If you're looking to fly with Delta Airlines this year with dogs or service animals, you'll need to look into a set of new regulations regarding their acceptance when traveling in cabin. This is in reaction to a rising number of unfortunate incidents that have taken place on flights dating as far back as 2016.
The new regulations require all passengers traveling with a support or service animal to provide proof of health and vaccinations 48 hours in advance of departure. The rules also require travelers bringing these animals on board to have a signed letter by a doctor or licensed mental health professional in hand with them when they fly.
Like all airlines, animal safety is important to Delta, but customer safety has come into sharp focus lately, especially after one passenger was attacked by a 70-poind support dog leaving them in need of 28 stitches. In addition to bites, increased aggression and urination were cited in a recent company news release as the reasons behind the new changes.
Traveling with Service Animals
According to John Laughter, Delta’s senior vice president for Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance, “The rise in serious incidents involving animals in flight leads us to believe that the lack of regulation in both health and training screening for these animals is creating unsafe conditions across U.S. air travel. As a leader in safety, we worked with our Advisory Board on Disability to find a solution that supports those customers with a legitimate need for these animals, while prioritizing a safe and consistent travel experience.”
Flying the Friendly Skies
The skies aren't so friendly to fly anymore, due to a number of unsavory reasons, but safeguarding passengers from dogs has joined the list of issues that need to be addressed. The new rules are also asking that psychiatric and emotional support animals are accompanied by a signed document confirming that the animal can behave well enough to fly without a kennel.
To put it in prospective, Delta has provided estimates on the number of service or support animals that fly with them daily, which is 700, and about 250,000 animals fly with them annually. For more information on the new rules and regs, click on the news release link above.