Numerous airlines in the United States offer additional services for the transportation of animals. And even if air traveling with pets may seem difficult seemingly, actually, everything is much easier.
The general laws and regulations are the same, but each airline has its own nuances regarding the transportation of pets, ESAs, and service animals. One of the airlines that adapts the most to the needs of its customers is Delta Airlines, so here are the features of using the services of this carrier.
Carriers usually offer transportation of animals in the baggage compartment or as cargo, although small animals are sometimes allowed in the cabin next to you. But you need to approach the preparation of air travel with an animal beforehand and carefully.
Arrangements for a flight with animals consist of several stages. First of all, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules for importing animals to the country of destination. After that, find out the policy of the chosen airline regarding the transportation of animals.
You also need to prepare a demanded signed veterinary health form in advance and purchase the equipment, for example, a carrier, harness, muzzle, and other accessories.
You can learn more: How to take your Service Dog on a plane?
The first step is familiarization with the rules for bringing animals to your destination. For instance, in the U.S., Hawaii has a peculiar policy for bringing animals into the state. No earlier than 10 days before departure, you must receive a health certificate for the animal and a record of all necessary vaccinations. Additionally, all animals imported into Hawaii are subject to a 120-day quarantine, so keep this in mind before planning your trip.
For international travel, each country has its own rules for importing animals. Therefore, if you plan to visit another country with your pet, first call the country’s embassy and clarify which documents are required to import your pet and which vaccinations need to be done before the trip.
In addition, in some countries, there is a ban on the import of certain species and breeds. For example, you cannot import birds into Uruguay, and it is forbidden to bring puppies and kittens under 3 months into France and Israel.
Airlines permit small animals to be transported in the cabin. Yet, at the same time, the animal cannot occupy a place or prevent movement through the aisle.
For a comfortable and safe flight with an animal, you should purchase a carrier of a suitable size, in which the animal will be during the air journey. The carrier should be placed under the seat in front of you. During the flight, you are not allowed to let the animal out, so take care of the comfort of your pet in advance.
The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to allow the transportation of trained service animals in the cabin next to their owners unless there are objective reasons for refusal. Delta Airlines allows service animals to accompany their owners into the cabin, but this rule only applies to dogs.
To do this, you must provide information about the animal and complete the Air Travel Form for your service dog when booking your tickets. In addition, the animal must be vaccinated, and at least 30 days must have passed since the last inoculation.
If you want to travel with psychiatric service dogs, you’ll have to submit a DOT service animal air transport form to Delta before flying. The form asks passengers for certification in PSD, including ensuring their dog is well-behaved and supervised. Also, if you have a doctor’s letter for your PSD, you can register in the Psychiatric service animal database with an ID confirmation card and buy the necessary accessories by following the link:
If you book tickets earlier than 48 hours before the scheduled departure time, you must submit an Accessibility Service Request Form online on the Delta Airlines website. And if you book tickets later than 48 hours in advance, you can provide the Service Animal Air Travel Form to the airline representatives at the airport.
For flights that are 8 hours or longer, Delta also requires a DOT Relief Attestation Form certifying that the dog will not relieve itself on the plane or can do it in accordance with sanitary regulations.
Delta customers booked 48 hours or less prior to departure must submit an Air Travel Form for their PSD to check in for their flight. This paper contains all information needed by Delta Airlines concerning the dog’s health, any training that the Service Dog underwent, and assurance that the animal’s behavior will meet Delta’s requirements regarding disruptive and aggressive behaviors.
You can fill out this form yourself on the Delta Airlines website, on the official website of the U.S. DOT, or use the online form generation service.
For flights lasting more than 8 hours, the United States Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form must also be provided. This document confirms that the animal will be able to relieve itself without damaging the airline’s property.
You can learn more: How to Fly with a Service Animal Legally
Although the ACAA requires airlines to allow passengers to transport service animals in the cabin, there are cases when the carrier’s representatives may refuse you. This can happen if the animal looks unkempt or shows unacceptable behavior. For example, the animal must not growl, bark, bite, and jump on other passengers or flight attendants.
The airline allows one passenger to transport no more than two service animals. Additionally, Delta assumes no responsibility for the care and supervision of the animal during the flight. It should also be noted that an active service dog in training isn’t considered a validated service dog by Delta.
Until 2020, ESAs had the same right to be with their owners during the flight as service animals. However, the ADA doesn’t recognize emotional support animals as assistance ones, since they do not have appropriate preparation and do not undergo special tutoring. So, the possibility for ESA to accompany passengers into the cabin was revised.
To date, the DOT has ruled that emotional support animals on board have the same rights as regular pets. Therefore, each airline has the opportunity to independently determine the policy regarding the transportation of ESA.
Delta Airlines’ policy regarding the transportation of animals complies with federal legislation. Although Deltas recognize emotional support animals, they do not grant them any bonuses compared to pets.
An authorized ESA must adhere to the same rules and standards as Delta Airlines imposes for other animal travelers. An animal can be registered as hand baggage or cargo. You also need to notify the airline in advance that you intend to travel with an animal and pay extra for this service. The price depends on the final location where you are going.
According to Delta Airlines Policy Guide, you have two options where to place your animal during an air journey. Small animals can travel in the cabin for a one-way fee, which is collected at check-in. They should fit in a small ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. If your pet doesn’t fit in the carrier, you can ship it using Delta Cargo’s special delivery service.
Delta Airlines has certain requirements for customers traveling with animals. First of all, they relate to the age and state of health of the animal. The carrier also pays attention to the breed, size, and appearance of the ESA.
It is also essential to have the necessary equipment for the animal. Delta Airlines does not consider a pet carrier as hand luggage, so you can take another carry-on item with you. The passenger is responsible for the availability of food and water for the animal.
Animal shipping must be booked separately from your ticket and you have to pay an additional fee. Transportation of an animal within the United States can be booked up to 14 days in advance of departure. There is also the possibility that you and your pet will be flying on different flights, so plan your schedule so that you can ship and receive your cargo on time.
The final decision on the transportation of animals is made by the airline representative. You may be refused transportation of a service animal if you do not have the appropriate documents or have not warned the carrier about the presence of the animal. There is a limit on the number of animals per flight, so it is important that a seat for your pet is reserved in advance.
What’s more, the appearance of the animal and the presence of health certificates play a principal role. The airline employee must have evidence that the animal is not a carrier of diseases and infections that might be dangerous for humans.
Another reason why you may be denied conveying of animals is the misbehavior of your companion. These can be signs of aggression, uncontrolled activity of the animal, relieving itself in the gate area or in the cabin, and disobedience. The animal also cannot occupy a seat intended for passengers or staff, eat from the table, or run around the cabin during the flight.
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