New Airport Guidelines Remove Dog Breed Bans For Emotional Support Animals

holiday vacation jack russell dog waiting in airport terminal ready to board the airplane or plane at the gate, luggage or bag to the side

(Picture Credit: damedeeso/Getty Images)

Emotional support animals (ESAs) are more than just companions. They also comfort those who suffer from different illnesses and conditions. Some can’t be without their support animals, which can make traveling difficult, especially by plane. Fortunately, new airport guidelines may help with that.

Some airlines have banned certain types of dogs in the past, even if they’re ESAs. Pit Bulls usually receive the brunt of this discrimination, as many continue to believe that they are aggressive dogs.

Rules like this force some people who rely on ESAs to choose breeds like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, or German Shepherd Dogs, even when Pit Bulls are just as great and capable of providing emotional support.

But new regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation may put an end to breed discrimination on planes when it comes to ESAs. Here’s what you should know.

All Dogs Now Allowed For Boarding

The U.S. Department of Transportation released a statement that says airlines may no longer discriminate any breed of support animals. This addresses policies that continue to discriminate certain ESAs on planes solely on the basis of breed.

“The Department’s Enforcement Office views a limitation based exclusively on breed of the service animal to not be allowed under its service animal regulation,” the new guidelines state.

The guidelines enumerate limitations for support animals to qualify under the new policy. Owners may need to submit documents for vaccination or training history of their pet.

However, this development holds a lot of potential to help keep persons with emotional support needs safe and comforted during long flights regardless of which breed their ESA might be.

Delta’s Enduring Ban On Pit Bulls

Unfortunately, not all airlines are accommodating the new guidelines. Delta decided to uphold its rule on Pit Bulls, effectively banning them from boarding flight. The airline claims that the policy ensures the safety of customers and employees to prevent instances of aggressive animal behavior.

The Department of Transportation’s new guidelines clash with the airline’s policy on ESA dog breeds. However, the airline has yet to announce how it will deal with these changes. For now, the management focuses on its crew and customers while inside the plane.

“Our 25,000 flight attendants are my greatest responsibility, and I will do everything I can to keep them safe and send them home to their families in the same condition they came to work,” said Allison Ausband, senior vice president of in-flight service for Delta in a statement.

Thankfully, it is not all bad news. Delta recently reversed its policy on the eight-hour flight limit for emotional support animals. Now, those who need ESAs may feel a little less anxious on their next plane ride.

What are your thoughts about the ban on Pit Bull emotional support animals? Do you think all breeds of ESAs should be allowed on planes? Let us know in the comments below!

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