Alaska Airlines Limits ESAs to Only Cats and Dogs

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: December 20, 2023


On August 30th, Alaska Airlines announced they were updating their ESA policy and adding restrictions on the type and number of ESA and service animals permitted aboard the aircraft. These updates will go into effect on October 1st, 2018, regardless of the ticket purchase date.

Alaska Airlines 2018 Policy Regarding Emotional Support Animals

Thinking of traveling on Alaska Airlines with your Emotional Support Animal soon?

Make sure you’re up-to-date with their latest policies and regulations regarding ESAs. Airlines are becoming stricter and requiring proper documentation and limiting what types of animals they will allow to travel in the aircraft cabin.  The goal of these regulations is to ensure passenger safety and make sure the emotional support laws are used correctly.

Earlier this year, Alaska Airlines, like many other airlines, added more documentation requirements for those traveling with their ESA. As of May 1st, passengers would need to have a veterinary health form and signed testament of their animal’s behavior along with the standard ESA letter” href=”” data-wpil-keyword-link=”linked”>ESA letter.  These documents must be provided at least 48 hours before the flight.

No More (Emotional Support) Snakes on a Plane

Alaska Airlines will only permit one dog or cat as an emotional support animal allowed to travel in the aircraft cabin with its disabled owner. The dog or cat must be leashed or kept in a carrier at all times.  

Disabled individuals are allowed to have more than one emotional support animal by law, but airlines are not required to allow more than one aboard the plane.  Those traveling with more than one ESA after Oct.1 will be able to get a refund for their ticket if they have more than one ESA.

Any animal can become an emotional support animal from pigs to rabbits, but many airlines are adding stricter rules as to which animals are allowed to fly in the cabin. These rules are intended to keep passengers safe, as some animal species are not as trainable or as easy to transport as a cat or dog.

Alaska Airlines classifies limits the species of a service animal to dog, cat, or miniature horse.  The animals must be in the owner’s control at all times and fully trained.  The new updates will accept psychiatric service animals as service animals.

Alaska Airlines Makes a Good Call!

Certapet encourages emotional support dogs and cats for those suffering from emotional/mental disabilities and know there can be safety and ethical issues with some animal species as ESAs.

With restrictions like these, we hope to see more individuals understand the importance and significance of emotional support animals.

If you are thinking of getting an emotional support cat or cat, take the free 5-minute pre-screening to see if you qualify today.


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