American Airlines is banning puppies and kittens from flying as ESAs

American Airlines updated its emotional support and service animal policies on Friday. The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline placed new restrictions on the type of and the age of the service or support animal that will be allowed to be brought on board its planes.

Beginning on April 1, animals under four months of age will be banned from serving as service or emotional support animals on board. The reason for this change is because “animals under this age usually have not received the necessary vaccinations that protect team members and customers,” American said in a statement.

In addition, American Airlines will also restrict service animals to dogs, cats, and in some circumstances, miniature horses. Only cats and dogs are allowed to serve as emotional support animals. The airline also limited the number of emotional support animals allowed per passenger to one.

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* Photo by ERIC SALARD from PARIS, FRANCE – N124AA LAX, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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