Passengers with disabilities are welcome to bring along their service animal or emotional support animal. American Airlines offers special assistance as needed for passengers with disabilities to fly safely and comfortably.
The airline staff may inquire about what types of training the service animal has received and they may observe the animal’s behavior and harness to make a determination that the animal is qualified for travel. They may not ask questions about the nature of your disability, however. If you have further questions about these protocols, you can read more about the rights and responsibilities of passengers with disabilities and their service animals.
American Airlines Service Animal Policy
You can notify the airline that you plan to bring a service animal. This can be done online or by calling 800-543-1586. This may help the airline accommodate any special assistance you or your service animal may need.
Service animals may be at your feet, or they may ride on your lap if they are small enough. You may also elect to put them in an approved carrier under the seat in front of you. For security reasons, you won’t be able to sit in an exit row when traveling with your service or emotional support animal.
American Airlines Emotional Support Animal Policy
To fly with an emotional support animal, you’ll have to provide a letter from a qualified health professional issued within the last year and provided to the airline at least 48 hours before the flight. This information includes the licensing information from your mental health professional and a statement indicating you have a psychiatric condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and that you need the animal for air travel or activities at your destination.
If you’ve flown with an emotional support animal on another airline and your documentation is less than a year old, American Airlines requires the same basic information as other airlines. However, if it’s your time flying with an emotional support animal, the airline also offers an easily downloadable PDF form.
We recommend notifying the airline that you’ll be traveling with an emotional support animal as soon as you make the reservation even if you don’t have this form completed yet. If you don’t have the required documentation in time, your animal may still be able to fly under the American Airlines pet policy.
Other Types of Pet and Animal Travel with American Airlines