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Flying With Your Emotional Support Animal

DOT Update: On December 2, 2020, the Department of Transportation announced that it is​ revising rules around flying with Emotional Support Animals. Airlines will no longer be required to recognize ESAs and provide reasonable accommodation in the flight cabin and/or free of charge. However, Service Animals (including Psychiatric Services Animals), who are trained to perform specific tasks associated with their owner’s disability, are still legally protected and eligible for those rights. The vast majority of ESAs are dogs, and dogs can be task-trained to perform many different functions. The new rule does not require Service Animal owners to incur the cost of training by third party schools or organizations. Owners are free to train their own dogs to perform a task or function for them.

Click here to connect with a licensed medical professional to qualify for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or Psychiatric Service Animal (PSA) today.

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If you plan to travel with an emotional support animal (ESA), it’s important to know your right. By knowing precisely what is going to be in need of you. Being unaware about what is needed may leave you upset. Subsequently, leaving you with fees or costs. Airline carriers charge in order to travel with an animal. If you don’t already have your ESA letter, American Service Pets makes it easy!

Below, we will cover the major airline requirements. Most importantly, so you can prepare before your flight. By taking action today, you can alleviate any possible obstacles. Therefore, to ensure a smooth flight with your furry friend.

Major Airline ESA Requirements

American Airlines ESA Letter Requirements

With American Airlines, you can be sure you will be ok. That is to say, that this company supports traveling with an emotional support animal. Most importantly, it’s necessary to have the proper documents. Above all, including an ESA letter. One that has been issued within the past year. Also, that it is from a professional that satisfies company standards. Moreover, some of these standards include, but not limited to the following below.

The mental or emotional disability must be recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

  • Date, location, and medical license of the professional issuing the letter.
  • Passenger must need accommodation of an emotional support animal for air travel.
  • If you are traveling on American Airlines, it’s vital to have your ESA letter. To clarify, have it submitted 48 hours before the flight takes off.

For more specifics on what American Airlines requires, check out their policy here!

Delta Airlines Emotional Support Animal Guidelines

If you plan on traveling with Delta Airlines, it’s best to be ready months in advance. To travel with an emotional support animal, you should start the process early. For example, from the moment you book your seat. Unlike other airlines, Delta requires animals to stay on the floor. But, they can be next to their owner. In addition to this, animals must be well-behaved. When getting an ESA, you must follow the company’s policy. Here are a few requirements that is necessary:

  • Date, location, and medical license of the professional issuing the letter.
  • A recognized mental health disability.
  • Individual must be listed on the ESA letter.

If you have any questions regarding your ESA letter and flying with Delta, check out Delta Airline’s ESA policy here!

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!

Jet Blue Airlines ESA Letter Requirements

If you are planning on taking your next flight with Jet Blue, be ready! Most importantly be sure to prepare your ESA letter in advance. In other words, the company will not accept any documentation that is over a year old. It must include your confirmation number for easy access purposes. With that being said, let’s cover a few more important criteria that can be found on Jet Blue Airline’s ESA Policy:

  • Passenger must have a documented mental disability.
  • The animal must be needed in order for the passenger to travel.
  • Date, location, and medical license of the professional issuing the letter.

Flying With Southwest Airlines - ESA Letter Guidelines

If you want to fly Southwest with your ESA, it’s very important to be aware. They have their limitations and documentation requirements. As with all airlines, we recommend knowing these rules. Prior to booking your flight. Below are some of the specific Southwest policies for flying with your ESA.

  • No ESA can travel to Jamaica.
  • Passenger must have a mental or emotional disability recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  • Date, location, and medical license of the professional issuing the letter.

For further information, you can find Southwest’s emotional support animal guidelines, here!

Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal

It’s imperative to plan your trip in advance for passengers who are flying with an ESA. If you are missing any of the criteria discussed above, major airlines can deny travel.

Every major airline has different requirements. Making it important to become familiar with each one. This way, you know what they expect from you – and your ESA. Remember to study the policies to ensure your documentation meets the requirements. Finally, you are all set for lift-off! utilizes Telepsychology to help you get your ESA letter for housing and travel completely online.

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.


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