Emotional Support Animals Banned By United, American, Delta, Alaska: Will Southwest Hold Out?

emotional support animals banned by united american delta alaska will southwest hold out
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: Alyssa Eliasen holds a puppy on a Southwest Airlines flight between San … [+] Juan, Puerto Rico and Baltimore Washington International Airport on January 20, 2018. The flight, which was donated by Southwest Airlines, carried Southwest employees and volunteers with Lucky Dog animal rescue to Puerto Rico to pick up more than 60 animals that need homes after Hurricane Maria damaged the island. (Photo by Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images) The Washington Post via Getty Images

Last week Alaska Airlines was the first airline to ban emotional support animals under a new Department of Transportation (DOT) ruling. This week United, American, and Delta have joined in banning the companion cabin animals.

Southwest Airlines says it applauded the new DOT rule that “permits common-sense limits on the transport of animals in the aircraft cabin.” But the airline, now the world’s largest , says that as of now, “Our Emotional Support Animals policy has not changed. Southwest will announce this year any changes and timelines for those changes to our policies.”

The airlines that are barring Emotional Support Animals (ESA) say they are simply reacting to the DOT rules change which limits support animals in the cabin to trained service animals, such as guide dogs for the blind. United says, “This change will further ensure a safe and accessible travel experience for our customers.”…

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