Alaska Airways to ban emotional assistance animals

Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to ban emotional guidance animals on its flights following a Division of Transportation ruling that airlines will only be necessary to transport service canine.

Beginning Jan. 11, the airline will allow only service pet dogs that are “specially trained” and will refuse transportation to emotional aid animals.

The DOT rule change arrived early this thirty day period adhering to the agency’s decision to revise its Air Carrier Entry legislation for the reason that travellers have for decades been requesting airlines take their “service” pigs, rabbits and peacocks. Until eventually now, the section experienced not outlined what constituted a assistance animal, and all emotional assist animals were being federally needed to be permitted on planes.

In 2017, the trade team Airlines for America approximated that the number of psychological assist animals traveling on industrial flights enhanced to 751,000, a sharp rise from the 481,000 seen the yr before.

“Following modern modifications to U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rules, Alaska Airways will no lengthier settle for emotional assistance animals on its flights,” the airline mentioned in a news release. “Alaska will only transport service canine, which are specially skilled to perform tasks for the profit of a certified individual with a disability.”

On its web site, the airline states that dimension of all company puppies authorized onboard “must not exceed the footprint or personalized area of the guest’s seat or foot region in the course of the entire flight.” The company canine ought to also be leashed at all occasions, is envisioned to “behave correctly,” simply cannot occupy a seat or tray table and may not be less than 4 months old.

The airline called the shift a vital step. “This regulatory transform is welcome information, as it will support us lessen disturbances onboard, though continuing to accommodate our attendees traveling with experienced company animals,” Ray Prentice, director of client advocacy at Alaska Airlines, reported in the information release.

“The final rule announced right now addresses issues elevated by folks with disabilities, airlines, flight attendants, airports, other aviation transportation stakeholders and other customers of the community, regarding provider animals on plane,” DOT officers claimed in a assertion saying the rule alter on Dec. 2.

Alaska Airways flights will settle for passengers who booked vacation ahead of Jan. 11 to convey an psychological assistance animal other than a pet dog only up until finally Mar. 1. The DOT at first took up the ban on support animals in January 2019.

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