Spirit Airlines Adds New Restrictions on Emotional Support Animals
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.
The trend of airlines tightening rules on emotional support animals has reached Spirit. Starting Oct. 15, the budget airline will be adding a wealth of new regulations to its service pet policy.
The new policies were posted recently on Spirit Airlines’ website and require significantly more paperwork than their original, single letter from a licensed mental health professional. Now, travelers must submit an additional two forms including the mental health professional form, a veterinary health form and a passenger liability form. All paperwork is due 48 hours before the flight, or the service animal will not be permitted on the plane.
Airlines increasing their regulations on service animals is nothing new. In fact, it’s been a movement since Delta swapped its original policy for something stricter back in January. Following this, new policies followed from United and American Airlines, and last month Southwest hopped aboard when it limited permissible emotional support animals to just cats and dogs.
Spirit isn’t quite there yet, however it does have a lengthy list of emotional support animals that aren’t allowed aboard such as snakes, rodents, reptiles and sugar gliders. “For other unusual animals, several factors determine whether an animal can travel in the cabin as a service animal,” states the Spirit Airlines’ website. “These factors include: the animal’s size, whether the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, and whether the animal is prohibited from entering a foreign country.”
While the increase in limitations is bad news to anyone who needs to travel with their furry companion, it might be beneficial for the airlines themselves. According to a survey conducted in summer 2018, 61% of flight attendants admitted that they do struggle with the emotional support animals misbehaving during flights.
“The problem is only growing and is something that needs to be addressed on an industry-wide level through regulation instead of individual airline policies,” said Taylor Garland, a spokeswoman for the flight attendant union AFA.
Featured image by Richard Atrero de Guzman/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.