Legal Section
Legal Advice
From a
Border Collie!
Emotional Support Pets enjoy their Federally protected status
as codified below:

             Code of Federal Regulations

C.F.R. § 382.117  

(e)  If a passenger seeks to travel with an animal that  
is used as an emotional support
or psychiatric service
animal, you are not required to accept the animal for
transportation in the cabin
unless the passenger
provides you current documentation (i.e., no older
than one year from the date of the passengers
scheduled initial flight)  on the letterhead of a licensed
mental health professional including a medical doctor
specifically treating the passenger’s  mental or
emotional disability (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist,
licensed clinical social worker) stating the following:

(1) The passenger has a mental or emotional disability
recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM IV);

(2) The passenger needs the emotional support or
psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air
travel and/or for activity at the passenger’s destination;

(3) The individual providing the assessment is a
licensed mental health professional, and the
passenger is under his or her professional care; and

(4) The date and type of the mental health professional’
s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it
was issued.

(f)  You are never required to accommodate certain unusual
service animals (e.g., snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents,
and spiders)  as service animals in the cabin.  With respect to
all other animals, including unusual or exotic animals that are
presented as service animals (e.g., miniature horses, pigs,
monkeys), as a carrier you must determine whether any
factors preclude their traveling in the cabin as service
animals (e.g., whether the animal is too large or heavy to be
accommodated in the cabin, whether the animal would pose
a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it
would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, whether
it would be prohibited from entering a foreign country that is
the flight’s destination).  If no such factors preclude the
animal from traveling in the cabin, you must permit it to do
so.  However, as a foreign carrier, you are not required to
carry service animals other than dogs.

(g) Whenever you decide not to accept an animal as a
service animal, you must explain the reason for your decision
to the passenger and document it in writing. A copy of the
explanation must be provided to the passenger either at the
airport, or within 10 calendar days of the incident.

                 48 Hour Advance Notice

C.F.R. § 382.27(c)  
You may require a passenger with a
disability to provide up to 48 hours' advance notice and
check in one hour before the check-in time for the general
public to receive the following services and accommodations.
The services listed in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this
section are optional; you are not required to provide them,
but you may choose to do so.

(#8) Transportation of an emotional support or psychiatric
service animal in the cabin;

C.F.R. § 382.27(g)  If a passenger does not meet
advance notice or check-in requirements you establish
consistent with this section, you must still provide the
service or accommodation if you can do so by making
reasonable efforts, without delaying the flight.

            Confirming Your Prescription

Airlines are permitted to retain a copy of your prescription for
validation purposes pursuant to C.F.R. §164.50