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Southwest Airlines bans emotional support animals, joining others

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Airways stated some passengers averted additional charges by claiming their pets supplied emotional assist. A latest federal rule change ended that.

DALLAS — Emotional-support animals are now not free to roam in regards to the cabin on Southwest Airways both, the final of the nation’s six main airways to enact the coverage following a Division of Transportation rule change. The airline stated Monday that it’ll let passengers deliver skilled service canine within the cabin, however it can now not settle for assist animals, beginning March 1.

Clients who need to deliver a canine or cat on board as a pet should pay a payment, and the animal have to be stored in a service that matches underneath an airplane seat. The transfer follows a Transportation Division determination to reverse a yearslong regulation and let airways ban animals that house owners declare present emotional assist. 

The variety of passengers flying with companion animals grew quickly lately, with some saying the animals helped them overcome anxiousness and different points. Passengers solely wanted a be aware from a well being skilled, and a cottage trade sprang as much as present these notes together with vests and different accoutrements for his or her animals.

RELATED: American Airways broadcasts modifications to emotional assist animal journey insurance policies

RELATED: Alaska Airways will ban free flights for emotional assist animals this yr

Airways and notably flight attendants took a extra essential view, saying passengers have been exploiting a loophole in federal rules to keep away from pet charges. In a couple of instances, together with some involving severe accidents, companion animals bit different passengers.

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The division stated carriers have been free to ban any animal aside from canine formally skilled to assist individuals with bodily or psychological disabilities. The division estimated that underneath the brand new guidelines airways will scoop up $59.6 million a yr in pet charges.

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