It seems like the last few years haven’t been great for airlines. There has been a lot of negative press when it comes to not just one, but several different popular airlines.
From stories about passengers fighting with flight attendants, to truly tragic mistakes with pets, it seems like all the airlines have been having issues keeping their brands in the clear.
Delta Airlines has been in the news a few times this year, but one of their most controversial incidents was their July 10th 2018 policy that would ban pit bulls from acting as an emotional support animal on their flights.
They claimed it was due to “safety concerns,” however many animal activists, including the ASPCA, spoke out on the ban and called it unfair.
But now, instead of rolling back their policy they’ve made it even worse.
Their newest policy update restricts the use of ALL emotional support animals on flights shorter than eight hours.
It reads: “Effective December 18, 2018: Service and support animals under four months of age are not allowed on any flight due to rabies vaccination requirements. Additionally, emotional support animals are no longer allowed to be booked on flights longer than eight hours. If you purchased your ticket prior to December 18th and have requested to travel with an emotional support animal, it will be ok to travel as originally ticketed.”
By February 1st, 2019, Delta will no longer allow you to travel with your emotional support animal for flights lasting longer than eight hours, no matter how far in advance you purchased your ticket.
There have already been so many rules about what kind of documentation you need, but now they’ve decided that 8 hours is cut off for all support animals.
The ban also includes any support or service animals under the age of four months.
In a statement about the new ban, Delta’s senior vice president of corporate safety, security, and compliance said, “We will continue to review and enhance our policies and procedures as health and safety are core values at Delta. These updates support Delta’s commitment to safety and also protect the rights of customers with documented needs – such as veterans with disabilities – to travel with trained service and support animals.”
Delta’s policy change is said to be due to the 84% increase in the number of support animals in the last two years. They have reported issues with urinating, defecating, and even one support animal biting a crew member.
Other airlines have been experiencing this same influx of support animal claims, and they seem to believe people are using this designation as a way to allow their pets to fly for free.
While that’s not the claim Delta is making with this new policy, it could be part of their choice.