Delta Air Lines has announced emotional support animals will now be allowed on flights longer than eight hours. The Atlanta-based airline instituted the ban last December. It prohibited emotional support animals under 4 months from flights regardless of length.
Last year’s ban came after Delta announced an 84% increase in incidents with support and service animals from 2016 to 2017.
“The safety of our people is paramount,” Allison Ausband, senior vice president of in flight service, said. “In 2018 alone, more than 40 instances of aggressive animal behavior occurred aboard a Delta aircraft.”
The airline reversed course earlier this week citing a policy change by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“We will never compromise on safety, and we will do what is right for the health and safety of our customers and employees,” John Laughter, the senior vice president of Delta Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance said in a press release.
“We continue to work with the DOT to find solutions that support the rights of customers who have legitimate needs to travel with trained animals,” Laughter said.
Last summer, Delta introduced restrictions that limited one emotional support animal per person and banned pit bulls regardless of their standing as a service animal.
The airline said this week the ban on pit bulls will remain in place until it can come up with a solution that “satisfies its own rigorous safety requirement.”
For customers who are flying with an emotional support or service animal, they must provide documentation at two days before their flight.