Flying With an Emotional Support Animal
Airlines and Emotional Support Animals
The bottom line is that it's a breeze for you to fly the friendly skies with your emotional support animal (ESA), as long as you have your dogs in a row. By that we mean that you'll need the following for clear sailing:
- Ability to explain your need to have an emotional support animal to the airline and/or airport personnel.
- Identifying patches on your animal (or it's cage, if it's kept in one)
- An attached photo ID card identifying your animal as a service or emotional support animal (from a legitimate company like National Service Animal Registry)
- A certification document from a legitimate registry company (such as National Service Animal Registry)
- A letter from your therapist, psychiatrist, or other licensed mental health professional that prescribes or endorses you to have or obtain an emotional support animal to ameliorate the symptoms of your emotional, psychiatric, or mental disability. If your therapist is unwilling to write a qualifying letter of prescription for you to obtain an Emotional Support Animal, or if you don’t currently have therapist, click here to obtain a letter of prescription from a licensed mental health professional.
The Air Carrier Access Act allows for mentally or emotionally disabled persons to be accompanied on flights by an emotional support animal on the condition that the correct documentation, including a letter from your physician or mental health professional verifying that the emotional support animal would provide some degree of comfort, is provided. That means that if you have supporting documentation (For example, certification from NSAR and a letter from a licensed mental health professional), your emotional support animal will be able to accompany you on an airplane.
When you have an official and documented emotional support animal, the airlines are NOT allowed to charge you additional fees when your support animal accompanies you.