A few months back both Delta and United updated their policies when it comes to emotional support animals. Airlines have seen a huge spike in the number of passengers traveling with emotional support animals, and they’re starting to crack down on this. Alaska Airlines has just announced that they’ll be the latest airline to update their policy on traveling with emotional support animals.
In updating their policy, Alaska Airlines notes that they’ve seen a big increase in the number of travelers with these kinds of animals, and now they have about 150 emotional support and psychiatric service animals traveling with them daily.
With Alaska’s new policy, those traveling with emotional support animals who make bookings on or after May 1, 2018, will need to email or fax Alaska Airlines three completed documents at least 48 hours prior to travel:
- Animal Health Advisory Form – On this form the flyer acknowledges Alaska Airlines’ recommendation that all emotional support and psychiatric service animals travel with a veterinary-issued health certificate.
- Mental Health Form – Currently required, this is a letter issued by a mental health professional or medical doctor approving the use of an emotional support and psychiatric service animals.
- Animal Behavior Form – A signed affidavit affirming the emotional support or psychiatric service animal is trained to behave in public and that the owner accepts all liability for any injuries or damage to property.
These forms will be available by April 30 on alaskaair.com.
This won’t completely eliminate those taking advantage of the emotional support animal loopholes with US airlines. Even those who want to take their pets onboard should easily be able to provide this paperwork. However, by increasing the documentation requirements, it will reduce the number of people who do so.
Alaska is basically matching both Delta and United here, though is doing so a couple of months later. This documentation requirement adds a layer of paperwork to bring an animal onboard, though won’t completely eliminate the opportunity for people to travel with their pets.
To be honest, I’m a bit surprised to see that American hasn’t updated their policy, given that they almost always seem to follow both Delta and United.