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UA removing Emotional Support Animals option 28 Feb 2021 per new DOT rules Jan 2020

UA removing Emotional Support Animals option 28 Feb 2021 per new DOT rules Jan 2020

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Old Jan 10, 21, 12:29 pm   -   Wikipost
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This thread is for discussing the implications of UA's ESA policy changes. This thread is not a discussion of the validity of the ESA concept or rants about those faking ESA (considering the new tighten rules).

UA will be removing the Emotional Support Animal options 28 February 2021 per new guidance from DOT
Emotional support animals
United will continue to accept emotional support animals for reservations booked before January 11, 2021, for travel on or before February 28, 2021, in accordance with rules from the U.S. Department of Transportation. No emotional support animals will be transported after February 28, 2021. United is committed to ensuring safe and accessible travel experiences for all of our customers.

To request to travel with an emotional support animal for travel before February 28, for trips booked on January 10, please send required support documents to [email protected].
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Final Rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals -- Dec 2020

an airline non-specific thread such as The Definitive Discussion of Emotional Support Animals on Airlines (Archive -- old DOT rules)
Service and Support Animals in the Cabin (2021 onwards)

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This thread is for discussing what it takes to properly qualify for ESA under UA's rules and what to expect as an ESA traveler. This thread is not a discussion of the validity of the ESA concept or rants about those faking ESA (considering the new tighten rules). Those issues are better raised in
UA's (July 2020)
Emotional support and psychiatric service animals
Emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals provide emotional, psychiatric or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities, but may or may not have task-specific training with respect to a disability.

Emotional support and psychiatric service animals are also accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability if certain information and additional documentation that United requires are provided in advance of travel. In addition to providing a letter from a licensed medical/mental health professional, customers need to provide a veterinary health form documenting the health and vaccination records for the animal as well as confirming that the animal has been trained to behave properly in a public setting. With prior documentation and clearance, a customer may travel with no more than one emotional support animal that is usually either a cat or dog (any other animal species would need to comply with DOT regulations and will be evaluated for accommodation on a case-by-case basis) and must be of a minimum age of four months. If the animal weighs more than 65 pounds, United will evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether the animal may safely travel on the passengerís scheduled flight(s). Multiple emotional support animals for a single customer are not permitted. Whether an emotional support or psychiatric service animal is safely capable of traveling on flights eight hours or more in duration will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Passengers may be held responsible for cleaning fees required as a result of any sanitation issues caused by their emotional support or psychiatric service animalís travel. United will consider all relevant information, including information from the required documentation, when determining whether an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal may safely travel in the aircraft cabin on the passengerís itinerary.

Additional documentation beyond Unitedís requirements described above may also be required for an animal traveling to an international destination, Hawaii or certain other locations. Please note that not all international destinations allow the entry of animals, and restrictions vary by country. Customers should contact the appropriate consulate or embassy to make sure that all necessary procedures are followed.

An animal must sit at the customer's feet without protruding into the aisle, the foot space of adjacent passengers, or certain other areas that must remain unobstructed to comply with safety regulations. Customers may elect to use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller animals. Unless in a carrying container, the animal will need to be leashed at all times in the airport and in flight. Exit row seating is prohibited. Refer to the U.S. Department of Transportation 14 CFR Part 382 or contact United for additional information.

Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service animal must submit the required documentation at least 48 hours before the customerís flight via our secure portal. If we are unable to validate the documentation, if the customer does not provide completed documentation, or if advance notification is not given, the animal may be denied boarding or may be eligible to be transported as a pet, and pet fees may apply. Contact the United Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744 if you have any questions about this process or are booking a flight within 48 hours of the departure time. See Rule 16 of Unitedís Contract of Carriage for additional information on service animals.

Forms and documents for emotional support and psychiatric service animals
If youíre traveling with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, youíll need to complete these forms and submit them for approval through our secure portal: Your forms will be valid one year from the date of the earliest signed authorizations, and youíll need to submit them at least 48 hours before each trip that you take with your support animal, but the earlier the better. Please bring your original forms with you while youíre traveling and be prepared to show them if we ask to see them.
Accessible travel
Find out more about assistance for customers with disabilities, how to request assistance and safety requirements. If you have questions about travel plans, contact our Accessibility Desk at [email protected], or you may call 1-313-234-6992 (charges may apply) or 1-800-228-2744 within the U.S. or Canada. Elsewhere, call your local United Customer Contact Center and ask for the Accessibility Desk.





