4 May, 2018

JetBlue ESA Policy

JetBlue ESA policy welcomes passengers traveling with emotional support animals, service animals, and certain pets. However, the airline has a specific policy that you must follow in order to travel with your animal. Read on to learn more so that you and your animal can travel stress-free.

JetBlue’s Pet Fee for Non-ESAs

According to the JetBlue ESA policy, the airline charges a pet fee of $125 each way for animals traveling in the cabin.

They do not ship live animals or allow them to be sent as checked baggage. Only small cats and dogs may be brought on board and the animal and carrier’s combined weight must not exceed 20 pounds. Emotional support animals and service animals are not subject to this fee.

Take the pre-screening today if you think you might qualify for an emotional support animal.

A List of ESAs That Are Permitted on JetBlue

JetBlue ESA policy permits well-behaved, clean emotional support animals onboard so long as they are not on the list of restricted breeds (see below), do not pose a threat to the safety or well-being of other passengers, and are of a suitable size that they can sit at the passenger’s feet or on their lap.

Unlike other airlines, the JetBlue ESA policy does not restrict short-nosed dog breeds—or cats—from flying. However, you may wish to think twice about bringing snub-nosed dogs and cats on board as they can suffer breathing difficulties.

Breed Restrictions

JetBlue ESA policy does have quite strict breed restrictions. According to the JetBlue ESA policy, the following animals are not permitted on any JetBlue flight, even as service animals:

  • ferrets
  • hedgehogs
  • spiders
  • insects
  • snakes
  • rodents
  • reptiles
  • sugar gliders
  • non-household birds (i.e. waterfowl, farm poultry, game birds and birds of prey), and
  • animals with tusks

Any animals that JetBlue deems to be improperly cleaned or as having a foul odor will also not be permitted to fly.

If you are planning to fly with an emotional support animal that is not a cat or dog, we would recommend contacting the airline before making a booking to check that your ESA will be allowed to fly.

ACAA and ESAs: What You Need to Know

Group of bird, reptiles, and turtles sitting together which are breed restrictions JetBlue ESA Policy

JetBlue ESA policy takes their definition of what constitutes an emotional support animal (ESA) and a service animal from the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

The JetBlue ESA policy defines a service animal as “trained to perform a specific task to assist the customer traveling such as pathfinding, retrieval of objects, providing stability, alerting to sounds, etc.”

The airline defines emotional support animals or psychiatric service animals as those that “provide comfort to you in support of your diagnosed mental or emotional disorder.” This could be depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or more.

According to ACAA guidelines, airlines can ask for documentation proving your need for an emotional support dog, but not for a service dog.

Alert JetBlue You Will Be Bringing Your ESA!

JetBlue allows you to tell them that you are bringing an emotional support animal along when you make your booking.

You can also notify the airline after booking, either on your online booking page or by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).

You will need to notify JetBlue at least 48 hours in advance of traveling with an emotional support animal, to help ensure that journey goes smoothly.

Know JetBlue’s Pet Carrier Requirements!

According to the JetBlue ESA policy, the airlines do not require emotional support animals to travel in a carrier; however, if you choose to put them in a carrier, it must abide by the airline’s guidelines.

Animals will need to come out of their carriers to pass through the security checkpoint.

What’s Acceptable

The carrier’s dimensions must not exceed 17″ (43.18 cm) by 12.5″ (31.75 cm) by 8.5″ (21.59 cm).

Carriers can be soft or hard-sided but must be well ventilated and leak proof. JetBlue offers a soft-sided carrier for $50 that is designed to fit under the airplane’s seats.

What’s Restricted

Damaged carriers may be restricted if they allow the pet to escape. Only one animal is permitted per carrier.

“Where Does My ESA Go Once I’m on the Plane?”

If your emotional support animal is in a carrier, you must stow this underneath the seat in front. Otherwise, your ESA must sit on your lap or at your feet, without encroaching on the foot space of neighboring seats. If your animal is too large, you may be required to purchase additional seats to accommodate the animal. No animals of any kind may sit in emergency exit rows.

