Airlines Tighten Rules Surrounding Emotional Support Animals
The agency announced that airlines are not required to recognize emotional support animals as service animals.
The new rule states that airlines may treat emotional support animals as pets and require them to be handled as such.
Airlines asked the DOT to regulate the issue due to their concern that passengers were taking advantage of the system.
Airlines claim that passengers fraudulently passed off their pets as emotional support animals to avoid paying fees.
Emotional support animals provide comfort but unlike service animals, they are not required to have training in specific tasks.
According to CNN, pigs, peacocks, and other animals have previously flown as emotional support animals.