Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

American Airlines announces new emotional-support animal restrictions

American Airlines announces new emotional-support animal restrictions

American Airlines also announced Monday that those planning to travel with an animal must fill out the appropriate paperwork at least 48 hours ahead of the flight.

American Airlines has announced new restrictions on emotional-support animals allowed to fly with passengers.

We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal.

American Airlines' revised rules go into effect on July 1.

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They come after a boom in the number of passengers who are transporting service or support animals aboard planes.

Furthermore, the airline said it would no longer allow non-household birds such as farm poultry, waterfowl or game birds (no birds of prey?), as well as animals with tusks, horns or hooves on flights - although apparently miniature horses that have been properly trained as service animals will still be tolerated.

"We're tightening things down a little bit, because as you know, we've had some incidents in the past on our aircraft and we want to make sure that the safety of everyone, including support animals, is protected", Boda said. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members serve more than 1,000 destinations with about 14,250 daily flights to over 150 countries.

American said it, like other carriers, has seen a significant rise in customers with a service or support animal on board - a more than 40 percent increase from 2016 to 2017.

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The airline worked with several disabilities groups, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot, to develop the new rules.

In April, U.S. Sen. Emotional support and service animals also can't protrude into or block aisles; occupy a seat; or eat from tray tables.

In order for an animal to qualify, the passenger must provide a letter from a mental-health professional describing the mental or emotional disability that shows the need for the animal, and proof of the professional's licensing.

But American is also limiting what types of support animals can be brought on the plane.

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