Emotional Support Animals Can’t Fly Anymore – How Can You Bring Your Dog Now?

If you’ve been in an airport lately you’ve probably noticed a lot fewer dogs and pets waiting at the gates to board their flights. Many things changed over the pandemic- one major thing that airlines did was ending their Emotional Support Animal flight allowance. 

We all remember the flight stories of crazy emotional support peacocks, pigs, and other animals causing chaos aboard flights. When most flights were grounded during lockdowns many airlines took the chance to change policies that weren’t beneficial. By accepting Emotional Support animals on their flights and giving them similar accommodations and privileges to trained Service Animals it allowed waaaay more animals on planes and many were far less trained and had far less restrictions. With complaints from flight attendants, other passengers and just wanting to avoid complications we can understand why they want to lessen the amount of animals on the planes but it makes taking pets that we rely on a bit harder. 

So how do you fly with your dog or cat now? For most people, procedures haven’t changed. You’ll book your ticket online and then call the airline to add your pet to your ticket. Pro-tip: Book online first and then add later with one of their reservation specialists afterwards to avoid the $50 fee that many airlines charge for reservation help. 

What are the main differences between having your dog fly now versus before when emotional support animals were allowed? 

  • Money is one major factor- you will need to buy your dog a ticket for each way of your journey. Most pet fees range between $99-$250 each way with the most common fees being $125 each way
  • Size and availability is also a factor as you will now have to abide by the size regulations for in-cabin travel. Many airlines have size and weight limits around 20 lbs in the US and around 12-14 lbs with international carriers. Not all airlines allow pets in-cabin and many have limited their transatlantic routes that allow pets. 
  • Pets in the planes are now required to stay in their carriers for the entire flight. They are no longer allowed to be on your lap or held by other passengers.
  • Dogs and cats are not allowed in many first class sections (exception is La Compagnie flights- more info here)

While it may be a little harder to bring your dog along now, we’d love to help you find the right flight for you and your dog! Check out our list below of all of the major airlines with the pet restrictions, requirements, and other other info you might need for you and your dog to set off on your new adventure!