American Airlines narrows definition of service animal


Jan. 5 (UPI) — American Airlines announced Tuesday it will no longer consider emotional support animals as service animals, a decision made in response to new U.S. Transportation Department policies on commercial flights.

The airline said it will go by the Transportation Department’s new guidelines that define a service animal as a dog that performs certain tasks to benefit a person with a disability. Assistance Dogs International said that definition now aligns with that set forth by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

American Airlines will implement the new policies beginning Feb. 1.

“Our team is motivated by a purpose to care for people on life’s journey, and we believe these policy changes will improve our ability to do just that,” said Jessica Tyler, president of cargo and vice president of airport excellence. “We’re confident this approach will enable us to better serve our customers, particularly those with disabilities who travel with service animals, and better protect our team members at the airport and on the aircraft.”

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