The End of Emotional Support Animals on US Airlines

Published on January 10, 2021 by

A new rule by the Department of Transportation closes the “Emotional Support Animal Loophole” that allowed passengers to bring almost any animal on to the airplane with them. I’ll tell you all about the new rule and what the airlines are doing in response to it. The DOT rule was prompted by an increase in service animal complaints from passengers with disabilities, misbehavior by emotional support animals (like pooping and even biting), a lack of clarity around the definition of “service animal” and disruptions caused by “requests to transport unusual species of animals onboard aircraft,” according to the DOT. The U.S. Department of Transportation now defines a service animal as a dog that has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”


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