Southwest Airlines Bans Emotional Support Animals

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Southwest Airlines becomes the latest airline to ban emotional support animals onboard effective March 1, 2021. With this change, the airline will only allow service animals onboard for passengers with disabilities. All other dogs would need to fly as part of Southwest’s Pet Travel program, which costs $95 per pet each way.

To reiterate, if you previously traveled with an emotional support animal, you’ll still be able to granted you now pay the Southwest pet travel fee.

Per Southwest Airlines,

Southwest Airlines today announced that, consistent with new regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the carrier is making changes to its policies regarding trained service animals and emotional support animals. Effective March 1, 2021, the airline will accept only trained service dogs for travel and will no longer transport emotional support animals.

As part of this change, Customers traveling with trained service dogs now must present a complete, and accurate, DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form at the gate or ticket counter on their day of travel to affirm a service animal’s health, behavior, and training. Customers should complete the form, which will be available both on the airline’s website and at airport locations, after booking their travel.

Additionally, Southwest will no longer accept emotional support animals for travel effective on March 1, 2021. Customers may still travel with some animals as part of the airline’s existing pets program for a charge; however, the animals must meet all applicable requirements regarding in-cabin stowage and species (dogs and cats only).

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