As of January 2021, American Airlines will only allow Service Animals and Psychiatric Service Dogs to fly in cabin, free of charge, on all domestic and international flights.

Click on the link below to see if you qualify for a Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD).

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Qualify for your PSD Letter here

Your ESA may qualify as a PSD

Under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new rules for emotional support animals, airlines are no longer legally required to accommodate emotional support animals but may do so voluntarily. That means that some airlines will cease their ESA programs. Unfortunately, American Airlines has announced that it will no longer recognize emotional support animals starting on February 1, 2021. 

However, psychiatric service dogs and service animals are exempt from the new rules and will be allowed on all domestic and international flights without incurring additional pet fees.

Customers traveling with service dogs need to complete a DOT form attesting to the service dog’s behavior, training, and health. The form must be submitted at least 48 hours in advance of a flight, beginning February 1.

The good news for ESA owners is that you may qualify for a psychiatric service dog if you qualify for an emotional support animal. You must however, make sure that your animal is trained to provide a service or task for your disability.

Flying with a Psychiatric Service Dog on American Airlines

Did you know you can travel on American Airlines with a Psychiatric Service Dog without a fee? However, before you grab Fido and show up at the airport, there are some policies you should be aware of. American Airlines will require you to complete and provide documentation for your Psychiatric Service Dog or Service Animal 48 prior to your flight.

American Airlines ESA and PSD Policy and Requirements 

american airlines emotional support animals

(Disclaimer: The information below is for educational purposes and should be confirmed directly with the airline. ESADoctors.com is not associated or affiliated with this airline or any of their subsidiaries.)

Requirements for Flying with a Psychiatric Service Dog

In order for you to fly with an ESA or a psychiatric service dog, your furry “helper” must follow some rules. These include;

  • Dogs must be harnessed, leashed or tethered at all times
  • Dogs under 4 months of age may not travel as a service dog or psychiatric service dog
  • Dogs must be clean and well-behaved
  • Dogs must be able to fit under your seat, in your lap, or at your feet (lap animals must be smaller than a 2-year old child)
  • Final approval for travel will not happen until you arrive at the airport and it is determined that the psychiatric service dog or service dog will safely fit at your feet
  • If the dog is in a kennel, it must fit under the seat in front of you with the animal inside
  • Travelers are limited to 2 service dogs per person

Dogs may not:

  • Sit in an exit row
  • Block the aisles or extend out into the aisle
  • Sit or lay down in a seat
  • Eat or sit on tray tables

If your Psychiatric Service Dog is too big or too heavy, you may have to:

  • Rebook your ticket on a flight with more open seats
  • Buy a ticket for your psychiatric service dog
  • Check your dog into the cargo hold as a checked pet

Requirements for Traveling With an Emotional Support Animal

  • Emotional support animals will now be considered pets and all applicable fees will apply
  • Animals must stay inside their kennels at all times
  • Combined weight of animal and kennel cannot exceed 20 lbs.
  • Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs and cats will not be accepted as checked pets
  • Size permitted, brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs and cats can be carried on in kennels
  • Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old when flying within the U.S. and Puerto Rico
  • For international flights, your dog’s age and vaccine requirements depend on your origin country’s rabies risk
  • For international flights from high-risk countries, dogs must be at least 16 weeks old and completed their rabies shots

 

How to Get your Psychiatric Service Dog Letter from ESA Doctors

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American Airlines Service Animal Form

American Airlines requires a Service Animal DOT form when traveling with an emotional support animal to and from the United States. You can find the latest (Updated March 2021) DOT form below.

https://www.aa.com/content/images/travel-info/special-assistance/service-animals/dot-service-animal-health-behavior-training-form.pdf

American Airlines service dog air transportation form

You will have to submit this document to the airline 48 hours before your flight. If you fail to comply, American Airlines reserves the right to ask you to kennel the animal.

Documentation for Long Flights

If your flight time is over 8 hours, you must also submit a Service Animal Relief Attestation Form that outlines how you will handle your animal if it needs to go to the bathroom.

https://www.aa.com/content/images/travel-info/special-assistance/service-animals/dot-service-animal-relief-attestation-form.pdf

Destinations Where ESA Restrictions Apply

If you are traveling to Hawaii, Edinburgh Scotland, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Saint Vincent/Grenadines, Guyana or the United Kingdom, be sure to check out the specific guidelines these destination locations require when traveling with a service animal or ESA.

American Airlines and Psychiatric Service Dogs

When booking a flight on American Airlines, be sure to let them know you will be traveling with a psychiatric service dog or service dog so they can properly meet your needs. Failing to comply with their policies could have your animal kenneled and in the cargo hold.

  1. Complete and sign the DOT form found here.
  2. Complete the DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form found here, if your flight is over 8 hours.
  3. Submit completed documents to American Airlines here at least 48 hours before the scheduled departure of your first flight.
  4. Keep all documents with you during your trip, you may be asked to show them to an airline representative.

 

Qualify for a Psychiatric Service Dog Letter Online.

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