Service and Support Animals   

CDC Suspension for Dogs Entering the U.S. From High-Risk Countries


Overview

Effective July 14, 2021, the CDC has issued a temporary suspension of dogs:

  • From countries classified by the CDC as high risk for dog rabies; AND
  • That have been in high-risk countries in the last 6 months.

These rules apply to:

  • All dogs, including trained service animals and emotional support dogs (confirmed prior to Jan. 11, 2021) and dogs arriving from countries NOT at high risk if the dogs have been in any high-risk country, during the previous 6 months.
  • Customers who are (1) just visiting the U.S. with their dog, (2) importing dogs into the U.S., or (3) returning to the U.S. with their dog after a temporary visit, such as a vacation or holiday.​​

Dogs from high-risk countries may be imported only with CDC’s advance written approval (CDC Dog Import Permit) – this applies to service animals (SVAN), pet in the cabin (PETC), qualifying military in hold (AVIH) and shipped via Cargo (AVIH).

Acceptable Ports of Entry

From July 14 through October 14, 2021, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits can enter the United States at one of these 18 airports: Anchorage, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit, Honolulu, Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, Seattle, and Washington, DC (IAD).

After October 14, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits must enter only at approved ports of entry.​

Additional Resources

Delta strongly advises Travel Agents to review the informational page, and FAQs, provided by the CDC, including eligibility for dog import permits in exceptional circumstances.

 

Emotional Support Animals (ESAN) and Trained Service Animals (SVAN)

Effective Jan. 11, 2021, Delta will no longer accept emotional support animal (ESAN) bookings on any Delta flight. Delta’s updated policy follows a final rule issued last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which states carriers are no longer required to recognize emotional support animals as service animals.  

Following the final rule issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Delta will implement the following changes to our Service and Support Animal policies. 

Prior to January 11, 2021
 
Trained Service Animals (SVAN)

Customers traveling with a Trained Service Animal are not required to provide documentation when traveling on flights.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAN)

Customers traveling with Emotional Support Animals will be required to submit the current Emotional Support Animal documentation.

Beginning January 11, 2021

Trained Service Animals (SVAN)

Delta will only accept Trained Service Animals. 

A Trained Service Animal is defined as a dog (of any breed) that is trained to perform a function or to assist in the performance of a life function for a qualified individual with a disability including trained functions for individuals with psychological related disabilities. Passengers are limited to a maximum of two Trained Service Animals.

Customers traveling with a Trained Service Animal who are booking travel 48 hours or more prior to departure must submit DOT-provided documentation in advance for validation through the Accessible Travel Form in My Trips.  Customers booking travel less than 48 hours prior to departure may present this documentation at the check-in counter or the departure gate.  

See table below for documentation requirements and links to applicable forms.

Note: Customers traveling with a Trained Service Animal on January 11 or January 12 can present DOT-provided Service Animal documentation at the departure gate.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAN)

Customers will not be permitted to book new travel with an Emotional Support Animal. Customers who wish to travel with a pet may do so according to Delta’s Pet in Cabin Policy (PETC).

Note: Delta will honor existing bookings for Emotional Support Animals for travel on or after January 11, 2021 if the required documentation was submitted and the reservation was confirmed by Delta prior to January 11, 2021.  

Type of Animal  

Date of Travel  

Policy  

Required Documentation

Trained Service Animal   

Prior to 1/11/21  

Customers traveling with a Trained Service Animal are not required to provide documentation when traveling on flights  

None   

Trained Service Animal   

Beginning  

1/11/21  

Delta will only accept Trained Service Animals that are dogs (regardless of breed).  

  • Customers booking travel 48 hours or more prior to departure must submit the  Service Animal Air Travel form in advance for validation through the Accessible Travel Form.  
  • Customers who book travel less than 48 hours prior to departure may present this documentation at the check-in counter or the departure gate.  
  • For flights scheduled for eight hours or more, customers must also submit a DOT Relief Attestation Form attesting that the trained service animal will not relieve itself in the aircraft or can do so in a sanitary manner. 

Customers traveling on 1/11/21 or 1/12/21 can present DOT Service Animal documentation at the departure gate.

New DOT trained service dog(s) forms 

Emotional Support Animals  

Prior to 1/11/21  

Customers traveling with Emotional Support Animals will be required to submit the current Emotional Support Animal documentation. 

Emotional Support Animal Form   

Emotional Support Animals  

Beginning  

1/11/21  

Customers will not be permitted to book new travel with an emotional support animal.  

