Table of Contents
- 1 Flying With Your Dog
- 2 So, what are the air travel options for those with a larger pet?
- 3 Physician Evaluations For Coronavirus Testing
- 4 Qualify an Emotional Support Animal
- 5 FAQ’s for Flying with an ESA
- 6 Who qualifies
- 7 What’s included
- 8 One or two sessions
- 9 Legal requirements
- 10 About your payment
- 11 US Airline Specific Guidelines
- 12 International Air Travel
- 13 Shop emotional support animal letters.
- 14 Residential Housing
- 15 College Housing
- 16 Air Travel
- 17 Hotel Stay
- 18 Fair Housing for an emotional support dog in 2020.
- 19 Seven Mistakes To Avoid When Buying An Emotional Support Animal Letter
If you’ve ever flown with a dog before, you know the journey is necessary, but unpleasant; like almost flying with a baby. Or my little brother Timmy when he was six years old.
Rules for flying the family pet differ from airline to airline; some are okay with dogs (and their cages) under 20 lbs., and others say no way to any animal.
If airline travel with your canine buddy is in your future, let’s talk through your options for air travel.
Note: as always, please check with your airline for the most up-t0-date information.
Flying With Your Dog
Most airline policies for canine air travel is divided into two parts.
1. Pets (and cages) that weigh 20 lbs. or less that fit under the seat back in front of you are allowed in the main cabin.
That’s the “good news.” The bad news? Fees range upwards of $150 per flight.
2. If you’re traveling with a larger pet, say the family Labrador, then you are out of luck. Larger pets are crated and placed with cargo underneath the plane.
It’s a toss-up whether the hold is well-maintained, properly ventilated, and heated.
ESAD Intl. does not recommend transporting animals in the cargo hold. Our concern is injury, loss of the dog, or even the death of the furry companion. The problem is so prevalent that the Department of Transportation has to keep a record of pet deaths via cargo hold transport.
So, what are the air travel options for those with a larger pet?
If you suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD or one of many other mental illnesses, then consider certifying your pet as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Not to be confused with a Service Animal, an ESA is a particular category of assistance animal. Recognized by Federal Law, an ESA is not considered a pet and may fly with you (for free) in cabin regardless of breed or size.
Coronavirus continues to spread across the United States. Our two-minute assessment will help prepare and protect you and those close to you.
ESAD Intl.'s team of physicians can evaluate your symptoms and the need for coronavirus testing.
We do not offer testing nor sell test kits.
Qualify an Emotional Support Animal
Step #1 – Emotional Support Animal Laws Education
Recommended by a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, an Emotional Support Animal is recommended for an individual suffering from an emotional disability. ESAs do not require any specialized training.
Step #2 – Secure an ESA letter from a licensed therapist
To secure the protection of Federal Law, a therapist must recommend (with a letter of recommendation) your pet as an ESA. If you do not have a therapist, we would be happy to assist you.
Step #3 – Inform the airlines you are traveling with an ESA
Here’s a crucial step. 48 hours before departure, make sure to call the airline, informing them you are traveling with an ESA.
Reread that last sentence, as it’s the most crucial passage in this story.
Give the airline two days warning, so they can adequately provide a reasonable accommodation — as required by law.
There are a few exceptions; if your ESA has a bad demeanor, or appears to be a harm to other passengers, airlines can deny your ESA access to the main cabin.
Step #4 – Prepare to fly with your ESA
Imagine the stress of being stuff under the seat for a few hours. So, make sure to exercise your furry companion at least one hour before the flight.
To avoid mid-flight toileting issues, avoid feeding your ESA the day of travel, and limit their water consumption.
At the very least, make sure to have a digital copy of your ESA ready on your smartphone. We do recommend having a hard copy on hand.
FAQ’s for Flying with an ESA
Q: Does my ESA have to ride in a crate or carrier?
