Delta Air Lines is issuing a new round of rules for service and support animals .
Don’t be surprised if these rules are adopted soon by other airlines.
Delta’s new policy goes into effect December 18. Under the new rules, service and support animals under four months of age will be banned from any Delta flight.
Delta will also no longer allow emotional support animals – of any age – to be booked on flights longer than eight hours.
If you purchased a ticket before December 18th and have requested to travel with an emotional support animal, Delta will still allow you and your emotional support animal to travel.
Come February 1, 2019, however, emotional support animals will not be accepted on flights longer than eight hours, regardless of booking date.
“These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs, such as veterans with disabilities, to travel with trained service and support animals, ” said John Laughter, Senior Vice President – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance.
Delta said the updated policy comes on the heels of an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals from 2016-2017.
Those incidents include urination/defecation, biting and an attack by a 70-pound dog. Delta also notes that its updated support and service animal age requirement aligns with the vaccination policy of the CDC and the eight-hour flight limit for emotional support animals is consistent with principles outlined in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act.
The full policy, including rules about what kind of animals can be considered service or emotional support animals, is on the Delta website.
The new rules don’t apply to animals traveling in the cabin inside closed carriers as pets on paid tickets.