Delta Air Lines is cracking down on emotional support animals in a newly updated policy, limiting customers to just one such animal and banning “pit bull type dogs,” as both service and support animals.
The new changes go into effect on July 10, around four months after Delta updated its support animal policy to require that passengers show their support animal’s veterinary health form and/or immunization records prior to traveling in order to prove that the animal’s vaccinations are up to date.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Delta touted an 84% increase in incident reports involving service and support animals since 2016 as the reason behind the change, “including urination/defecation, biting and even a widely reported attack by a 70-pound dog.”
“The safety and security of Delta people and our customers is always our top priority,” said Gil West, Delta’s chief operating officer. “We will always review and enhance our policies and procedures to ensure that Delta remains a leader in safety.”
Almost 250,000 service and support animals are carried by Delta annually, and customers have tried flying with everything from comfort turkeys and gliding possums to snakes and spiders, according to the airline.