Delta has decided they’ve had enough and have implemented new measures as the airline cracks down on their policy with regards to emotional support animals. In order to avoid the $125 pet in cabin fee, more travelers are registering their pets as emotional support animals, as these pets are exempt from the fee.
Long are the days that they’ll accept turkeys and pigs as emotional support animals. These new rules go into effect for travel starting March 1, 2018. Perhaps they should consider allowing these pets to earn SkyMiles and qualify for Medallion status!?!
Delta Air Lines is taking steps to further protect its customers, employees and service and support animals by implementing advance documentation requirements for those animals. This comes as a result of a lack of regulation that has led to serious safety risks involving untrained animals in flight.
Delta carries approximately 700 service or support animals daily — nearly 250,000 annually. Putting this into perspective, Delta carries more than 180 million passengers annually. Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more. Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals can be a disservice to customers who have real and documented needs. Delta has seen an 84 percent increase in reported animal incidents since 2016, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog.
New Procedures & Updated Requirements
In compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act, Delta provides in-cabin travel for service and support animals without charge. The guidelines, effective March 1, require that all customers traveling with a service or support animal show proof of health or vaccinations 48 hours in advance. In addition to the current requirement of a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, those with psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals will also need to provide a signed document confirming that their animal can behave to prevent untrained, sometimes aggressive household pets from traveling without a kennel in the cabin. These measures are intended to help ensure that those customers traveling with a trained service or support animal will no longer be at risk of untrained pets attacking their working animal, as has previously been reported.
With these changes, Delta will be creating a Service Animal Support Desk for customers traveling with service and support animals who can assist with proper documentation. Additionally, Delta will no longer accept exotic or unusual service or support animals.