The Department of Transportation (DOT) changed its rules under the Animal Welfare Act (ACAA) on January 11, 2021, about what kinds of animals can come on planes. Because of this, a lot of airlines policy, like united airline service dog policy, no longer accept emotional support animals (ESA) as service animals on their trips. Also, they changed what a service animal is to only include dogs.
It’s no longer okay for ESAs to be in the house with their owners, but service dogs and mental service dogs can. You can bring small pets that aren’t needed for work on United Airlines as “in-cabin pets” with you.
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What’s the Difference Between an ESA and a Service Animal?
People with physical or mental disabilities can have dogs taught to do work or jobs for them. These dogs are called service animals or psychological service animals. You can teach these dogs to do many things, such as stopping a panic attack, opening doors or cabinets, and using their body weight to give deep pressure treatment (DPT).
Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) protect service dogs and psychiatric service dogs. Service dogs help people with physical disabilities and psychiatric service dogs help people with mental or emotional problems. People who have service dogs must be identified by a doctor.
ESAs, or emotional support animals, are used to help people feel better when they are having a hard time. These animals are not trained to do any specific work or chores. ESAs can be any kind of animal, but service animals must be dogs. Also, a doctor has to confirm that a person has an ESA. However, neither the ADA nor the ACAA guarantee ESAs.
Requirements for Animals to Fly United
Service dogs and all other animals flying with United Airlines must be at least 4 months old. Dogs and cats are the only pets that can fly. United Airlines does not let pit bulls on board either. If your pet has a narrow nose, like a French bulldog or a Persian cat, you should talk to your vet before you go on a trip because the altitude can make it hard for it to breathe.
Traveling on United with a Service Dog
People who want to travel with a service dog or mental service dog must first fill out and send in a U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training Behaviour and Attestation form. This form can be found on united airline service dog policy.
For trips longer than 8 hours, people must also fill out and send in a U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation form to say that their service dog won’t go to the bathroom in the wrong place during the flight.
united airline service dog policy needs the forms at least 48 hours before the trip, unless the trip was booked within that time frame. Also, passengers should always have copies of these forms with them.
During the Flight
united airline service dog policy will not accept service dogs if they are not tied or bound at all times and under the direct control of their owner. If this is not the case, the dogs will have to fly as non-service pets.
Service dogs aren’t allowed to sit in seats and have to stay in the area around their handler’s marked spot. They also can’t block an exit, a neighbor’s space, or an aisleway. Anyone in the cabin can sit with a service dog, except in the exit row.
Service dogs can also fly in a backpack, which can be taken off during the trip. But you have to put the case under the seat in front of you when you drive, take off, and land. There should be enough room for service dogs in crates to sit, stand, and turn around.
Remember that united airline service dog policy can ask you about your service dog at any time during your flight and if it is taught to do work or jobs to help you with your handicap. They aren’t allowed to ask you specific questions about your disability or make your dog do any work or tasks when they tell it to. Someone might ask you to write down what your service dog is taught to do if you can’t explain it orally.
Traveling with a Non-Service Animal
The only types of animals that united airline service dog policy will let fly are “in-cabin” pets, like cats and small dogs in a cage. No other animals are allowed to fly with United. There are a few more rules for people traveling with pets than for people traveling with help dogs. People who want to bring pets into the cabin must mention this on their ticket ahead of time. If you need help with this, call United Airlines directly.
People who want to bring a pet on board United should check in about 30 minutes earlier than usual. Pets will get a bright yellow tag for their box or carrier when they check in.
Soft-sided carriers should be no bigger than 18″ (L) x 11″ (W) x 11″ (H), and hard-sided kennels should not be bigger than 17.5″ (L) x 12″ (W) x 7.5″ (H). Animals should be able to stand, sit, and turn around easily, and each carrier should only hold one animal. Pets that are traveling in the cabin must always be in their cage, which must be put under the seat in front of you.
Service Dogs in Training
Most companies don’t let service dogs that are still being trained on board, but United companies does in some situations. Service dogs that are still being trained must still be helping a disabled person and be with an approved dog teacher. The carrier needs the same forms, but people and dog handlers who want to bring a service dog in training on board should call United Airlines ahead of time to make sure they know the exact rules.
How Do I Register My Dog as a Service or Psychiatric Service Dog?
There isn’t a single national database that says you have to register your service or mental service dog. However, registering your dog as a therapy animal can help with paperwork. When you register, you’ll get things like an ID card that tells people about your ADA rights and a vest that makes it easier to spot your dog as a working service animal.
Can pets fly with United Airlines in the cargo hold?
united airline service dog policy used to ship and carry cats and dogs through their “PetSafe” program in a sealed part of the cargo hold.
But as of July 7, 2020, they will no longer have this program. From then on, any animal flying with United must be an in-cabin pet or a service dog. This program’s options are about to change, so call United Airlines directly to find out more.
Do they need a Veterinary Health Form for United Airlines?
Yes, and they might need different facts based on where you’re going. All pets in the continental U.S. need to have a certificate of health from their vet showing that they have been vaccinated against rabies.
People who are going to Hawaii need to know more about health issues and should look up the laws and rules in Hawaii. United suggests calling the airline to make sure you know what forms your pet needs and looking into what the rules are at your destination.
It’s also important to remember that animals cannot travel within 30 days of receiving a rabies vaccination.
Is there a fee to take an animal with me on United Airlines?
This is a free service dog or mental service dog ride with their owner. Customers who bring pets into the cabin will be charged an extra $125 each way. There will also be an extra $125 service charge for every stay that lasts more than 4 hours in the continental U.S. or more than 24 hours internationally. To find out more about fees, call United Airlines.
Other Things You Should Know About Flying on United with a Service Dog or Non-Service Pet:
Service animals and dogs that can stay in the cabin are not allowed to travel on united airline service dog policy with a child who is traveling alone. There is limited room in the car, so it’s important to book your seat ahead of time.
The TSA checks all pets, even service animals. You may have to take your pet out of its case so that the carrier can be x-rayed and then put the pet through a metal detector that doesn’t use x-rays.