Traveling by Air with Service Animals
January 11, 2021
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is issuing a final rule to amend the Department's Air Carrier Access Act regulation on the transport of service animals by air. This final rule is intended to ensure that our air transportation system is safe for the traveling public and accessible to individuals with disabilities. This rule is effective January 11, 2021.
Among its provisions, the final rule defines a service animal as a dog, regardless of breed or type, that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability. It allows airlines to recognize emotional support animals as pets, rather than service animals. It also requires passengers with a disability traveling with a service animal to complete and submit to the airline a form, developed by DOT, attesting to the animal's training and good behavior, and certifying the animal's good health. This final rule also allows carriers to require that service animals are harnessed, leashed, or otherwise tethered onboard an aircraft and includes requirements that would address the safe transport of large service animals in the aircraft cabin.
Click to view the entire Final Rule.