Posts Tagged ‘delta service dog’

If you plan on traveling, you might find yourself making arrangements to fly with your service dog. Although service dogs are protected by federal laws, flying with your service dog still takes some preparation. The following are a few pointers on how to fly on Delta Airlines with a service dog. 

About Delta Airlines

As the world’s most awarded airline, you may fly with Delta Airlines at least once in your lifetime. In 2021, Delta ranked No. 1 in J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction Study. Delta helps 200 million fly each year, with over 50 countries and 300 destinations in their network. 

Laws that Protect Your Service Dog While Traveling

With so many routes to choose from, Delta Airline may just have the destination you’re planning to fly to with your service dog. When you travel, two federal laws apply to you and your service dog: 

The Americans with Disabilities Act The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of people with disabilities, which includes the service dogs that work for them. Unlike pets, emotional support animals, and therapy dogs, service dogs receive specific training to fulfill a task required by a person with a disability.  Service dogs are necessary for the safety and well-being of their handler.  The Air Carrier Access ActThe Air Carrier Access Act (ACA) protects the rights of individuals to have their service dog accompany them while they travel. Pet fees and regulations don’t apply to service dogs. 

Despite these laws, airlines may require notification and preparation before a service dog boards its flight. These requirements aren’t meant to make traveling with a service dog a challenge; Instead, they help streamline the traveling process and ensure safety for everyone. 

Know how to fly with your service dog on Delta Airlines prior to making any flight bookings. Flying With Your Service Dog On Delta Airlines

Currently, Delta Airlines only accepts service dogs and psychiatric service dogs. Other service animals are not allowed to fly as service animals on any Delta flights. Therefore, pet fees and regulations apply to non-canine service animals. 

Delta no longer accepts emotional support dog (ESA) reservations as of January 11, 2021. Only service dogs are covered under ADA and ACA laws. Each customer may fly with, at the most, two trained service dogs

Step1: Vaccinations and Relief 

The completion of two documents is required before flying on Delta Airlines with your service dog. 

The U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel FormThe U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel Form attests to the service dog’s health, behavior, and training. The form must be submitted before flying on Delta with a service animal. For flights booked 48 hours or more before the departure time, the form is provided to Delta through the Accessibility Request form on the My Trips webpage. For flights booked less than 48 hours from departure, the U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel Form is submitted at the check-in counter or the gate of departure.  The DOT Relief Attestation FormThe DOT Relief Attestation Form is submitted for flights lasting 8 hours or more. On this form, the service dog handler attests that the dog can relieve itself in a sanitary manner or, preferably, will not relieve itself while on the airplane.  Step 2: Space Considerations 

When traveling with a service dog, Delta Airlines asks customers to select a seat that can accommodate the dog comfortably. The service dog must be seated on the floor below the seat or, if small enough, on their handler’s lap. Service dogs are not allowed to sit in a seat or consume food off of the tray tables. For FAA safety reasons, service dogs may not extend into the aisle or reach into another customer’s space. 

A service dog may not extend past the footprint of the assigned seat of their handler. If the dog is too large or may become an obstruction, the handler may check the service animal as baggage without charge. Otherwise, the handler may purchase a second ticket at the same rate for the service animal — however, a seat on the flight depends on availability at the time.

Step 3: Extra Time to Check-In and Board

Allow for extra time to check-in and board when traveling with a service animal. The additional documents and accommodations may delay your boarding process, and it’s best to have a generous window of time to fulfill all requirements. 

Additionally, it’s a good idea to let your service dog relieve itself before any flight, no matter how long. All U.S. airports have a designated animal relief area. This will help prevent unnecessary accidents and embarrassment.

Quarantine Requirements for Dogs

Due to quarantine requirements and laws, some locations may not permit the entry of animals — even service animals. Check the animal requirements of your destination prior to booking the flight. 

Service Dog Behavior

Delta may refuse to accommodate a service dog if it exhibits any of the following behaviors: 

Growling or biting Jumping on others people Urinating or defecating in the gate area or the cabin Barking excessively Consuming items off the tray tables Flying on Delta With Your Service Dog

Customers who have additional questions about flying with a service dog on Delta Airlines can contact them directly by calling Delta’s customer service at 404-209-3434.

Delta carries approximately 250,000 Service and Emotional Support Animals each year. However, as of March 01, 2018, they are tightening their policy for these working animals in an effort to reduce “misbehavior” by dogs (and other creatures). Although the carrier is required by law to admit Service animals and ESA’s into the cabin of the craft, they can and are putting extra rules into place.

What is the new policy? How does this affect those with disabilities that need a Service Dog? Read on for the important facts you will need to know before you book your next flight with Delta.

What is a Service Animal?

There is a difference between a Service Animal and an Emotional Support Animal. Service animals are typically dogs that have been trained to perform a specific task for an individual with a disability. This can be any number of things from picking up dropped items to opening doors, to alerting the person to an oncoming medical situation.

The Emotional Support Animal, on the other hand, is there only to provide the individual with comfort and support. These can be of any species of animal and do not need to be trained for a specific service, other than comfort.

Why is Delta Changing Their Service Dog Policy?

Delta has seen a surge of 150 percent in service animals (that by Federal law must be allowed to fly uncaged and at no additional cost to the passenger) since 2015. However, there have been incidences of customers “attempting to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more.”

This has increased the complaints from Delta passengers concerning allergies, and other disturbances, as well as abuse to the Service Dog policy, with some of these clients just trying to fly their pets for free.

With an average of more than 200 service animals and 500 support animals flying on a daily basis, and the fact that in-flight incidences with these types of animals have risen 84 percent since 2016, Delta felt the need to change-up their policies.

Delta said; More untrained animals are being brought onto planes, where they urinate, defecate, bark, growl, lunge and exhibit other behavior uncommon among companions that are properly taught.”

What is the New Delta Policy Regarding Service Dogs and Emotional Support Animals?

As of the first of March 2018, Delta will require all passengers with service dogs or emotional support animals to submit proof of health or vaccinations. This will have to be done through Delta’s website 48 hours before flight time.

Those customers requiring an ESA or Psychiatric Service Animal must (in addition to the health record) sign a document stating the animal’s “ability to behave in the cabin or risk being barred from boarding or removed from the plane.”

However, Delta does not require any proof that the animal has graduated from obedience school. But be aware that you will need to provide a letter prepared and signed by your licensed mental health professional explaining why you need an ESA to accompany you on the flight.

Where can I get the new Delta service dog forms?

Before you fly with Delta, be sure to visit their website to download the proper forms you will need before your flight. The new Delta service dog travel forms can be accessed here.

Behaviors Delta Will Not Tolerate

With these stricter policies, Delta urges those folks traveling with animals in the cabin of the aircraft to have their “working” animals under control at all times. Behaviors that will not be tolerated include;

Growling Jumping on passengers Relieving themselves in the gate area or cabin Barking excessively, not in response to a handler’s need or distress Eating off seat back tray tables

Delta reserves the right to refuse transportation for any animal exhibiting unruly behavior.


If you are planning a trip on Delta airlines and need a Service or an Emotional Support Animal, be sure to have your animal’s health or proof of vaccination certificate. If you are traveling with an ESA or psychiatric service animal, you will also need a note from your mental health professional stating your need for the animal. Be sure to visit Delta’s website for further downloads and let them know you will be traveling with a “working” animal 48 hours prior to your flight. To register your service animal and receive your service dog certification, complete the registration in the link below.