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DOT Update: Alaska Airlines Emotional Support Animal Policy Changing in 2021

Alaska Airlines updates service animal policy following new DOT rules

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On December 2, 2020, the Department of Transportation announced that it is​ revising rules around flying with Emotional Support Animals. It is our top priority to ensure you have the most up to date information surrounding what airlines will and will not continue to allow ESAs on board in 2021.

On December 29, 2020, the updated Alaska Airlines emotional support animal policy was announced. Effective January 11, 2021, Alaska will no longer allow ESAs on board their aircrafts.

What to know about Alaska Airlines New Rules

Following recent changes to U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rules, Alaska Airlines will no longer accept emotional support animals on its flights. Effective January 11, 2021Alaska will only transport service dogs, which are specially trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability. Alaska will continue to accept emotional support animals under its current policy for reservations booked prior to January 11, 2021, for flights on or before February 28, 2021. <>

Where can I fly now?

Although this is disappointing for ESA owners who frequent Alaska Airlines — there is hope! There are only three airlines (including Alaska, Spirit, and Frontier) that have released an official travel ban for emotional support animals, leaving plenty of other airlines to choose from in order to continue traveling with your trusty companion.

Get Your ESA Today


Due to the new Department of Transportation (DOT) policy, Emotional Support Animals are NO longer allowed to fly in airplane cabins for free. However, Psychiatric Service Dogs are eligible.

We promise to keep you updated as new information becomes available.

There is ambiguity about how these DOT changes will all play out, but you deserve to know your rights as an ESA owner. If you are traveling anytime in the near future, we are here to help ensure that you have the proper paperwork to do so! Now, more than ever, it is key to have legal documentation in hand to protect your ESAs status. 

ESA or PSA Certification?

The benefits of an Emotional Support Animal certification and a Psychiatric Service Dog certification are drastically different. Fortunately for you, American Service Pets’ network of active board certified doctors can help you find the right path to certification. To find out whether you need an ESA or PSD letter, take our easy, three-step Pet Owner Survey!


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