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Airlines are trying to figure out the best way to handle those with Emotional Support Animals (ESA’s) as carefully as possible. Delta, however, has drawn a line in the sand.
They have announced that for all flights purchased after December 18, 2018, ESAs will not be allowed on any flights longer than 8 hours. To add, all support animals (service animals & ESAs) under 4 months old will be banned from all Delta flights. These new rules are in response to a sharp increase in incidents involving service & support animals.
As someone who has raised a service dog, these are very understandable rules put in place.
To be clear, there is a difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal. A service animal has be trained to complete a specific task and these are not being banned from long flights. However service animals and ESAs under 4 months are being banned officially because of rabies and vaccination requirements. But it’s likely the main reason is because they can be crazy…cute, but crazy.
It is a large ask to put an animal on a flight that is longer than 8 hours. There is a chance the animal will need to go to the bathroom, and that could cause a health concern if an accident were to happen. Also, the 4-month-old rule is extremely understandable. It is hard to make the argument that a 3-month-old puppy is trained enough to complete any tasks, let alone behave during any duration of flight.
Delta has estimated that they fly 700 service animals a day, which is incredible. While I’m sure a large amount of these animals have behaved and served their owners well, there are people that have abused these rules and have resulted in unfortunate situations.
What are your thoughts about these new rules?
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