JetBlue, United and Delta Airlines Will Ban Emotional Support Animals on Flights, joining American Airlines and Alaska (see AA Joins Alaska Airlines in Banning Emotional Support Animals).
On January 11, 2021, which is when the Department of Transportation's new rule governing emotional support animals takes effect, JetBlue, United and Delta won't recognize emotional support animals as service animals and won't accept new reservations that include emotional support animals. Here are the details for each airline on how long emotional support animals will still be transported, if the reservation is made before January 11, 2021:
JetBlue will only permit emotional support animals to fly if the reservation was made before 12/20/20 for travel through February 2021 and the documentation has already been submitted, so it's no longer possible to make any bookings that include an emotional support animal.
For new bookings, JetBlue requires the DOT Service Animal Air Transportation form to be completed, and then uploaded at least 48 hours prior to the flight.
Note that JetBlue doesn't keep service animal documentation on file, so you'll need to upload a new form, dated on or after date of purchase for each JetBlue reservation you make.
JetBlue, perhaps in anticipating that some pet owners may attempt to circumvent the new rule by passing their untrained emotional support animal off as a psychiatric support animal, has reiterated the same warning that's at the top of the DOT Service Animal Air Transportation form:
It is a Federal crime to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements, entries, or representations knowingly and willfully on the U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Air Transportation Form to secure disability accommodations provided under regulations of the United States Department of Transportation (18 U.S.C. § 1001).
United will accept emotional support animals for reservations made before 1/11/21 for travel on or before 2/28/21. No ESAs will be transported after February 28, 2021.
Passengers bringing qualified service animals on a United flight from 2/1/21 will need to complete the DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form and if on a flight of 8 hours or more, the DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form, which must be submitted to the United Accessibility Desk. The phone number is 800-228-2744.
Delta will honor existing bookings that include emotional support animals as long as the reservation was made and the required ESA documentation was submitted before January 11, 2021.
Apart from the above, Delta will only transport trained service animals starting January 11, 2021. The DOT Service Animal form(s) must be submitted online at least 48 hours before the flight through the Accessible Travel Form in My Trips.
Time will tell how well the new system works in keeping untrained dogs off of planes, but it's at least a step in the right direction, while preserving necessary protections for those who do rely on trained service dogs.
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