American Airlines to Ban Emotional-Support Animals
When I was traveling this holiday season, I noticed that there were a lot more dogs in airports than I had ever seen. While many of them acted fine, I could tell that most were not trained service dogs. They would bark or attempt to run to another dog.
As flights are beginning to fill up with human passengers and the number of non-human passengers increase, one can easily see the battle for space that could play out.
American Airlines has decided to do something about it.
According to the Associated Press, American Airlines will ban emotional-support animals from flying free. The only way an animal will be allowed to fly free is if the animal is a true trained service dog. The change in policy begins on Monday, but for those who have already bought tickets, their companion animal can fly until February 1st, 2021.
The Associated Press is reporting that passengers will need to fill out a government form vouching for the dog's health, training, and temperament in order to be allowed to fly free:
Other animals, including dogs not trained as service dogs, will only be able to fly in the cargo hold or a kennel that fits under a seat in the cabin. Either way, American will collect a pet fee ranging from $125 to several hundred dollars.
Jessica Tyler, American’s president of cargo, said the rules will help passengers with service animals and protect employees on planes and in airports.
This, of course, doesn't mean you won't stop seeing pets on planes or people attempting to find loopholes in the system.
What is does mean is more cash to the airlines. The Transportation Department said that under new rules for airlines, they could bring in an extra $59.6 million a year in pet fees.