For many reasons, a certain percentage of travelers choose to bring their pets with them on airline flights. While traveling with a pet can be soothing, a new phenomenon has taken the practice further. Flight attendants are noticing an increase in the number of passengers bringing emotional support animals onto flights. The flight attendants worry that the practice could become a danger, particularly if the plane needed to be evacuated in an emergency.
United Airlines and Delta each charge $125 each way for domesticated cats, dogs, rabbits and birds to ride in the aircraft cabin. Owners must transport their animals in a pet kennel and that kennel must fit under the seat in front of the passenger. The fee does not apply to trained service animals or to emotional support and psychiatric assist animals. The type of animals passengers can designate as emotional support animals is also broader than what is considered a pet. Other than snakes, almost any animal can be an emotional support animal, provided the passenger has the proper documentation.