Delta Air Lines just made some serious changes regarding support and service animals aboard their flights. Over the past few months, many airlines have reassessed their support animal policies. Delta has changed their policies and they go into effect right before the holidays.
Delta has just announced that they are banning all emotional support animals on flights over 8 hours. In addition, support or service animals under the age of four months old will not be allowed on any flight. They state that the changes are necessary as the amount of travelers with support animals continues to rise.
The company stated Monday that the changes apply to Delta tickets purchased on or after Dec. 18. Starting Feb. 1, 2019, no support animals will be allowed on board flights longer than eight hours and service and support animals under four months of age, such as puppies, won’t be allowed on any Delta flight.
All major U.S. airlines now require a written note that the animal is trained. In March of this year, Delta changed their policy requiring travelers with support animals to provide a note from a doctor stating that you need the animal, and another stating that the animal is designated for emotional support. Support and service animals fly free and without a carrier on airlines under the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act.
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Delta defends their new policies. John Laughter, Delta’s senior vice president for safety, security and compliance told CNBC, “These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs — such as veterans with disabilities — to travel with trained service and support animals.”
Airlines have received complaints from passengers and crew members in regards to support and service animals. They complain of increased allergies, aggressive animals and soiled cabins. The more exotic and rare support animals like peacocks, miniature horses and snakes were banned back in March. Delta banned all ferrets, reptiles, and animals with tusk or hooves from all their flights.
Delta stated, “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.”
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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