American Airlines reported since January 11, they stopped transporting dogs that do not meet the service animal certification.
While American Airlines no longer allows passengers to travel with emotional support animals, without the necessary documentation, national airlines, until now, continue to provide facilities for people to travel accompanied by their dogs.
Through a statement, American Airlines announced that since January 11 it stopped transporting emotional support animals, due to recent changes in regulations made by the Department of Transportation (DOT) that airlines are not required to treat emotional support animals as service animals (a dog trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified person with a disability).
The new department rule, now in effect, “will no longer authorize new travel for animals that do not meet that definition, such as emotional support animals.”
Emotional support animals are prescribed by mental health professionals to provide comfort and support. However, unlike service animals, they are not required to be trained in specific tasks.
Dogs that have previously traveled as emotional support animals can travel as pets in the cabin or cargo warehouse.
According to data collected, the DOT changed the rules because there is concern that passengers were fraudulently placing their pets in the vague and gratuitous category of emotional support animals.
Therefore, American Airlines informed that the existing reservations for emotional support animals will be fulfilled only during the rest of the month and that, starting on February 1, it will require passengers traveling with service animals to electronically submit a form of the DOT before your flight.
They should describe the behavior, training, and health of the dog on the form. The authorization is valid for one year or until the animal’s vaccinations expire.