• Delta bans puppies, other emotional support animals on long flights

    By: Kelly Yamanouchi, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Updated:

    Delta Air Lines said it will ban service and support animals under 4 months old, and will also ban emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours.

    The change, effective Dec. 18, is the latest tightening of policies on service animals and emotional support animals by the airline. 

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    The company said in a Monday announcement that it has seen an 84 percent increase in incidents reported involving service and support animals in 2016 and 2017, “including urination/defecation, biting” and a mauling by a 50-pound dog.

    Delta said its new policy aligns with the CDC vaccination policy, and the limit on emotional support animals on long flights lines up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act.

    Delta Air Lines is banning emotional support and service animals under the age of four months on long flights. Kayla Farmer/Unsplash)

    Delta Air Lines is banning emotional support and service animals under the age of four months on long flights. Kayla Farmer/Unsplash

    “These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs -- such as veterans with disabilities -- to travel with trained service and support animals,” John Laughter, Delta senior vice president of corporate safety, security and compliance, said in a statement.

    Some of the airline’s policy changes earlier in the year have prompted criticism from groups representing people who use service animals, including those who use pit bulls. 

    The new policy takes effect for tickets booked Dec. 18 or later. Regardless of booking date, it will also take effect for flights Feb. 1 or later. Delta said it will contact customers to adjust reservations if the policy affects them.

    More information on the airline’s service and support animal policy is at Delta.com

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