Delta Says Certain Furry Friends Won’t Be Flying With New Transport Guidelines

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The no-fly list with Delta Airlines just grew by four feet…sort of, depending on the age of those four-footers. Delta just released new restrictions for pets and air travel. No longer will pets who are younger than four-months old be allowed to fly as service or support companions, and no support animal will be allowed on flights that are longer than eight hours. This only applies to pets not flying in enclosed, airline approved carriers.

Related: Delta Airlines Bans Pit Bull and ‘Pit Bull Types’ On Planes

The new regulations are set to go into effect tomorrow, December 18, right before travel for holidays starts to gear up. For passengers who already purchased tickets to fly with support animals who fit that criterion, they have until February 1, 2019 to do so. After that, they’ll need to adjust their reservations.

This year has been a tough one for Delta dogs–the skies have been not-so-friendly. Mostly, though, Delta claims that there’s been an 84% increase in incidents that involved service animals from 2015-2017, and they need to get tougher guidelines to protect passengers and their pets. Some of those incidences have included situations where a veteran’s 70-pound support dog attacked another passenger mid-flight. Dog-biting, from ‘service dogs’ is not uncommon in-flight, Delta claims.

John Lauhger is the senior vice president of corporate safety, security and compliance with Delta and says that the guideline updates are important to protect the rights of customers who have documented needs. Implying that there may be some who abuse the support animal policy, Delta’s restrictions look to eliminate situations where people will try to board planes with ‘support animals’ like snakes, squirrels or peacocks. While many airlines do allow passengers to fly with emotional support animals with doctor’s notes, many websites these days seem to pop up and offer ‘support animals’ without the medical input behind them.

Related: Alaska Airlines Introduces Stricter Policies for Emotional Support Animals

So, if you’re planning on flying and bringing a support animal with you–check out the guidelines. And, perhaps get prepared because industry insiders believe that other airlines will follow the trend and some might need to find other accommodations for their support llamas.


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