Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

United Airlines offers customers the most comprehensive network of worldwide routes. They also include one-stop or no-stop flights to and from anywhere in the United States. With hubs inside the four largest U.S. cities, it’s no wonder that United Airlines leads the airline industry. If you’re planning on booking a flight, United Airlines is probably one of your options. And if you’re traveling with your service dog, understanding United Airlines’ service, dog policies can simplify your trip.

Traveling with Service Animals on United Airlines

United Airlines welcomes service dogs within their cabin, as long as they perform tasks for a person with a qualified disability. United Airlines defines service animals as animals trained to do work to benefit a qualified person with a disability. The disabilities may include — but are not limited to — psychiatric, intellectual, or physical issues.

People with service dogs may travel with up to two animals. Service animals must be dogs and over four months of age to travel within the airline cabin. 

How to Fly with a Service Dog on United Airlines Make sure that your dog qualifies and is trained to provide a service for your disability. Complete the required document(s) (linked below) for your service animal(s). Submit your completed documents to United Airlines at least 48 hours in advance. If you booked your flight within 48 hours of your departure, provide your completed documents at the airport. Contact United Airlines via the United Accessibility Desk (1-800-228-2744) with any questions. Required Documents 

United asks to complete a few forms before flying with a service animal. The Department of Transportation (DOT) forms are as follows:

U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form: The Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form is mandatory for all service animals. The form serves as a customer’s statement that the service dog meets the training and behavioral standards for safety.  U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form (Relief Form): The Relief Attestation Form must be completed for flights that are 8 hours or longer. The form ensures that the handler understands the service dog can relieve themselves in such a way that will not be a health or sanitation hazard to others on the plane.

United Airlines asks that both forms be completed and carried with you. For tickets purchased 48 hours before the flight departure, the completed forms may be presented to the airline agent at the airport. United Airlines welcomes you to contact the United Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744 for questions regarding traveling with your service dog. Please be aware that, depending on your destination, additional documents may be necessary.

Before flying with your service dog on United Airlines, familiarize yourself with their rules and policies. Traveling Information 

When inside the cabin, the service dog should sit on the floor in front of their handler’s feet. To ensure safe aisle access for others, the dog should not protrude into the aisle or block others. Smaller dogs with a kennel must fit United Airlines’ stowage parameters. Service dogs and their handlers are prohibited from sitting in the exit row seats.

United Airlines asks customers flying with service dogs to adhere to the following:

Travel is not allowed within 30 days of a service dog’s rabies vaccination. Service dogs must be under the control of their handler at all times. Service dogs must behave appropriately and follow their handler’s directions.  Service dogs are harnessed or leashed at all times. Travel within an airline cabin to an international destination, Guam, or Hawaii, may require a current copy of the service dog’s vaccination records. United recommends that vaccine copies should be on hand whenever traveling.  Service Dogs in Training 

United Airlines allows dog trainers to bring one service dog in training on board — no charge —, as long as it assists a person with a disability. The service dog in training should not occupy a seat and should meet service dog documentation requirements. If not, handlers and trainers are welcome to check the dogs as pets.

Therapy Animals and Emotional Support Animals on United Airlines 

Only service animals helping a person with a disability may travel in the airline cabin free of charge. Therapy animals, comfort animals, and emotional support animals are not considered service animals. When traveling with these animals, pet-related regulations and costs will apply.

Flying with Pets

If you’re flying with a puppy or kitten as a pet, it must be at least four months old and accompanied by an adult person. The pet must remain in the floor space under the seat in a kennel. If they’re too large for a kennel, they must utilize United Airlines’ PetSafe program.

Documentation for Pets

Anyone traveling with a pet on United within the continental U.S. will need a health certificate along with proof of the last rabies vaccine. Travel is prohibited within 30 days of the rabies vaccine. Some states like Hawaii and other countries require additional documents, and travelers must comply with all pet travel requirements relevant to their destination. 

