(CBS Denver/CBS Local)— Southwest Airlines has announced that it will no longer transport emotional support animals in the cabin of the aircraft. Effective March 1, the airline will only accept trained service dogs for travel with customers.
“With this revision, Southwest Airlines will only allow service dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability to travel with the customer,” officials stated in a release posted Monday.READ MORE: Philadelphia Students To Remain Virtual As Mediation Process Between School District, Teachers' Union On Phased Reopening Nearing End
The types of disability include a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability — but no other species will be accepted as a trained service animal.
“We applaud the Department of Transportation’s recent ruling that allows us to make these important changes to address numerous concerns raised by the public and airline employees regarding the transport of untrained animals in the cabins of aircraft,” said Steve Goldberg, Senior Vice President, Operations and Hospitality.READ MORE: Delaware County Company Develops 'The Hurricane,' Device Using UVC Technology To Kill Coronavirus
“Southwest Airlines continues to support the ability of qualified individuals with a disability to bring trained service dogs for travel and remains committed to providing a positive and accessible travel experience for all of our Customers with disabilities.”
As part of this change, Customers traveling with trained service dogs now must present a complete, and accurate, DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form at the gate or ticket counter on their day of travel to affirm a service animal’s health, behavior, and training.
Customers may still travel with dogs and cats as part of the airline’s existing pets program for a charge; however, the animals must meet all applicable requirements regarding in-cabin stowage.MORE NEWS: Fourth Bucks County Resident, Raechel Genco, Arrested For Alleged Role In Capitol Riot
Customers who hold existing reservations for travel with unaccepted animals after Feb. 28, 2021 may contact Southwest for more information and assistance.