Did you know that this month is National Service Dog Month?
As you’re likely aware, there’s a lot of contention around the issue of people abusing airline service animal policies, to the extent that airlines like Southwest have updated their policies (starting this week, only dogs, cats and miniature horses are allowed in Southwest cabins; all must be on a leash or in a carrier at all times). A surge of emotional support animals on planes—even amid policy changes—has even flight attendants looking for changes. Just last week, a survey released by the Association of Flight Attendants showed that 62% of flight attendants report a disruption related to an emotional support animal on a flight.
This has complicated matters for anyone thinking about flying with a pet. With this in mind, South Bend’s WSBT just shared a report on how to fly with pets more easily, incorporating advice from the TSA and United Airlines. The report is below. A few highlights:
- From TSA: “We’re not veterinarians at the TSA checkpoint. We’re not going to check paperwork, but it’s up to the airline to decide if those animals can go onboard in the cabin of the aircraft. Check with them before you purchase your ticket and definitely before you come to the airport.”
- Last December at South Bend International Airport, a skunk was allowed on a plane!
- From United: “One of things we ask our customers to do is acclimate their dog or cat to a kennel. That’s going to help ensure that that animal is prepared to be in that kennel for a certain amount of time.”
- Requirements and rules vary by airline for pet travel. For example, United has breed restrictions and requires paperwork for comfort animals.
Above all, do your research in advance and be respectful of airline staff and other passengers. Here’s the segment:
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.