Airlines and ESA’s
It’s a breeze for you to fly the friendly skies with your Emotional Support Animal (ESA)! You’ll just need a few things to enjoy smooth sailing, based on the Air Carrier Access Act and the Department of Transportations (DOTs) final rule.
The Air Carrier Access Act is a federal law that used to require airline companies to allow emotionally impaired persons to be accompanied in the cabin of the aircraft with an emotional support animal and not be charged a fee. However, following DOTs changes, all major US-based commerical airlines recognize ESAs as “pets” allowing the airlines to charge a “pet fee” to fly in the cabin of the aircraft – each way!
We have a few important links on this page that will point you to everything you might possibly need to know to make flying with your emotional support animal easy and stress-free, no matter your destination! Don’t miss them!
Here’s What You Need to Know
- All major US-based commercial airlines used to require you to produce a letter from a licensed therapist or medical physician that prescribes an ESA for an emotional disability. However, with DOTs final rule, US-based commercial airlines no longer accept emotional support animals to fly for free, but there are a few international airlines that continue to recognize and accept emotional support animals on their flights provided you have a legitimate emotional support animal letter.
- Although it’s not required by law, international airlines are encouraged to look for identifying markers such as ESA patches, vests, and/or leashes to help to identify a legitimate emotional support animal.
- The same applies to an attached photo ID card identifying your animal as an emotional support animal (from a credible agency like National Service Animal Registry).
- Airlines not only strongly recommend that you have an ID card, a service vest and/or ESA patches, but our customers report that international airlines are more likely to approve a registered animal with National Service Animal Registry (NSARCO).*
- If you have the above items and your answers ready, it will be smooth sailing!
- Click here for what to expect at the airport and how to get through it without a hassle.
- Click here to read about the federal laws that apply to flying with your emotional support animal – the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986.
- Click here to learn about travel to Hawaii with an emotional support animal.
Trained Your ESA to do a Task?
- Click here to checkout how to fly with your psychiatric service dog (PSD), which still fly for free!
*Based on statements from clients.