Sorry But You're Not Getting Your Emotional Support Snakes on This Plane

As more support animals try to fly, American Airlines says leave the goats at home | Miami Herald

No goats. Or peacocks. But mini horses ok under American Airlines new support animal policy

The airline's revised rules go into effect on July 1.

The carrier is joining rival airlines in tightening rules for passengers flying with emotional support animals, expanding the list of animals that can't fly in addition to requiring customers vouch for their animal's ability to behave.

According to CBS, the airline has seen an increase in support animals in recent years, jumping more than 40% from 2016 to 2017.

American Airlines is no longer recognizing some emotional support animals.

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Passengers also must contact the American Airlines special assistance desk at least 48 hours before their flight to fly with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal in the cabin. Guests will also be required to provide a form filled out by their doctor detailing their need for a support animal, or a letter from their doctor. Carry-on pets incur a $125 fee.

American wanted to take its time to seek input from disability advocacy groups before rolling out the new rules, Feinstein said.

Now American Airlines is telling passengers some of their service and emotional support animals - including goats, hedgehogs and tusked creatures - can't fly. Legitimate service animals travel for free.

"We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal", an American spokesperson said in a statement. "Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft".

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American said it met with American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot to help come up with the new policy.

Among the new restricted animals are sugar gliders and snakes; miniature horses who have been properly trained as service animals are still permitted.

American will also train its employees on how better to distinguish a support animal from a pet.

When people try to "pass off" pets as support animals, it can make travel more challenging for passengers with trained service animals, particularly if they have a disability that isn't readily apparent, Rizzi said.

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