Airline Policies For Service Dogs & ESA Dogs

Flying with Your Service Dog or Emotional Support Dog

As of January 10, 2023

Below we've compiled a list of policies for service and emotional support dogs from popular air carriers in the US for your convenience. As these policies may change from time to time, we encourage you to double check with your airline before departure to avoid any last-minute surprises.

In general, service dogs and emotional support animals that accompany you on the aircraft in the cabin are expected to be well-behaved, quiet, and may not encroach on the space of another passenger. Please also be mindful of other passengers who may be allergic to dogs and be ready to switch seats should airline staff make such a request. Very large service dogs may have to fly in a kennel and checked, so if you are in that situation we encourage you to check with your airline before you book a ticket.

Be sure to be familiar with the following forms and have them ready for your flight:

DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form (PDF)

DOT Relief Attestation Form (PDF)

American Airlines

Fully-trained service dogs may fly in the cabin at no charge if they meet the requirements.

A service animal is defined as a dog that’s individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, including but not limited to:

  • Visual impairments
  • Deafness
  • Seizures
  • Mobility impairments
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Our team members are trained to ask certain questions to determine if your animal is a service animal acceptable for travel.

Please note, service animals in training, emotional support animals, and comfort animals may travel as pets, not as service animals. All requirements and applicable fees will apply.

Forms and advance notice

To travel with a service animal on flights operated by American, you must submit the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form attesting to the animal’s health, training, and behavior to the Special Assistance Desk at least 48 hours before your flight. We’ll notify you upon document approval.

You can complete the form at the airport if you bought your ticket within 48 hours before the flight. Be sure to arrive early.

DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form (PDF)

View Full Amercian Airlines Policy Here >

Delta

Service animals are accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability. Delta accepts only trained service animals that are dogs. Customers traveling with a trained service dog(s) must complete the required DOT form(s) available on this page. Delta no longer recognizes emotional support animals as service animals.

For questions, call 404-209-3434 (dial 711 for relay services).

On Delta flights, trained service animals are expected to be seated in the floor space below a customer’s seat or seated in a customer’s lap - they are not permitted to occupy seats. Trained service animals and their associated items travel for free. The size of the animal must not exceed the “footprint” of the passenger’s seat.

  • Items include a kennel, blanket, food or similar item

NOTE: If you encounter any issues with your trained service animal while at the airport or on board, please ask to speak to a Complaint Resolution Official (CRO). These trained Delta representatives are ready to assist passengers with accessibility needs and protect your rights when you travel by air.

Trained Service Animals

Trained service animals are defined as only dogs specifically trained to assist a person with a disability. Customers may travel with up to two trained service animals. Trained service animals must be properly cleaned and must not have a foul odor.

Customers must submit the U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel Form for validation prior to their flight attesting to the animal’s health, training and behavior.

  • To protect public health, Delta Air Lines requires all dogs including service animals to be current on all vaccinations. Dogs can be vaccinated against rabies at a minimum of 12 weeks (three months) of age and must wait an additional 30 days for the vaccine to become effective.

  • For travel booked 48 hours or more prior to departure, customers must submit this documentation in advance for validation through the Accessibility Service Request Form located in My Trips.

  • For travel booked less than 48 hours prior to departure, customers may present the U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel Form at the check-in counter or departure gate.

  • For flights scheduled for 8 hours or more, customers must also submit a DOT Relief Attestation Form, attesting that the dog will not relieve itself in the aircraft or can do so in a sanitary manner.

DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form (PDF)

View Full Delta Policy Here >

JetBlue

Service animals—defined as a dog that’s individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability—are welcome on board JetBlue flights. Find all the requirements and need-to-knows for you and your service animal to travel easily and comfortably.

  • JetBlue accepts trained service dogs only.
  • JetBlue requires all service animals to be under the control of the handler at all times—in the airport and on the plane—and harnessed, leashed, or otherwise tethered.
  • The behavior of all service animals will be assessed at the airport to ensure safety requirements are met.
  • Requesting service-animal travel is a two-step process that must be completed at least 48 hours prior to your flight. We recommend starting this process as soon as you book your reservation.
  • If you have booked your flight within 48 hours of departure, please start your request as soon as possible and plan to arrive at the airport early to avoid possible delays.
  • If you are traveling to London Heathrow or London Gatwick with a service dog, you must have Animal Reception Centre approval in advance.
  • Service animals in training are not accepted for travel on JetBlue.
  • If you are traveling with a large service animal or two service animals, your animal(s) must fit within the footprint of the seat(s) you have purchased. If your animal(s) is too large to fit in the seat(s) foot space you have purchased, you may purchase additional seat(s) to guarantee travel or wait for a flight that has sufficient empty seats available.
  • No animal is ever allowed to occupy a seat.
  • All animals must remain on the floor, unless the animal is small enough to fit fully on the traveler's lap without touching any part of the seat, tray table, or nearby travelers.
  • Upon request, assistance will be provided by a JetBlue crewmember to and from the animal relief area. Please ask an airport crewmember for assistance. 

