This week American announced their own new policy which seems to go even farther.
- Animals have to fit under seat, at feet, or on lap No one with an emotional support animal can sit in an exit row.
- No blocking of aisles, occupying a seat or eating from tray tables
- Must leash and control the animal at all times. Animals who growl, attempt to bit, or lunge at people will be treated as pets “and all pet requirements and applicable fees will apply.” I’m not sure that this will be enforced except in the most egregious cases.
- 48 hours advance notice although last minute travel can be booked inside this period with an emotional support animal.
- Must have a form completed by a licensed mental health professional or a letter from the professional dated within a year of travel.
The letter has to state there’s “a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and are currently a patient” as well as “[s]how the need for emotional support or psychiatric service animal for air travel and /or activity at your destination” and “[p]rovide proof of their licensing as a mental health professional or medical doctor (including date, type and state of license).”
- There’s also a behavioral guidelines form and an ‘animal sanitation form’ for 8+ hour flights where you have to say the animal won’t need to relieve itself during long haul travel.
In addition these animals are banned as support animals:
|Ferrets||Rodents||Non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, & birds of prey)|
|Goats||Snakes||Animals with tusks, horns or hooves (excluding miniature horses properly trained as service animals)|
|Hedgehogs||Spiders||Any animal that is unclean / has an odor|
These new rules were supposed to apply only to tickets purchased July 1 or after. However it appears that two passengers have already had an emotional support animal rejected by American… a dinosaur.
(HT: Michelle L.)