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Trained Service Animals FAQs

Southwest Airlines welcomes trained service animals. A fully trained service animal is individually trained to perform a task(s) or work for a person with a physical and/or mental disability. Only dogs are accepted as trained service animals. 


For full details of our acceptance requirements, visit our Service Animal Policy. 


Frequently Asked Questions 


Did this policy recently change?

On March 1, 2021 Southwest implemented a change to our service and emotional support animal policies. Emotional support animals are no longer accepted for travel on Southwest. The change is in alignment with the regulatory changes from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ruling regarding the transportation of animals in the aircraft cabin.


I still want to travel with my pet who was formerly an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). How do I know if my pet meets the requirements?

Any animal that formally traveled as an ESA and does not meet the requirements as a trained service dog, may be eligible to travel as a pet under our current pet policy instead.


Will I be able to bring my trained service dog?

Yes, we continue to support the ability of our Customers to bring trained service dogs, including those for psychiatric service, for travel. Dogs may be trained to assist with types of disabilities to include a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Dogs will be the only service animal accepted—no other species will be accepted as a trained service animal.


I booked my flight with my ESA prior to March 1. Does this policy change this apply to me?

Yes, Customers completing travel on or after March 1 will be subject to the new policy, regardless of booking date.