Fabulous Fridays: Delta Airlines New Rules For Emotional Support Animals Are Now In Effect


Delta Air Lines published new guidelines in January that concern service- and especially Emotional Support animals on board that became active on March 1, 2018.

Delta has also published a list of animals that are not permitted due to public safety and/or health concern after passengers took a range of exotic (and outrageous) animals on board the flights.

These new rules are being implemented to reduce the number of fake service animals that passengers bring to airplanes without paying and fee and that sometimes cause havoc such as last week when a child was bitten by an emotional support dog (see our article here).

You can find the Delta Airlines announcement of these new rules on their website.

Delta’s updated policy for those traveling with service and support animals begins today. The new requirements support Delta’s top priority of ensuring safety for its customers, employees and trained service and support animals, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs, such as disabled veterans, to travel with trained animals.

The policy change follows an 84 percent increase in reported incidents involving service and support animals since 2016, including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog. Delta carries approximately 700 service or support animals daily — nearly 250,000 annually. Putting this into perspective, Delta carries more than 180 million passengers annually. Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, 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. …

Yes, who could forget the emotional support turkey on board a Delta flight?

So now these times are going to be over at last.

Here are Delta’s new rules based on their website:

Delta’s updated policy

Any customer traveling with a service or support animal on or after March 1 will need to meet the new requirements as outlined below:

Traveling with a trained service animal

  • In some cases, customers with a trained service animal may be asked to show the animal’s Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record or other proof that the animal’s vaccinations are up to date. Customers are encouraged, but not required, to submit this form to Delta’s Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com before traveling.
  • These customers can check-in via Delta.com, the Fly Delta mobile app, airport kiosks or with an airport agent.

Traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal

  • Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal will be required to submit a signed Veterinary Health Form and/or an immunization record (current within one year of the travel date), an Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Request form that requires a letter prepared and signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form. These forms are required and must be submitted to Delta’s Service Animal Support Desk via Delta.com at least 48 hours before travel.
  • These customers must use the full-service check-in process with an airport agent.

Delta established the Service Animal Support Desk to improve the travel experience for customers traveling with service and support animals. This desk will verify that the above documentation is received and confirm the customer’s reservation to travel with an emotional support or psychiatric service animal before arrival at the airport. If a form is not completed, a representative will communicate with the customer via e-mail to request the missing or incomplete items.

Additional information on types of accepted animals and other questions related to traveling with service and support animals is available here.

Which animals are now allowed on board?

We do not permit the following as trained service or support animals, as these animals pose safety and/or public health concerns.  If you have additional questions, please contact the accessibility assistance line at 404-209-3434.

  • Hedgehogs
  • Ferrets
  • Insects
  • Rodents
  • Snakes
  • Spiders
  • Sugar gliders
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Goats
  • Non-household birds (farm poultry, waterfowl, game bird, & birds of prey)
  • Animals improperly cleaned and/or with a foul odor
  • Animals with tusks, horns or hooves


It’s a really sad state of affairs that an airline needs to implement rules that especially the type of animals highlighted above can’t go on board anymore but some people simply don’t know any shame or have common sense.

Now there is one downside, we won’t be able to read about that many funny stories anymore at least as far as Delta is concerned. Maybe the owners of the emotional support turkeys, goats and ponies now have to apply for a status match with a competing airlines. I’m sure they’re dying to get their business.