American Airlines will no longer allow passengers to bring along trusty service animals like insects, prickly hedgehogs, or goats, after the airline experienced a massive jump in the number of animals travelling with the carrier.
American, citing a 40 per cent increase in animals travelling with them, will no longer allow animals including turtles, ferrets, birds of prey, insects, snakes, hedgehogs, or goats into their cabins starting with tickets booked on or after July 1.
Passengers must now submit documents for emotional support animals like dogs and cats 48-hours before flight time, showing that the animals are healthy, trained, and have been recommended by a medical care professional. A statement from American says that they will have procedures in place for last minute travel that falls inside that 48 hours window.
The change in procedure places American in line with several other carriers, including United, Delta, and Alaska Airlines.
United Airlines has changed their rules in recent months for comfort animals, first as a result of a passenger attempting to bring an emotional support peacock onto a cross-country flight in January.
The animal troubles continued for United Airlines in March, when a puppy died in an overhead compartment where flight attendants had told passengers to store the dog.
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After reviewing its policies, United announced the ban of 20 breeds of dogs and cats from riding in the cargo holds of its aircraft this month.
Delta has had problems of its own, and cited an 84 per cent increase in the number of animal incidents since 2016 when announcing its changed policies. Those incidents included a 50-pound dog mauling a passenger on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego last year.