Emotional support dogs are unfortunately no longer accommodated by U.S. airlines. However, other types of assistance animals used for mental health are still allowed to board flights.
In the past, emotional support dogs had travel rights on airplanes. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation changed its rules for emotional support animals in 2021. As a result, U.S. airlines stopped allowing ESAs on flights.
There are two options for bringing your dog into the plane cabin ✈️ :
- You can bring your dog as a pet if it qualifies. Most airlines have rules that make this option only possible for smaller dogs. In addition, airlines charge fees for allowing pet dogs in the cabin and limit the number that can be on any flight.
- Service dogs can board flights free of charge. Even though ESAs can’t board flights, service dogs (including psychiatric service dogs) can still fly in the cabin. Service dogs are exempt from airline fees as well as size restrictions.
How can I fly with a mental health service dog?
To fly with a psychiatric service dog on a flight, you will need to complete the DOT’s Service Animal Air Transportation Form. Once you have completed this form, submit it to your airline before your flight.
There are other rules you should be aware of when flying with a service dog. For example, service dogs can only sit in certain areas of the plane.
You do not need to submit any other documents to the airline. Most service dog owners, however, use accessories like vests, IDs, and tags to designate their dog as a working animal at the airport and onboard the flight.
Owners of psychiatric service dogs also obtain PSD letters. A PSD letter is a signed document from a licensed health care provider establishing that the handler has a qualifying psychiatric disability.
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