure that your ESA is under control and does not eat or lick from the trays of other people.

ESA Restrictions on International Travel

Unfortunately, ESAs can’t travel to every country around the world. The places where ESAs are not allowed to travel are:

  • Hawaii
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • Edinburgh Scotland
  • Saint Vincent
  • Guyana

The best way to avoid any such trouble is by checking the airport guidelines beforehand. You should call the airlines almost two days before to confirm that your emotional support animal is on the list.

Which Airlines do not Allow Emotional Support Animals?

According to the new policy, every airline has put a restriction on the free-flying of emotional support animals. It includes American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and others as well.

Do All Airlines Allow Emotional Support Animals?

No, all airlines do not allow you to carry on pets since the policy changed in 2020. It depends on the airline whether they allow your emotional support animal to fly with you or not.

It is better to stay updated with the new policies so you don’t have to go through any trouble. Make sure you take your ESA letter wherever you go to make traveling fun and stress-free for you and your precious friend!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Airlines Ask for Proof of Emotional Support Animal?

Yes, airlines can ask you for proof of emotional support animal. They have the right to ask for additional documents as well and if allowed, you will have to pay a specific amount of money to travel with your ESA.

What Airlines Allow Emotional Support Animals 2021?

The following airlines allow emotional support animals 2021:

  • China Air
  • Latam Airlines
  • Norwegian Air
  • Singapore Air
  • Virgin Australia
  • Volaris
  • Westjet

Is American Airlines Stopping Emotional Support Animal?

American Airlines has stopped emotional support animals from flying with their owners. They changed the policy to ensure that people with disabilities can safely travel with their service animals without any disturbance.

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