Is this a good change or a bad one? Delta Air Lines announced they’re tightening their policy on emotional support animals beginning December 18. Those who have already purchased tickets will have their request to bring a support animal honored until February 1.
Delta Air Lines announced you can’t bring a support animal if your flight is longer than eight hours. Rules for puppies are changing as well. Support animals (even trained service animals) won’t be allowed on any flights if the puppy in under four months old.
Part of the reason for the change is accident liability. Animals have relieved themselves or bitten other animals, including one Delta passenger. Others try to avoid the pet-carriage fees by filling out a form stating they have a support animal.
Delta posted more information in their blog stating
“We will continue to review and enhance our policies and procedures as health and safety are core values at Delta,” said John Laughter, Senior Vice President – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. “These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs – such as veterans with disabilities – to travel with trained service and support animals.”
Delta’s updated policy follows an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals 2016-2017, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a combat veterans 80-pound dog service dog. The updated support and service animal age requirement aligns with the vaccination policy of the CDC, and the eight-hour flight limit for emotional support animals is consistent with the principles outlined in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act.
Delta Senior Vice President John Laughter stated in an interview with NBC News that the changes are being made to “protect the rights of customers with documented needs — such as veterans with disabilities — to travel with trained service and support animals.”
The ban won’t affect animals who travel in enclosed airline-approved carriers.
From what I gather of this policy change, one major concern is the airline doesn’t want a cat or dog in every lap where the owner claims they have an emotional support animal. Like anything else, the policy has been abused with people trying to fly with whatever animal they want to bring along.
Please feel free to leave your opinion on this change in the comment section below.