Air Carrier Specific Travel Rules

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

Air Canada

If you are travelling with a dog* as an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you must advise Air Canada Reservations 48 hour in advance of travel, and provide supporting documentation in the form of an original letter on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional (e.g. a psychologist, a psychiatrist, the general practitioner who is treating the passenger’s mental or emotional disability, or a licensed clinical social worker), dated within one year of your departure date.

The letter must confirm that:

  • You have a mental or emotional disability recognized by the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders);
  • You need your dog for emotional or psychiatric support during travel and/or at destination;
  • the person who prepared the document is a licensed mental health professional; and
  • You are currently under the care of the licensed mental health professional who prepared the document.

The letter must also provide information on the mental health professional’s license (i.e. type of license, date issued, and issuing authority).

*Air Canada does not accept animals other than dogs as emotional support or psychiatric service animals.

Air Canada

Alaska Airlines

Effective for tickets purchased on or after May 1, 2018: We are making changes to the requirements for traveling with an emotional support / psychiatric service animal.

Learn more.

Allegiant Air

You’re good to fly on this budget airline as long as the proper paperwork is filled out for your animal, and the passenger has a mental or emotional health-related disability from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (or DSM IV).

American Airlines

For tickets issued on or after July 1, 2018, emotional / psychiatric support animals must meet a set of enhanced requirements.

Emotional support animals provide emotional, psychiatric or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities. Specific disability training isn’t required for animals to meet this classification.

Advance notice required

To travel with an emotional support and psychiatric service animal in the cabin, you must contact the Special Assistance Desk with all required documentation at least 48 hours before your flight.

Documentation validation will include American Airlines contacting your mental health professional.

Visit AA.com to learn more.

Delta Airlines

We know that both types of animals provide invaluable services and we welcome both on our flights. To travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, passengers must upload the required documentation at least 48 hours before a flight. For questions, call 404-209-3434. Advanced notice is encouraged but not required for customers traveling with trained service animals.

View Delta’s required documentation.

JetBlue Airways

For travel beginning July 1, 2018, regardless of purchase date of ticket, customers will be required to provide 48 hours’ notice of their intention to travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal.

The following documentation will be required and can be downloaded here.

  • Medical/Mental Health Professional’s Form
  • Veterinary Health Form
  • Confirmation of Animal Behavior

Upon completion of the documentation, you must submit the forms for review through this link at least 48 hours prior to departure. These documents need to be submitted for each reservation you’re traveling on; documents are not kept on file.

Please note: Required documentation for emotional support/psychiatric service animals must always accompany the animal when traveling and is to be presented upon request to JetBlue personnel for review.

The behavior of the animal will be assessed at the airport to ensure safety requirements are met before approving the animal for travel.

To learn more about JetBlue’s ESA guidelines, click here.

Southwest Airlines

To learn more about Southwest’s guidelines for emotional support animals, please click here.

Spirit Airlines

To learn more about Spirit Airlines’ ESA guidelines, click here.

United Airlines

Beginning March 1, 2018, United will require additional documentation for customers traveling with emotional support animal or a psychiatric service animal. In addition to providing a letter from a licensed medical/mental health professional, customers will need to provide a veterinary health form documenting the health and vaccination records for the animal as well as confirming that the animal has been trained to behave properly in a public setting.

This change only applies to emotional support and psychiatric service animals.

Learn more here.

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.

However:

  • 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

WestJet Airlines

We require the following three forms be printed, completed, and emailed to [email protected]no later than 48 hours before you leave. The forms must be dated no more than one year before travel and kept with you while travelling:

  1. Confirmation of animal training – to be signed by the owner/trainer of the animal.
  2. Medical/mental health professional – to include your medical professional’s licence number, type of licence, and jurisdiction in which the licence was issued. Must be signed by your medical professional (e.g. psychiatrist, psychologist, or licenced clinical social worker).
  3. Veterinary health – to be signed by the animal’s veterinarian.

Our Special Care Desk agents will review your documents for authenticity and send an email to the address provided confirming or denying your animal as an emotional support animal.

WestJet may deny application forms which appear to be questionable.

If your journey includes more than one airline, it is your responsibility to contact each airline to determine their acceptance guidelines for emotional support animals.

We strongly recommend that your emotional support animal wear its identification (e.g. vest) at all times while on the aircraft, however, WestJet does not require identification in order to accept your animal for travel. We suggest that you travel with identification as some agencies (the airport authority, transfer companies, etc.) may require it.

If you are having trouble reading the forms in PDF, please click here.

WestJet

Can your therapists sign a Medical Information Form (MEDIF)?

No, absolutely categorically not.

You may be asked for proof of your “fitness to fly” when requesting assistance. If you have a stable condition, there is generally no need to be cleared for travel.

There are usually two parts to the medical clearance process:

  1. You will be asked to provide information about your situation or condition and, for many passengers, this will be all you will need to complete.
  2. If the airline has concerns about how flying might impact your particular condition, it will ask you to complete a further form.

