By now, you’ve probably seen photos of the woman who showed up at Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this week with
her emotional support peacock, hoping to board the plane.
According to the Associated Press, although the woman said she had a second ticket for the peacock, United Airlines denied her request.
So what DO the various airlines say about emotional support animals? Here’s a sample:
United Airlines: Trained service animals are accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability. Emotional support and psychiatric
assist animals are also accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability if certain documentation requirements
the policy states, but "an animal should sit at the customer’s feet without protruding into the aisles to comply with safety regulations." Customers
traveling with an emotional support or psychiatric assist animal must also give the airline at least 48 hours advance notification.
Delta made headlines on Jan. 19 when it announced plans to enforce stricter rules for transporting service and support animals, citing an increase of in-flight
incidents and "a lack of regulation." As of March 1, passengers must submit proof of health or vaccinations through Delta’s
website 48 hours before a flight. Those traveling with psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals will also
need to sign a document stating that the animal has the ability to behave in the cabin.
Southwest’s policy allows small vaccinated domestic cats and dogs to travel "in-cabin under the seat in front of you." Animals on board must also be "harmless, not disruptive, odorless and
require no attention during flight." Service and emotional support animals must be trained to behave in a public setting,
the policy states. "Southwest Airlines does not accept therapy dogs for transportation. We also do not allow customers to
travel with unusual or exotic animals (including, but not limited to: rodents, ferrets, insects, spiders, reptiles, hedgehogs,
rabbits or sugar gliders) acting as assistance animals or emotional support animals."
American’s policy states that "to travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal you must provide recent documentation (within one
year) to reservations at least 48 hours before your flight." Service animals, including emotional support animals, are welcome
at no charge if they meet the requirements.