Southwest Reins In Service and Emotional Support Animal Policies

By Anna Breuer on 14 August 2018
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DSC_0016Southwest Airlines announced additional changes to its policies for service and emotional support animals earlier on Tuesday.

The new requirements, which go into effect on September 17, limit each passenger to one emotional support animal, which can be either a dog or cat, and bans “unusual or exotic animals.” Emotional support animals must either be on a leash or in a carrier throughout the trip.

Passengers wishing to travel with an emotional support animal must submit a letter from a medical doctor or licensed therapist on the day of travel.

The airline said it will also limit the types of service animals it will accept on board to dogs, cats, and miniature horses, explaining that the change is “in alignment with recent DOT guidance.”

Southwest said it would also accept psychiatric support animals, which the airline explained “are individually trained to perform a task or work for a person with a mental health-related disability.” A passenger’s “credible verbal assurance” is all that is required to travel with such an animal.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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