Flying with United Airlines

As one of America’s premier airlines, United Airlines’ regulations for service animals are generally in line with other major U.S. airlines. Although service dogs are welcome in the cabin of United Airline’s airplanes, people traveling with service dogs should ensure that the correct documents and regulations are met. This makes the journey more enjoyable for both the individual and the service animal.

If you’re traveling with American Airlines with a service dog, you may want to educate yourself on the process. Before boarding, American Airlines — and most other airlines — ask their customers to fill out documents and meet requirements regarding their service dog. Please note that only dogs are accepted as service animals on American Airline flights.

Service Dogs on American Airlines

Fully-trained service dogs and psychiatric service dogs can fly in the cabin of the plane without charge, as long as they meet the airline’s service dog requirements. Team members from the airlines receive training to ask appropriate questions, which helps determine whether a dog is an acceptable service dog for travel. American Airlines defines a service dog as a dog trained to work for an individual with a qualified disability

The disability may be sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or physical. Some examples are: 

Deafness Seizures  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Mobility problems Visual impairments Deafness Seizures Mobility impairments How to Fly with a Service Dog on American Airlines Instructions Read and complete the DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form Complete the DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form if applicable for your trip Submit your form(s) at least 48 hours before your flight Keep the form(s) with you during your trip

If you’re traveling with a service dog on American Airlines, you’ll need to complete a few forms before your departure. American Airlines asks service dog handlers to read and complete the Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form and, if applicable, the DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form serves as a declaration to the health and training of your dog. The Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Sanitation Form, on the other hand, is typically for flights over 8 hours long. The form is a statement that the dog:

Will not need to relieve itself or Can relieve itself in a way that will not create a health issue for other passengers

Both forms are submitted within 48 hours before the flight.

If the ticket was purchased 48 hours before the flight, service dog handlers may complete the document at the airport’s Special Assistance desk, as long as they appear at the airport ahead of time to finish the forms. For your convenience, you should keep copies of the forms with you throughout the trip.

Get to know American Airlines’ policy on traveling with pets before booking a flight with your service dog. Service Animal Identification 

Although there’s no centralized database in the U.S. for animals, American Airlines keeps its own database of its own service animal travelers. Keeping records simplifies the traveling process for its customers. Once your forms are submitted and approved by American Airlines, the company issues your dog an SVAN ID (service animal identification). This SVAN ID expires a year after being issued (or when the animal’s vaccination expires, whichever comes first), but handlers will not have to resubmit forms for any American Airlines flights during that time period.

Service Dog Fees on American Airlines

American Airlines does not charge any type of fees for service dogs. If your dog does not meet the service dog requirements, you may have to categorize your dog as a pet and pay a pet travel fee.

Behavior and Travel Requirements 

Even for service animals, all airlines have behavioral and travel requirements. American Airlines is no exception. American Airlines requires the following:

The service dog must be leashed, tethered, or harnessed at all times. The service dog must be over the age of 4 months, clean, and well-behaved. The service dog must fit in the handler’s lap, under the seat, or at their handler’s feet.  Kennels must fit under the handler’s seat.  A handler is limited to two service animals. 

A service dog should not:

Block aisles or occupy a seat. Consume food from tray tables. Sit in an exit row. 

If a service animal is too large to adhere to the requirements, the handler may:

Rebook on another flight with more open seats Purchase a ticket for the animal. Check the animal as a pet. Emotional Support as Pets 

If you have an emotional support animal (ESA), know that policies for assistance animals were changed as of January 11, 2021. Since that date, American Airlines ceased to authorize new travel for ESAs. If you’re traveling with an ESA, American Airlines encourages you to transport your ESA, therapy dog, or comfort animal as a pet. 

Keep in mind that the rules for service animals differ from those for pets, ESA, therapy dogs, and comfort animals. If you have a domesticated cat or dog, you may travel with your animal as an in-cabin pet, though extra charges may apply. In-cabin pets are cats or dogs that can fit in a kennel and kept under the seat in the front. American Airlines prohibits Pit Bull breeds in the cabin and does not allow in-cabin pets on flights to and from Hawaii. 

