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Service animals and ESA dogs

laceylace7777
New Arrival

Looking to talk to someone whos experienced flying with an assistant animal and how it all works. I leave friday and just want to make sure I have everything I need and that my Medium size dog can fly with me. 

29 REPLIES 29

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

Lindsey
Rising Star
Solution

Hi @laceylace7777,

 

Thanks for coming to the Southwest Community with your question - I think you'll find that Southwest is one of the best airlines when it comes to accommodating special travel assistance needs. We have quite a few Customers who travel on us with an emotional support animal. 

 

Here's all link to all the information you'll need regarding documentation. 

 

Anyone out there have a good story about traveling with their assistance animal(s)?

 

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

Laurel2
New Arrival

Hello; I have the same question. I haven't flown with an emotional support animal before.  I have the documentation needed from my doctor, and the support animal (a pug) has all her vaccinations (and I have her paperwork).

 

The link you provided is the one that I've been directed to no matter what I type into the search box.  For example, when I type in how to add emotional support animal to flight, I get what appear to be good links that tell me how to proceed before the flight.

 

Yet, when I click on the links, they all take me to the general "disability" page. When I click on the assistance animal link, it describes some elements but doesn't tell me what to do to prepare suitably before the flight.

 

Can you help? Thanks.

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

Lindsey
Rising Star

Hi Laurel,

 

We can definitely help you out, I'm glad you posted your question to the Community. What questions, specifically, do you have about traveling with an assistance animal that were not answered in the FAQs?

 

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

Laurel2
New Arrival

Hello,

i can't find information on how add my assistance animal to my flight. I don't want to show up at the airport and be turned away. Thanks. 

 

 

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

Lindsey
Rising Star

@Laurel2,

 

That's a very simple fix - contact our Customer Relations Department at 1-855-234-4654 and we'll get your ESA added to your reservation. You can also reach Customer Relations on Twitter @SouthwestAir. Either way, a Representative will be able to assist you. 

 

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

BBundy
New Arrival

My service dog and I have traveled on Southwest for many years.   Our experience has always been positive.   

My doctor now recommends that I take an emotional support animal with me as well.   We are working out the details to do so. 

 

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

annieplawrence
New Arrival

Sorry, but this doesn't make any sense. if you have a real service dog that is specifically task trained to mitigate your disabilities, why would you need an emotional support animal in addition to your service dog...?

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

Lowe78
New Arrival

I have a German Sheperd service dog would i be allowed to travel with her. She is not esa she alerts me on my heart rate. And balance 

Re: Service animals and ESA dogs

franktravel
Rising Star

Trained Assistance Animals

 

Southwest Airlines welcomes trained assistance animals accompanying a Customer with a disability on all of our flights. Except when too large to be safely accommodated, a trained assistance animal will be transported in the aircraft cabin. In accordance with federal safety regulations, the animal must be positioned so as not to obstruct Customers' expeditious evacuation in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Assistance and emotional support animals can be placed on the aircraft floor or (provided the animal is no larger than a child under the age of two) on the Customer’s lap. Animals cannot be placed on an aircraft seat.
Customers are not required to transport assistance or emotional support animals in pet carriers. However, if a Customer opts to carry his/her assistance or emotional support animal in a pet carrier, the carrier must be properly stowed for taxi, takeoff, and landing.
Trained assistance and emotional support animals will be allowed to travel on flights to/from all domestic and international destinations with the exception of Jamaica. No animals will be allowed to travel to/from Jamaica on Southwest Airlines under any circumstances due to country-specific regulations. Customers traveling with trained assistance and emotional support animals on an international itinerary are solely responsible for researching and complying with applicable laws, requirements, and/or procedures of each country on the Customer’s itinerary with respect to the acceptance of trained assistance and emotional support animals.
View Service Animal Relief Area locations by airport


Emotional Support Animals


Animals used for a Customer's emotional support are accepted in the cabin. Emotional support animals will be allowed to travel on flights to/from all domestic and international destinations with the exception of Jamaica. No animals will be allowed to travel to/from Jamaica on Southwest Airlines under any circumstances due to country-specific regulations. In order for a Customer to travel with an emotional support animal, the Customer must provide to a Southwest Airlines Employee current documentation (not more than one year old) on letterhead from a mental health professional or medical doctor who is treating the Customer's mental health-related disability stating:
The Passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM IV)
The Passenger needs the emotional support of psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger's destination
The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, and the Passenger is under his or her professional care AND
The date and type of mental health professional's or medical doctor's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued
Printable instructions for Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal (PDF).
Assistance and emotional support animals must be trained to behave in a public setting. Customers traveling with an assistance animal or an emotional support animal cannot sit in an emergency exit seat.
Southwest Airlines does not accept therapy dogs for transportation. Also, we do not accept unusual or exotic animals including, but not limited to, rodents, reptiles, insects, hedgehogs, rabbits, sugar gliders, etc.