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People Are Excited After Delta Announced It Is Cracking Down On Comfort Animals

The airline says people have brought their "comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders, and more."

Posted on January 19, 2018, at 1:05 p.m. ET

Delta Air Lines announced Friday that it is cracking down on passengers bringing "emotional support" animals on flights, saying the lack of regulation on the animals has led to an 84% increase of animal-related incidents on board.

Julio Cortez / AP

The airline said in a press release that it is "implementing advance documentation requirements for those animals" due to a "lack of regulation" surrounding comfort animals on board.

Just finished my root canal and had to check that the emotional support rooster next to my husband on the plane was…

The airline said vague requirements for passengers bringing their pet on board have led to the system being misused to the detriment of both passengers without pets and people who legitimately need a support animal.

"The new requirements support Delta’s top priority of ensuring safety for its customers, employees and trained service and support animals, while supporting the rights of customers with legitimate needs, such as disabled veterans, to travel with trained animals," the airline said.

According to Delta, safety has been the biggest issue, with an 84% increase in incidents involving animals on planes since 2016, including dog attacks, urination, defecation, aggression, and biting.

“The rise in serious incidents involving animals in flight leads us to believe that the lack of regulation in both health and training screening for these animals is creating unsafe conditions across US air travel,” John Laughter, the airline's vice president of security, said.

It is fairly easy to register your pet, of any type, as an emotional support animal. A Google search shows multiple results promising "easy steps" to flying with a pet.


Animals that have been spotted on flights include "comfort turkeys, gliding possums known as sugar gliders, snakes, spiders, and more," Delta said. Sometimes these animals go viral, like Daniel the Duck in 2016.

Here is Daniel The Emotional Support Duck in all his red-shoed glory.

Owners will now have to provide a signed letter saying that their animal can behave and is trained, in addition to the current requirement of a letter from a mental health professional and a shot record for their pet.

@OC @RichieFirth @TheNewsAtGlenn does this trump the emotional support pig?

Many people on social media seemed pleased.

shout out to the person who took an emotional support spider on a plan. also fuck you.

They said it was about time.

Good for you delta! REAL service animals don’t “wander the cabin” or bite other passengers!!?? Unreal. Take you fak…

The new requirements become effective in March.

Forgot to tweet this... There was an emotional support pig on my flight. We have officially entered an episode of…

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