Service Dogs, Inc. of Austin, Texas

New Rules for Flying With Assistance Dogs

What’s happening?

The airlines got thousands of complaints about untrained animals causing problems on flights. The U.S. Department of Transportation, updated the Air Carrier Access Act regarding passengers bringing animals on flights.

Which animals can fly in cabin without being in a carrier?

Only Service Dogs/Assistance Dogs.
Emotional support animals (ESAs) are now treated as pets.

Does each airline have the same rules?

No. Although they are basically the same, airlines vary regarding if they require forms and when the forms must be turned in.

What forms?

The Department of Transportation created two forms for traveling with “Service Animals”.

  • Health, behavior and training form
  • Toileting form for flights lasting 8  hours or longer
  • The airlines that want them have links on their websites to download and complete the forms.

The airlines have the options of:

  • Requiring passengers complete the forms
  • How far in advance of the flight they want the forms and
  • Whether the forms are to be submitted electronically or must be carried by the passenger traveling with the Service Animal

SDI Founder and President Sheri Soltes, who chairs the Assistance Dogs International, NA, Legislative and Advocacy Committee created this a chart of the airlines’ new rules. It includes links to their websites.

Sheri thanks the committee members for their research on airline policies.  She and her committee worked for two years with the DOT, the airline industry and disability community advocates on the ACAA revisions.

The chart is presented as a PDF and also as a Word Document. The Word Document is accessible for members of the blind community. These charts include a summary of each airline’s policies and a link to their website page about traveling with Service Animals.

New Airlines Rules for Flying with Assistance Dogs Updated Jan. 27, 2021

Airline Rules Chart in Word