Airlines have started to ban specific emotional support animals and even dog breeds from joining their owners on flights. As we wrote a few days ago regarding the federal government’s decision to allow miniature horses to fly as emotional support animals, ‘Delta Airlines’ bans pit bulls and pit bull-related dog breeds.
In the past years, the emotional support animal incident numbers have drastically increased. For instance, two airline employees were bitten by a pit bull on a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo. Delta believes that safety is first and following the incidents, they decided to ban pit bull-type dogs from joining their owners as emotional support dogs on flights.
The Department of Transportation decided that banning a specific breed isn’t legitimate for all kinds of dogs are protected under the American with Disability Act. Plus, the Air Carrier Access Act protects all breeds of service animals too.
Delta and any other airlines have the power to restrict a specific animal from flying if it directly threats the safety or health of the passengers or staff members. The airlines’ representatives can ask service animals’ owners relevant questions regarding the companion animal.
In addition, after Delta decided that per passenger can fly with one emotional support animal only, the Department of Transportation stated that it is not legitimate as well.
“Enforcement efforts will generally focus on ensuring that airlines are not restricting passengers from traveling with one ESA and a total of three service animals if needed,” according to the Department of Transportation. “Generally, one ESA should be sufficient for emotional support, but a passenger may reasonably need more than one task-trained service animal.
“Some will say that it is great that the federal government protects breeds from being banned because how can one judge all the dogs that belong to one breed; every dog behaves as it was trained. Others will claim that it’s a breed that tends to be violent.