Following previous bans from airlines on pets and dogs, Delta Air Lines has limited each passenger to one emotional support animal per flight. Additionally, they are prohibiting pit bulls as service or support animals on flights. The new changes will come into effect from July 10 this year. These changes are a further tightening of the Atlanta-based airline’s policy, with previous changes on emotional support and service animals being initiated earlier this year.
Spokespersons from Delta have come out and said that these latest policy changes are due to the “growing safety concerns”.
Two employees were bitten by a passenger’s emotional support animal last week in Atlanta. The incident took place during the boarding of a flight to Tokyo Narita. One of the employees needed to be treated medically on site.
The passenger had two pit bulls that served as “emotional support animals” and needed to be removed from the flight. This unfortunate news is a further example of how the stigma against pit bulls is still in effect. It’s a stigma that’s sadly enforced by occasional incidents such as this one. Still, public outcry from pit bull owners is becoming noticeable, since the breed continues to be singled out. In the meantime, other dog breeds that get involved in accidents “get a pass” because they are not pit bulls.
Whatever our views on the bans are, pit bull owners need to be warned. After this policy gets implemented, pit bull dogs won’t be welcome on Delta Air Lines as service or support dogs.
Delta has said that it carries 700 service or support animals each day. Since 2016, the airline has reported an 84% increase in incidents with service and support animals. This includes urination or defecation and biting. The question remains, however, what is the solution to this problem. Is it better care and management of animals in flights by the airline, or simply banning pets?
The second part of the ban is on emotional animals.
The reasoning behind this ban is more understandable. A lot of pet owners have started claiming all kinds of pets as “emotional support animals” just so they could have them on board.
“Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders and more,” Delta said. “Ignoring the true intent of existing rules governing the transport of service and support animals can be a disservice to customers who have real and documented needs.”