Passengers have used a lack of federal guidelines governing emotional-support animals on commercial flights as a loophole to allow their pets to fly free by claiming they're emotional-support animals.
Delta Air Lines announced a tougher policy on travelling with service and support animals earlier this month, but if one recent incident at Newark Liberty International Airport is any indication, it's likely that we'll see more of an industry-wide crackdown in the coming weeks.
Still, that's not to say people haven't tried. She has said that the bird has brought a positive impact into her life. At Newark, the woman's ticket was refunded, and the airline even gave her taxi fare back to the hotel, Laurie said. United's new rules are virtually the same as Delta's. "The new requirements support Deltas top priority of ensuring safety for its customers, employees and trained service and support animals, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs, such as disabled veterans, to travel with trained animals".
"As a reminder, animals now prohibited from traveling in the cabin include hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, sugar gliders, non-household birds, exotic animals and animals not properly cleaned or carry a foul odor", said United. The airline said it saw an 84% increase since 2016 in incidents involving animals that were not properly trained, which included urination, defecation, and attacks on passengers and crew members. However, airlines can deny "unusual" service animals such as snakes and other reptiles, ferrets, rodents and spiders, the Washington Post reported. The airline also suggested that the passenger wouldn't take no for an answer: "We explained this to the customer on three separate occasion before they arrived at the airport".