Airlines that allow ESAs in 2022 are: Westjet, China Air, Latam, Norwegian AIr, Singapore Air, Virgin Australia, Volaris, Air France, Asiana Air, KLM, and Lufthansa.
Rule of Law for Airlines Flying with Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
As of March 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation rescinded the protections emotional support animals enjoyed for years.
This new ruling’s regulation allows airlines to choose if they want to allow emotional support animals on their flights. They were given discretion to say yes or no to your ESA.
Now, in 2022 Airlines Can Choose Not to Allow ESAs on a Plane.Since March 2021a couple of significant changes have happened as a result.
Most Airlines Have Chosen Not To Allow ESAs (Dogs) on Planes In Cabin
Most domestic airlines including United Airline, American Airline, Jetblue, Frontier, Alaska and Southwest Airlines have decided to take full advantage of the new rule put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation and stop accepting ESAs in the airline cabin.
Some believe the reason airlines have stopped accepting ESAs is because too many Pet Parents were abusing and taking advantage of the old regulations, passed their Pet off as an Emotional Support Animal and brought all manner of exotic animals on flights—for free including peacocks and miniature horses.
Some believe that it is simply a matter of Pet Parents who have failed to properly socialize their Pets for flying on Planes.
I believe that airlines continue to choose to stop flying Emotional Support Animals because there’s money to be made by charging a Pet Fee for an ESA that they cannot charge for a Service Animal. ESAs are another way to increase airline profits at your expense.
You have really only to look at the incidence of unruly human passengers flying on airlines in the last year to see that poor behaved animals is not as much an issue as the Airlines protest.
Further, even when flying with your Pet In Cabin counts as your carry-on or personal item which is usually included in the fare for your ticket, they still charge a Pet Fee for flying on a Plane In Cabin.
Airlines Still Accept Dogs In Cabin On Planes
If your Dog Does not qualify as an ESA or Service Dog, you can still fly with your Pet on a Plane In Cabin.
While Emotional Support Animals are no longer accepted, if your Dog or Cat meets the standard size to fit under the seat on a plane, airlines will still allow them and you are permitted to bring them on an airline for a Pet fee ranging from free to $125.
What is the Standard Size for Airline Pet Carriers In-Cabin?
The Standard Size for Pet Carriers is 22”Lx14”Wx 9” and for Pets In-Cabin the average weight for your Pet is 8kg or 17lbs. Soft-Sided Carriers are best for Airlines. The top compresses 1 or 2 inches, giving you more options than a Hard-Sided carrier. The carrier must be stowed under the seat at least for take-off and landing.
Of Course, this does not help the majority of Pet Parents who cannot fly with their pet that is over 20lbs.
Service Animals on Airlines Are Still Protected in 2022
Service Animals are still protected by the US Federal Government and every airline must still allow properly trained Service Dogs to fly In Cabin without a Pet Fee.
Service Animals are federally protected, in part because they have been individually trained for the owner’s specific disability.
If a fully trained service Dog meets the requirements, they may fly free by sitting at its owner’s feet in the seat’s footspace.
Further, if the seat chosen is not large enough for the Dog, the airline must accommodate the owner with a larger seat in the same class of cabin.
Service Animals typically extremely well behaved as well as individually trained to perform a task that can help someone with a specific disability.
Psychiatric Service Dogs are Service Dogs and Must Be Allowed to Fly On All Airlines
Thankfully many travelers with a mental disability are turning to service animals, specifically psychiatric service Dogs as an alternative to ESAs.
The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) prohibits the discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel, according to the Department of Transportation.
What Is A Psychiatric Service Dog And Service Animal?
A psychiatric service dog is very similar to an ESA in that they help alleviate symptoms of a person’s disability.
Psychiatric service dogs and service animals have emerged as the new standard for flying for a qualified individual.
How Are Psychiatric Service Dogs Different From ESAs?
Psychiatric service dogs and service animals are different from an animal that provides emotional support in that they are specially trained to do work.
When it comes to what mental and emotional disability qualifies for a psychiatric service animal it is the exact same standard as an ESA.
Psychiatric Service Dogs are protected by US Federal Law and ESAs are no longer.
Emotional support dogs (ESDs) are dogs that are required for a person’s ongoing mental health treatment by a licensed mental health professional.
These professionals include licensed therapists, psychologists and doctors (General Practitioners).
An ESD brings comfort and minimizes the negative symptoms their human companion’s emotional or psychological ‘disability’.
Unlike service dogs, emotional support dogs do not need any specific task-training because their very presence alleviates the symptoms associated with a personal psychological or emotional disability.
The only requirement is that the dog is fully under control in public and does not cause trouble in or around the domestic environment.
There is No Government Registry for Emotional Support Animals
It is important to remember with all the private companies offer to register your ESA, that there is NO official registry for ESAs, and no official certificate.
In order to prove your Dog is your Emotional Support Dog for flying on Airlines, you will need a letter from an accredited medical health practitioner.
Still, Airlines often get it wrong and arbitrarily deny Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSDs) and ESAs. Often this is due to a lack of understanding of the American with Disabilities Act and the DOT Ruling on Emotional Support Animals.
I have heard from other Pet Parents that if the ticket reservationist or other airline staff cannot see the disability, no disability exists.
Therefore, it is wise to have a letter from a Mental or Medical Health professional with you when you arrive at the airport.
No such letter is required by US law; however, it helps confused or poorly-trained airport staff to better accept that PSD or ESA.
What Documents are Required By Airlines to Fly with an Emotional Support Animal?
Dogs must meet the standard of training laid out by the ADA and DOT before you can fly with your Pet.
You also need a form that the DOT requires you fill out before boarding your flight.
