BREAKING NEWS

What do I need in order to fly with my Emotional Support Animal?

In order to fly with an Emotional Support Animal in the cabin of the aircraft with you, you will need a special letter from a licensed mental health professional.


These requirements for the letter are excerpted from http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/20030509.pdf

The letter:
* must not more than one year old
* must be on the professional's letterhead
* must be from a mental health professional

and must state all of the following:

1. That the passenger has a mental health-related DISABILITY. Note it is not just a mental illness diagnosis, but a mental illness which SUBSTANTIALLY LIMITS ONE OR MORE MAJOR LIFE ACTIVITIES. Airlines are not permitted to require the documentation to specify the type of mental health disability, e.g., panic attacks.

2. That the presence of the animal is NECESSARY to the passenger's health or treatment.

3. That the individual writing the letter is a licensed mental health professional and that the passenger is under his or her care. The individual writing the letter should clearly indicate what type of mental health care professional they are (psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, et cetera).

NOTE: Airlines may also require documentation including the date, type, and state of the mental health professional's license.

"The purpose of this provision is to prevent abuse by passengers that do
not have a medical need for an emotional support animal and to ensure that
passengers who have a legitimate need for emotional support animals are
permitted to travel with their service animals on the aircraft."

http://www.regulations.gov/freddocs/04-24371.htm


SAMPLE LETTER

(on professional's office letterhead)
DATE

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

(Patient's name) is currently under my professional care for treatment for mental illness. His/her mental impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities. I have prescribed an emotional support animal as part of the treatment program developed for (patient's first name). The presence of this emotional support animal is necessary for (patient's first name)'s mental health.

I am licensed by the state of (state) to practice (medicine/psychiatry/therapy--choose applicable). My license number is (license number).

Please allow (patient's full name) to be accompanied by his/her emotional support animal in the cabin of the aircraft, in accordance with the Air Carrier Access Act (49 U.S.C. 41705 and 14 C.F.R. 382).

Sincerely,
(doctor's name and title)