February 3, 2018
United Tightening its Emotional Support Animal Policy

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Delta added new restrictions to its in-flight service animal requirements a few weeks ago. It boils down to additional paper work requirements to prove your service animal is actually a service animal and not just a pet you want to bring onboard. United updated its own emotional support animal policy several days ago.

United says it’s seen a 75% year-over-year increase in the number of customers bringing emotional support animals onboard, and this is increasing the number of onboard animal incidents. Travelers seeking to bring emotional service animals onboard will be subject to the following requirements effective March 1, 2018:

  • Customers must provide a letter from a mental health professional to United’s Accessibility Desk 48+ hours before departure
  • Customers must provide confirmation that the animal has been trained to behave properly in a public setting and acknowledge responsibility for the animal’s behavior
  • Customers must provide a health and vaccination form signed by the animal’s veterinarian. The veterinarian must also affirm that there is no reason to believe that the animal will pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others on the aircraft or cause a significant disruption in service.

The handsome fellow is my (not emotional-support) dog

United also prohibits specific types of animals from traveling in the cabin. These include hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, sugar gliders, non-household birds, exotic animals and animals not properly cleaned or carrying a foul odor.

These changes only effect emotional support animals. No changes are being made to service animal requirements. What do you think of these changes? They sound reasonable to me.

Featured Image Courtesy of United