American Airlines and Service Dogs 

If you’re planning on traveling with your service dog, it’s good to prepare beforehand. Completing the appropriate documentation and preparing your service animal prior to the flight will help to make the whole trip smoother.

Although federal laws protect the presence of service animals on airlines, can you take a service dog on an Amtrak train? Short answer: Yes, you can. 

In more detail, Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network through 46 states and three Canadian provinces. It’s rail network accesses 500 destinations and is federally chartered, with the federal government as the majority stockholder. In 2016, 17.8 million trips were made on the NEC rail lines alone. With so many passengers traveling on Amtrak, the company is familiar with the needs of passengers with disabilities and their service dogs.

Amtrak’s Animal Passenger Rules 

Amtrak understands the need for animals to travel with their owners. They’ve established carry-on pet guidelines where animals must remain inside a carrier while in stations and onboard trains (with exceptions on some specific routes). These guidelines apply for the following animals:

Emotional Support Animals (ESA): ESAs give emotional support but are not trained to execute a specific task. Police Dogs: Dogs used for public safety or by the Amtrak Police Department. Search and Rescue Dogs: Dogs specifically trained to serve a general purpose, but not for an individual’s personal use.  Pets: Dogs and cats under 20 kg (including the carrier) are allowed on trips less than 7 hours. Pets are allowed in Coach class only; They are not allowed in First class, Business class, bedrooms, or dining cars.

Service animals do not fall in any of the above categories, and therefore the carry-on pet guidelines do not apply.

Taking your service dog on Amtrak is allowed only if you and your dog qualify. Service Dog Considerations on Amtrak 

Federal laws apply to service animals, which protects their handlers’ right to have their service dog by their side at all times. Because of their importance, service animals are not considered pets. Instead, the fees and general rules that apply to pets don’t apply to service dogs.

Although the service dog is essential to the wellbeing of their handler, service dogs are still animals. To keep both the service dog and other passengers safe, there are specific rules that service dogs and their owners must abide by:

1. Remain on the Floor

Service dogs onboard an Amtrak train must remain on the floor. They can sit or lie under their handler’s seat or at their feet, but they can’t be on a seat, bed, or in the aisle. Trains have tight spaces, keeping the aisles free for others to pass is vital. 

2. Walking a Service Dog

Amtrak trains have scheduled stops with breaks for passengers to change trains or get some fresh air. Service dog owners are welcome to take their dogs out for walks during these stops and re-board at the same time as other passengers. Service dog handlers are responsible for the care of the service dog at all times, which includes any “accidents” the dog may have.

3. Prior Notification 

To ensure that Amtrak can accommodate a service animal, it’s best to make a reservation on their website ( or through their number (1-800-USA-RAIL ). This allows Amtrak to set aside an accessible seat upon request. Amtrak can also provide a list of stops along the route. 

4. Keeping a Controlled Service Dog

Amtrak has everything that could make a passenger comfortable. From onboard dining rooms to private rooms, Amtrak provides a unique experience to make each trip pleasurable. Though service dogs can accompany their handlers throughout the journey, they must remain well-behaved and calm.

Amtrak holds a service dog to the following requirements:

The service dog must be leashed, tethered, or harnessed at all times unless it is contraindicated because of the handler’s disability. The service dog must be under the handler’s control and not pose a disturbance to other passengers. 

If a dog is causing a significant disruption to the environment, such as barking uncontrollably or acting aggressively, an Amtrak employee may ask the handler to remove the dog from the area. In that case, the service dog handler can choose to remain in the area; however, the dog may not be left alone. If there is no one to accept custody, then the handler may resume travel at another time. 

Traveling with a Service Dog on Amtrak

A service dog provides an individual with a disability with more freedom to do the activities they enjoy, including traveling. Amtrak understands the importance of service dogs and is prepared to welcome them aboard their trains. 

When on an Amtrak train, show everyone your service dog is a necessary part of your life with your Service Dog ID. Get your service dog registered now.