WASHINGTON — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson released the following statement on new guidance from the Department of Transportation on service and emotional support animals:
“Today’s action by the Department of Transportation is an important step to address what has become a mess of animals loose in the aircraft cabin. Clear rules are necessary to ensure access to service animal assistance for people with disabilities and our veterans, while maintaining the safety, health and security of all passengers and crew onboard our planes.
“In the last few weeks alone Flight Attendants have been hurt and safety has been compromised by untrained animals loose in the cabin. Fraudulent claims of emotional support animals not only threatens safety and health, it can interfere with the rights of passengers who legitimately need the assistance of trained animals. Clear government regulations are necessary so that private industry can maintain consistency and equal access for all travelers. We look forward to rulemaking by the Department of Transportation to lock in clear rules for carriers and passengers alike.”
Specifically, AFA supports documentation, advance notice and check-in requirements for passengers traveling with emotional support animals.