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American Airlines is second major U.S. airline company to ban emotional support animals on flights

American Airlines Outlook
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 05, 2021

American Airlines is the second major U.S. airline company that is changing its policy on service animals.

Beginning Jan. 11, the airliner will no longer allow emotional support animals on its flights, American announced in a press release Tuesday.

The move comes after the Department of Transportation revised their Air Carrier Access Act on Dec. 2, which no longer classifies support animals as service animals.

“Our team is motivated by a purpose to care for people on life’s journey, and we believe these policy changes will improve our ability to do just that,” said Jessica Tyler, President of Cargo and Vice President of Airport Excellence for American in the news release. “We’re confident this approach will enable us to better serve our customers, particularly those with disabilities who travel with service animals, and better protect our team members at the airport and on the aircraft.”

According to DOT, a service animal is a dog that is “trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability.”

American said they would honor those who’ve already booked flights involving emotional support animals through Feb. 1, when the airline’s new policies go into effect.

Under the new policy, passengers traveling with service animals would have to complete a DOT form “attesting to the dog’s behavior, training, and health” and submit it 48 hours before their flight.

American said a service animal’s authorization would be valid for one year or until the expiration of its vaccinations.

American said animals that previously traveled as emotional support animals but may travel as carry-on pets or as cargo pets.

Last week Alaska Airlines became the first major U.S. airline company to ban emotional support animals.