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Starting 1/1/21 Emotional Support Animals will be banned from the cabin

dfwskier
Top Contributor

and only dogs will qualify as service animals.

 

So says the DOT...

 

https://wgntv.com/news/say-goodbye-to-emotional-support-animals-in-airplane-cabins/

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Starting 1/1/21 Emotional Support Animals will be banned from the cabin

brendabean
Active Member

This does not mean all airlines will ban emotional support animals. It means that airlines now have the option to regulate their ESA policy. Unlike some other airlines (ahem D and U), Southwest has been so amazing to people with disabilities. Hopefully they will keep their current policy. I know that I would not have been able to take as many flights without having my trained emotional support dog with me on my trips. 

Re: Starting 1/1/21 Emotional Support Animals will be banned from the cabin

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

and only dogs will qualify as service animals.

 

So says the DOT...

 

https://wgntv.com/news/say-goodbye-to-emotional-support-animals-in-airplane-cabins/


 

 

That article (and the headline here) are incorrect. ESAs won't be banned from airplane cabins by the new ruling. 

 

The new DOT ruling just means carriers are no longer required to recognize emotional support animals as service animals, and may now treat them as pets, subject to their individual pet policies. 

 

For a carrier such as Southwest, who does not accept pets in the cargo hold, this would mean that emotional support animals would be subject to transport in the cabin for a fee, under the rules of their pet policy.

 

I suspect clarification in the form of a policy announcement from Southwest is forthcoming. 

 

This article has more information, along with a link to the actual 122 page DOT ruling.

Re: Starting 1/1/21 Emotional Support Animals will be banned from the cabin

dfwskier
Top Contributor

You are correct as I pointed out in another thread about whether SW would still allow ESAs.

 

There will not be ESAs.  and animals will be treated in accordance with the existing  pet policy

Re: Starting 1/1/21 Emotional Support Animals will be banned from the cabin

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

@dfwskier wrote:

You are correct as I pointed out in another thread about whether SW would still allow ESAs.

 

There will not be ESAs.  and animals will be treated in accordance with the existing  pet policy


 

The statement "there will not be ESAs" is incorrect.

 

Just to be clear, as I think maybe you're still confused -- nothing about the new ruling bans ESAs. The ruling removes the government protections that required ESAs to be accepted. But it does not ban any carrier from allowing them, and/or crafting specific policies for them.