Spirit Airlines announced changes to its service, emotional support and psychiatric service animal policies.
According to Spirit’s official website, passengers who want to bring an emotional support or psychiatric service animal on one of the airline’s flights will need to give at least 48-hour notice and submit three certification forms.
The new policies go into effect October 15.
Previously, Spirit customers only had to show a letter from a licensed mental health professional to an airline employee on the day of a flight to be permitted to travel with their animal.
Passengers can still show up on the day of their flight without calling ahead, but the carrier no longer guarantees they will make their flights as the proper paperwork will have to be processed and approved.
Spirit is implementing the changes in order to ensure the safety of its customers and employees as groups like the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA come out against the rampant abuse of the emotional support animal designation.
Other carriers such as American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and others have also instituted changes to their service, emotional support and psychiatric service animal policies after a 40-percent increase in customers transporting animals onboard flights from 2016 to 2017.
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