Southwest joins other airways in banning psychological support animals

Southwest Airlines has joined other significant US carriers in banning psychological aid animals.

Successful March 1, the airline will no more time transportation psychological aid animals, according to a policy introduced Monday. Trained support dogs will still be allowed.

A new Section of Transportation regulation went into influence on January 11 that states airways aren’t essential to handle psychological help animals as company animals.

Delta, United, Alaska, JetBlue and American Airways have now announced that they will no lengthier enable emotional aid animals.

The animals are recommended by psychological wellness industry experts to deliver convenience and aid, but in contrast to company animals, psychological support animals are not needed to have coaching in specific responsibilities.

The DOT rule, introduced in December, defines a support animal as a doggy “trained to do function or conduct jobs for the gain of a experienced personal with a incapacity.”

Southwest buyers touring with skilled support pet dogs have to now fill out a Section of Transportation sort pertaining to the animal’s health, behavior and coaching. This sort is a new requirement for several US airways.

“We applaud the Division of Transportation’s recent ruling that will allow us to make these vital alterations to tackle various problems elevated by the community and airline staff members about the transport of untrained animals in the cabins of plane,” mentioned Steve Goldberg, Southwest Airlines senior vice president of operations and hospitality.

Delta, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue all stopped having new reservations involving emotional support animals on January 11, 2021. Most travel with the animals will be done by the conclude of February.

American Airlines claims present bookings for emotional aid animals will be honored only by means of the close of January. Animals that previously traveled as emotional aid animals may perhaps vacation as have-on or cargo animals, American Airlines mentioned.

Concern that passengers have been fraudulently passing off their pets as the much more loosely outlined and cost-free class of psychological assistance animals is element of what prompted airlines to talk to the DOT to evaluate this concern.

The DOT rule was also prompted by an raise in company animal complaints from passengers with disabilities, misbehavior by emotional support animals, a absence of clarity close to the definition of “service animal” and disruptions induced by “requests to transportation unconventional species of animals onboard plane,” according to the DOT.

Pigs and peacocks are among the the unanticipated animals that have earlier flown as emotional help animals.