Emotional Support Dog on Plane
Taking an emotional support dog on a plane can really help people who have anxiety or a fear of flying. Not only do these canines provide companionship, but they can greatly help alleviate the symptoms of a medical condition that their owners may be experiencing. Live on the East coast and always wanted to visit California but have been to afraid of leaving your comfort zone without your ESA with you, why don’t you bring them along. There are some requirements to get a dog for emotional support and the documentation needed to fly with them. In order to get an emotional support animal (ESA) in the form of a dog, a person must first have a verifiable emotional disability and a letter of approval from a doctor. Although not a requirement, a sturdy harness or comfortable vest are a strongly recommended items to help control the pet while dealing with high stress situations like airports can be for many people.
What’s A Verifiable Emotional Disability?
This is when someone has a condition which legally makes them emotionally disabled. This can include chronic health ailments such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, and stress and also psychiatric or mental disabilities. In order for it to be verified, a licensed mental health professional must conduct a proper assessment and conclude that the person is in fact emotionally disabled. If they come to this conclusion, then they can issue a letter of approval stating that this person is their patient and they are prescribing an ESA. If this individual would then want to get an emotional support dog and take them on a plane, they would need a letter of approval to do so.
How Can I Get This Letter of Approval?
Once you have your initial letter of approval from a mental health professional to get an ESA, you then need to obtain an additional letter from them stating that your dog is able to fly with you. This additional letter is what’s going to allow you and your canine to board an airliner without any problems and the staff will have to accommodate you and your animal. Here are letter templates for you to see.
What Does This Letter Enable Me To Do?
This licence enables you and your ESA to fly together. Depending on the size of your dog, it may even be allowed to sit in the cabin with you if it doesn’t obstruct the aisle, which is against federal law. Also, it’s federal law that the airline can’t discriminate against you and your dog either, and this is ensured by The Aircraft Carrier Access Act. This Act also stipulates that your dog can’t be charged any fees, it must be appropriately accommodated, and it will be able to fly providing you have the correct letter of approval.
If you have this letter, the airline or its staff is legally not allowed to ask for more details in regards to your disability, and they must accept the letter as fact and let you and your ESA fly. If for some reason you run into a problem, you can request to see a Customer Resolution Official (CRO) immediately. Airlines have a legal requirement to employ CRO’s who have specific training to handle any disputes related to disabilities. It’s a good idea to contact the airline before flying too because they may be able to change the seating arrangements to allow you and your ESA to sit together comfortable and enjoy the flight together.