Alaska Airlines bans animals for emotional support on the plane

As the first airline ever The American Alaska Airlines prohibits the carrying of animals for emotional support on all flights of society.

First had the trade magazine OWN reported. Accordingly, there is still an exception for customers and passengers under the keyword “service animals”. An overview.

Carrying of so-called “service animals” is still possible

In an official decision announcement from the beginning of December, the US Department of Transport formulated a regulation according to which airlines will in future be able to independently decide on permits to carry animals on board for emotional support. Alaska Airlines is now the first US airline to officially ban all passengers and passengers from carrying these animals. Carrying so-called psychiatric service dogs, also known as “service animals”, will however still be possible to a limited extent. Below you will find excerpts from the official statement from the US Department of Transportation.

  • Psychiatric service animals are treated in the same way as other service animals that are individually trained to do a job or perform a task for the benefit of a qualified person with a disability.
  • We believe the vast majority of emotional help animals are dogs, and dogs can be trained to perform many different roles and functions. We also point out that the rule does not require that the users of service animals have to bear the costs of training by schools or organizations of third parties; service animal users are free to train their own dogs to perform a task or function for them.
  • Mental health service animal users no longer need to provide a letter from a licensed mental health professional detailing the passenger’s need for the animal, and they no longer need to check in an hour before other passengers’ check-in time.
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Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900
Photo: Alaska Airlines

No special training is required for these psychiatric service dogs, which also includes the classification of an animal after training that was carried out independently. In addition, customers and passengers can independently certify their need for a psychiatric service animal, which means that the animals they will be taking with them in the future can be recategorized as service animals for emotional support. Below you will find the US Department of Transportation’s guidelines on this new regulation:

Alaska Airlines advises that service dogs, including psychiatric service dogs, will continue to be allowed on Alaska Airlines flights. Passengers must complete an official US Department of Transportation form, which will be effective Jan. 11 is available. It requires confirmation that the animal in question is a legitimate service dog, has also been trained, vaccinated and will behave appropriately during the trip.

From January 11, 2021, Alaska Airlines will only carry service dogs that have been specially trained to carry out tasks to care for a qualified person with a disability. The US airline will continue to accept animals for emotional support according to its current policy for reservations booked before January 11, 2021 and for flights until February 28, 2021. From March 1, 2021, animals will no longer be accepted on flights for emotional support under any circumstances.

Conclusion on the ban on animals for emotional support on Alaska Airlines flights

As the first US airline ever, the American Alaska Airlines prohibits the carrying of animals for emotional support on all of the company’s flights from January 11, 2021. According to an exemption, however, two so-called “service dogs” per passenger will continue to be accepted in one cabin. as long as these animals have been independently classified as psychiatric service animals by the owner and have also been trained. For customers and passengers, this exemption will in future offer a real loophole – as long as the animal in question is actually a dog.


Lilli prefers to be in the clouds – and not just with her head. As a child she toured Europe with a dance group, today wanderlust is her constant companion. When she is not busy with her studies in Berlin, she sits somewhere in the world behind her laptop and reports for you on the hottest travel news around the world – right here on!

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