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Old Feb 1, 18, 11:45 am
  #1  
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UA removing Emotional Support Animals option 28 Feb 2021 per new DOT rules Jan 2020

Currently, customers with emotional support animals must provide 48 hours' notice to the Accessibility Desk and a letter from a mental health professional. Starting March 1, in addition to 48-hour notice and an enhanced letter from a mental health professional, we will require customers traveling with an emotional support animal to provide additional documentation including:
  1. The customer must provide confirmation that the animal has been trained to behave properly in a public setting and acknowledge responsibility for the animal's behavior.
  2. The customer must also provide a health and vaccination form signed by the animal's veterinarian. The veterinarian must also affirm that there is no reason to believe that the animal will pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others on the aircraft or cause a significant disruption in service.
https://hub.united.com/united-emotio...530539164.html
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 1, 18 at 2:42 pm Reason: merged threads
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:28 pm
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This is a change that we will like.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:28 pm
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Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, whoever pulled that Peacock stunt made the mirroring of Delta's policy an easy PR decision for UA and this is perfect timing with it still in the news.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:32 pm
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Great news.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, whoever pulled that Peacock stunt made the mirroring of Delta's policy an easy PR decision for UA and this is perfect timing with it still in the news.
According to BBC News, the woman is an artist and she obtained the peacock as part of a pair she used in an art installation. One of the pair disappeared and she adopted the other who she said was ailing. Essentially an animal rescue. She also says she brings the bird with her and enjoys watching reactions. And that she avoids public transport because it upsets her pet. I'm thinking h this was not an ESA, it was a performance art project.
'Emotional support peacock' barred from United Airlines plane - BBC News
But it accomplished the laudable goal of immediately focusing a second carrier on the problem of people's flaunting an accommodation for people with actual emotional issues.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:48 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, whoever pulled that Peacock stunt made the mirroring of Delta's policy an easy PR decision for UA and this is perfect timing with it still in the news.
Didn't the peacock have its own paid seat? If so, it's not as much of a nuisance to other customers as the huge ESA dogs who take the floorspace of three seats. Maybe the artist was the peacock's ESA?
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
According to BBC News, the woman is an artist and she obtained the peacock as part of a pair she used in an art installation. One of the pair disappeared and she adopted the other who she said was ailing. Essentially an animal rescue. She also says she brings the bird with her and enjoys watching reactions. And that she avoids public transport because it upsets her pet. I'm thinking h this was not an ESA, it was a performance art project.
'Emotional support peacock' barred from United Airlines plane - BBC News
But it accomplished the laudable goal of immediately focusing a second carrier on the problem of people's flaunting an accommodation for people with actual emotional issues.
I just read the same article and had the same reaction. She is clearly trying to game the system by calling the bird her "emotional support animal" when it actually appears that she is the peacock's emotional support person. She didn't even try to pretend it served any purpose other than as a rescue.

Good on UA employees for standing their ground and updating their policy. This should cut down on those trying to bring their house pets on flights.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Didn't the peacock have its own paid seat? If so, it's not as much of a nuisance to other customers as the huge ESA dogs who take the floorspace of three seats. Maybe the artist was the peacock's ESA?
Except it's a peacock.
Ever been around an upset peacock? Or even within earshot of one?
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:19 pm
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Thank you, United.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:24 pm
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Let's wait to see the new medical form to see what "enhanced" means. Hopefully and unlike DL, it will have the full requirements permitted by the DOT rules under the ACCA, e.g. a diagnosis of a DSM-recognized mental disease or defect by a professional licensed to make a diagnosis.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:29 pm
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A sensible policy!

I have no issues with true service animals on flights.

Now if we could just have folks keep their pets enclosed in the pet carriers on flights instead of keeping them open and letting the fur fly. Had a man and his wife each with a dog in a carrier sitting in 2C and 2D and I was in 2A last week. The FA had to ask them to place the pet carriers under the seat in front of them and they let her know the animals were scared and needed to hold them - thankfully she held her ground. I asked the man if the fur would fly with the carrier open (when it was on their lap) and he assured me they were hypoallergenic dogs - well my eyes started running and I needed to use my inhaler to breathe. Fortunately it was only an hour long flight and when he saw I was having issues he closed the top of the pet carrier and placed the dog back on the floor. Still curious what kind of (small) breed of dogs are hypoallergenic as I am aware of cat breeds but not a small dog breed. I do love animals, just not fond of them in confined spaces with me. Our flight was already delayed and they were trying to get us out of LAS quickly so I did not ask to be moved (at that stage I was hopeful I would still be able to catch my connecting flight - different thread).
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:30 pm
  #12  
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I suspect this was already in the works and the peacock was the final straw.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/trave...ls/1086683001/
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:46 pm
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Just need AA to follow suit.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 3:02 pm
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Originally Posted by rdurlabhji View Post
Just need AA to follow suit.
And WN and AS. The entire scam needs to be crushed. Legitimate service and support animals only. Requiring appropriate documentation is not an onerous requirement.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Let's wait to see the new medical form to see what "enhanced" means. Hopefully and unlike DL, it will have the full requirements permitted by the DOT rules under the ACCA, e.g. a diagnosis of a DSM-recognized mental disease or defect by a professional licensed to make a diagnosis.
Shouldn't the requirement also be that the licensed mental health professional is treating the person? That might eliminate some of these internet letters.
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