Documentation

We’ve partnered with Open Doors Organization to streamline service animal travel requests.

Requesting service animal travel is a two-step process that must be completed at least 48 hours prior to your flight. We recommend starting this process as soon as you book your reservation.

If your trip includes a flight on a partner airline, you'll need to contact them separately as their process may be different.

Please review JetBlue's full policy using the link below to follow the specific steps necessary to fly with your service dog on JetBlue airlines.

View Full JetBlue Policy Here >

Southwest Airlines

A fully trained service animal is individually trained to perform tasks or work for a person with a physical and/or mental disability. Dogs are the only trained service animals we accept onboard.

Customers can notify us in advance if they will be traveling with a trained service animal. When booking a new reservation:

  • On the Passenger & Payment Info page, click the Special Assistance link.
  • Select relevant options.
  • Scroll down to complete your reservation.

Documentation

Southwest requires a completed DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form (PDF) before flying with your service dog. Please see Southwest's full policy using the link below to ensure a smooth experience with your service dog.

View Southwest Policy Here >

United Airlines

Service animals are accepted in cabin free of charge for qualified individuals with a disability. A service animal is a dog, regardless of breed or type, that is

  • over the age of 4 months
  • individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disability
  • Qualified individuals with a disability are permitted to travel with a maximum of only two service dogs.

If you’re traveling with a service dog, the dog should sit in the floor space in front of your assigned seat and cannot extend into the aisles or the foot space of adjacent travelers. You may use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller dogs provided its use meets stowage requirements. Exit row seating is prohibited.

Required Department of Transportation (DOT) forms for service animals

Everyone traveling with a service animal is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete certain forms. We require the following DOT forms for each service dog traveling with a customer:

These forms can be completed electronically and saved to your reservation once you’ve booked your flight (for domestic U.S. flights only). To do so, visit the Trip details page after your tickets are purchased and go to the “Special accommodations” section to add your task-trained dog. These forms must be completed and saved to your reservation at least 24 hours before departure. You can also download and print them to present when traveling or save for your records.

To complete these forms, your service animal’s weight, breed, rabies vaccination dates and veterinarian information will be needed.

For international flights and flights to or from Hawaii and Guam: We require the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form and, if applicable, the Relief Form to be completed and carried with you when you travel. Contact the United Accessibility desk at 1-800-228-2744 in advance of your travel date to add your service dog to your trip. Additional destination-specific documentation may be required for your service dog traveling to certain destinations.

Only individually trained service dogs that are traveling with a qualified disabled person are allowed on United flights. Service dogs training to assist disabled travelers can fly with their trainers for free.

Therapy animals are pets that have been trained and registered by a therapy organization in order to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other facilities; they are not considered to be service animals. When traveling with a therapy animal, standard pet-related regulations and restrictions will apply.

United does not transport emotional support animals.

View Full United Policy Here >

US Airways

US Airways has merged with American Airlines. Please see American Airlines policy on service dogs and emotional support animals.

Alaska Airlines

Traveling with service animals

We welcome trained service animals on Alaska Airlines at no charge.

To ensure that both you and your service animal travel easily and comfortably, please review this entire page carefully to understand the requirements that are applicable to your travel.

The only service animal permitted on Alaska Airlines is a service dog.

Alaska Airlines will accept service dogs which are trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability. This includes psychiatric service animals.

A maximum of two service dogs will be accepted per guest. The size of your service animal(s) must not exceed the footprint or personal space of your seat or foot area during the entire flight.

Requesting service animal travel is a two-step process that must be completed at least 48 hours prior to your flight. We recommend starting this process at least 5 days prior to departure.

If you have booked your flight within 48 hours of departure, please start your request as soon as possible and plan to arrive at the airport early to avoid possible delays.

Additional requirements may apply to international travel or travel to Hawaii.

We’ve partnered with Service Animal Travel Solutions (SATS) to streamline service animal travel requests.

Requesting travel with a service animal on Alaska Airlines is a two-step process that must be completed at least 48 hours prior to your flight. We recommend starting this process at least 5 days prior to departure.

If your trip includes a flight on a partner airline, you'll need to contact them separately as their process may be different.

Alaska Airlines does not make special accommodations for emotional support animals (the airline considers them pets).

Please follow the link below to review Alaska Airline's specific instructions to ensure a smooth trip with your service dog.

View Full Alaska Airlines Policy Here >

International Travel

International destinations, even on US based carriers, may have different policies and may not always conform to the guidelines set forth by the ADA. Some countries require proof of vaccination, specialized vet forms and documentation, or may forbid service dogs from entering at all due to quarantine or other policies. We strongly encourage you to call your airline in advance to check their policy before attempting to board your international flight with a service dog or emotional support animal.