American Airlines to ban certain animals from flights

Sheetal Sukhija - Wednesday 16th May, 2018

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - After certain airlines in the U.S. amended their pets policy, now American Airlines has said that it is banning certain animals from its flights.

American Airlines said that the ban on a number of animals, including hedgehogs, sugar gliders and goats, from its flights, is set to become effective on July 1.

Citing ‘safety and/or public health risks’ for the reason of the ban, the airline issued a list of all the animals that are banned, including even those kept for emotional support.

In a video posted on the airline’s website, Suzanne Boda, American’s Senior Vice President in Los Angeles said that the changes apply only to "support animals.”

Boda added that the company's current policies regarding service animals would remain in place but cited past "incidents" regarding support animals as the airline's reason for the new restrictions.

Boda said, "We're tightening things down a little bit, because as you know, we've had some incidents in the past on our aircraft and we want to make sure that the safety of everyone, including support animals, is protected.”

According to the airline’s statement, from 2016 to 2017, as the number of customers bringing support animals on flights skyrocketed, the number of cases too increased by more than 40 percent.

Earlier this year, United Airlines and Delta Airlines too issued guidelines that implemented new restrictions on support animals on their flights.

American Airlines also added in its statement that it will begin to enforce a policy requiring passengers to give 48-hour advanced notice before bringing an emotional support animal on a flight.