More and more airlines are tightening the reins on which animals will be allowed on board. Aside from the types of animals allowed, the length of flights and age of emotional support animals permitted are changing.
United Airlines has changed their Emotional Support Animal Policy to dogs and cats only, with a possible miniature horse. The new changes will go into effect on January 7. Anyone who has purchased a ticket prior to January 3 and traveling with an emotional support animal will fall under the old guidelines.
A statement released by the airline stated, “We are limiting acceptance of emotional support animals to dogs and cats. Additionally, we are limiting acceptance of service animals to dogs, cats and miniature horses.”
United Airlines is following in Delta Airlines footsteps, by limiting emotional support animals to short flights that are under 8 hours. “We are limiting emotional support animals to flights under 8 hours. We have seen increases in onboard incidents on longer flights involving these animals, many of which are unaccustomed to spending an extended amount of time in the cabin of an aircraft.”
To be sure that all staff and guests are comfortable, the airlines made another change to their policy regarding the animal’s age. “We will no longer accept kittens or puppies under four months of age as emotional support animals, in-cabin pets or service animals on any flight, regardless of length. Animals under the age of four months typically have not received the necessary vaccinations that help ensure the safety of our employees and customers.”
United justified all the changes in the statement saying they are necessary, “to further ensure the well-being of our employees and customers while accommodating passengers with disabilities.”
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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