Salon Prive Magazine

People with disabilities who have assistance animals should certainly have equal opportunities with other people. Travelling with a service animal may seem like a daunting challenge at first, but it’s a lot easier once you get the hang of it. So if you’ve ever thought about air travel with your four-legged helper or psychiatric service animals, you’ll find all the information you need here.

The Best Way To Fly My Service Dog

Under the Air Carrier Access Act, service animals have unlimited access onboard airlines and can accompany their owners on flights. These creatures help people with disabilities cope with everyday tasks, so in most cases, their presence is necessary. However, the basic instructions given in the ACAA and airline regulations must be followed to transport a service dog in the cabin of an aeroplane.

In addition to your helper’s basic documentation, you must fill out additional animal transport forms. In addition, each service dog owner must independently take care of the animal’s comfort during the flight. Therefore, you will need some tips on preparing for air travel.

Tips For Flying With Your Service Dog

The main advice is to prepare to travel with a service dog in advance. Make sure that the animal has a valid ID card certifying its special status and privileges. In addition, you must obtain permission to fly with a pet from the Department of Transportation. Also, notify the air carrier that you have a service dog and arrive at the airport a little earlier.

Another important point is the purchase of the necessary accessories. This includes a muzzle, a leash, and a carrier that fits the animal’s size. In addition, the carrier must be strong enough and not leak liquids. Take water and snacks for your dog with you to ensure its comfort.

Does Your Service Animal Need Certification To Fly?

To transport a dog, service animal users must carry documents confirming the need for an assistant and documents from the transportation department. If your animal does not have a certificate, you can go through Service Dog Online Registration and receive the necessary documents as soon as possible.

All service animals are individually trained to perform tasks, so no additional flight training is required. At the same time, animals will help you get rid of stress during the flight and cope with any tasks. However, it is important to complete the required forms and notify the airline, as the number of places for pets on board is limited.

Forms And Advanced Notice

To travel on flights with an animal, you must provide the DOT Service Animal Air Transport Form concerning the animal’s health, training, and behaviour at least 72 hours before departure. When the documents have been approved, you will get confirmation. The application can be completed at the airport when a ticket has been purchased 48 hours before your departure. You must also contact the air carrier and inform them of the planned presence of the animal on the aircraft.

Flights Over 8 Hours

An Animal Rescue Attestation form is required if a trip exceeds an 8-hour flight. It states that your animal will be able to relieve itself and won’t cause any damage to the airline’s property. Also, by filling out this form, you confirm that you can provide comfort for the animal during the flight. It is important to remember that the airline is not responsible for the animal during the transfer.

Service Dog Verification By Airline

In addition to having the necessary documentation, the airline’s employees assess the animal at the airport. This mainly concerns the dog’s appearance and the necessary equipment’s availability. Carefully read the rules of the airline to comply with their requests.

International Destinations

If your flight is international, it is necessary to take into account the rules of the airline and the country to which you are going. Some destinations prohibit the importation of animals into the country. Therefore, unfortunately, you will not be able to travel with your service dog. In addition, in some countries, all animals are placed in quarantine, which lasts up to 2 weeks. Detailed information about the country’s rules can be found by contacting its embassy.

What To Expect At The Airport?

All animals must comply with the airport rules. They relate to the behaviour of the animal, in particular, the manifestations of aggression, its appearance, and recognition signs. In addition, like all passengers, service dogs must be checked in for the flight and screened by airport security.

Airport Relief Areas

The rules of conduct for animals in public places, including airports, include relieving themselves in designated places. Airports have special areas where service animal owners can walk their dogs. However, you must follow the rules and clean up after your animal.

How Does A Service Dog Go Through Airport Security?

You and your pet are tested by metal detectors. The screening procedure for dogs is very similar to screening people. The dog is tested for banned or dangerous substances. Therefore, we recommend that you prepare your animal for inspection in advance in order to avoid unpleasant situations with security.

Reasons Airlines Can Ban Or Deny Boarding For Service Animals

In most cases, airlines are required to allow service animals on board. These creatures are not pets, so they have special access even on non-pet-friendly airlines. However, the law also protects the rights of air carriers, so there is a list of reasons why airline employees have the right to refuse to transport their animal.

Firstly, only dogs with all the necessary documents and certificates from a veterinarian can be allowed on board. The air carrier must be sure that no health or sanitation issue of the animal will become a problem for other passengers. Secondly, airline employees pay attention to the behaviour and conditions of transportation of the animal. An aggressive or barking service dog will not be allowed on the aircraft as it may endanger the safety of other passengers.

Inflight Rules

During the flight, the animal must behave properly. Service dog owners must place the animal in the handler’s foot space and not release it during the entire flight. The animal cannot be in the aisle or occupy free seats on the plane. In addition, you need to feed the animal in the same way, without letting it out of the carrier.

This article originally appeared on Salon Prive Magazine: Flying With A Service Dog? Here’s A Guide

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