I had a terrible experience this morning. Having made a roundtrip reservation to include my ESA and checking with the reservation agent when I made the reservation that the documentation I have from another airline would be be accepted, I was told at check-in that it was not acceptable. I had made the outbound flight based on the United Emotional Support Authorization and had no problem. Other airlines accept the form without question as it includes the DSM disability information & states that traveling with my dog is necessary (we just returned from international travel with the documentation). It is signed by my doctor of 15 years and includes her name, license number and phone number. Requiring a letter when the official documentation is available in a different format shouldn't be necessary (United Airlines letterhead instead of the doctor's letterhead). I tried to explain this to customer service and was told they wouldn't change their policy. Unbelieveable. As a healthcare provider myself, I would like to point out that the letter as required by Southwest Airlines is out of date. DSM-5 superseded DSM-IV in 2013. An out of date policy and approach. Doctors shouldn't need to be seen everytime a different airline is used.
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