Have you ever gotten on a plane, only to see someone bring their pet along with them, claiming its their “emotional support animal”? Thankfully, Delta will be cracking down on this practice going forward, but those who have a legitimate need for a support animal can still bring it aboard.
In a release on Friday, Delta said that passengers with a support animal will need to provide the airline with proof of the animal’s health and vaccinations 48 hours before the flight. Passengers will also need to affirm in a document that their animal can behave, which would allow them to travel without a kennel, in addition to the existing requirement of a doctor’s note about the need for a support animal.
Delta’s statement also featured this *incredible* segment about why they’re implementing these new regulations. It includes the phrase “comfort turkeys”.
Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders and more. Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals can be a disservice to customers who have real and documented needs. Delta has seen an 84 percent increase in reported animal incidents since 2016, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog. In 2017, Delta employees reported increased acts of aggression (barking, growling, lunging and biting) from service and support animals, behavior not typically seen in these animals when properly trained and working.
The airline’s website also notes which animals aren’t allowed on flights as service *or* support animals, including the aforementioned snakes, spiders, and sugar gliders.
Hopefully the next time you fly, you’ll only have “normal” pets to deal with…and not someone’s comfort turkey.