What is United Airlines ESA
United Airlines ESA
Category : Airlines / Posted on: January 27, 2023 / Author: Admin
United Airlines ESA
What is United Airlines' Policy Regarding ESAs and Service Animals
The Department of Transportation (DOT), updated its ACAA guidelines on animals allowed on planes on January 11, 2021. Many airlines, including United Airlines have stopped accepting emotional support animals (ESA), as service animals on flights. They also reduced their definition of service animal to dogs.
ESAs cannot be left in the cabin with owners anymore, but service dogs and psychiatric dogs are allowed. United Airlines allows non-service animals, such as small dogs and cats, to travel with their owners on board a carrier as "in cabin pets".
What is the difference between a Service Animal (or an ESA)?
The service animal or psychiatric dog is a dog that has been specially trained to perform tasks or work for someone with a mental or physical disability. They can be trained to perform a variety of tasks such as opening doors and cabinets, interrupting panic attacks, or using their body weight to deliver deep pressure therapy (DPT).
While service dogs are primarily for physical impairments, psychiatric dogs can be used to treat mental or emotional disorders. Both are covered by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act). Service dogs must be evaluated by a physician before they can be owned.
ESAs (emotional Support Animals) are used when people need comfort in distressing situations. However, these animals are not trained to perform any particular tasks. ESAs are not limited to dogs. ESAs must also be diagnosed by a physician. However, ESAs do not fall under the ADA and ACAA.
Requirements to Fly United with Animals
United Airlines requires that all animals, including service dogs, traveling with them, be at least four months old. United Airlines does not permit pit-bulls to travel onboard. Only cats and dogs are allowed to fly. Your pet may have snub noses (e.g., French bulldogs or Persian cats should be consulted before traveling as high altitude can cause breathing problems.
United Airlines with a Service Dog
Travelers who are traveling with a service dog or psychiatric dog must first complete and submit the U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training and Attestation Form. This form can be found on United Airlines' page.
If the flight is more than 8 hours long, passengers will need to submit a U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Form.
If travel is booked within 48 hours, the forms must be submitted to United Airlines no later than 48 hours before departure. These forms should be kept on hand by all passengers.
During the Flight
United will not accept service dogs unless they are tethered or harnessed and under direct control. Service dogs cannot be seated in a chair. They must stay within their handler's designated space. Service dogs are allowed to sit in any cabin, except the exit row.
Service dogs may also be carried in a carrier. They can be taken out of the carrier during flight. The carrier must be placed under your seat during taxi, take off, landing, and storage. Service dogs must be able sit, stand, and turn comfortably in their carriers.
United Airlines can ask about your service dog, and whether they have been trained to perform tasks or work for you to aid you with your disability. They are not allowed to ask you for any specific information about your disability, or require that your dog do any work or task on your command. You may need to provide written documentation if you are unable to verbally describe the tasks or work your service dog is trained for.
United Airlines restricts the number of service animals per person to 2.
Traveling with a non-service animal
United Airlines considers non-service animals "in-cabin pets". This means that cats and small dogs are allowed on board a carrier. Other species are not permitted to fly with United. There are some restrictions for passengers traveling with an in-cabin pet. All passengers must indicate their in-cabin pet on their reservation. If you require assistance, contact United Airlines directly.
United recommends that passengers with in-cabin pets check in at least 30 minutes before the usual time. Pets will receive a bright yellow identification tag upon check-in.
Soft-sided carriers shouldn't be larger than 18 inches (L) by 11"(W) and 11" (1H), while hard-sided kennels should not exceed 17.5" (L), x 12” (W), x 7.5” (H). Animals should be able stand, sit, and turn comfortably. Only one animal per carrier is allowed. The carrier must be under your seat at all times for in-cabin pets.
Service dogs in training
United Airlines allows service dogs to train, but most airlines don't allow them. A designated dog trainer is required to allow service dogs to train. They must also be helping someone with disabilities. All forms must be submitted to United Airlines. However, passengers and dog handlers who are interested in taking a service animal to training onboard should check with United Airlines beforehand to ensure they understand the requirements.
How do I register my dog as a service or psychiatric service dog?
It is not mandatory to register your service or psychiatric dog, as there is no national database. It is possible to make paperwork easier by registering your dog for service as a service pet. Registering your dog can help you to get information like an ID card, which informs you and others about your rights under the ADA, as well as a vest that helps identify your dog's status as a service animal.
Are pets allowed to travel with United Airlines in the Cargo Hold
United Airlines used to transport their pet transportation and shipping program "Pet Safe" in a pressurized section within the cargo hold.
As of July 7, 2020, United Airlines no longer offers this program. All animals that travel with United must be in-cabin pets or service dogs. United Airlines will be changing the offerings of this program. For more information, contact them directly.
Is a Veterinary Health Certificate required by United Airlines?
Yes. However, depending on the destination you are traveling to, they might require additional information. All pets within the United States must have a certificate from their veterinarian proving current rabies vaccination.
Hawaii is a destination that requires extra health information. You should check the laws and regulations in Hawaii before you travel. United recommends that you contact the airline directly to ensure your pet has the right forms and research the requirements for your destination.
Remember that animals can't travel within 30 days after receiving a rabies vaccine.
Are there any fees for traveling with an animal on United Airlines?
For service dogs or psychiatric service dog, the passenger is free. In-cabin pets are subject to a $125 fee per passenger and a $125 service fee for every layover lasting more than 4 hours in the continental United States (or more than 24 if you're outside the U.S.). For more information about fees, contact United Airlines.
Additional Information about traveling with a service dog or non-service pet on United Airlines
United Airlines will not allow service animals or in-cabin pets to travel with an unaccompanied minor. It is important to reserve your in-cabin space well in advance as there are limited space.
TSA screening applies to all pets, even service animals. This may involve removing the pet from the carrier and putting it through a non-Xray metal detector.
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