1. Obtain a Medical Assessment Letter / ESA Letter
Remember there is no Certification for a Dog as an ESA. There are no official certificate and no official Governmental registration database for Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).
To fly with an Emotional Support Dog, you need an ESA letter, which is a letter from a medical or mental health professional—preferably, your own therapist or physician.
Many websites offer ESD/ESA “Certificates” in exchange for a fee and a quick survey on their site. Avoid any websites offering such service or to add your Pet to their “official registry. There is no such thing as an official ESD/ESA certificate or registry.
They are simply charging you to create their own database and add your Pet to it. They have no legal force.
The Letter from a Medical or Mental Health Professional is most effective in convincing the Airline your Pet really is your ESA:
The Letter is on the professionals letterhead, with contact information, written by a qualified physician or mental health provider.
Includes the professional’s license number, as well as their signature and date the letter is signed.
The letter should clearly state your need for an Emotional Support Animal.
What qualifies Your Dog as an Emotional Support Dog?
Many people who suffer from a variety of illnesses, including mild to severe depression, phobias, PTSD, anxiety, and panic attacks have found that companionship of an emotional support dogs alleviates symptoms, sometimes even when prescription medications failed or had adverse side effects.
To qualify for an ESD, a licensed medical health care professional will determine whether you have a disability and whether an ESD would help alleviate your symptoms.
A “disability” for purposes of qualifying for an Emotional Support Dog means a mental health condition like depression or severe anxiety.
It includes any mental health condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as the ability to study, work, travel or sleep.
Please note that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), emotional support animals are not considered service animals and are therefore not given the same rights and privileges.
However, ESDs in many instances, such as traveling, have more rights to accompany their owners than standard Pets.
2. Obtain your Emotional Support Dog’s Health Certificate for Pet Passport
In order to fly with emotional support dogs, they must have a Pet Passport or Pet Health Certificate. See Pet Health Certificates and Pet Passport US to Everywhere
3. Book Flights and Inform Your Airline Directly of Flying with ESA
It’s important to check that your airline allows emotional support dogs on board with you, as many do not.
Different airlines have different restrictions on the dog breeds they allow on their planes.
If your airline does not allow flying with an emotional support dog, your dog will need to adhere to the airlines standard pet policies.
When booking your flight, it’s important to note that you may be restricted to sit in specific seats on the plane.
Most airlines require that passengers flying with an ESA dog sit in certain seats on the plane.
Therefore, it is important to check these specific requirements, when booking your flight or reserving your seats.
Generally, you will need to inform the airline that you will be bringing an ESD, at least 48 hours before the flight.
As well as providing your ESA letter, some airlines may also require you to complete a form.
The letter will state the address and jurisdiction of the health professional who approved your use of an ESD.
Additionally, it will state that you have a mental health related disability and are under the care of a health professional.
The amount of notice the airline will need, may differ between airlines.
So, again, please check the policies before booking your flight. If you fail to give some airports sufficient notice, then your ESD may need to be checked into the cargo compartment of the plane.
4. Complete the Airline’s Sanitation Form
A sanitation form is required by some airlines,if your flight is over 8 hours long.
This form states that during the flight, your emotional support dog will not defecate or urinate on a flight.
These forms require you to inform the airline how you’d go about dealing with a scenario in which they will need to defecate or urinate.
Check the airline policy of who you are flying with, to see if a sanitation form is required.
Your Dog Must be Well Behaved
This does not mean your ESA needs to be trained to do work that helps your disability. For an airline that accepts traveling with an ESA (Dogs) they are not allowed to ask what tasks the Dog can perform and they do not need to know how to work or perform tasks.
However, the better trained your Dog, the less airline staff will be inclined to ask you questions and make your life more challenging as you board your flight. It’s best if your pet is well behaved.
What Airlines Do Not Allow Emotional Support Animals (Dogs)
Most domestic airlines including United Airline, American Airline, Jetblue, Frontier, Alaska, even our beloved Southwest Airlines have decided to take advantage of the new rule put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation and stop accepting ESAs in the airline cabin.
What Disabilities Qualify as a Psychiatric Service Dog or Service Animal?
Any mental or emotional disability that qualifies for an ESA can qualify for a psychiatric service animal. This includes:
- Personality Disorders
- Bi-Polar Disorder
MAJOR AIRLINES IN-CABIN PET CARRIER SIZES:
|AIRLINE, IN CABIN||Maximum Pet Carrier Size|
Small Dogs, Cats,
Carrier Counts as
Dog and Cats
1 Carrier per passenger.
Carrier may hold 2 animals:
Same Size/Same Breed.
Allows carrier and carry-on
Dogs and Cats
Pit-Bull Breeds prohibited
Allows carrier and a carry-on.
1 pet per carrier
Dogs and Cats
Carrier counts as your carry-on.
1 carrier per parent
DOMESTIC FLIGHTS: Dogs,
Rabbits, Guinea Pigs,
Dogs and Cats.
|JET BLUE |
Dogs and Cats
1 Pet per carrier. 1 carrier
Counts as 1 personal item
Dogs, Cats, Singing Birds.
Total Weight 18lb (carrier +pet).
Carrier is not counted
as your carry on
Dogs and Cats
Total Weight 18lbs
Carrier is not counted
as your carry on
Dogs and Cats
Total Weight 18lbs
Soft-sided carriers only
Carrier not counted
as carry on
Dogs and Cats
Total Weight: 22lbs/10kg (carrier+pet)
|ALASKA AIRLINES ||Hard-Sided=|
|CANADA AIR |
Dog or Cat
1 pet per passenger
Soft carriers only
Total lineal dimensions=45″/115cm
A psychiatric service dog or service animal provides the same mental health support as an emotional support animal.
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