Having an ESA brings both joy and responsibility to pet owners. Traveling with an emotional support animal on a plane requires careful consideration amid the changing travel policies. For pet owners with ESAs, travel reveals a unique set of challenges, such as airline regulations on ESAs.
Pet owners who experience emotional challenges during travel need their ESA close. This comprehensive guide explores the most pet-friendly airlines for individuals needing their ESAs during travel.
This article delves into friendly skies by highlighting airline requirements to travel with an ESA. Join us as we explore the airlines that embrace ESAs. Discover what you could miss out on when preparing to travel with an ESA to make your travel easier.
Which Airlines Allow ESAs?
As of 2021, the US Transport Department no longer obligates airlines to allow emotional support animals. Hence, if an airline chooses not to accept an ESA, you cannot leave it or cancel travel.
While most airlines banned ESAs, below are some of the few exception airlines that allow ESAs:
LATAM Airlines provides emotional support to animals free of charge. However, they have some policies for the ESA to travel. You can only travel with an ESA on the recommended routes. Other policies include:
- The ESA must be at least four months old
- The final approval for an ESA to travel in the cabin happens at the counter
- Limit of six emotional support dogs
There are several requirements when traveling with an ESA on Volaris. One of the essential requirements is a valid ESA letter. Your ESA must also meet the vaccination requirements within the specified period. For instance, the animal must receive Rabies vaccination 30 days before travel.
The ESA must have a health certificate from a recognized veterinarian for flights to Mexico other than the US. There is also a pet fee when traveling with a pet on Volaris.
If you have a cat, dog, or rabbit as your ESA, they can fly on WestJet for free. The fee ranges between $50-$100 depending on the destination. If your ESA is smaller than a 2-year-old child, they can travel on your lap in the passenger cabin.
WestJet Airlines is quite generous in terms of travel with an ESA policy. There are regulations about the pet carrier. For example, it should be under 8.5 inches tall, 16 inches long, and two inches wide.
Air France allows ESAs to travel in the cabin. There are regulations for traveling with an ESA, and one of the rules is having a suitable pet carrier. Also, your ESA must be 15 weeks or older and weigh not more than 17lb, including the carrier.
Before traveling on Air France with an ESA, you must notify the airline when booking the flight. Air France allows three animals per person, but the number could be less depending on the aircraft type.
Do International Airlines Allow ESAs?
Just like domestic flights, there are international airlines that allow ESAs, while others do not. If you are a pet owner, calling a global airline and enquiring if they allow ESAs to travel is essential. Some of the international airlines that will enable ESAs are:
- Singapore air
- China airline
- Asiana air
Before you travel, contact the ESA-friendly airline to confirm their restrictions and requirements to ease your preparations.
Preparing For Travelling With an ESA
Travel preparations with an ESA can be stressful. Remember that skipping airline requirements to travel with an ESA can lead to stress and frustration. Below is a simple checklist to help you prepare to travel with an ESA:
Contact the Airline In Time
Call the airline and get a list of all the requirements to travel with an ESA. Having a checklist allows you to obtain the criteria individually without skipping anything.
ESA-friendly airlines require a notification period if you intend to travel with an emotional support animal. Hence, remember to notify the airline in advance to book your ESA. Contacting the airline also helps identify if there are any additional requirements when traveling with an ESA.
Prepare the Documents
Ensure you have valid documents from the airline’s checklist. For example, if the airline requires an ESA letter, ensure that yours is up-to-date. It also ensures that it meets all the airline’s specifications.
Ensure that you buy the specified product according to the airline’s requirements. For instance, some airlines have specific needs for the pet carrier. Ensure that you shop on time and follow the shop carrier requirements religiously.
Visit the Vet
Ensuring that your ESA is in excellent health condition for travel is essential. Also, your ESA might need a vaccination update to meet the travel airline requirements. Visiting the vet before travel helps pass the health requirements for traveling with an ESA.
Get To The Airport Early
Since you are traveling with an ESA, you might have to go through additional checks. It is essential to be early to avoid getting frustrated with the procedures at the airport. Also, some airlines authorize final approval to travel with an ESA at the checkpoint. Hence, you must be early.