More and More Emotional Support Animals Boarding Planes


A Lobbying Firm Is Asking for More Limits

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act made it easier for people requiring assistance to access it when and where needed, but some people have taken the loosening of airline restrictions on the animals allowed in the passenger section of planes to new heights by bringing iguanas, gerbils, peacocks, dogs and cats on-board and calling them Emotional Support Animals.

That’s created problems.

According to industry lobbying group “Americans for Airlines” Senior VP of Policy Sharon Pinkerton, there has been a 74% in the number of Emotional Support Animals on flights from 2017 to 2018, and though restrictions tightening required professional documentation supporting the animal’s qualifications were instituted in January, the privilege is still being abused by passengers wanting to bring Fido and Fluffy on vacation with them.

“We’ve asked the Department of Transportation to tighten up the rules to make the definition of a service animal the same as the definition that the Justice Department has under the American with Disabilities Act,” she tells NewsRadio 740 KTRH.  That would allow dogs covered as Service Animals needed for psychological reasons to accompany their owners, but airlines would have more latitude in imposing limitations on the more frivolous instances.

Recent troubles have included an aggressive pit bull, defecating pigs, and a peacock.  Under proposed changes, passengers would be limited to dogs, cats and miniature horses.


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