Delta service and support animal policy effective March 1, enhancements added
In January, Delta announced policy changes for those traveling with service and support animals to support the airline's top priority of safety, after an 84 percent increase in reported service and support animal incidents since 2016. Based on conversations with key stakeholders in the disability community, the airline is further enhancing its policy effective March 1.
Delta's updated policy effective March 1
Any customer traveling with a service or support animal on or after March 1 will need to meet the new requirements as outlined below:
Traveling with a trained service animal
- In some cases, customers with a trained service animal may be asked to show the animal's Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record or other proof that the animal's vaccinations are up to date. Customers are encouraged, but not required, to submit this form to Delta's Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com before traveling.
- These customers can check-in via Delta.com, the Fly Delta mobile app, airport kiosks or with an airport agent.
Traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal
- Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date), an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form that requires a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form. These forms are required and must be submitted to Delta's Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours before travel.
- These customers must use the full-service check-in process with an airport agent.
Delta established the Service Animal Support Desk to improve the travel experience for customers traveling with service and support animals. This desk will verify that the above documentation is received and confirm the customer's reservation to travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal before arrival at the airport. If a form is not completed, a representative will communicate with the customer via e-mail to request the missing or incomplete items.
"We are implementing these changes for the safety of all customers, employees and trained service and support animals flying Delta, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs, such as veterans with disabilities," said John Laughter, Delta's Senior Vice President — Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. "While we will require that all animals not confined to kennels in the cabin have up-to-date vaccinations, we enhanced our policy to make online submission optional for those individuals who are blind or have reduced vision or other disabilities and have trained service animals."
Delta carries more than 250,000 service and support animals annually, an increase of nearly 150 percent since 2015. The airline does not accept exotic or unusual service or support animals.
To read the complete press release, please visit Delta News Hub.
Additional information on types of accepted animals and other questions related to traveling with service and support animals is available here.