New Airline Laws on Service and Emotional Support Animals

 

 

 

ACAA is now requiring documentation of training

 

Helpful air  travel reminders

  • Service animals must be properly harnessed or leashed and remain under the direct control of you or the dog handler at all times.
  • The animal must behave properly in public and should follow directions from its owner.
  • Dog must be a minimum age of 4 months for acceptance on United.
  • The animal is required to be seated in the floor space directly in front of your seat.
  • The animal should not extend into the aisles.
  • If you’re traveling with an animal in cabin to any international destination (or some domestic locations, such as but not limited to Guam or Hawaii, where local regulations may require it), United may require you to bring an up-to-date copy of your animal’s vaccination certificate with you on your trip. We recommend that you have a copy on hand during travel.
  • You will not be able travel within 30 days of your animal’s rabies vaccination.

Rule on ESA Traveling by Air with Service Animals

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that it is revising its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the transportation of service animals by air to ensure a safe and accessible air transportation system.  

The Department received more than 15,000 comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking. The final rule announced today addresses concerns raised by individuals with disabilities, airlines, flight attendants, airports, other aviation transportation stakeholders, and other members of the public, regarding service animals on aircraft. 

The final rule: 

  • Defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability;
  • No longer considers an emotional support animal to be a service animal;
  • Requires airlines to treat psychiatric service animals the same as other service animals;
  • Allows airlines to require forms developed by DOT attesting to a service animal’s health, behavior and training, and if taking a long flight attesting that the service animal can either not relieve itself, or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner;
  • Allows airlines to require individuals traveling with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) up to 48 hours in advance of the date of travel if the passenger’s reservation was made prior to that time;
  • Prohibits airlines from requiring passengers with a disability who are traveling with a service animal to physically check-in at the airport instead of using the online check-in process;  
  • Allows airlines to require a person with a disability seeking to travel with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) at the passenger’s departure gate on the date of travel;
  • Allows airlines to limit the number of service animals traveling with a single passenger with a disability to two service animals; 
  • Allows airlines to require a service animal to fit within its handler’s foot space on the aircraft;
  • Allows airlines to require that service animals be harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times in the airport and on the aircraft;
  • Continues to allow airlines to refuse transportation to service animals that exhibit aggressive behavior and that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; and
  • Continues to prohibit airlines from refusing to transport a service animal solely based on breed.

Final Rule Link:    https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/2020-12/Service%20Animal%20Final%20Rule.pdf

 

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