flying with an emotional support animal

Flying with an Emotional Support Animal

flying with an emotional support animal

You can fly hassle-free with your pet — without charge — so long as you have obtained an emotional support animal letter from a qualified mental health professional.

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination against passengers with disabilities, including mental and emotional. Airlines are required to accommodate passenger needs.

If you need your dog or cat, which provides you companionship and satisfaction, and fends off symptoms of disease such as anxiety, depression, headaches, etc… traveling with your pet is easy so long as you have an emotional support animal letter.

The letter will explain that your animal is an emotional support animal, similar to a working service dog.

You may also have an emotional support animal vest or patch, identifying your pet; a photo ID card; a certification document; and letter from your mental health professional, prescribing the emotional support animal to treat the symptoms of your disability.

Traveling with your pet is easy, provided that you have the correct documentation.

Click below to see if you qualify:

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Comments 22

  1. My family is moving to Honduras and my daughter’s both have Emotional Service animals, my 7yr old have a lab/retriever mix, who helps her during autism meltdowns and over stimulation and self harm, my 9 yr old has a cat for PTSD and Anxiety, and I have a emotional service dog as well for PTSD. I have researched till I’m so overloaded with information it is not making any sense. They go to a therapist, and I’m sure I could get a letter from her. But what else will I need to get into the Country, I have tried contacting the Embassies here in the states with no luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Thank you for your comment that not all illnesses are visible. And the comment about the cost too. I applied for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). I was approved but the cost is $25,000. $20,000 is paid for by donors. The other $5,000 I would have to raise the money through family and friends and hold fundraisers. The organization would help me organize the fundraisers. After that they would choose a puppy for me. The organization that approved me said that twice a week I had to go to their location and help train the puppy. It would take at least a year. Their place of business is an hour drive from my house. I don’t own a car. People don’t realize what’s involved and they like to comment without knowing the facts.
    Anyway thank you again for your comments.

  3. There are people with major non military PTSD….and I can’t function in these situations without my emotional support animal…Your post is very insensitve of a lot of people!

  4. Actually not true. A service animal or ESA can sit WITH you. Don’t make comments based on your feelings. Check out the LAWS. In all cases, appropriate behavior is required of the animal.

  5. It is really sad how some people take advantage and use this as a loop hole. Please remember that there are people who legitimately need an emotional support pet, such as injured soldiers with PTSD. People don’t want the hassle of paying for their pet to travel so they lie to get a letter- it’s a slap in the face to those who actually have special needs. Everyone thinks their dog is the best, but too often these “emotional support animals” poop and pee on the plane and run up and down the aisle. You know if you are legit or not and shame on you if you’re using this as a loop hole. Shame on you for not respecting those who have legitimate special needs

  6. If your dog can’t fit in a pet carrier that can go underneath the seat, then no, your dog can’t fly with you. It’s still an aircraft, not a zoo.

    1. Why are you being extra? Nobody said it was a zoo… She just wants to know if she can bring her dog on the plane with her. Small dog/little dog…. same thing… also no dogs in zoos so???

    2. Again everyone please just call the airlines for the facts you need. A great deal depends on the disability of each individual. A person that is blind, or has seizures, (examples of course) and owns a German Shepherd or Labrador (examples again of larger dogs) can be given a seat next to it’s owner or yes sometimes you have to pay for that seat. It happens all the time, but again the rules, guidelines & laws change daily so please contact your airline.

      P.S.
      Not all illnesses are visible. Please be careful who you judge. That dog might have cost a mentally or physically ill person money they didn’t really have & did their best to train themselves because the cost to train them is expensive, but the love the animal gives them in return might be the only love they’ve ever felt. #Don’t judge a person by their dog.

  7. I have a big dog, very well behaved. I will NOT put her underneath the plane in cargo, I would rather drive to Florida. Would she be able to sit with me on the plane? I’ll even buy her a ticket.

  8. what is your animal is a large but very calm dog (still will not be fitting under any seat in a box though)?

  9. Hello,

    I am interested in applying to have an emotional support animal (my dog, Eva) for my stress and anxiety when flying. I am excited to see that you will send a letter vouching for the necessity of the ESA, but some airlines are now requiring that an authorization form be filled out in addition to having the letter.

    Here is the American Airlines Authorization Form: https://www.aa.com/content/images/generic/ESAN_Form.pdf

    Would the licensed healthcare practitioner be willing to fill out this form as well? The flight I am looking to book is on American Airlines.

    Thanks,
    Rob

    1. Hi,

      I would like a follow up to the above comment by Robert Boyd.
      Is the required authorization form filled by a licensed professional in addition to having the letter?
      I plan on flying AA and need to have the authorization form completed as well.
      Thank you in advance!

      1. Hello!

        I would like to see if there is an answer to this question. I would also like to Fly American and it seems like they require that form to be filled out. Is that something that would be able to be done?
        Thanks!!

        1. Hello,

          I have flown AA, Southwest, and United using my therapist’s letter in place of the airlines’ form. As long as the letter has all the information that the airlines require on their form, it is considered valid documentation. The letter is good for one year, so if you fly frequently, you don’t have to worry about having your doctor fill out forms for each different airline every time you fly.

          1. Amber, Did you receive your letter online or directly from a doctor? I am trying to find out it Southwest accepts Certapet’s Emotional Support documents and letters. Any suggestions would be helpful.
            Thank you

    2. Rob, I understand the fear of flying issues. I have them too, but the law does not apply to situational stressor.sYou must have a diagnosed emotional disability documented by your mental health professionals to qualify under the law. I’m sure an ESA would help you while flying but to meet the legal requirements the disability must be ongoing.

    3. I was told they would complete the form and return same to you for an additional $20. This cost goes directly to the therapist who will complete the form.

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