Delta Cracks Down on Service Animals

by Nicole Quaste

Jan 31, 2018
Feature

Delta Air Lines announced new requirements for service and support animals. The airline will implement advance documentation requirements for those traveling onboard. This is in response to a lack of regulation and safety risks involving untrained animals in flight.

The new requirement, according to Delta, is to ensure safety of its customers, employees and trained service and support animals, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs.

The airline carries approximately 700 service animals per day (including turkeys, snakes, and possums), and it has seen an 84 percent increase in reported animal incidents since 2016, ranging from onboard “accidents” to aggression and attacks.

In compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act, Delta provides in-cabin travel for service animals without charge. Starting March 1, all customers traveling with a service animal must show proof of health or vaccinations 48 hours in advance. In addition to the current requirement of a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed medical health professional, those with psychiatric service and emotional support animals will also need to provide a signed document confirming their animal can behave to prevent untrained pets from traveling without a kennel.

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