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CEO DATELINE – Airline association applauds rule nixing emotional support animals from planes

Jan. 23, 2020
By Walt Williams

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The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing a new rule that would allow airlines to ban most “emotional support” animals from airplanes—a move the trade group representing the industry said is a step in the right direction.

DOT proposes limiting its definition of “service animal” to dogs trained to assist people with disabilities. The result would mean airlines would no longer be required to allow pets such as cats, rabbits, and even pigs in passenger cabins for the purposes of “emotional support.”

A4A maintains that abuse of animal assistance rules has allowed passengers to evade airline rules for animals in cabins. “This has led to an increase in incidents by untrained animals threatening the health and safety of passengers, crew and passengers with disabilities traveling with legitimate service animals,” the association said in a statement.

“Airlines want all passengers and crew to have a safe and comfortable flying experience, and we are confident the proposed rule will go a long way in ensuring a safer and healthier experience for everyone,” A4A CEO Nicholas Calio said.