Flying with an emotional support pet

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Once a small pet kid, a year later a large goat and I wouldn’t like her sitting on my lap during a flight!

American Airlines has announced that it will reduce the list of types of animals that passengers can take with them on flights.

Quite frankly I had never given any thought to taking an animal with me on my journeys in order to reduce emotional stress. And I am surprised about some of the animals that must have been taken by passengers up until now and which will now be banned. Having flown a heck of a lot of miles with American over the years I’m surprised that I have seen so few animals on board.

For a start goats won’t be allowed. Having seen the size to which a young kid can grow into and the problems when the said goat (as it becomes) grows my surprise is that they are not banned already. Fighting my sister’s pet goat for the comfy armchair that it has decided it wants did result in a bit of bruising. To me, not the goat.

Apparently there has been an increase of 40% from 2016 to 2017 in service or support animal onboard aircraft.

Other creatures banned include insects and hedgehogs (surely not the easiest animal to carry) and barred are any animals with tusks or horns so a highland calf is an obvious no-go!

In my ignorance I had assumed that those who have a guide dog for those with sight problems or a hearing dog for hearing impaired passengers would be about the limit of animals carried in cabins. Perhaps a cat to relieve stress but amphibians?  Rather than be a stress relaxant, a pet snake in an aircraft cabin would be enough to drive my wife into the screaming abdabs.

The new rules come into force on July 1st. For those taking animals or birds on international flights beware of regulations about transferring pets across borders. Don’t also forget that if you are flying on American and transferring to another oneworld partner airline or a codeshare flight then the rules and quarantine regulations might be different. And for those not in baskets, they need to be house-trained. Bearing in mind the length of some flights, that sees a pretty tall-order!

The rule changes can be found  by clicking here or by going to https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/special-assistance/service-animals.jsp

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