We understand the stress about flying with your Emotional Support Animal (ESA) for the first time. With that in mind, here are a few pointers to help you prepare.
Things to do before you get to the airport
Before booking your flight, learn the airline’s specific requirements for ESA by contacting the airline or visiting their website. American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, and Jetblue may require advanced notice. Additionally, some airlines have their own documentation requirements.
Though not required by law, airlines encourage outfitting your ESA with an easily identifiable vest.
What to do once you get to the airport
Arriving at check-in, inform the airline representative that you’re traveling with an ESA. You’ll be required to provide an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional.
Also, you’ll either have already provided or will have in your possession, the airline’s required and completed paperwork.
What to do once you get inside the airport
Once at the gate, notify the gate attendants you’re travelling with an ESA. If your animal is larger (requiring more room), airline staff can help seat you at the bulk head. We suggest arriving one hour before boarding.
Once onboard, the ESA must be on the floor, between your knees and the seat in front of you. Smaller ESAs may be allowed to travel on your lap.