Alaska Airlines Is Tightening Its Emotional Support Animal Policy
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. 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.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees