The Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking public comment on a proposal issued Wednesday defining what can and cannot be labeled a service animal on an aircraft.
The DOT explicitly defined a service animal as as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”
Because of this definition, airlines have greater choice in whether to allow a dog to stay in the cabin with its owner. The DOT said the definition was restricted to dogs because other animals, such as miniature horses, “are not flexible” on an aircraft.
According to the DOT, passengers with a disability would be limited to two service animals per passenger and all animals would have to be leashed or harnessed.
The agency also put additional limits on emotional support animals, saying that while these animals can be recognized as service animals, “airlines do not have to recognize them.” read more