KLM Atlanta to Amsterdam dog
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Passengers To Be Limited to One Emotional Support Animal on Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines will limit passengers to one emotional support animal — as well as no longer accepting “pit bull type dogs” as either service animals or emotional support animals — to become effective as of Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

Passengers To Be Limited to One Emotional Support Animal on Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines now requires all passengers traveling with service dogs, psychiatric service animals or emotional support animals to provide documentation of proof of health or vaccinations 48 hours in advance of the departure of a flight. This policy became effective as of Tuesday, March 1, 2018, when the airline has added enhancements to the stricter requirements.

Other airlines — such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines — followed the lead of Delta Air Lines shortly after the announcement of the new restrictions. The airlines have had to carefully toe the line of protecting its customers and employees while simultaneously supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs — and that has not been easy to balance.

“These updates, which come as the peak summer travel season is underway, are the direct result of growing safety concerns following recent incidents in which several employees were bitten”, according to this article from Delta New Hub. “The changes follow an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog. Delta carries approximately 700 service or support animals daily — nearly 250,000 annually. Putting this into perspective, Delta carries more than 180 million passengers annually. Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders and more. Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals can be a disservice to customers who have real and documented needs.”


I have defended the legitimate use of emotional support animals while traveling in the past; but not only have I not noticed passengers traveling with more than one emotional support animal — I cannot think of a legitimate reason for doing so.

I have written extensively over the years pertaining to service dogs and emotional support animals in the form of articles posted here at The Gate — including:

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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