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  • Joe Breitfeller

Alaska Airlines Will no Longer Accept Emotional Support Animals on Flights

Following changes in the U.S. Department of Transportation rules, Alaska Airlines will no longer accept emotional support animals. Starting January 11, 2021, the carrier will only transport service dogs which have been specially trained to perform tasks for the owner.

Alaska Airlines Bans Emotional Support Animals - Courtesy Alaska Airlines

On Tuesday (December 29, 2020), Alaska Airlines announced revisions to their onboard service animal policy, which follows recent changes to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rules. The DOT ruling said that airlines would no longer be required to make the same accommodations for emotional support animals that are required for trained service dogs. Effective January 11, 2021, the airline will no longer accept emotional support animals on flights. Alaska Airlines will only transport service dogs which have been specially trained to perform specific tasks for the benefit of a qualified disabled individual. In Tuesday’s announcement, Alaska Airlines’ Director of Customer Advocacy, Ray Prentice, said,

“This regulatory change is welcome news, as it will help us reduce disturbances onboard, while continuing to accommodate our guests traveling with qualified service animals.”

With the revised policy, Alaska Airlines will now accept a maximum of two service dogs per guest in the cabin, including psychiatric service dogs. Guests will be required to complete a DOT form which will be available on the carrier’s website from January 11, 2021, attesting that the dog is a legitimate service dog, has been trained and vaccinated, and will behave appropriately throughout the journey. Customers booking flights more than 48 hours prior to departure will be required to submit the completed form via e-mail, while those booking flights less than 48 hours from departure must submit the form in-person to a Customer Service Agent at the airport. Emotional support animals will still be accepted for flights booked prior to January 11, 2020, for travel on or before February 28, 2021, but the carrier will no longer accept emotional support animals after that date.

Alaska Airlines and their regional partners serve over 115 destinations in the United States and North America, providing essential service for their guests and critical cargo shipments, while emphasizing Next-Level Care. The carrier has hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage and is known for low fares, excellent service and sustainability efforts. Along with their Global Partners, Alaska Airlines’ guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 800 global destinations. On March 31, 2021, Alaska Airlines will become a member of the oneworld global alliance. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of the Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).

Source: Alaska Airlines