United Airlines Announces Changes to Emotional Support Animal Policies

United Airlines recently announced changes to its emotional support animal policies that will go into effect January 7.

According to CNBC.com, United will no longer allow emotional support kittens and puppies under four months of age on any of its planes and all emotional support animals will be banned on flights longer than eight hours.

While the airline said it would honor reservations made by January 3 with the old rules, the new regulations will only permit dogs, cats and miniature horses as service animals. The decision comes as United continues to minimize biting incidents and soiled cabins.

“We have seen increases in onboard incidents on longer flights involving these animals, many of which are unaccustomed to spending an extended amount of time in the cabin of an aircraft,” United said in a statement.

The Chicago-based airline is following the lead of Delta Air Lines, which banned younger emotional support animals in December and no longer allows any animals on flights scheduled to last longer than eight hours.

The changes were also influenced by the animal vaccination policy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the principles outlined in the United States Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act.

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