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Service Dog First Time Flyer

New Arrival



I am traveling with my service dog for the first time on Tuesday. What documents do I need to bring when checking in the day of my flight? The website is not very specific. 


Re: Service Dog First Time Flyer

Top Contributor




To get an answer to your question, you should get it from the horses mouth -- from Southwest.

You can inquire by phone, twitter or e-mail. The following eplains how to do this:


This forum is normally  a  customer to customer site, athough someone else who has traaveled with a service animal may see your post and respond.


Travel safe.

Re: Service Dog First Time Flyer

Top Contributor

Are you traveling with a trained service animal, or an emotional support animal? The requirements for transporting each type of animal are different.


Documentation is not required for trained service animals, but at check-in the agent will ask some factfinding questions to determine if your animal qualifies.


The requirements for travel with an emotional support animal are very specific:


Current documentation (not more than one year old) on letterhead from a mental health professional or medical doctor who is treating the Customer's mental health-related disability stating:

  1. The Passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition (DSM IV)
  2. The Passenger needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger's destination
  3. The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, and the Passenger is under his or her professional care AND
  4. The date and type of mental health professional's or medical doctor's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued

Complete details are available on the Southwest website:


Customers with Disabilities > Trained service and emotional support animals


 (Click on Assistance Animals in the left-hand column.)