Have you ever noticed anyone boarding flight with their emotional support dog? Traveling with emotional support animals like dogs or cats have become a common sight on airplanes. It is because traveling with ‘emotional support animals’ or ‘companion animals’ is allowed by airline carriers without any additional fee or cost if you have an ESA letter. Now, what is an ESA letter and how it is significant? To know all about emotional support animals and ESA letters, continue reading this blog.
Things to Know About Emotional Support Animals & ESA Letters
In recent years, considering psychological and emotional benefits, animals are allowed to accompany humans in all spheres of their life on medical grounds. Many research studies have shown that animals can impact the human brain and emotions in a very positive way and their companionship can be beneficial for the improvement of their psychological and emotional disabilities.
Individuals with pets like dogs and cats are often seen as happy and joyful. They enjoy the companionship of their pets. This has largely proven that if you have a pet with you, they can impact your psychological and emotional condition in a very positive way. The concept of emotional support animals has evolved due to this reason. Now, what is an emotional support animal?
Emotional support animal is a type of assistance animal or companion animal that comforts their owners with mental or psychological disabilities like PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc. An emotional support animal can be a dog, cat, bird, rodent, etc. Such animals don’t need any specific training for serving as ESA’s. Emotional support animals are there to offer comfort, support, and unconditional love to their owners suffering from an emotional issue. A dog is a common type of emotional support animal. So, they are mostly seen accompanying people on flights and other travel areas.
Because emotional support animals mainly serve the purpose of comforting humans with medical problems so there are strict rules associated with it. To have an emotional support animal you need a letter of recommendation from the doctor. The letter of recommendation from a doctor concerning an emotional support animal is known as an ESA letter. What is an ESA letter? An ESA letter is a mandatory document that every owner of an emotional support animal need. It signifies that the animal is recommended to the individual because of their psychological or emotional disorders. ESA letter from a doctor is critical to ensure Federal protection for housing, travel, and ESA recognition in the law.
Flying With Emotional Support Animals
Emotional Support animals like dogs or cats have special access rights to fly with you in the cabin of the airplane, free of cost (as per the Air Carrier Access Act). American Carriers and all other foreign carriers flying into and out of the US are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of a patron’s psychological or physical need for an assistance animal to assist with their disabilities. So, the airlines are needed to grant reasonable access to people with disabilities and require to fly with their ESA.
| ESA’s are allowed to fly with you in a cabin for all domestic flights and all flights into and out of the US|
If you are going to travel with your ESA on the flight, you need to inform the airline about your boarding at least 48 hours in advance. Also, while you fly with your emotional support animal, you need to have the ESA letter with you. Without the ESA letter, your dog will not be allowed to accompany you in the flight. The ESA letter that you provide must have the therapist’s direct contact information and licensing details. It is because if the airlines require to verify the details of the passenger’s medical health, then they can contact the therapist and obtain all the information.
Hope, now you know everything about flying with emotional support animals. Enjoy traveling with your ESA!