Flyers who plan to bring a pit bull onboard a Delta Air Lines flight as an “emotional support animal” will be denied at the gate this summer. Starting July 10, 2018, the dog breed will not be allowed as either a service or support animal, as the airline tightens down on cabin policies.
Pit bulls will no longer fly aboard Delta Air Lines, no matter their designation or class of service. In a statement, the Atlanta-based carrier announced a prohibition on the breed as either a service dog or an “emotional support animal.” The new policy goes into effect on July 10, 2018.
Delta cites safety as their primary concern for the change. According to the airline, several employees were bitten by pit bulls in the cabin on recent flights. Furthermore, Delta says they experienced an 84 percent increase in service and support animal issues in 2016, including biting, aggressive behavior and defecation.
“The safety and security of Delta people and our customers is always our top priority,” Gil West, chief operating officer of Delta, said in the statement. “We will always review and enhance our policies and procedures to ensure that Delta remains a leader in safety.”
Once the change is in effect, no pit bulls will be welcome aboard any Delta flight. As a matter of policy, the airline does not transport snub- or pug-nosed dogs in cabin or as cargo. The policy extends to over 20 breeds, including Boston Terriers, Pugs and Shih Tzus.
In addition to banning pit bulls from flights, flyers are also limited to how many animals they can board with. After July 10, passengers will be limited to one support animal per flight, as long as they aren’t a pit bull.
This is the second major animal policy change for Delta this year and the first after FlyerTalk published an investigative report on emotional support animals. Since then, all three legacy carriers announced policy changes on animals in the main cabin.