JetBlue's new emotional support animal rules: Only dogs, cats and mini horses, and more documentation

  • JetBlue will require passengers traveling with an emotional support animal for more documentation about the animal's health and behavior.
  • The changes take effect July 1.
  • The airline will require passengers to sign a document taking responsibility for injuries or property damage.
A woman carrying a dog on an airline flight.
Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images
A woman carrying a dog on an airline flight.

JetBlue Airways will ask passengers flying with emotional support animals for more documentation about the animal's health and behavior, citing "health and safety risks" from an onslaught of untrained animals in its cabins.

The New York-based airline joins competitors American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which issued their own, stricter emotional support animal rules earlier this year.

Starting July 1, JetBlue will require passengers traveling with such animals to notify the airline 48 hours in advance and provide a medical or mental health form from the doctor who prescribes the animal and another from a veterinarian stating the animal's "fitness to fly" and vaccination records.

JetBlue will also require passengers to sign a document that states the animal can behave in public and that the owner accepts responsibility for injuries or property damage.

The airline will only accept emotional support dogs, cats or miniature horses, said JetBlue. Its previous policy only prohibited some animals such as hedgehogs, sugar gliders, insects and ferrets.

The airline said it not making any changes to its policies for non-psychiatric service animals, such as guide dogs.

The changes come as the Department of Transportation is considering new restrictions on emotional-support animals, which fly for free in cabins under the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act. Airlines have fretted about soiled cabins, allergies and outright dangers to passengers. Last year, a passenger was mauled by another traveler's emotional support dog on a Delta flight.

The Department of Transportation is in the middle of collecting public comments about such animals on board.