Blind Bargains

Department of Transportation Outlines New regulations for Service Animals

The department of Transportation is attempting to formalise the conditions under which passengers may fly with service animals. The rules outlined below are under review, and open to comment.

Rather than being under the jurisdiction of the ADA, rules governing service animals fall under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Some of the new rules include:

  • Defining a service animal as "a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability"
  • Psychiatric animals are still permitted provided they possess "the same training as other service animals"
  • Emotional support animals are no longer considered to be service animals.
  • The use of standard forms which airlines may require from passengers attesting to a service animal s good behavior, certifying the service animal s good health, and if taking a long flight attesting that the service animal has the ability to either not relieve itself, or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner
  • Airlines may require one additional hour of advanced check-in for passengers traveling with service animals in order to process the aforementioned paperwork and give the airline time to "observe the animal" and requiring "prompt check-in" for travelers with service animals.

Additional requirements stipulate that a traveler must have no more than 2 service animals and that all service animals must fit in the allotted floor space. Service animals must also be "harnessed, leashed, tethered, or otherwise under the control of its handler."

Under the new regulations, airlines would also be permitted to refuse service to passengers who's service animals "exhibit aggressive behavior and that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others." This would presumably be determined in the early arrival window, during which passengers would be closely monetored for signs of such behavior from their service animals.

However, the guidelines do refuse airlines the ability to ban service animals purely on the condition of the breed of the service animal

You can Read the full pdf here and contact the Department of Transportation at

Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings
Aviation Consumer Protection Division
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590United States
Phone: (202) 366-2220
TTY/Assistive Device: (202) 366-0511
Business Hours:
8:30am-5:00pm ET, M-F

Source: Department of Transportation Plans To Ban Nearly All Emotional Support Animals
Category: News

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Tangela Mahaffey is a barely reformed English Major currently residing in Colorado. She reads entirely too many fantasy books and takes almost nothing seriously, including herself. She loves technology, music, writing, puns, and cats. She can be reached on twitter @tmmahaff

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