Beginning on February 1, 2019, Delta Airlines will prohibit emotional support animals on flights longer than 8 hours. In essence this will largely apply to international flights, as domestic flights are usually under that time limit.
According to Delta, the new policy is the result of an 84% increase in reported incidents involving service animals and emotional support animals from 2016 to 2017. It’s believed this recent change is the result of untrained animals relieving themselves on flights.
This is the third time in a year that Delta has updated its policy on service animals and emotional support animals. In January 2017, the airline tightened its rules and restrictions on service animals and emotional support animals; and in July 2017 it prohibited pit bulls from being service animals or emotional support animals.
It should be noted, that this most recent restriction only applies to emotional support animals and not service animals. There are no flight restrictions on service animals.
The airline also implemented a new policy that will begin on December 18, 2018 that requires all service animals and emotional support animals to be at least four months old.