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Service and Support Animals in the Cabin (2021 onwards)

Service and Support Animals in the Cabin (2021 onwards)

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Old Jan 10, 21, 1:55 am   -   Wikipost
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Service and Support Animals (Updated)


Wednesday, December 2, 2020WASHINGTON Ė The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that it is revising its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the transportation of service animals by air to ensure a safe and accessible air transportation system. The final rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals can be found HERE.

The Department received more than 15,000 comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking. The final rule announced today addresses concerns raised by individuals with disabilities, airlines, flight attendants, airports, other aviation transportation stakeholders, and other members of the public, regarding service animals on aircraft.

The final rule:
  • Defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability;
  • No longer considers an emotional support animal to be a service animal;
  • Requires airlines to treat psychiatric service animals the same as other service animals;
  • Allows airlines to require forms developed by DOT attesting to a service animalís health, behavior and training, and if taking a long flight attesting that the service animal can either not relieve itself, or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner;
  • Allows airlines to require individuals traveling with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) up to 48 hours in advance of the date of travel if the passengerís reservation was made prior to that time;
  • Prohibits airlines from requiring passengers with a disability who are traveling with a service animal to physically check-in at the airport instead of using the online check-in process;
  • Allows airlines to require a person with a disability seeking to travel with a service animal to provide the DOT service animal form(s) at the passengerís departure gate on the date of travel;
  • Allows airlines to limit the number of service animals traveling with a single passenger with a disability to two service animals;
  • Allows airlines to require a service animal to fit within its handlerís foot space on the aircraft;
  • Allows airlines to require that service animals be harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times in the airport and on the aircraft;
  • Continues to allow airlines to refuse transportation to service animals that exhibit aggressive behavior and that pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; and
  • Continues to prohibit airlines from refusing to transport a service animal solely based on breed.
The final rule will be effective 30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.
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Old Dec 29, 20, 3:55 pm
  #1  
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Service and Support Animals in the Cabin (2021 onwards)

While I am sure people will use - and abuse - the psychiatric service animal exception this is a great start.
(As always, legit service animals will be accepted.)


From OMAAT: Alaska Airlines will continue to accept emotional support animals under its current policy for reservations booked prior to January 11, 2021, and for flights through February 28, 2021. As of March 1, 2021, emotional support animals will no longer be accepted on flights under any circumstances.

Under the revised policy:
  • Alaska Airlines will accept a maximum of two service dogs per passenger in the cabin
  • Passengers will be required to complete a DOT form, which will be available on alaskaair.com starting January 11, attesting that their animal is a legitimate service dog, is trained and vaccinated, and will behave appropriately during the journey
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Old Dec 29, 20, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Global321 View Post
Alaska to Ban All ESA's: My new favorite airline!
? Sounds like they just made it easier.. sounds like you can just call your ESA a Psychiatric Service Animal (PSA) and self-certify. Don't even need to pay $100 for an ESA letter online.
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Old Dec 29, 20, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
? Sounds like they just made it easier.. sounds like you can just call your ESA a Psychiatric Service Animal (PSA) and self-certify. Don't even need to pay $100 for an ESA letter online.
They did not add that exception, DOT did. However, DOT also said they would monitor the situation and if it became abusive (which it will) they would revisit it.

Is it ideal? No. But, it is a start.
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Old Dec 29, 20, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Global321 View Post
They did not add that exception, DOT did. However, DOT also said they would monitor the situation and if it became abusive (which it will) they would revisit it.

Is it ideal? No. But, it is a start.
All of this is the DOT's doing. YMMV, but I would disagree that it's a start - it's one dumb policy, and then another dumb policy that's even easier to abuse...
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Old Dec 29, 20, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
All of this is the DOT's doing. YMMV, but I would disagree that it's a start - it's one dumb policy, and then another dumb policy that's even easier to abuse...
I am counting on the abuse... which is why I think it is a start to the end. I agree this is even easier to abuse... and of course, people will abuse it.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 7:40 am
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I'll be curious if airlines start requiring a license / license number from a specific kind of health professional. Seems like another way to crack down on abuse.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by blueflyer3 View Post
I'll be curious if airlines start requiring a license / license number from a specific kind of health professional. Seems like another way to crack down on abuse.
They already required a licensed mental health professional for ESA letters
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Old Dec 30, 20, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
They already required a licensed mental health professional for ESA letters
Multiple websites offer ESA letters with no physical exam required.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by TGarza View Post
Multiple websites offer ESA letters with no physical exam required.
Yes, I've mentioned you can buy an ESA letter online. They're still signed by a licensed mental health "professional." ( You think they're signed by a plumber or an HVAC guy? ;-) ) The point is that there's no way for "airlines to start requiring a license / license number from a specific kind of health professional" -- because they already do.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
Yes, I've mentioned you can buy an ESA letter online. They're still signed by a licensed mental health "professional." ( You think they're signed by a plumber or an HVAC guy? ;-) ) The point is that there's no way for "airlines to start requiring a license / license number from a specific kind of health professional" -- because they already do.
ESA using an online application with no medical visit even virtually doesnít require a licensed mental health professional.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 10:13 am
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The recent DL incident of the two passengers (one who supposedly had PTSD as the result of serving time in prison) and an ESA or psychiatric service dog doing down the slide while the aircraft was moving toward the runway would seem to suggest that these dogs aren't necessarily effective.
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Old Dec 30, 20, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by TGarza View Post
ESA using an online application with no medical visit even virtually doesnít require a licensed mental health professional.
A licensed mental health professional signs the letter you pay for -- whether or not you even meet with them for 2 minutes virtually.
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Old Dec 31, 20, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
A licensed mental health professional signs the letter you pay for -- whether or not you even meet with them for 2 minutes virtually.
Like the robosinging of mortgage documents which were not exactly reviewed or examined which were later determined to be invalid
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Old Dec 31, 20, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by TGarza View Post
Like the robosinging of mortgage documents which were not exactly reviewed or examined which were later determined to be invalid
Not sure what your point is, other than preaching to the choir that ESA letters you buy online are BS. But the point is that they're signed by a licensed mental health professional. Therefore, the poster who said he'd "be curious if airlines start requiring a license / license number from a specific kind of health professional" as a way to crack down on abuse isn't offering a solution -- because they already require that.
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Old Dec 31, 20, 1:23 pm
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This entire issue is beginning to become moot. Airlines, beginning with Alaska Airlines are banning ESA. This will commence in January, however, reservations for flights through February 11 will be allowed to have ESA's. Afterwards, none are allowed. it's about time. This has long been known to be a dodge to allow travelers to avoid paying for transporting their pets.
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