Service and Support Animals Get Tighter Screening with Delta Airlines
In an effort to reduce animal related in-flight incidents, Delta Airlines is now implementing tighter rules for passengers planning to travel with their service and support animals. According to the airline, complaints about animal attacks, defecating, or urinating in-flight have increased 84% since 2016.
Starting March 1st, passengers will now require to show proof of health and vaccination 48 hours before their flight. Currently, Delta passengers are only required to provide a signed letter from a doctor or a licensed mental health professional vouching passengers who are in need of a service and support animals.
The new policy won’t apply to passengers traveling with pets, for which the owners pay an extra fee. The three major U.S. carriers – United, American, and Delta – all require passengers to pay $125 USD each way for pets that fit in the cabin. For pets who are too large to fit under the seat must fly in the cargo cabin, also for a price.
Delta’s policy comes after steady increase of service and emotional support animals on Delta cabins, giving suspicion that passengers are trying to avoid the fee. According to the airline, Delta carries approximately 700 service or support animals daily, which totals to about 250,000 per year.
If you are flying Delta and have a service or support animal, make sure to read their updated policy on their website.