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United Airlines (UAL) Revises Emotional Support Animals Policy

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United Airlines Holdings (UAL - Free Report) has followed in the footsteps of Alaska Air Group (ALK - Free Report) subsidiary Alaska Airlines, American Airlines (AAL - Free Report) and Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) in disallowing emotional support animals in its cabins for free.

The move follows the department of transportation’s (“DOT”) revision of the Air Carrier Access Act due to concerns raised by airlines, flight attendants, airports and individuals with disabilities, among others, regarding service animals on aircraft. The new rule no longer considers an emotional support animal as a service animal, defined as a “dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability”.

Beginning Jan 11, 2021, when the DOT’s rule goes into effect, United Airlines will only allow service animals to accompany passengers in cabins free of cost. However, for tickets booked before Jan 11 for travel on or before Feb 28, 2021, the airline will continue with its usual policy of transporting emotional support animals free of cost. Customers planning to travel with their animals (that are not service animals) after Feb 28 will have to pay a service charge of $125 each way for carrying them in cabins or in cargo hold.

United Airlines Holdings Inc Price

United Airlines Holdings Inc Price

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Starting Feb 1, 2021, customers traveling with service animals will be required to fill up a DOT form confirming that their animal is properly trained and vaccinated and will behave appropriately during the flight. The form needs to be submitted to the United Accessibility Desk at least 48 hours before flight. For tickets booked at the last moment, the form needs to be provided to the gate agent.

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