United Airlines adheres to the rules and regulations for service and emotional support animals as set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, regardless of your chosen airline, Dogs on Planes encourages all travelers with any kind of service animal to be familiar with their basic rights and responsibilities.
Though United conforms to the Department of Transportation regulations, they have their own set of service animal policies. If traveling with an assistance dog, you should be aware of and understand the following information.
United Airlines Service Animal Policy
United welcomes all trained service animals aboard their flights for no additional expense. The airline defines these as animals that receive specific training to perform life functions for individuals with disabilities—those who assist with visual impairments, deafness, seizures, and mobility limitations. Trained service animals are accepted in the cabin for qualified individuals with a disability. The service animal should sit in the floor space in front of the customer’s assigned seat. As with all on-board animals, he cannot protrude into the aisles. Exit row seating is prohibited, and documentation may be required for an animal traveling to international destinations.
United only recognizes service animals who have been trained and certified. However, animal trainers are permitted to bring one service animal that is training to assist disabled passengers onboard free of charge.
United Airlines Emotional Support Animal Policy and Form
United acknowledges emotional support animals as pets assisting passengers with psychiatric or emotional disabilities but who may or may not have task-specific training. To board with your support animal, you must complete the Medical/Mental Health Professional Form, the Passenger Confirmation of Liability and Emotional support/Psychiatric Service Animal Behavior Form, and the Veterinary Health Form. The first must be completed by a medical professional, the second by the passenger, and the third by a licensed veterinarian. These forms are available on the United Airlines website. All forms must be submitted to the Accessibility Desk at least 48 hours before your flight.
Conduct rules for emotional support animals are the same as for assistance dogs. They must sit at the customer’s feet without protruding into the aisle or other area and exit row seating is prohibited.
Service Animals and Prohibited Behavior
If your service or emotional support animal engages in disruptive behavior, United Airlines may prohibit it from traveling. This behavior may include:
- Excessive barking
- Aggressive behavior (biting, growling, snapping, &c)
- Relieving themselves in non-approved spaces
- Jumping on guest or employees
- Not responsive to owner/handler’s commands.