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Delta’s new emotional support animal policy takes effect

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 7:34 AM
By: Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta Air Lines’ new tighter restrictions on emotional support animals and service animals took effect Thursday.

Atlanta-based Delta put in place the new policy effective March 1 after a passenger on one of its planes was attacked by a 70-pound emotional support dog last year. It also comes amid a rise in incidents involving animals in flights and a lack of certain regulations “creating unsafe conditions across U.S. air travel,” according to Delta.

Here’s how Delta describes its new policy:

Delta's updated policy

Any customer traveling with a service or support animal on or after March 1 will need to meet the new requirements as outlined below:

Traveling with a trained service animal

  • In some cases, customers with a trained service animal may be asked to show the animal's Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record or other proof that the animal's vaccinations are up to date. Customers are encouraged, but not required, to submit this form to Delta's Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com before traveling.
  • These customers can check-in via Delta.com, the Fly Delta mobile app, airport kiosks or with an airport agent.

Traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal

  • Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date), an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form that requires a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form. These forms are required and must be submitted to Delta's Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours before travel.
  • These customers must use the full-service check-in process with an airport agent. 

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Delta said it carries about 700 service or support animals each day, but not all of them are the real thing, as people try to fly everything from pigs to turkeys.