Emotional Support Animals No Longer Getting Free Pass Treatment On Commercial Flights

You will not be sitting next to a horse or a pig on your next flight in the future after the U.S. Department of Transportation issued new rule on service animals on airplanes as of December 3rd

The new rule provides a narrow definition of a service animal as a dog that has been “individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” It also limits the number of service animals with which an individual may travel to two and psychiatric service animals must be treated in the same manner as other service animals.

Why?? … Because passenger took advantage of a liberal interpretation of animal support and brought horses, pigs, turtles, lizards and even peacocks onto flights for free – as “Emotional Support animals” … Why?? They were unsafe – biting other passengers, urinating on the floor, running around disrupting the safety of the other passengers.

For the people who think this is still up to the airlines … The Department of Transportation Press announcement report clearly said “The FAA” and “US DOT” ruled today to prohibit them.” The (US Department of Transportation) agency said that it was rewriting the rules partly because passengers carrying unusual animals on board “eroded the public trust in legitimate service animals.”

“It also cited the increasing frequency of people “fraudulently representing their pets as service animals,” and a rise in misbehavior by emotional-support animals, ranging from peeing on the carpet to biting other passengers.”

The new rule will force passengers with emotional-support animals to check them into the cargo hold — and pay a pet fee — or leave them at home.” 

“The final rule addresses concerns raised by individuals with disabilities, airlines, flight attendants, airports, other aviation transportation stakeholders, and other members of the public, regarding service animals on aircraft,” officials at the agency said in a statement.

Joseph Alba
Mr. Alba was previously Editor of the Airport Press for 12 years covering both local as well as global aviation news. Prior to this, Mr. Alba had Executive positions in Systems Engineering and Marketing with IBM World Trade, and had foreign assignments in the Far East and Latin America earning three Outstanding Achievement Awards. Mr. Alba also directed a new function dealing with Alternate Fuels for Public Service Electric & Gas company in New Jersey and founded a Natural Gas Vehicle Consortium consisting of car company executives and fleet owners, and NGV suppliers in New Jersey. Mr. Alba was a founding partner of ATA, an IT Consulting company which is still active in Central and South America. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Alba’s initial employee was the U.S. Defense Department as an analyst.

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