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No More ESAs on Planes

The Department of Transportation issued a final ruling on December 2, 2020 that Emotional Support Animals are no longer allowed on planes. This rule will go into effect on January 2, 2021. This rule applies to all of the United States, not just Colorado. But our pet attorneys are up to speed on the latest rules and regulations, to protect you and your pet on airplanes.


Under the new regulations, if you have an emotional support animal, you will no longer be allowed to take that animal on a plane with you. That said, service animals will still be allowed to fly with their owners. The DOT is using the Americans with Disabilities Act definition of a service animal to qualify which animals can fly. The ADA states: "a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability." Dogs are the only animals (besides miniature horses) who are allowed be labeled as service animals under the ADA.


Psychiatric service animals must also be recognized by the airline. The animal owner must provide a DOT approved form to the airline 48 hours before travel. Owners are now permitted to check in online, rather than in person with their service animal. Owners are limited to two service animals and the airline may require that the animal fit within the owner's footspace on the plane. I see this last requirement causing some litigation from service animal-owners.


If you are a service animal owner and feel your rights are being discriminated against, call our Colorado animal lawyers at The Animal Law Firm at 303-623-4000 in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and throughout Colorado.

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