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No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

YeahNoMaybe
New Arrival

https://community.southwest.com/t5/Blog/Southwest-Airlines-Revised-Policies-for-Emotional-Support-an...

 

"Today, Southwest Airlines announced that, consistent with new regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), we are making changes to our policies regarding trained service animals and emotional support animals. Effective March 1, 2021, Southwest will accept only trained service dogs for travel and will no longer transport emotional support animals.

 

With this revision, we will only allow service dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability to travel with the Customer. The types of disability include a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, and only dogs will be accepted (including those for psychiatric service)—no other species will be accepted as a trained service animal. "

9 REPLIES 9

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

Burgh2sincity
New Arrival

Very disappointed in this decision as I have a legit Emotional Support Animal, just flew over the past weekend to get home from the holidays with her and had an amazing crew that adored her. She is well behaved and doesn't fuss at all. I thought SW would be different than other carriers and care a bit more. It's sad that people that took advantage of ESA's ruined it for the folks that truly need one.....Unfortunately I guess I will be driving across the country after March 1st.....

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

bwallet
Active Member

My wife had a cat that she credits with getting her through her PhD. In today's language, he was definitely her ESA. She flew across the country with him more than the cat would have preferred. We just paid the $75 fee that Northwest charged at the time.

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

ffflyer
Active Member

@Burgh2sincity wrote:

It's sad that people that took advantage of ESA's ruined it for the folks that truly need one...


True. 

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

And just to clarify, dogs and cats can still be transported as pets. 

https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/traveling-with-animals/index-pol.html

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

Connolly5248
New Arrival

Southwest Airlines will ban emotional support animals as of March 1, 2021, 1, 2021, Southwest Airlines will no longer transport any emotional support animals.

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

Tsburns14
New Arrival

I'm very disappointed in SW Airlines policy change regarding allowing emotional support animals traveling with passengers.  I have no problem paying a fee for my ESA but requiring my ESA animal to be crated is what I have a problem with.  She is not trained to be crated so the first time I traveled with her (2 yr old Chihauhau) seven months ago, she chewed thru her crate and was extremely anxious and frightened during the entire flight.  At that time I did not have her registered as an ESA.  Since getting her registered as an ESA, she sits on my lap and watches the ground crew until we take off and then falls asleep for the entire 2 1/2 hr flight.  Passengers and SW Airlines crew have commented on what a good little traveler she is.   I don't have a problem paying the fee for her to travel with me on my lap, so don't understand why SW Airlines, the airline who's motto is "share the love", can't allow an ESA to be uncrated! 

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@Tsburns14 wrote:

    I don't have a problem paying the fee for her to travel with me on my lap, so don't understand why SW Airlines, the airline who's motto is "share the love", can't allow an ESA to be uncrated! 


The why is simple: gazzillions of people gamed the system. People brought on ESA peacocks,

and people that didn't really need ESAs brought them on. They realized they could transport their pets for free.. The "untrained" ESAs pooped, and peed, and growled and were generally a nuisance.

 

Your dog may have behaved perfectly, but lots of others did not.

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

reneepasley
New Arrival

My ticket in March costs 106 dollars from Seattle to Arizona. My emotional support dog (who stays in a crate under my feet will cost 190 to travel. Why can't I just buy a seat for my dog? Before my dog was an emotional support certified, he always stayed in the crate,  under my feet. On the last flight a lady with a cat in a bag, wouldn't move her cat from the middle because she said the flight attendant said it was okay. SW is so inconsistent with their rules and policies. 

 

Re: No more Emotional Support Animals Effective March 1

NicoleAshley
Employee
Employee

@reneepasley  

I apologize for any inconvenience our policy change has caused. 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. As a peer-to-peer forum, we are not equipped to assist you here, but I'd encourage you to Contact Customer Relations  for assistance, especially if you've encountered any inconsistencies on a specific flight. Thank you!
 
 
Nicole
Community Manager