Top 10 US Airlines Service Animal Policies
Service dogs are an important part of many people’s lives. They help us in a variety of ways, from guiding the blind to protecting us during seizures or panic attacks. If you own a service animal and fly with them, knowing which airlines have the best policies can be helpful for your next trip.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to allow service animals in the cabin with their handlers at no additional charge. There are very strict guidelines for what defines a service animal and how they should be treated while on board an airplane, which all airlines should follow. This post will cover the top 10 US airline policies regarding traveling with a service animal.
Here is a list of the top 10 US airlines that provide their customers with information regarding traveling with service animals and are hyperlinked directly to each airline’s service animal webpage:
Airline service animal basics. The service animal must be a dog, aged 4 months or more, and certified to be trained to benefit a qualified person with a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. You will not be able to occupy an exit row and the dog must not extend into the aisle or other passenger’s foot space. Airlines will require a completed DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form for each reservation. The service dog must behave appropriately at all times in the airport and on board the aircraft.
While still technically a domestic flight, there are strict requirements for flying into Hawaii with a service dog. Hawaii will require a valid health certificate within 14 days prior to arrival and potentially a valid Neighbor Island Inspection Permit from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture prior to making reservations.
If you’re looking for a stress-free flying experience with your service dog, be sure to get in touch with your airline early to make any arrangements. You’ll also need to have the right documentation and prove that your service dog is certified. The FAA has been cracking down on illegitimate claims from people who want their pets treated as service animals, so it’s up to you to do everything possible before getting on the plane!