National Service Animal Registry


National Service Animal Registry

Southwest Airlines Emotional Support Animal Forms and Requirements

Southwest Airlines emotional support animal policy is the most accommodating airline policy we've experienced when it comes to traveling with your emotional support animal. Many of the other US commercial airline companies require their passengers to not only have an emotional support animal letter from a licensed mental health professional, but also requires them to complete multiple forms before accepting their emotional support dog and/or animal. However, Southwest Airlines simply requires the ESA letter.

Southwest Airlines Emotional Support Animal Letter

Southwest Airlines emotional support dogs and/or animals are only required to have an emotional support animal letter brought to the ticket counter during check-in. Once the ESA is verified, a new ticket will be issued for the handler and the animal. The letter must contain the following four items:

  1. The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V).
  2. The passenger needs the emotional support dog or cat 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 licensed and the state or other jurisdiction in which is was issued.

Download Southwest Airlines ESA Form Here

If you're not currently working with a licensed mental health professional to complete the Medical/Mental Health Professional Form and/or obtain a prescription ESA letter, we recommend using Chilhowee Psychological Services (CPS). CPS is the original and most trusted and referred online provider of prescription emotional support animal letters.

Southwest Airlines ESA Requirements

Although Southwest's accommodation policies are some of the friendliest among the US based commercial airlines for emotional support animals, the animal should must behaviorally be on their best behavior and follow their basic requirements:

  1. The ESA may only be a dog or a cat.
  2. The passenger may only fly with one (1) emotional support animal on the flight.
  3. The animal must be in a carrier that can be stowed under the seat in front of the handler or kept on a leash at all times while at the airport and aboard the aircraft.
  4. The animal may not extend into the aisle.
  5. The animal may not occupy an aircraft seat, a tray table, and/or impede on another passenger's footprint
  6. Lastly, no urinating, defecating in the cabin and/or around the gate area.

Per Southwest Airlines' requirements, all ESAs must be in a carrier and stowed OR be attached to a leash at all times. To be as efficient as possible, why not do two things at once? We have ESA dog vests and emotional support animal leashes to both, follow Southwest Airlines' requirements, but also clearly identify your animal for all of those at the airport.