A: No, your emotional support dog can sit on the floor in front of you or if permitted by the flight attendants, may ride on your lap.
Q: What ESA breeds are allowed?
A: Federal Law prevents an airline from restricting based on weight or breed. However, your ESA cannot cause a disturbance.
Q: Do I have to register my ESA?
A: Never, that’s a scam.
Q: Does my ESA have to wear a vest?
A: No. Web sites that suggest otherwise are scams.
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 Intl. emotional support animals are limited to dogs and cats.Your animal must behave appropriately in a public setting.
Essential ESA Documentation
Just provide an overview of your mental health history and we’ll setup an appointment with a local provider. Speak to them over a secure video or telephone call. Explain how the animal helps you. It’s that simple.
Our providers are licensed, reside, and practice in your state or province. Our entire process is 100% HIPAA and PIPEDA compliant, so your health care information is guarded using the best technology on the market.
Airlines now require providers to certify the passenger is currently undergoing professional care for ongoing treatment regarding a mental health-related disability. A 30-minute talk-therapy session, which is included with your order, must be completed within 30 days of travel.
Your fee includes provider copay, clinical evaluation, approval recommendation, and:
- Proprietary intake exam.
- Video or telephone appointment with a licensed provider from your area.
- Industry experts familiar with the laws and rules regulating emotional support animals.
- 30-minute airline-mandated talk therapy session.
- Emotional support animal travel letter.
- Signed airline forms (up to two forms).
- Fully HIPAA compliant telehealth experience.
One or two sessions
The assessment and 30-minute talk therapy can be completed in one session. Or, those booking future air travel can schedule two appointments — one for the appointment (to qualify) and another for the 30-minute talk therapy. Both appointments must be completed within 120 days of placing the order.
Get it done now, or get approved and gain a peace of mind.
Per US and Canadian law, a client’s disability must also fall within the recognition of the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
Additionally, the following items must be included in an ESA travel letter:
- Confirming the client’s need for the emotional support animal during travel and at the final destination.
- Client must currently be under the care of a licensed professional issuing the ESA letter.
- Contain the provider’s licensure information.
- On the provider’s letterhead.
- Dated no later than six months from travel date.
About your payment
The fees listed are your only provider payments. There are no additional fees. We make use of best-in-class security tools and practices to maintain the highest level of security.
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.
Shop emotional support animal letters.
Our residential housing service provides tenants with documentation allowing their animal into "no-pets-allowed" housing.
College Pro 2020 addresses the unique requirements of assistance animals in university housing accommodations.
Travel Pro 2020 fully complies with the latest federal and airline requirements.
Hotel Pro 2020 helps document a guest’s need for an assistance animal.
Finding Your Way to a Legit ESA Letter
We’ve shopped around for emotional support animal letters that claim to get your assistance animal in the door of a rental, condo or HOA dwelling or onboard for travel. So we know all the ways online ESA vendors are taking people like you for a ride and exploiting your desire to have your furry or feathered friend by your side.
Some things to remember:
- Our service focuses on the mental health assessment and therapeutic care of an individual, not “certifying a dog.” Any services that claim to register a dog as an ESA is counterfeit. Federal and state rules for ESAs have to do with the animal owner’s mental health care needs, not the animal’s training or skills.
- To stem the booming cottage industry of faked emotional support animal letters, federal and state ESA laws have dramatically tightened, making it more time-consuming and costlier for a consumer to acquire the documents that stand up to legal challenges.
- Since ESA letters now require actual mental health care and consultation, there is no such things as a $22 letter that legitimately exempts your assistance animal from pet fees or rules prohibiting animals in housing or travel accommodations. They just don’t exist.
When you get the documents that will get your assistance animal in the door, or onboard, you’re not buying just a letter. As the law requires, you’re engaging with a licensed clinician who will clinically assess your condition. And if that professional believes you’d benefit from having an assistance animal to help reduce the symptoms of your disability, then the clinician will issue the proper documents.
