Does United Airlines Allow Emotional Support Animals?

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Chief Editor of - Fancy Fly USA

United Airlines is one of the major airlines in the United States, serving millions of passengers every year. For many people, traveling can be a stressful experience, especially for those who rely on emotional support animals to help them cope with their anxiety or other mental health conditions. With the growing trend of emotional support animals, many travelers are wondering whether United Airlines allows such animals on their flights.

The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. In recent years, United Airlines has updated its policies regarding emotional support animals, and there are certain rules and guidelines that passengers must follow if they want to bring their furry friends on board. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at United Airlines’ policies and what you need to know before you travel with your emotional support animal.

Does United Airlines Allow Emotional Support Animals?

Does United Airlines Allow Emotional Support Animals?

United Airlines is a major American airline that is known for its services and amenities. People often travel with their pets and emotional support animals, and it is essential to know whether United Airlines allows emotional support animals on their flights. In this article, we will look at United Airlines’ policy regarding emotional support animals.

What are Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional support animals (ESAs) are animals that provide emotional support and comfort to individuals who have a disability. ESAs are not considered service animals, and they do not require any specialized training to perform specific tasks. Instead, their mere presence helps their owners cope with emotional or mental conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD.

ESAs can be any type of animal, including dogs, cats, birds, and even miniature horses. However, airlines have different policies regarding the types of animals that they allow on their flights.

United Airlines’ Policy on Emotional Support Animals

United Airlines allows emotional support animals on their flights, but there are certain rules and regulations that passengers need to follow. Passengers must inform United Airlines at least 48 hours before their flight if they plan to travel with an ESA. They also need to provide documentation from a licensed mental health professional stating that they have a disability and require an ESA.

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United Airlines permits dogs, cats, and miniature horses as ESAs. However, certain dog breeds are not allowed due to safety concerns, such as pit bulls and bulldogs. Moreover, the ESA must be well-behaved and trained to behave properly in public and follow basic commands.

Benefits of Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal

Traveling with an ESA can be beneficial for individuals with disabilities, as it provides them with emotional support and comfort during their journey. Having an ESA can also reduce anxiety and stress levels, which can be especially helpful for nervous flyers. Moreover, traveling with an ESA can make the journey more enjoyable and less daunting, as the animal provides a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Requirements for Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal

Passengers traveling with an ESA on United Airlines need to meet certain requirements. They need to provide documentation from a licensed mental health professional, stating that they have a disability and require an ESA. The animal must be well-behaved and trained to follow basic commands. Passengers also need to inform United Airlines at least 48 hours before their flight and provide the required documents.

Moreover, the ESA must fit under the seat in front of the passenger, and the passenger must not block any emergency exits. Passengers are also responsible for the animal’s behavior, and any damage caused by the animal will be their responsibility.

VS: Emotional Support Animals vs. Service Animals

Emotional support animals and service animals are often confused, but they serve different purposes. Service animals are trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities, such as guiding the blind or alerting deaf individuals. They are allowed on flights and in public places, and their presence is protected by law.

On the other hand, ESAs do not require any specialized training and are not protected by law. They are allowed on flights and in certain public places, but their presence depends on the policies of the particular establishment.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, United Airlines does allow emotional support animals on their flights, but passengers need to follow certain rules and regulations. Passengers need to inform United Airlines at least 48 hours before their flight and provide the required documentation. The animal must be well-behaved, and certain dog breeds are not allowed due to safety concerns. Traveling with an ESA can be beneficial for individuals with disabilities, but it is important to understand the differences between ESAs and service animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions regarding United Airlines’ policy on emotional support animals.

What is an emotional support animal?

An emotional support animal is an animal that provides comfort and support to an individual with a disability. These animals are not trained to perform specific tasks, but rather provide emotional support to their owners.

Examples of emotional support animals include dogs, cats, birds, and rabbits.

Does United Airlines allow emotional support animals?

Yes, United Airlines allows emotional support animals on their flights. However, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to bring an emotional support animal on board.

The animal must be well-behaved, under control, and must not pose a threat to other passengers or crew members. Additionally, the owner must provide documentation from a licensed mental health professional stating that they need the animal for emotional support.

What types of emotional support animals does United Airlines allow?

United Airlines allows dogs, cats, and miniature horses as emotional support animals. Other animals may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, but the owner must contact United Airlines in advance to make arrangements.

The animal must be able to fit at the owner’s feet, under the seat in front of them, or in their lap (if the animal is a lap animal).

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What documentation do I need to bring my emotional support animal on a United Airlines flight?

Owners must provide documentation from a licensed mental health professional stating that they need the animal for emotional support. This documentation must be submitted to United Airlines at least 48 hours before the flight.

In addition, owners must provide a veterinary health form stating that the animal is up-to-date on all required vaccinations and is in good health.

Are there any fees for bringing an emotional support animal on a United Airlines flight?

There are no fees for bringing an emotional support animal on a United Airlines flight. However, owners must comply with all other policies and procedures regarding traveling with an emotional support animal.

This includes ensuring the animal is well-behaved, under control, and does not pose a threat to other passengers or crew members.

United Airlines adopts new rules for emotional support animals


In conclusion, United Airlines does allow emotional support animals on their flights. However, there are certain regulations and guidelines that must be followed in order to bring your furry friend on board. It’s important to check with the airline beforehand to make sure your animal is eligible for travel and to obtain the necessary documentation.

If you plan on bringing an emotional support animal on your next United Airlines flight, make sure to review their policies ahead of time. This will ensure a smooth and stress-free experience for both you and your furry friend. Remember, it’s always better to be prepared and informed before embarking on your journey.

Overall, United Airlines recognizes the importance of emotional support animals and strives to accommodate their passengers’ needs to the best of their ability. With proper planning and communication with the airline, you can enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable flight with your emotional support animal by your side.

adminChief Editor of - Fancy Fly USA

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