Delta Airlines New ESA Traveling Rules

Delta Airlines New ESA Traveling Rules

On Friday (January 18, 2018), in a move to reduce pet misbehavior, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines tightened its rules for transporting service and support animals.

Bravo, we say!

Delta carries roughly a quarter-million assistance animals per year, and their new rules are the most demanding among major US carriers.

Allergies, Disturbances, and Abuses

Surging nearly 150% in the past few years, the sudden explosion of animals on flights has brought about an increase in allergies, disturbances, and abuses. Each day, Delta carries more than 500 support animals and nearly 200 service animals.

According to Delta, “animal incidents have risen 84 percent since 2016, a result of ‘a lack of regulation.’” More untrained animals are being brought onto planes, where they defecate, bark, urinate, growl, lunge and exhibit other improper behavior.

The Game Players

Good, we say. Here at ESAD, we’ve denied ESA letters to clients who seek to circumvent the requirements of Federal ACAA law — they look to “game” the system and save a few bucks while making it tougher for those who truly need an ESA.

These new rules, we believe, will make it harder for the “game players” and will also hopefully keep Cujo off your flight.

Keep Cujo off Your Flight

Such was the case in June 2017, when a 70-pound support dog mauled a passenger on a Delta flight in Atlanta, biting the man’s face multiple times.

Starting March 1, Delta’s new rules take effect, and most likely, you’ll see similar requirements spread thru the industry.

What’s in the New Rules

As of March 1, along with a properly-recommended an letter of emotional animal support, Delta now requires:

  • Passengers with support animals will have to submit proof of health or vaccinations through Delta’s website at least 48 hours before their flight.
  • Customers with emotional support animals must also sign a document attesting to the animals’ ability to behave in the cabin.

Passengers who fail to comply risk being barred from boarding or removed from the plane.

Later This Summer

Later this summer, the federal Transportation Department plans “to solicit public comments this summer on the appropriate definition of a service animal and suggestions for strategies to prevent travelers from abusing that definition.”

As always, we’re here if you have any concerns or questions. Feel free to email us ([email protected]) or call us at 800-372-4125,

Thanks for your support and happy travels!