American Airlines moves to ban insects, hedgehogs and goats as emotional support animals – but miniature horses are still okay

  • Ferrets, spiders, and non-household birds also won’t be permitted to fly anymore
  • American Airlines has also banned unclean animals and those that have an odor
  • Those who want to bring animals must now do paperwork 48 hours in advance
  • All service animals will also now be required to be kept on a leash during flight   

Insects, goats, and hedgehogs can no longer be brought on American Airlines flights as emotional support animals. 

But have no fear if you’ve got a miniature horse – they are still in the clear. 

Ferrets, spiders, and non-household birds like chickens and hawks also won’t be permitted to fly. 

American Airlines has also banned unclean animals or animals that have an odor. 

The airline explained that the animals had been banned because they pose a public health or safety risk.  

Insects, goats, and hedgehogs can no longer be brought on American Airlines flights as emotional support animals – but miniature horses are still in the clear 

American Airlines announced the revised guidelines on Monday, revealing those who want bring animals on board now have to file paperwork 48 hours before their flight.

Passengers, who have always needed to provide a letter from a mental health professional, could previously fill out paperwork on the day of their flight or even at the airport before take-off. 

The airline said it also plans to be stricter about contacting these professionals to verify the letters. 

American Airlines will now also require all service animals to be kept on a leash or harness throughout the flight. 

Ferrets, spiders, and non-household birds like chickens and hawks also won’t be permitted to fly (pictured is a turkey service animal) 

American Airlines announced the revised guidelines on Monday (pictured is an emotional support hedgehog) 

American Airlines will now also require all service animals to be kept on a leash or harness throughout the flight (Pictured is a kangaroo service animal) 

The airline now has the right to forbid an animal from traveling if it shows ‘severely aggressive behavior’, according to Pix 11. 

‘We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal,’ American Airlines said in a statement. 

‘Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft.’ 

American Airlines’ new guidelines will go into effect on July 1. 

The airline’s changes come just a week after United Airlines revealed it was banning nearly 50 dog breeds and four cat breeds from traveling in cargo.  

Any pet that is not an approved breed of dog or cat must now be able to fit into a cabin-approved container to fly.  

American Airlines’ new support animal guidelines will go into effect on July 1 (pictured is a service animal peacock) 

The new guidelines come after United was consumed in controversy when a 10-month-old French Bulldog died after being stashed in the overhead bin on a flight in March.

Both United and Delta issued guidelines tightening the rules on emotional support animals earlier this year.

Delta said that all passengers attempting to board with a service animal would have to show proof, 48 hours in advance, that the animal is in good health and has been vaccinated.

Both airlines also started requiring that passengers with service animals sign a form that their animal is well-behaved, in addition to providing a letter signed by a doctor or licensed mental health professional that certifies they needs a comfort animal. 

The airline’s changes come just a week after United Airlines revealed it was banning nearly 50 dog breeds and four cat breeds from traveling in cargo (file image)

United are now selling pet crates in appropriate sizes for aircraft cabin storage (file image)

United has also partnered with American Humane to ensure the way animals are being transported on the airline is safe and kind.

Many of the other new changes are weather-related and focused on not exposing pets to extreme heat. 

Animals will no longer be transported in cargo to India or Australia at any time, and cannot be taken to or from Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Phoenix, or Tuscon between May 1 and September 30.

The airline is also now selling carriers on their website to ensure passengers arrive with their pets correctly stored to stay in the aircraft cabin. 

In March, a french bulldog died after a United staff member allegedly told a passenger to put her dog in the overhead locker (pictured)

Jan Krems, United Airlines’ vice president of cargo, said the airline chose American Humane for their policy revamp due to a long history of excellence, and hinted more changes were to come.  

‘We look forward to a long-term collaboration and appreciate their expertise in helping us further improve our service on an ongoing and continual basis,’ she said. 

‘As we continue our review process to ensure that we are always doing what’s right, we are committed to making significant improvements in our program and adhering to the best practices of animal comfort, well-being and travel on behalf of our customers and their pets.’  

In March, a United Airlines flight attendant allegedly told a passenger to put her 10-month-old pup into the overhead compartment for the duration of the three-hour flight.

Kokito, the puppy, was dead when the plane landed in LaGuardia airport.

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