This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Alaska Airlines is tightening its policy for passengers traveling with emotional support and psychiatric service animals.
The carrier announced on Thursday that it’s getting set to implement the new policy for new reservations beginning next month. For tickets purchased after May 1, 2018, passengers traveling with emotional support or psychiatric service animals must provide animal health and behavioral documents, as well as a signed document from a medical doctor or mental health professional. The required documentation must be provided to Alaska at least 48 hours prior to departure.
It’s worth noting that this change does not apply to Alaska’s policy for traditional service animals.
“Alaska is committed to providing accessible services to guests with disabilities and ensuring a safe environment for all flyers,” said Ray Prentice, Alaska’s director of customer advocacy. “We are making these changes now based on a number of recent incidents where the inappropriate behavior of emotional support animals has impacted and even injured our employees, other guests and service animals.”
Alaska says that in recent years, the number of emotional support and psychiatric service animals traveling on the carrier has increased drastically. It predicts that approximately 150 emotional support and psychiatric service animals travel on Alaska Airlines every day.
Prentice said that because of the uptick in the number of animals traveling, the airline has seen an increase in the number of incidents from animals that haven’t been adequately trained to “behave in a busy airport setting or on a plane.”
If you book a new reservation with Alaska on or after May 1, and are traveling with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you must email or fax Alaska the following three documents at least 48 hours prior to departure. (All documents will be available on alaskaair.com starting April 30):
- Animal Health Advisory Form — Acknowledges Alaska’s recommendation that all emotional support and psychiatric service animals travel with a veterinary-issued health certificate.
- Mental Health Form — Currently required, this is a letter issued by a mental health professional or medical doctor approving the use of an emotional support or psychiatric service animal.
- Animal Behavior Form — A signed affidavit affirming the emotional support or psychiatric service animal is trained to behave in public and that the owner accepts all liability for any injuries or damage to property.
This move from Alaska to tighten its restrictions on emotional support and psychiatric service animals follows similar moves from other US carriers. In January, Delta further restricted its support and service animal policy, and in February, United followed suit. If you’re going to travel with an emotional support animal, check out this guide for how to best do it.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees