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Thread: Delta Airlines New Rules on Traveling with Service and Comfort Animals

  1. #1
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    Delta Airlines New Rules on Traveling with Service and Comfort Animals

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...on/1046380001/

    Delta's rules for traveling with service and comfort animals starting March 1 require documentation confirming the safety and necessity of the animal 48 hours before departure.The passenger must provide a veterinary health form or vaccination record for either category of animals.

    For comfort animals and psychiatric-service animals, the passenger must also provide:
    ♦A letter signed by a doctor or licensed mental-health professional stating the passenger's need for the animal.
    ♦A signed letter stating the animal is trained to behave without a kennel.

    "This new policy is our first step in better protecting those who fly with Delta with a more thoughtful screening process," said John Laughter, Delta's senior vice president for corporate safety, security and compliance.

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    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
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    Erin flys home in May on Delta. We'll see if this changes anything. Last year the plane was full of "emotional support" animals that were traveling with college age men/women heading home to Minneapolis. The pit bull was unruly and was not neutered, another whined, and who knows if there was any peeing or pooping. All of these bad dogs give a real service dog a bad name. Thankfully her dog stays under the seat like the pro she is!

    It is scary in the airport when an unleashed dog charges or the owner has the dog on a long leash. That just becomes downright dangerous for my daughter and for her service dog. I'm so sick of it.

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    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    The article says the animals are "increasingly misbehaving by wandering the cabin, defecating or even biting passengers." In my book, those are not trained service animals and I hate seeing service and comfort animals lumped together. These are most likely "comfort" animals which a lot of the time means they are someone's pet that they are unwilling to be separated from. I cannot think that someone would let their service animal roam around the plane. I am no expert on the ADA and service animals but I do not think by law they can require this. Not of a "Service" animal anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by djrolling View Post
    The article says the animals are "increasingly misbehaving by wandering the cabin, defecating or even biting passengers." In my book, those are not trained service animals and I hate seeing service and comfort animals lumped together. These are most likely "comfort" animals which a lot of the time means they are someone's pet that they are unwilling to be separated from. I cannot think that someone would let their service animal roam around the plane. I am no expert on the ADA and service animals but I do not think by law they can require this. Not of a "Service" animal anyway
    It will be interesting to see if requiring 48 hour prior to flight documentation for service animals will be challenged in court.

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    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
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    Yes, gjnl....Delta needs to distinguish the difference in service dog vs. comfort/emotional support dogs.

    The Air Carrier Access Act is what covers service dogs on airlines. ADA does not apply. I'll have to go re-read all that now because I'm curious....

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    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    I wanted to take a look also. Did not know about it.

    So far this makes me think they cannot do this to people with Service Animals

    "? 382.55 Miscellaneous provisions.
    (a) Carriers shall permit dogs and other service animals used by persons with a disability to accompany the persons on a flight.
    (1) Carriers shall accept as evidence that an animal is a service animal identification cards, other written documentation, presence of harnesses or markings on harnesses, tags, or the credible verbal assurances of the qualified individual with a disability using the animal.
    (2) Carriers shall permit a service animal to accompany a qualified individual with a disability in any seat in which the person sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed in order to facilitate an emergency evacuation."

    While it does speak about documentation it has this phrase
    "presence of harnesses or markings on harnesses, tags, or the credible verbal assurances of the qualified individual with a disability using the animal."
    Seems to me they are out of gas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domosoyo View Post
    Yes, gjnl....Delta needs to distinguish the difference in service dog vs. comfort/emotional support dogs.

    The Air Carrier Access Act is what covers service dogs on airlines. ADA does not apply. I'll have to go re-read all that now because I'm curious....

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    Senior Member djrolling's Avatar
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    This is also from the ACAA and I think Delta is trying to take this and transpose it on to Service animals or lump them together under the ESA rules

    "Special Requirements When Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

    Special documentation cannot generally be required of a person traveling with a service animal unless the carrier has reason to doubt the animal is a service animal after first speaking with the handler, possibly asking what tasks the animal is trained to perform. However, documentation is required of a person traveling with an Emotional Support Animal in the form of a doctor's letter.
    A person traveling with an ESA must have a letter, not more than one year old, on letterhead, from a mental health professional stating all of the following:
    1. That the passenger has a mental health-related DISABILITY listed in the DSM IV. Note it is not just a mental illness diagnosis, but a mental illness Airlines are not permitted to require the documentation to specify the type of mental health disability, e.g., panic attacks.
    2. That the presence of the animal is NECESSARY to the passenger's health or treatment.
    3. That the individual writing the letter is a licensed mental health professional and that the passenger is under his or her care. NOTE: Airlines may also require documentation including the date, type, and state of the mental health professional's license.
    "The purpose of this provision is to prevent abuse by passengers that do
    not have a medical need for an emotional support animal and to ensure that
    passengers who have a legitimate need for emotional support animals are
    permitted to travel with their service animals on the aircraft.""

    ServiceDogCentral.org is a great resource




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    First paragraph o the article:
    Rather than wait for federal regulation, Delta Air Lines unveiled its own tighter rules Friday for passengers flying with emotional-support animals that increasingly disrupt flights.

    Paragraphics 16/17:
    The Transportation Department hosted seven months of negotiations in 2016 to develop regulations to make flights more accessible for the disabled. But the panel of airline and advocacy experts was unable to reach a consensus on narrowing the definition of what qualifies as a comfort animal.

    The *
    department set a goal* of proposing a regulation by July 2017, but missed that deadline and now expects to begin collecting comment about the definition in July.

    "department set a goal" refers to this briefing (https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/dot-negotiated-rulemaking-committee-agrees-future-measures-improve-accessibility) issued by the Department of Transportation, where a rule making committee agreed on future measures to improve accessibility of aircraft lavatories and in flight entertainment. At the same time, the "Committee was not able to reach agreement on service animals, the other issue that it had been charged with negotiating. The Department intends to draft its own rules on service animals."

    https://www.transportation.gov/brief...-accessibility

    Here is another article from the New York Times. There are comments from other airline carriers that they are looking at doing the same as Delta. the director of Open Doors Organization made a comment, but didn't discuss the legalities of the change in regulations by Delta Airlines.

    Eric Lipp, the executive director of Open Doors Organization, a nonprofit group that supports disabled travelers and tourists, described Delta’s new policy is “unfortunate” and “extreme.”
    “People have abused the privilege and ruined the image of service animals,” Mr. Lipp said. “And now they’re creating a whole lot more hassle for disabled people to travel, penalizing them for needing a service animal, putting another roadblock in front of them.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/19/b...e-animals.html
    Last edited by gjnl; 01-19-2018 at 09:11 PM.

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    personally I think it way past time I was denied boarding on American due to urine smell yes because someone dam dof pissed on my chair wheel plus somehow my seat cover got soaked in the cargo area and we had to take it before I would get in chair

    I have seen these so called dogs poop in Walmart in deli are and no way in hell a true service dog oh and now we have snakes birds and cats in on it

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    Quote Originally Posted by vjls View Post
    personally I think it way past time I was denied boarding on American due to urine smell yes because someone dam dof pissed on my chair wheel plus somehow my seat cover got soaked in the cargo area and we had to take it before I would get in chair

    I have seen these so called dogs poop in Walmart in deli are and no way in hell a true service dog oh and now we have snakes birds and cats in on it
    "dof," what does that mean?

    And somehow, I am not following the rest of your post, "my seat cover got soaked in the cargo area and we had to take it before I would get in chair. Could you clarify?

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