FLYING WITH A SERVICE ANIMAL
Animals Deserve Better in their Paws for Life program works with Delta Airlines who welcomes trained service animals in the aircraft cabin. Trained service animals are different from emotional support animals in that they have been trained to perform a particular function or service to assist a person with a disability.
Under most circumstances, Delta does not require passengers using trained service animals to provide additional documentation. However, it is expected that a service animal behave in public and follow the direction of its owner. In the rare event the animal doesn’t behave, you maybe asked additional questions about the training of your animal. Emotional support dogs on the other hand, the handler must provide a letter from their physician explaining the need to have the dog with them in the aircraft.
Just as any other passenger with a disability, you are entitled to any available seat in which you are qualified to use and your animal is expected to be seated in the floor space below your seat. No animals are allowed to occupy seats that are designed for passengers.
When booking your reservation, please ensure you have seat assignments before you hang up the phone. It is the airlines responsibility to provide seating accommodation for passengers with disabilities at the first point of contact. If directed to get seats at the gate, please ask to be transferred to the CRO Desk for further direction. You are always entitled to pre boarding if you meet the check-in requirements and notify the gate agent of your intention to pre board.
Please realize that flying with a 25 pound dog verses a 100 pound dog or larger service animal or passengers with multiple service animals, may need to be re-accommodate if the animal encroaches on other passengers or extends into aisles, which would be a violation of FAA regulations. With training you can place your animal on the floor between your legs so that their hindquarters are under the seat in front of you or you can request the bulkhead and take the window seat giving your dog a little more space.
Bring a blanket with you for your dog to lay on, as the floors of aircraft can be cold. Provide your dog with a chew toy to occupy him during take off and landing, when the engine sounds are extremely loud. Pack your dog’s food in your luggage, with a 1 or 2 day supply in your carry on luggage, or in your dog’s pack. Also consider using bottled water, so that your dog doesn’t have problems with the local water (diarrhea).
Your mobility devices do not count against the two pieces of carry on luggage everyone is allowed to take on the plane. Dogs do not have the ear problems that humans have, so they don’t need to chew anything when flying. The chew toy distracts them from the engine sounds and from the fact that the floor just tilted sharply!
Do not give your dog food and water in the morning, so that he won’t have to potty, during the flight. Before you enter the airport, give your dog a chance to take care of business, and then check in. If you have connecting flights, make sure there is enough time for you to take your dog potty before your next flight leaves. Airline and airport personnel do not have to take your dog out for a walk, that is YOUR responsibility, however, I know many airline personnel that love to do so, and will ask you if they can. Most airports offer animal relief areas please check with your airport for those locations.