United Airlines is drastically tightening up its emotional support animal policy, banning such animals on all flights over eight hours. Puppies and Kittens will also no longer be accepted as emotional support pets.
Effective immediately, United will only accept emotional support animals on flights under eight hours. This means emotional support animals are not welcome on all but the shortest intercontinental flights. United blames an increase in “onboard incidents” for the policy change. Furthermore, United will no longer accept cats and dogs under four months old as emotional support or service animals, noting they have not typically received requisite vaccinations. Lastly, United will only accept dogs and cats as emotional support animals (and dogs, cats, and miniature horses as service animals).
Here’s the official word, just posted on United Hub:
- We are limiting emotional support animals to flights under 8 hours. We have seen increases in onboard incidents on longer flights involving these animals, many of which are unaccustomed to spending an extended amount of time in the cabin of an aircraft.
- We will no longer accept kittens or puppies under four months of age as emotional support animals, in-cabin pets or service animals on any flight, regardless of length. Animals under the age of four months typically have not received the necessary vaccinations that help ensure the safety of our employees and customers.
- We are limiting acceptance of emotional support animals to dogs and cats. Additionally, we are limiting acceptance of service animals to dogs, cats and miniature horses.
All reservations booked prior to 03 January 2019 will be honored. United also hinted it may make exceptions for veterans, which should make Kyle happy.
We will continue to support customers with disabilities including those traveling with service or emotional support animals through our 24/7 Accessibility Desk, which is in place to provide service and care for our customers. And we will continue to support veterans in their travel needs and make every accommodation to ensure their experience with us is as comfortable and efficient as possible.
If you think this news sounds familiar, it is because Delta did essentially the same thing last month.
> Read More: Delta Seriously Restricts Emotional Support Animals
I applaud these changes. It is about time airlines pushed back against the rampant emotional support pet policy abuse that continues to proliferate. And don’t worry…if you cannot bear to travel without your kitten or puppy, you can still bring it along. You’ll just have to pay for it.
What do you think about United’s new policy?