Effective Dec. 18, Delta is updating its service and support animal policy. The enhancements introduce a ban on service and support animals under four months of age regardless of flight length as well as a ban on emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours.
“We will continue to review and enhance our policies and procedures as health and safety are core values at Delta,” said John Laughter, Senior Vice President – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. “These updates support Delta's commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs – such as veterans with disabilities – to travel with trained service and support animals.”
Delta’s updated policy follows an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals 2016-2017, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 50-pound dog. The updated support and service animal age requirement aligns with the vaccination policy of the CDC, and the eight-hour flight limit for emotional support animals is consistent with the principles outlined in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act.
As a result of the policy changes, customers ticketed on or after Dec. 18 will no longer be permitted to originate travel with emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours and will no longer be permitted to originate travel with service and support animals under four months of age regardless of flight length. Customers with tickets purchased prior to Dec. 18, who have already requested to travel with an emotional support animal will be allowed to travel as originally ticketed.
Regardless of booking date, emotional support animals will not be accepted on flights longer than eight hours on or after Feb. 1. Additionally, service and support animals under four months of age will not be accepted on flights of any length on or after Feb. 1. Customers will be contacted by Delta’s Reservations and Customer Care teams to adjust reservations if the policy update impacts their travel plans.
The full policy and additional information on types of accepted animals and other questions related to traveling with service and support animals is available on delta.com.
This article has been updated to correct the size of the dog referenced in the third paragraph.