Effective for tickets issued July 1 or later, American Airlines will no longer allow the following animals to be permitted as "service or emotional support animals due to safety and/or public health risk": amphibians, ferrets, goats, hedgehogs, insects, reptiles, rodents, snakes, spiders and sugar gliders.
American Airlines is clamping down on what animals passengers bring onboard for emotional support, restricting goats, insects and a slew of other critters, the airline announced Monday. "Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers, and working dogs onboard our aircraft", the airlines said in a statement.
These are the animals now also restricted from flying as support animals aboard American Airlines flights per the airline's latest animal restrictions.
The new rules are supposed to protect passengers who really do need to travel with service and support animals and are also geared towards preventing disruption in the cabin being caused by animals that are not properly trained, The Chicago Tribune reported.
The number of customers bringing support animals on flights has skyrocketed in recent years.
American Airlines is based in Forth Worth, Texas.
"We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal", American Airlines said in a press release.
A number of groups were consulted by American for its new policy, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America, the American Council for the Blind and My Blind Spot.
Animals that are growling, biting or attempting to bite or jumping or lunging at people in the gate area will not be allowed in the cabin, the airline said.
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) is proposing an amendment calling on the U.S. Transportation Department to clarify existing policies.
In order for an animal to qualify, the passenger must provide a letter from a mental-health professional describing the mental or emotional disability that shows the need for the animal, and proof of the professional's licensing.
American will also train its employees on how better to distinguish a support animal from a pet.
We want to know what you think of seeing more of these animals where they have not previously been welcome, from airlines to the grocery store.