Delta Airlines recently announced that it will no longer accept pit bull type dogs as service dogs or emotional support animals, beginning July 10, 2018. Additionally there will be a limit of one emotional support animal per passenger. Apparently this new policy is the direct result of several employees being bitten by service dogs or emotional support animals.
Although the Americans with disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits places of public accommodation from excluding specific breeds of service animals, the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), which covers accessible air travel, has no such provision.
Yet another reason why the ADA and the ACAA need to be aligned in regards to service animals, as it’s seriously confusing to the average Joe.
Several months ago Delta was the first airline to implement stricter documentation procedures for customers who travel with emotional support animals. Let’s see if other airlines will follow suit in regards to this latest policy change.
Time will tell, but again I do think it’s about time for some parity between the ADA and the ACAA in regards to service animals. It will make things easier all the way around.
Editorial Note: In August 2019, the Department of Transportation released their “Final Statement of Enforcement Policies Regarding Service Animals on Flights”, which prohibits airlines from restricting certain breeds. Airlines are still allowed to evaluate service animals, ESAs and PSAs for a possible direct threat on a case-by-case basis.