Delta Air Lines bans young puppies and kittens as support animals

Booking a flight on Delta Air Lines? You may have to leave your fur babies behind.

Posted: Dec 14, 2018 4:45 PM

(CNN) -- Booking a flight on Delta Air Lines? You may have to leave your fur babies behind.

In keeping with a recent industry trend, the airline is placing more restrictions on service and emotional support animals on its flights.

Delta will ban service and emotional support animals under four months of age from all their flights beginning December 18. The airline also announced Monday they are prohibiting emotional support animals on flights that are over eight hours long.

The changes appear to be partly intended to address animals relieving themselves on airplanes. According to the airline, incidents involving service and support animals -- included urination, defecation, and biting -- increased 84% from 2016 to 2017.

In its announcement Delta referred to an incident last summer in which a passenger was hospitalized with facial wounds after he was attacked by a 50-pound dog -- an incident that was reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The airline says its new policy aligns with the US Department of Transportation's Air Carrier Access Act, which states that "airlines may require documentation stating that your animal will not need to relieve itself, or can do so in a sanitary way," on flights longer than eight hours.

As for the newly incorporated age restriction, the airline says it jibes with the vaccination policy of the CDC, which suggests animals should start receiving vaccinations no sooner than three months of age and that they should wait 30 days after vaccination before traveling.

Delta, which flies about 250,000 service animals a year, says the new regulations are aimed at protecting the rights of their customers.

"We will continue to review and enhance our policies and procedures as health and safety are core values at Delta," John Laughter, a senior vice president of corporate safety, security and compliance, said in the airline's press release. "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."

If you purchased a Delta ticket before December 18 and have requested to travel with an emotional support animal, the airline says you are on the clear.

But starting February 1, no emotional support animals will be accepted on flights longer than eight hours, and no service or support animals under four months will be accepted on flights of any length, regardless of booking date.

Service and support animals fly free on Delta -- unlike regular pets, which cost passengers $125 each way.

Delta says the number of service animals on its flights has increased nearly 150% since 2015. Perhaps as a result, in recent years the airline has been becoming stricter in its policies about animals on flights.

In March the airline started asking all passengers attempting to board with a service animal to show "proof," 48 hours before flying, that the animal is in good health and has been vaccinated. It also required passengers to sign a release form saying their animal would behave and to produce a letter signed by doctor or licensed mental health professional certifying they need a comfort pet.

The Air Carrier Access Act states airlines are not required to accept snakes, reptiles, ferrets, rodents, sugar gliders or spiders.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Robinson
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 27°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Clear
31° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 31°
Paris
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 25°
Mattoon/Charleston
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 32°
Terre Haute
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
Terre Haute
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 20°
A calm and cold evening.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Defiance Rose Hulman

Image

ISU Loyola MBB

Image

Vin Lin Sullivan

Image

Shakamak North Central

Image

Parke Heritage North Put

Image

Edgewood Northview

Image

North Knox Linton

Image

Barr Reeve Loogootee

Image

Saturday Evening Forecast

Image

pinewood derby offered in person and virtual

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1194629

Reported Deaths: 22947
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4773819428
DuPage775061205
Will65561906
Lake59972931
Kane51118723
Winnebago28430444
Madison28186461
St. Clair25649469
McHenry24580266
Champaign18241127
Peoria16983266
Sangamon16243222
McLean14707160
Tazewell13627240
Rock Island13140287
Kankakee12576189
Kendall1116987
LaSalle10884222
Macon9508186
Vermilion8618118
DeKalb8354115
Adams8035114
Williamson6858121
Whiteside5947149
Boone593671
Clinton558289
Coles523992
Grundy518563
Ogle505475
Knox5022133
Jackson461560
Effingham450169
Macoupin437280
Henry434658
Marion4272112
Livingston425277
Franklin416566
Stephenson411176
Monroe408486
Jefferson3994116
Randolph398079
Woodford369860
Morgan361277
Montgomery353670
Lee337243
Christian332668
Bureau332476
Logan331353
Fayette307052
Perry306857
Fulton288145
Iroquois278862
Jersey249947
Douglas246933
McDonough233740
Saline232848
Lawrence231924
Union220638
Shelby215234
Crawford201324
Bond191624
Cass189522
Pike170250
Clark168831
Wayne168849
Hancock168229
Warren166544
Richland163638
Jo Daviess161422
White161425
Ford159845
Washington158724
Carroll158035
Edgar155338
Moultrie150224
Clay143542
Greene138332
Johnson135312
Piatt133914
Wabash130512
Mercer128733
Mason128641
De Witt128322
Massac128134
Cumberland120118
Jasper111217
Menard10428
Marshall84515
Hamilton79115
Schuyler6825
Pulaski6716
Brown6656
Stark54422
Edwards52810
Henderson50414
Calhoun4822
Alexander4539
Scott4491
Gallatin4384
Putnam4213
Hardin34612
Pope2843
Out of IL50
Unassigned02246

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
Wabash333076
Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434