Delta has been fairly lenient when it comes to allowing service animals on board in the past, but now they’re looking to enforce tighter regulations. Effective March 1, these restrictions will require all passengers who are traveling with even a support pet to provide documentation 48 hours before their flight. These documents must provide medical reasoning as well as all proof that the animal has gone through the proper vaccinations and training.
These new regulations are in light of recent events which have “led to serious safety risks involving untrained animals in flight.” Delta also revealed that the number of on-board service animals has risen 150 percent just since 2015, the contributing factor to the increase in safety risks and reported incidents (which they claim have increased 84 percent). Most of the incidents revolve around attacks (including biting) and urination.
If you’re currently scheduled to fly with Delta after the 1st and are bringing an animal with you, you’ll need to provide a few things. You’ll need a veterinarian to sign a health form, and you might even need to provide an immunization record as well. If you’re bringing your emotional support pet with you, you’ll need to go a step further by also providing a letter signed by a doctor (or a licensed mental health professional), and including a signed animal training confirmation form.
“The rise in serious incidents involving animals in flight leads us to believe that the lack of regulation in both health and training screening for these animals is creating unsafe conditions across US air travel,” Delta claimed.