Economy

American Airlines restricts emotional support animals on flights

American Airlines restricts emotional support animals on flights

Guests will also be required to provide a form filled out by their doctor detailing their need for a support animal, or a letter from their doctor. "Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers, and working dogs onboard our aircraft", the airlines said in a statement.

Airlines have experienced a jump in customers who are bringing a service or support animal on board - American says the number increased more than 40 percent from 2016 to 2017.

WestJet says it accepts dogs, cats, miniature horses, pigs and monkeys emotional support animals on its flights, subject to import and export conditions on worldwide flights.

American Airlines is clamping down on what animals passengers bring onboard for emotional support, restricting goats, insects and a slew of other critters, the airline announced Monday.

This includes not only insects, goats and hedgehogs, but also ferrets, spiders, and non-household birds, like chickens and hawks. But the animals, like service animals for the blind and others who are physically disabled, fly in the cabin for free, instead of being stowed and costing a fee of about $125 on most airlines, which may explain their massive popularity. Unclean animals, or animals with an odor, are banned, too.

After reviewing its animal policy, United this month banned more than 20 breeds of dogs and cats from riding in the cargo holds of its planes.

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Miniature horses properly trained as service animals are still in the clear though. However, unlike United and Delta, American won't require owners to submit health and vaccination forms.

The use of such animals on flights has ballooned in recent years.

Passengers will now have to notify the carrier 48 hours in advance and then sign a waiver.

American joins other USA carriers-including United, Delta, and Alaska-that have changed the rules about which animals are considered appropriate as flight companions.

Air Canada says it only accepts dogs as emotional support or psychiatric service animals.

United's policy on comfort animals changed in March after an incident involving an emotional support peacock, which a passenger attempted to take on a cross-country flight in January.