Customers who wish to travel with a pet may do so according to Delta’s Pet in Cabin (PETC)

Delta will honor existing bookings for Emotional Support Animals for travel on or after Jan. 11, 2021 if the required documentation was submitted and the reservation was confirmed by Delta prior to Jan. 11, 2021.  

None    

   

   

   

   

   

 

Additional Information Regarding Service Animal Policy Changes Effective Jan. 11, 2021: 

  • Trained service animals are defined as dogs, regardless of breed, specifically trained to assist a person with a disability.
  • Delta will lift its ban on pit bull type dogs provided they meet documentation and behavior requirements for trained service animals; however, in line with Delta’s current policy, pit bull type dogs will not be allowed to travel as emotional support animals for those customers ticketed and confirmed by Delta before Jan. 11.
  • A customer with a disability using a trained service animal (SVAN) may be seated anywhere in their cabin of purchase except an exit row. This includes Delta One, Business or First Class. 
  • Delta will continue to deny boarding to any trained service animal that poses a threat or demonstrates behavior that is aggressive or inappropriate in a public setting (barking, growling, uncontrolled bodily functions, etc.). ​
  • Delta will continue to work with its Advisory Board on Disability to ensure this new rule is implemented in a manner that improves the travel experience for all our customers.

Other Helpful Information - Flying with a Trained Service Animal

  • Limit of 2 SVANs (dogs only) will be accepted 
  • SVANs will be accepted regardless of breed  
  • A SVAN in training does not meet qualifications for a trained animal and cannot ride in cabin. Delta will permit a SVAN in training provided it is traveling with a professional trainer en route to its owner.
  • All animals must be able to fit safely on the floor in the foot space of the customer. 
  • Service animals must remain with the passenger at all times.
    • Unaccompanied animals are not permitted in the cabin.
PNR and Other Documentation Requirements

Customers traveling with a trained service or emotional support or psychiatric service animal must contact Global Sales Support or Delta Reservations prior to departureto advise that they are traveling so that the customer’s PNR is properly documented. Effective January 11, 2021, emotional support animal bookings will no longer be accepted.

Seat Assignment and Seating Restrictions

A customer traveling with a service animal must have a seat assigned prior to departure. If a customer is traveling with a service animal they should:

  • Select a seat that offers space for their animal.
    • Service and support animals must be seated in the floor space below a seat, or in a passenger’s lap. 
    • The size of the animal must not exceed the “footprint” of the passenger’s seat.

With larger service or support animals or for passengers with multiple service animals, we may need to re-accommodate a customer if the animal encroaches on other passengers or extends into aisles, which would be a violation of FAA regulations. 

No animals are allowed to occupy seats that are designed for passengers.

If a customer needs additional time to board the aircraft, pre-boarding is available.  Please advise the customer to arrive at the gate with enough time to make arrangements with the gate agents prior to departure.  

NOTE: If a customer encounters any issues with their service animal while at the airport or on board, please advise them to speak to a Complaint Resolution Official (CRO). These trained Delta representatives are ready to assist passengers with accessibility rights and needs.

Unacceptable Service/Support Animals

Delta does not accept the following as trained service or emotional support animals confirmed by Delta prior to January 11, 2021. These animals pose safety and/or public health concerns.  If you have additional questions, please contact the accessibility assistance line at 404-209-3434 or Delta Reservations

  • Hedgehogs
  • Ferrets
  • Insects
  • Rodents
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Sugar gliders
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians (frogs, etc.)
  • Goats
  • Non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game bird, & birds of prey)
  • Animals improperly cleaned and/or with a foul odor
  • Animals with tusk or hooves
Inappropriate Service or Support Animal Behavior

Delta understands how important trained service and emotional support animals are to customers. We will only refuse transportation of a trained service animal (or an emotional support animal confirmed before Jan. 11, 2021) if it engages in disruptive or aggressive behavior such as: 

  • 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 seatback tray tables
Location Restrictions and International Travel Requirements

It is important to remember that some locations such as Hawaii, the U.K. and other island nations have additional requirements and quarantine laws that may not permit the entry or transit of animals. See Pet Travel Health Requirements for more information. Contact Delta at 404-209-3434 or visit the local government’s consulate website to learn the requirements for any transit points as well as for your final destination. 

In addition, acceptance policies for trained service animals may vary by country. Prior to purchasing a ticket, contact Global Sales Support or Delta Reservations for assistance with appropriate information concerning transportation of any service or support animals outside of the U.S.

Service and Support Animal FAQs

Some helpful Service and Support Animal FAQs are available on delta.com.

Additional Resources

Additional information is available for transporting non-service animals as Pets in Cabin (PETC) or Pets in Hold (AVIH) or transporting pets via Delta Cargo.

 

 
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