Your Emotional Support Spider And Goat Are Now Banned On American Airlines

Your Emotional Support Spider And Goat Are Now Banned On American Airlines

American Airlines is making it very clear: Insects, goats and hedgehogs can not be brought on planes as emotional support animals.

The airline said it would also be more active in contacting medical professionals to verify a passenger's request for an onboard comfort animal. But it is concerned that untrained animals pose a safety risk to crews, passengers and other working animals on a flight.

This includes not only insects, goats and hedgehogs, but also ferrets, spiders, and non-household birds, like chickens and hawks.

Emotional support animals provide emotional, psychiatric or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities, and are allowed to fly for free with their owners if they meet certain criteria, according the American Airlines.

"I can spot a fake emotional support animal a mile away", veteran flight attendant Heather Poole, author of "Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet", told NBC News. American said that from 2016 to 2017, the number of cases increased by more than 40 percent.

American Airline's revised rules go into effect on July 1. If the animal exhibits growling, biting or attempting to bite, or jumping on or lunging at people, it will be treated as a pet and travellers will be charged applicable fees.

As for Canadian airlines, WestJet allows "qualified individuals with a disability" to bring emotional support dogs, cats, miniature horses, pigs and monkeys on most flights. While it now intends to to enforce the existing 48-hour advanced notice and pre-clearance policy, the airlines said, it also will have procedures in place for emergency travel booked within 48 hours of departure. "It's hard to discern the difference between people passing off a pet as an emotional support dog versus a legitimate service animal that is there to mitigate a disability". Guests will also be required to provide a form filled out by their doctor detailing their need for a support animal, or a letter from their doctor. None of the restrictions affect American's service animal policy, which specifically applies to animals that are trained to assist people with disabilities.

Albert Rizzi, the organization's founder, who is legally blind, stressed in an American Airlines employee podcast on Monday that the changes being made by the airline will not affect those who rely on trained service animals.