In 2018 we’ve seen the major US airlines crack down on emotional support animals. The first airline to do this was Delta, as they announced changes, though the other major US airlines followed as well.
Delta announced a second set of changes to their emotional support animal policy in June, which several other airlines followed. Then a few weeks ago, Delta introduced a third set of changes. The other US carriers almost always follow Delta, and this is no exception.
United has just announced increased restrictions for emotional support animals, which kick in as of January 7, 2019. These changes include the following:
- United is limiting emotional support animals to flights under eight hours
- United will no longer accept kittens or puppies under four months of age as emotional support animals, in-cabin pets, or service animals on any flights, regardless of length
- United is limiting acceptance of emotional support animals to dogs and cats, and is limiting acceptance of service animals to dogs, cats, and miniature horses
United is adding the age requirement to align with the vaccination policy of the CDC, while the eight hour flight limit is due to “increases in onboard incidents,” given that most animals aren’t used to being on planes for that long.
While this new policy applies as of January 7, 2019, United will honor reservations made prior to January 4, 2019, under the old rules.