AIRLINES & SERVICE DOGS
EFFECTIVE January 11th, 2021
DOT RULES, STANDARDS & GUIDELINES FOR SERVICE DOGS ON FLIGHTS
A dog does not qualify as a service animal until it has fully completed its training.
A service animal must be under your control at all times and pass a public access test to be comfortable in all public settings.
A service dog should be able to focus on the handler and their duties even in stressful environments.
COMPLETE THE DOT SERVICE DOG FORMS
Airline’s staff may verify your canine companion is a service dog by observing the behavior or your dog.
QUESTIONS YOU MUST BE ABLE TO ANSWER:
1. Is the service dog required because of a disability?
A service dog brought on board a plane must be trained to assist with a disability. The term “disability” has a specific legal meaning under the DOT’s rules and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
A disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. “Major life activities” include working, sleeping, learning, and other essential life activities.
The definition of disability covers physical impairments (for example, someone with limited mobility or sight impairment) and mental impairments. “Mental impairments” include emotional or mental illnesses and specific learning disabilities.
The DOT’s new rules also specifically mention “psychiatric, intellectual or other mental” disabilities. Psychiatric service dogs are commonly used by people with conditions like severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobias, and autism.
2. What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
There is no official list of eligible tasks. The key criteria are that the service dog must be specifically trained to perform the task to assist the owner with their disability.
NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO ASK ANY OTHER QUESTIONS OR DETAILS ABOUT YOUR CONDITION OR FOR YOUR DOG TO PERFORM THE TASKS. THIS IS YOUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY AND DIGNITY AS A SERVICE DOG OWNER.
SERVICE ANIMALS WILL BE DENIED BOARDING
If your dog poses a direct threat to the health and or safety of another human or animal.
If your dog causes disruption or inappropriate public behavior.
SERVICE ANIMALS WHO BECOME DISRUPTIVE WILL BE SUBJECT TO PET POLICIES
Understandably any of the below criteria can have your dog banned from flying on board with you:
Barking- The only time it is acceptable for barking is when your dog is responding to the handler's need or distress
Aggressive behaviors towards other guests or animals (e.g., biting, growling, snapping, lunging, etc.)
Freely wandering or running around
Relieving themselves in the aircraft cabin or places other than designated pet relief areas
Jumping on guests or employees
Occupying an aircraft seat or seatback tray table
Eating off seatback tray tables
Not under the control of the owner/handler Dog must follow commands and be able to be redirected.
CHECK YOUR AIRLINE
MOST POPULAR AIRLINE SERVICE DOG POLICY’S