An emotional support animal provides comfort to support a customer’s diagnosed mental or emotional disorder. Emotional support animals need not have specific training for that function. All must be trained to behave appropriately in a public setting. Acceptable ESAD emotional support animals are limited to dogs and cats.Your animal must behave appropriately in a public setting.
Essential ESA Documentation
In general, the following guidelines pertain to all air travel, departing to or arriving from a US-based airport.
Air carriers will accept emotional support and psychiatric service animals as long as you have current documentation (no older than one year preceding the date of your scheduled initial flight) which must meet the following criteria:
- On letterhead of a licensed mental health professional including a medical doctor specifically treating the passenger’s mental or emotional disability (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker) stating the following:
- You have a mental health related disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM IV);
- You need the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at your destination;
- The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and
- The date and type of the mental health professional’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.
Traveling on domestic flights within the United States with pets/service & emotional support animals.
Except for travel to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are currently no vaccination requirements for pets or service animals on domestic flights.
Veterinary Health Form
Also known as the USDA APHIS 7001 Form, a USDA-approved veterinarian must complete this form within 10 days of travel. It proves the animal’s clean bill of health and rabies vaccination record.
US Airline Specific Guidelines
International Air Travel
Traveling to the United States with pets/service & emotional support animals.
A general certificate of health is not required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for entry of pet dogs into the United States, although some airlines or states may require them.
- Dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans.
- If a dog appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner’s expense might be required at the port of entry.
Click here for more important information on vaccinations and importing dogs and cats to the United States.
International Air Travel Guidelines
US Airline Contact Information
|Airline||Special Instructions||Restricted Animals||Contact|
|Alaska Airlines||Prior to boarding, you must present current documentation to one of our customer service agents.||Hedgehogs, Ferrets, Insects, Rodents, Snakes, Spiders, Sugar Gliders, Reptiles, Non-Household Birds, Animals improperly cleaned/foul odor, Unusual/Exotic Animal||(800) 503-0101|
|Allegiant Air||(702) 505-8888|
|American Airlines||Special Form||(800) 237-7976|
|Atlas Air||(800) 503-0101|
|Delta Airlines||Hedgehogs, Ferrets, Insects, Rodents, Snakes, Spiders, Sugar Gliders, Reptiles, Non-household Birds, Animals improperly cleaned/foul odor, Animals with tusk or hooves||(404) 209-3434|
|Hawaiian Airlines||Flights longer than 8 hours require documentation that the animal will not need to relieve itself on the flight or can relieve itself without creating a sanitation issue.||Peacocks, Ferrets, Rodents, Spiders, Insects, Chickens, Roosters, Reptiles, or Live Fish.||(800) 367-5320|
|JetBlue||In the terminal at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), all emotional support animals will be properly confined in a cage, crate or other device.||Unusual Animals (i.e. Reptiles, Ferrets, Rodents and Spiders) or Birds that do not have their wings “clipped or pinioned”||(800) 538-2583|
|Southwest Airlines||Printable Instructions||Unusual or Exotic animals including, but not limited to, Rodents, Reptiles, Insects, Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Sugar Gliders, etc.||(800) 435-9792|
|Spirit Airlines||Special Form|
Minimum 48-hour advance notification, If not enough notice is provided, then pet-travel fees may apply.