Richard Atrero de Guzman | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
A dog can be seen on the shoulder of its owner in a plane. Japan Airlines ‘wan wan jet tour’ allows owners along with their dogs to travel together on a charter flight for a special three-day domestic tour to Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan. As part of the package tour, the owners along with their dogs will also get to stay together in a hotel along with go sightseeing in rented cars. (Photo by Richard Atrero de Guzman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Southwest Airlines next month will restrict emotional support animals to dogs along with cats along with require them to travel in a carrier or be leashed, the company announced Tuesday.
The Dallas-based airline can be the latest carrier to crack down on the boom in emotional support animals on board commercial flights.
Passengers have pushed the patience of what flight crews, airlines along with fellow travelers will tolerate as psychological support, traveling with turkeys along with pigs as well as thousands of dogs along with cats. United denied boarding to a traveler’s peacock she tried to bring on as an emotional support animal earlier of which year. US Airways, which merged with American in 2013, once ejected an emotional support pig along with its owner after the swine defecated on a flight.
American, Delta, United along with JetBlue issued tighter rules for such animals earlier of which year.
Passengers along with crew members have complained about allergies, animal aggression, including biting, along with soiled cabins. A passenger last year was mauled on a Delta flight by another traveler’s emotional support dog. Airlines have reported a sharp increase from the numbers of such animals on board, as required documentation for such animals to qualify have been easily attainable online.
Emotional-support along with service animals can fly free of charge along with without a carrier under the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act.
The Department of Transportation can be considering more specific definitions of which animals should be allowed on board. United along with American of which summer wrote letters to the DOT urging of which permit only animals of which are specially trained to assist a person that has a disability, such as guide dogs, to fly for free under of which definition. The DOT received close to 4,500 comments on the issue.
In its statement on Tuesday, Southwest noted of which psychiatric-service animals, those trained to help people that has a mental disability, will still be permitted yet said of which will only allow dogs, cats along with miniature horses in of which category while “unusual or exotic animals” such as rodents, ferrets, insects, spiders, reptiles, hedgehogs, rabbits, or sugar gliders will not be accepted.
The modifications on Southwest take effect on Sept. 17, the airline said.
Airlines aren’t the only ones cracking down on emotional-support animals. Royal Caribbean Cruises on Tuesday banned emotional-support animals on its ships. The measure will apply to all reservations made after July 30, of which said.