At the end of 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it revised its Air Carrier Access Act regulation on the transportation of service animals by air. The DOT issued a final ruling that outlines how airlines must accommodate passengers traveling with service animals. The changes included:
- No longer allowing emotional support animals as service animals.
- Narrowing the definition of a service animal to only include dogs.
- Requiring airlines to treat psychiatric service animals the same as other service animals without additional documentation.
- Allowing airlines to require passengers to submit paperwork before boarding with their service dog.
You can also find some additional information in DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection’s article about service animals.
What are the new rules for flying with service dogs?
- Airlines can require a traveler with a service dog to complete a DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form and a Service Animal Relief Attestation Form at least 48 hours prior to departure.
- Airlines are no longer required to recognize non-task-trained animals such as emotional support animals, comfort animals and service animals in training as service animals.
- Airlines can limit passengers to two task-trained service animals per person.
- Service animals can be required to fit within the handler’s foot space on the plane.
What types of documentation do I need to provide for my service animal?
Airlines can request specific documentation and/or 48-hours advance notice for emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals. The documentation must:
- Not be more than one year old.
- Must state that the person has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The documentation should also state that the mental health professional is treating the individual; include the date and type of the mental health professional’s license; and include the state or jurisdiction in which the license was issued.
- State that the animal is needed as an accommodation for air travel or for activity at the traveler’s destination.
- Passengers traveling with service animals cannot be required to physically check in at the airport.
The documentation does not need to include the traveler’s diagnosis.
What is a service animal and why can I travel in the cabin?
A service animal is a dog that helps or pays special attention in order of a specific health situation, the best known were the guide dogs of the blind, however, since health is not only body but also mind today, we have the modality of psychiatric service dogs, who are precisely the ones who help us and provide service with various mental health situations.
Certify your dog in 3 steps:
- You should have an appointment with a mental health professional who will indicate a diagnosis of the area of mental health and who also certifies in a letter the specific service you will receive from the dog.
- Your dog must be trained to perform the service and be able to effectively provide the service his emotional health needs.
- You must accredit the certification with an ID and a training certification that is the one you can present to airlines, or where required.
You want to certify your dog as a service animal, we can help you, just click here and start today.
The certification as a service animal is for life, does not expire and is for the entire age of the dog, that means that you can be always with your pet and in all places and additionally you can take it to:
- Hotels or Airbnb without restriction even if they are not “pet friendly”
- National and international air travel without paying additional.
If you want to certify your dog as a service animal, you can do it with us online, without any problem and regardless of which state in the United States you are located in.
With the GABRIELA coupon you can get 20% discount on your purchase. Click on the link below:
Paquete de certificación PSD
Learn what U.S. airlines require for service animals
Several airlines fly from various domestic destinations in the United States. Next, we will number the ones that we find available today to travel and the direct link of their page, where they talk about their policies on what they ask to fly with service animals:
Tips to travel with your best friend
Here are some tips you can keep in mind when traveling with your best friend:
- If your service animal needs to relieve itself, please ask an airport or airline professional for the location of the nearest service animal relief areas.
- Your service animal cannot block a space that must remain unobstructed for safety reasons (ex. an aisle or access to an emergency exit).
- An airline is not required to upgrade you to a different class of service to accommodate your service animal.
- Airlines cannot refuse to allow your service animal onboard because it makes other passengers or flight crew uncomfortable.
- Your service animal must behave properly. An animal that engages in disruptive behavior (ex. barking or snarling, running around, and/or jumping onto other passengers, etc. without being provoked) will not be accepted as a service animal.
We hope that this guide has been useful, and you can enjoy the best company on your trip to Cuba from the United States, next to your best friend. Remember that you can certify your dog as a service animal by clicking here on the link.