You may also be asked to provide medical proof at this stage, often a doctor’s note.

The ESAD Protocol does not allow any of our therapists to sign off on this form.

Air Canada

The Canadian airline will allow emotional support dogs, but no other animals are allowed to serve as a comfort animal. The same procedures are required as most other airlines, such as forms verifying emotional or mental need for the support dog.

Air France-KLM

The transport of assistance dogs in the cabin is free of charge and must respect the same conditions as those for guide dogs:

  • It must comply with all sanitary/hygiene requirements in the departure, arrival and connection countries.
  • It must be identifiable by a dog tag or harness. You must be able to provide proof (along with credible verbal proof) of the animal’s certification and its use.
  • It may travel without a muzzle.
  • It must remain leashed at all times.
  • It cannot obstruct the aisles inside the aircraft.
  • It must be well-behaved in all circumstances.
  • You will be offered a seat with the most space possible, but your dog may not occupy a seat and is forbidden from occupying the space near the emergency exits.

To transport an emotional support animal (ESA) in the aircraft cabin, you must provide a medical certificate that is less than a year old. This certificate must be provided by a mental health specialist (psychologist, psychiatrist…) and testify that you have regular check-ups and need to be with your dog at all times.
On flights longer than 8 hours, we may ask you to demonstrate that you are prepared to handle your dog’s hygienic needs (primarily the natural need to relieve itself).

Air France

Air Nippon Airways

Customers who accompany Psychiatric/Emotional Support Dog must provide current documentation (ie. No older than one year from the date of the passengers scheduled initial flight) on the practice letterhead of a licensed mental health professional including medical doctor specifically treating passenger’s mental or emotional disorder (eg. psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker) stating the following.

  1. The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental Disorders –  Fourth or Fifth edition(DSM-Ⅳ or Ⅴ),
  2. The passenger needs emotional or psychiatric service dog as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger’s destination,
  3. The individual providing assessment is a professional mental health professional, and the passenger is under his/her professional care, and
  4. The date and the type of mental health professional’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued,

Air Nippon

Lufthansa

Transporting an emotional support dog (Emotional Support Animals – ESAN) in the cabin is free of charge on non-stop flights operated by Lufthansa from and to the USA.

On all other routes, including connecting flights to/from the USA, there are no special conditions for emotional support dogs. On these routes, the dog will only be transported for a fee and in a transport container appropriate for its size and weight that you must bring with you. If possible, the dog will be transported either as additional carry-on baggage in the cabin or as excess baggage in the cargo hold.

Requirements for registering emotional support dogs on USA flights:

1. A medical certificate that confirms the need for you to be accompanied by this kind of dog.

2. The dog must be registered and confirmed for the flight no later than 48 hours before departure. There are three ways to register your emotional support dog:

a) An email to the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre
An email to the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre in the USA
b) 
Via the Lufthansa Service Center
c) Through your travel agency

You will receive confirmation from the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre once this has been checked.

3. Confirmation that the dog fulfills the requirements for traveling as an emotional support dog. For this purpose, please present two copies of this fully completed and signed form at check-in.

Lufthansa.com

Phillipine Airlines

Emotional support dogs will be allowed only for flights to and from the United States.

NOTE: Philippine Airlines does not accept any other service or emotional support animal except for dogs. Passengers must provide Philippine Airlines an advance notice of at least 48 hours prior to flight departure.

Documentation requirements for emotional support dogs

  1. Dogs used for a passenger’s emotional support are accepted in the cabin. In order for a passenger to travel with an emotional support dog, the passenger must provide to current documentation (not more than one year old) on letterhead from a mental health professional or medical doctor who is treating the passenger’s mental health-related disability stating:
  2. The Passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM IV)
  3. The Passenger needs the emotional support of psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger’s destination
  4. The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, and the Passenger is under his or her professional care AND the date and type of mental health professional’s or medical doctor’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued

Turkish Airlines

Passengers who need to travel with an assistance dog for physical or psychological reasons must provide a medical report stating this requirement. Passengers who need to travel with an assistance dog must receive reservation approval at least 48 hours before their flight. Your assistance dog, which will be transported free of charge, should be kept on a leash and remain at your feet throughout the journey.

Turkish Airlines

WOW Air

Emotional support dogs can fly, but only on flights booked through the Iceland-based airline’s U.S. website. For those traveling to the UK, your support pet is not allowed.

US Airline Contact Information

AirlineSpecial InstructionsRestricted AnimalsContact
Alaska AirlinesPrior 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 AirlinesSpecial Form(800) 237-7976
Atlas Air(800) 503-0101
Delta AirlinesHedgehogs, 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 AirlinesFlights 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
JetBlueIn 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 AirlinesPrintable InstructionsUnusual or Exotic animals including, but not limited to, Rodents, Reptiles, Insects, Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Sugar Gliders, etc.(800) 435-9792
Spirit AirlinesSpecial Form


Minimum 48-hour advance notification, If not enough notice is provided, then pet-travel fees may apply.
(800) 228-2744