Miniature horses now OK on American Airlines; stinky animals not
DALLAS — If a hedgehog, snake, or goat is your support animal, American Airlines is not the carrier for you.
The airline announced changes to its policy on Monday following recent controversies over attempts to bring peacocks and other non-traditional support animals on board its flights. There has also been a 40 percent increase in the number of passengers flying with their support animals.
The new policy, which goes into effect July 1, places restrictions on the types of animals that are allowed on board. Insects are not welcome, and neither are ferrets, snakes, spiders, animals with tusks, horns or hooves, or an animal that is unclean or has an odor.
Miniature horses are specifically allowed if they are properly trained as a service animal. However, emotional support and service animals cannot take up a seat or block an aisle.
They must be leashed or have a harness and may not growl, bite, or jump. Otherwise they will be considered a pet, and applicable fees and requirements will be in effect.
"We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal. Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers, and working dogs onboard our aircraft," the airlines said in a statement.
American will also enforce its existing 48-hour advanced notice policy for emotional support animals.
A number of groups were consulted by American for its new policy, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot.
More from New Jersey 101.5: