ATLANTA — With new federal rules in place, Delta Air Lines said it will no longer allow emotional support animals on its flights.
Airlines and passengers had raised concerns about safety and other issues as more and more travelers brought animals on board. By certifying their pets as emotional support animals, pet owners had been able to avoid paying extra fees when flying.
Under the new U.S. Department of Transportation rules taking effect next week, airlines are no longer required to grant special access to emotional support animals.
Delta's policy change means it will stop accepting new bookings for emotional support animals on Jan. 11. Those who already have tickets confirmed with the animals can still fly as planned. American and Alaska Airlines recently have announced similar policies.
In compliance with federal rules, Atlanta- based Delta said it also will lift its ban on pit bulls as service animals. Service animals are different from emotional support animals in that they are trained to perform tasks to help their owners with their disability. Delta said it will also require documentation for trained service dogs.
However, the airline said it will continue to deny boarding to any trained service animal "that poses a threat or demonstrates aggressive or inappropriate behavior in a public setting."