Hysterical Emotional Support Animals Banned by American Airlines

Hysterical Emotional Support Animals Banned by American Airlines

The country's largest airline, which has a major hub in Miami, released its new policy Monday detailing stricter rules for flying with a furry emotional support companion.

A United Airlines spokesperson said at the time that the airline experienced a 75 percent year-over-year increase in customers bringing emotional support animals on flights.

However, some animals like insects, goats, hedgehogs, ferrets and reptiles are now off limits no matter what. Miniature horses "that have been properly trained as service animals" are an exception to the last rule.

This means that the artist, Ventiko, who tried to bring an emotional service peacock onto a United Airlines flight earlier this year at Newark Liberty International Airport would have similar luck at American Airlines.

Emotional support animals provide emotional, psychiatric or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities, and are allowed to fly for free with their owners if they meet certain criteria, according the American Airlines.

More news: Mariners' Robinson Cano Breaks Hand After Being Hit By Pitch

American will also require those flying with an emotional support animal to submit a form at least 48 hours before their flight that is signed by their licensed mental health professional and that states their recognized mental or emotional disability and why they need the animal.

The changes are a way for American to reduce the number of passengers who try to pass their pets off as support animals to avoid additional fees. "Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft".

The airline said the animal did not fit its guidelines for support animals.

American said it met with American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot to help come up with the new policy. Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced legislation to protect the ability of people with disabilities - including veterans - to travel with trained service animals.

American Airlines said no animals would be permitted to travel in the cabin if they displayed any disruptive behavior that included growling, biting, jumping or lunging at other passengers. That could put Burr at odds with mental health advocates who see emotional support animals as a crucial part of treatment for some people with mental disabilities.

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