We’re not cheap but following the letter of the law in a way that stands up to legal challenges rarely is. We have over 1,000 clinicians across the globe, we’re fully HIPAA-compliant, our highly trained experts are available live to answer your questions, so, in the end, you will truly get what you pay for; one way or the other.
We do it right.
Fair Housing for an emotional support dog in 2020.
Emboldened by changes in the law, landlords, condo associations and HOAs are now applying more stringent standards (sometimes going overboard) when approving a resident’s request for an emotional support animal.
Recently, HUD updated their rules (FHEO2020) so that people could no longer transform their pet into an assistance animal with the click of a “submit” button on an online form. Now licensed mental health providers to have “personal client knowledge” and an “ongoing treating relationship” to write an ESA letter that stands up to challenges. To comply, our Housing Pro 2020 product provides multiple clinical sessions between client and an in-state licensed provider.
Seven Mistakes To Avoid When Buying An Emotional Support Animal Letter
Getting what you need to document how your assistance animal is a reasonable accommodation for your disability can evoke so many feelings. You are excited that at last your needs will be legally protected. Yet, the challenges you may face in this journey may fill you with trepidation.
The rampant fakes online that even seasoned buyers fall for certainly magnifies what you are feeling. There’s so much to consider.
We’ve have compiled a list of common mistakes in getting an ESA letter, and the best ways to prevent the pitfalls in this journey. Be sure to avoid:
MISTAKE 1: Choosing the cheapest route to getting an emotional support animal letter
Why spend any money on a letter that doesn’t meet the basic requirements of the law? You are opening yourself up to having your legitimate need challenged and denied. That’s never a good way to start off when you’re moving to a new place or making a point.
By definition, getting an ESA letter that meets the letter of the law involves getting seen and evaluated by a licensed mental health professional. There’s no way that happens for $22, even if those dirt-cheap letters you find online promise that.
MISTAKE 2: Not knowing the online vendor’s physical location
You need to weed out those companies that are operating out of a Post Office box in a UPS store. You do that by looking carefully at the company’s website. Is an address listed? Be sure to Google that address to see if the company is in an actual building.
- Google mapping the location.
- Looking for a corporate identity.
- Looking for an actual named person on the company website.
MISTAKE 3: Not connecting offline
Make sure you can speak with someone. When (and if) you get them on the phone make sure you find out where the company’s clinicians are located (they must be based and licensed in your state). Also, ask them for the company’s physical address.
- If there was a clearly labeled “contact us” part of the website.
- Whether someone answered the phone, or returned your message.
- Was the call center U.S.-based?
MISTAKE 4: Forgetting to check on security and privacy.
You’ve already gotten those calls asking if that’s really you in Paris buying that $94,000 Hermes Vintage crocodile Birkin and definitely don’t want to do that again. Having your credit cards compromised is always a hassle and that’s why we’ve taken the steps to make sure it won’t happen as a result of your transaction with us. Our service, vetted and certified with Norton Secured, meets the highest standards for protecting consumer information.
Unfortunately, most all other ESA vendors will try to make you think they’ve done this by illegally cutting and pasting the McAfee Trusted logo onto their website.
It’s easy to verify the truth, however, simply by clicking on the logo. If it’s legitimate, it takes you to the McAfee site where the vendor’s information is displayed.
- Whether third-party security logos like Norton and McAfee are clickable.
- For California residents, does the vendor have a California Privacy Rights policy?
- What answer you get when you Google "who is" along with the domain name. Does the location and name match up?
- If the domain privacy protected.
MISTAKE 5: Accepting any therapist
When you sign up with us, you get licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC).
Whoever evaluates your disability and needs must practice in the state you live in.
- Where the mental health professional practices.
- How far the therapist is from where you live.
- If the vendor offers more than just an evaluation of your disability for the ESA letter.
- What comes up when you Google the name of your therapist.
