Airlines urge Trump administration to tighten rules on emotional service animals

Source: Washington Examiner | July 11, 2018 | Joe Williams

The airline industry is pressuring the federal government to tighten rules governing which customers are permitted to bring emotional-support service animals on flights.

In comments earlier this week to the Department of Transportation, which is reviewing current regulations on the matter, three top airline lobbying groups claimed that passengers who don’t have disabilities are bringing emotional support pets – including animals like ducks, kangaroos and peacocks that aren’t properly trained – on planes.

“These animals, which are primarily dogs but also include wild and/or untrainable species, often are unable to behave appropriately in a public setting, including within the confines of an aircraft cabin,” they wrote. The carriers want to change the definition of “service animal” to align with the Americans With Disabilities Act, a shift that would mandate the animals be trained to accomplish a specific role.

At issue for airlines, among other things, is lost revenue from pets that are labeled as providing emotional service. Carriers charge as much as $125 to fly with a pet, while service animals fly for free, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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