Airlines have certainly taken a beating over the past few years. It seems as if the news is always negative and it involves more than one of the most popular airlines.
We often are faced with stories about passengers who argue with flight attendants, mistakes made with pets that end tragically and people being removed from planes with videos posted online.
One of the airlines that have been in the news recently is Delta. It seems as if they found themselves in the middle of a controversy in July 2018 when they banned pit bulls from being emotional support animals on flights.
They said that they were banning pit bulls because of ‘safety concerns’ but the ASPCA and other animal activist groups are calling it unfair.
Delta decided to take things to the next level with their newest decision.
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The newest update Delta put in place is to restrict any emotional support animals from being on flights longer than eight hours.
The official statement reads: “Effective December 18, 2018: Service and support animals under four months of age are not allowed on any flight due to rabies vaccination requirements. Additionally, emotional support animals are no longer allowed to be booked on flights longer than eight hours. If you purchased your ticket prior to December 18th and have requested to travel with an emotional support animal, it will be ok to travel as originally ticketed.”
The new rules take place February 1, 2019. Starting on that day, emotional support animals were not be permitted on flights that last over eight hours.
Multiple rules have already been in place that dictates what type of documentation is necessary but now they’ve also added an eight hour cut off on any emotional support animals.
This also includes any support or service animals that are not yet four months of age.
The senior vice president of corporate safety, security, and compliance for Delta said the following in a public statement:
“We will continue to review and enhance our policies and procedures as health and safety are core values at Delta. These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs – such as veterans with disabilities – to travel with trained service and support animals.”
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There has been an 84% increase in the number of support animals being taken on airline flights in the past two years. Delta reports issues that include urinating, defecating and in one case, an animal biting a crewmember.
Other airlines have also seen the same influx of support animals and in some cases, they feel that it may be a way to get their pets to fly without charge.
Delta does not cite those claims when making this new policy but it may have been a consideration.