Southwest Joins Other U.S. Airlines in Banning Emotional Support Animals

Southwest has banned emotional support animals off its planes, joining most major U.S. airlines.

The airline's policy starts March 1. Southwest "will accept only trained service dogs for travel and will no longer transport emotional support animals,"

The airline's senior vice president of operations and hospitality, Steve Goldberg, said, "We applaud the Department of Transportation's recent

ruling that allows us to make these important changes to address numerous concerns raised by the public and airline employees regarding

The DOT's policy took effect this month, and most U.S. airlines soon adopted furry passenger rules. Alaska, American, and JetBlue stopped offering free flights

Southwest began allowing only trained assistance dogs on flights this week. They can help with "physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or

other mental disability" but owners must produce a DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form certifying the animal's health, conduct, and training.

Pets that traveled as emotional support can still fly with the airline's pets program. Only small cats and dogs are allowed in the cabin for $95 per pet.

Southwest can help travelers who booked flights with unaccepted animals after Feb. 28.

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