Airlines to Limit Therapy Animals for Emotional Support Allowed on Planes


A committee of airline representatives and disability support advocates are putting new guidelines in place for those who want to bring animals on board flights as therapy animals.

The Accessible Air Transportation advisory committee, which has been meeting in Washington, D.C. since April, is coming up with new guidelines for those who want to fly with emotional support animals who comfort those with psychological or emotional issues, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The airlines already allow service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, but the debate is mainly over what animals can be permitted as emotional support animals.

Airline representatives say that too many fliers claim that their pets are emotional support animals and want to keep only dogs and miniature horses as service animals that must remain in approved carriers.

Other groups, such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, suggest that animals such as dogs, cats, and rabbits should be allowed on board.

The Autistic Self Advocacy network wants to include birds to the list of animals allowed on board.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation however, would like to limit all animals on board because allowing animals would expose passengers to pet dander, according to a statement the group made to the committee.

Guidelines will be set in stone in October when the final meetings are held.