American Airlines Will Charge $125 or More for Emotional Support Animals
American Airlines became the latest US domestic carrier to require anyone seeking to fly with an emotional support animal to pay a fee. The move could generate as much as $60million a year.
Alaska Airlines was first to announce a ban on emotional support animals, after a new Department of Transportation regulation that says airlines aren’t required to treat emotional support animals as service animals. The federal government reversed the policy that had allowed travelers to bring chickens, peacocks, snakes, and other exotic creatures aboard flights while claiming they were there for emotional support.
American Airlines says it will allow animals in the cabin free of charge only if they are trained service dogs. Other animals, including dogs not trained as service dogs, will only be able to fly in the cargo hold or a kennel that fits under a seat in the cabin. Either way, American Airlines will charge a pet fee that starts at $125 but can go as high as several hundred dollars.
United Airlines also requires its passengers to pay a $125 fee each way for emotional support animals. Southwest Airlines charges $95 each way. Delta won’t allow any emotional support pets on flights longer than eight hours. Any animals under the age of four months also will not be permitted regardless of the length of flight.