MISTAKE 6: Assuming your sensitive medical information is safe
We built a state-of-the-art platform for our operation with one thing in mind: protecting your privacy and safeguarding the information you provide as if it were our own. We are in complete compliance with HIPAA, the law that governs patient information.
- Whether they have a published HIPAA compliance statement.
- Inquiring about policies in the event of a data breach.
- If there are physical security safeguards in place.
- Who has access to which parts of your information.
MISTAKE 7: Believing online reviews
Those reviews you see posted on sites like TrustPilot and SiteJabber are not always what they seem. The truth is, anyone can post a 5-star review with no validation or verification that he or she is actually a customer.
The incentives to post fake reviews compound with every comment. For each additional post, ESA vendors can multiply visits, traffic, sales, which means adds up to more money for them.
Here are some hints that the reviews you’re reading are not the genuine article:
- Sudden cascade of reviews that show up in a short amount of time.
- Overuse of “I” and “me” and a lot of verbs.
- The same phrase repeated over and over.
- Reviewers with generic names, such as “Susan Jones,” and/or photo-less profiles.
- Few middle-of-the-road reviews.
ESA Letters: Buyer’s Checklist
Here’s everything you need to know about how to secure a legitimate emotional support animal letter:
- How this works: Our therapists will take you through three easy steps, to assess your need for an assistance animal.
- Who we are: Learn more about our organization, ethics, and ethos.
- Legitimate versus fake letters: Learn insider tips and tricks to avoid getting scammed.
- Reviews: Check out our amazing authentic reviews.
- ESAD Shopping Guarantee: Your complete satisfaction is our top priority.
We offer a short test to help determine if you might qualify for an emotional support animal. The instructional test lists a few of the major life activities that qualifies as a disability and a disability-related need and for each, asks three questions:
- Intensity: how significant is this issue
- Happens: how often does it occur
- Mitigation: how well does your animal help lessen the symptoms
How This Works
There are three steps to being issued an emotional support animal letter of recommendation by a licensed provider:
Step 1: Place Order
We make use of best-in-class security tools and practices to maintain the highest level of security.
Step 2: Take Exam
Our streamlined process is your speed pass to a perfect emotional support animal letters.
Step 3: Get Engaged
We connect clients with a licensed provider in your state or province.
Our credibility matters down the line.
We’ve been helping clients for a long time and maybe we could get away with selling bogus products maybe once, maybe twice.
But it would catch up to us, and the Internet never forgets.
Our credibility as a reputable provider of emotional support animal services is based upon our client’s trust.
And that’s crucial to our success.
ESAD Intl. is a global healthcare technology company with a mission to provide bespoke emotional support animal training, education, and wellness. Every day through our online platform, we connect clients with therapists who provide emotional support animal letters of recommendation and offer COVID-related mental health therapy.
We offer access to licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited medical doctors, Doctor of Nursing Practice, psychologists (PhD / PsyD), marriage and family therapists (LMFT), clinical social workers (LCSW / LMSW), and board licensed professional counselors (LPC).
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ESAD Intl. Shopping Guarantee™
With the ESAD Intl. Shopping Guarantee, you know you’ve made the right choice about where to shop. Your complete satisfaction is our top priority; which includes our lowest price guarantee. All completely free.
Our media coverage.
From Fox News to MTV to the Huffington Post, we're always in the news.
- [AUDIO] Interview with Chaz Stevens, CEO of ESAD Intl.
- Healthline: To Crack Down on Fake Emotional Support Animals, Experts Issue New Recommendations.
- Travel Weekly: Interview with Chaz Stevens, Founder With newly introduced bill, Michigan aims to crack down on fake support animals
Active in the industry.
- Member, American Mental Health Counselors Association (54568015)
- Member, American Counseling Association (6513039)
- Member, National Association of Social Workers (886784059)
980 N. Federal Highway, #110
Boca Raton, FL USA 33432-2704