Bring And Fill Out The Required Documents/Forms! One of the Most Important Steps!

This step is absolutely crucial to being allowed to travel with your emotional support animal on JetBlue.

Although JetBlue does not require you to upload your documentation ahead of traveling, you must be able to produce copies of the required paperwork while on your journey. You could be refused to board if you do not have the required paperwork.

JetBlue does not allow animals to travel in the cargo compartment, so if you are not permitted to bring your animals as an ESA, and if your dog is too large to travel as a pet in the cabin as carry-on baggage, you will not be able to bring it.

ESA Letter

This document must be less than a year old and on letterhead paper or a prescription pad from a licensed medical doctor or mental health professional. The ESA letter must state the following:

  • That you have a diagnosed mental health condition or mental health-related disability
  • The emotional support animal accompanying you is necessary for your mental health or treatment
  • The type of animal you are bringing, and how many
  • That the issuer of the letter is a licensed medical doctor or mental health professional, and that you are under their treatment or care for a mental health disorder
  • The issuer’s license number, type of license, the license’s issue date, and the state or jurisdiction where it was licensed.

Veterinary Health Form

Also known as the USDA APHIS 7001 Form, a USDA-approved veterinarian must complete this form within 10 days of travel. It proves the animal’s clean bill of health and rabies vaccination record.

Copy of the animal’s current shot record

Your veterinarian should be able to provide this if you don’t have it at home.

Signed testament to the animal’s behavior

You could get this from your animal trainer or veterinarian. JetBlue does state that emotional support animals must be well behaved, so this could help to prove it.

Destination-Specific Forms

If you are traveling overseas with your ESA, including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, you may need to bring additional paperwork. Always check in advance of traveling on the international flight what paperwork you will need. (See below for resources).

CertaPet’s JetBlue Airlines ESA Fact Sheet

To get all the information and more in one place, we created an emotional support animal fact sheet when cruising in the sky with your ESA. Easy to download so you don’t have to forget anything!

Prepare Your ESA for Flight!

Dog on an airport terminal waiting for flight on JetBlue ESA Policy

Once you have all the necessary paperwork, you’ll need to get your ESA ready to fly!

Teach Your Dog The Proper Behavior When in Public and on the Airplane

Your emotional support animal must behave appropriately at all times in the airport and onboard the plane, or you and they will not be allowed to fly. This means no barking, jumping, growling, or other disruptive or threatening behavior.

If your ESA has never flown before, you could practice taking them on a bus or train to get them used to behave on public transport.

Make sure your emotional support animal is properly toilet trained, even when in new environments. Most airports will have a grassy area outside or pet relief area within the airport terminal where your ESA will be able to relieve itself.

They’re There For Your Comfort, Not Disturbance

A stressed-out emotional support animal is likely to be more of a hindrance than a help.

Bear in mind that other passengers in their aircraft cabin may be afraid of animals, or have allergies, so make sure that your emotional support animal is not getting in anyone else’s way or scaring other passengers.

They have as much right to a comfortable and peaceful flight as you do.

Read ESA Owners’ First-Hand Flying Experience on JetBlue

“Jetblue was terrific, yes I kept my puppy under the seat for taking off and landings, its safer in case we bounce in an air pocket. Afterwards, I kept my hand in the carrier, they were understanding and never bothered me. I also respected the rules.”

“I have taken my Yorkie on Jetblue flights several times. The attendants were ALWAYS extremely sweet and considerate”

“I just recently went on a trip with my dog and they were wonderful.”

Are You Traveling Internationally? Check Out Location-Specific Resources to See If Your ESA is Allowed

  • The first place to check is the USDA website, which has a location-specific tool that will help you to find out what documentation you need to travel to an international airport.
  • The JetBlue website also has more information on traveling with an emotional support animal, or you can call them on 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).

Not traveling with an ESA? Make sure you read JetBlue Pet Policy for more information about non-ESA animals.