Another Airline Is Cracking Down On Emotional Support Animals

As more support animals try to fly, American Airlines says leave the goats at home | Miami Herald

Starting July 1, American Airlines passengers can not bring their goats or hedgehogs, spiders or sugar gliders, or any creatures with tusks, horns or hooves on board as service animals or for emotional support. "Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft".

Miniature horses are specifically allowed if they are properly trained as a service animal.

"We support the rights of customers...."

They will also have to provide a letter from a mental health professional.

The airline unveiled a list of prohibited animals on Monday after it said a growing number of passengers have taken or attempted to take a range of animals on board planes for emotional support ― including a peacock, pig and hamster on other airlines.

Photos of a peacock, which a passenger in New Jersey tried to bring onto a plane, went viral earlier this year after United banned the flightless bird from travelling. Owners had been allowed to fill out paperwork the day of their flight, or even at the airport, a spokesperson for American Airlines said.

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Last June, a man said he required 28 stitches to his face after being mauled by an emotional support dog on a Delta Air Lines flight in Atlanta.

More than 10 ten emotional support animals are now banned by American Airlines as the carrier seeks to tighten its rules for passengers flying with animals, including those that growl, lunge and bite.

AA will also begin enforcing an existing 48-hour advanced notice and pre-clearance policy for emotional support animals. Additionally, American Airlines now says that some animals are off limits entirely because they pose a safety or public health risk.

"A lot of people tend to try to skirt the policies and the protocols that are in place that protect not only people like myself who are dependent on our service animals for mobility, with any issues in regards to [post traumatic stress disorder], there are a variety of services that legitimate service animals provide", said Albert Rizzi, founder and CEO of My Blind Spot, a New York-based nonprofit.

Passengers will now have to notify the carrier 48 hours in advance and then sign a waiver.

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