Flying With Service Dogs In 2021

Help, DOT changed all the rules?

You may have heard that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued a major overhaul of the rules governing assistance animals on planes. Don’t panic, we will go over those rules in depth and summarize what you need to know as a service dog handler, including the new paperwork requirements.

Learn more in this new series Flying with Service Dogs

Flying with Service Dogs

In this Series we will provide a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know in order to Fly with your service dog or psychiatric service dog

You may have heard that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued a major overhaul of the rules governing assistance animals on planes. We’ll go over those rules in depth and summarize what you need to know as a service dog or PSD handler, including the new paperwork requirements.

The DOT’s new rules go into effect on January 11th, 2021, and there will likely be an adjustment period as airlines revise their old policies. It’s important to know the rules we have discussed in this guide, but you should also contact the airline you’re flying with to ensure you’re clear on their policies and have submitted you paperwork to their satisfaction. When it comes to successfully flying with a service dog or PSD, preparedness is the key!

Under the DOT’s new rules, airlines are no longer obligated to recognize emotional support animals (ESAs) as assistance animals. That means starting on January 11th, 2021, airlines are no longer obligated to accommodate ESAs.

Under the DOT’s new rules, airlines are no longer obligated to recognize emotional support animals (ESAs) as assistance animals. That means starting on January 11th, 2021, airlines are no longer obligated to accommodate ESAs.

SO Lets talk about the good news

The good news for service dog and PSD owners is that their canine companions remain protected, with some caveats. Service dogs are still allowed to accompany their handlers in the airplane cabin free of charge. The DOT however has radically changed the procedures for how airlines process service dogs. So even if you’re an experienced service dog owner who has flown for years with your dog, you’ll want to read this guide.

This guide is also perfect for those new to flying with a service animal and need to know all the relevant information. We’ll answer common questions like who is eligible to fly with a service dog, what the new paperwork requirements are and where to order a certification, license or ID. We’ll also share some practical insights for dealing with flights and airports from experienced service dog owners.



Let’s take a look at what the DOT considers as a service dog under the new rules.


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