Alaska Airlines’ Policies on Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animal Alaska Airlines’ Policies on Emotional Support Animals

Alaska Airlines’ Policies on Emotional Support Animals

Aviophobia or fear of flying may affect over 20 million people in the United States. Some of those people rely on emotional support animals to help them through their inflight anxiety. Fortunately, DoNotPay's product relating to ESA airline policies will help navigate the different policy nuances for companies such as Alaska Airlines regarding emotional support animals.

Today, over 200,000 people in the U.S. consider their pets as emotional support animals, and that number continues to grow. It's important to note that policies vary depending on the circumstances.

Defining an Emotional Support Animal or ESA:

When determining what defines an emotional support animal, the first thing to note is distinguishing one from a Service Animal. A Service Animal receives tailored training and certification to help owners with specific physical disabilities such as blindness, deafness, or mobility issues. Under the ADA or Americans Disability Act, service animals may accompany their owners almost anywhere.

Service Animals

Seeing-eye dogsA guide dog trained to lead a blind person.
Bomb-sniffing dogsThe most common dog breeds that are used for bomb detection jobs are German Shepards. Labrador Retrievers. Belgian Malinois.
Cadaver dogsHuman-remains detection dogs, or cadaver dogs, are used worldwide on land and water. Well-trained dogs help find the missing and dead in disasters, accidents, murders, and suicides.

Emotional Support Animals do not undergo training or receive any kind of certification. ESAs help their owners cope with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and addiction issues.

How Emotional Support Animals Help People:

Improves Your ScheduleSchedules and routines may be very important, yet, schedules may seem tedious. A pet requires care and a certain routine. You must feed them; you have to walk them, bathe them, play with them, etc. Setting your schedule to be based on their needs can also impact your other day-to-day tasks.
Improve Memory and FocusPets are very good at keeping person-centered. If you forget to feed them, they will remind you. If you feel lost in thought, they can give you a nudge to remind you that they are there.
Improve SleepIf you are someone who suffers from hyperactivity, you may feel unable to rest well at night. After running, walking, playing, and focusing on your pet throughout the day, you may be able to rest more at night.
Relieves StressPets provide unconditional love to their owners. They are unable to yell or do things that may stress you. This can give you a sense of confidence and reduce your risk of depression or anxiety.

Healthcare professionals will often prescribe pets as ESAs since scientific studies show that animals positively affect our hormonal balance by reducing stress-contributing hormones such as cortisol and Alpha-Amylase and increasing good feeling hormones like Oxytocin.

Does Alaska Airlines Require an ESA Letter?

An ESA letter represents a document signed by a qualified healthcare professional that must include the date and licensure information of the person signing the letter. In effect, it serves as a prescription for the pet's owner.

The legislation does protect renters who possess an ESA letter for their pets. ESAs serve as an exception in no-pet buildings, and landlords may not charge an extra rental fee for an animal that qualifies as an ESA.

Public places such as Alaska Airlines do not need to abide by the same type of legislation for ESAs as they do for Service Animals. Though Alaska Airlines recognizes the need for ESAs, those animals fall under the category as do any pet on their flights. Therefore, Alaska Airlines doesn't require an ESA letter for the flight.

When traveling with an ESA, it makes sense to bring an ESA letter for hotels or restaurants at your destination.

Alaska Airlines’ Pet Policy

If you're traveling with your emotional support animal on Alaska Airlines, you will need to adhere to their pet policy. In order for the pet to travel with you in the cabin, you must follow the following rules:

  • The ticketed passenger needs to be at least 18 years old
  • You may not sit in the Exit Row
  • First Class only allows one pet for the entire cabin
  • Coach only allows five pets for the whole cabin
  • Animals allowed include dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds. The animals must be at least eight weeks old and completely weaned.
  • You must keep your pet in a carrier that fits under the seat. The carrier also counts as a piece of luggage.
  • The carrier needs to measure no more than 17x11x9.5 and be free of any leaks, rips, or tears.
  • You may bring two animals of the same species as long as they fit comfortably in the carrier together.
  • The animal must remain in the carrier for the entire flight and stow under your seat during takeoff and landing.
  • If your ESA emits an offensive odor or causes noise disturbances, they will need to relocate to baggage.

How to Obtain an Emotional Support Animal Letter on Your Own

Even though you may not need an ESA letter on your flight, if your pet serves as an ESA, you will encounter many other situations where you should possess proof of its ESA status. Follow the steps below to obtain an ESA letter.

  1. Locate an ESA form letter online and prepare it for your appointment.
  2. Research your options for professional help from your physician or licensed mental health professional.
  3. Schedule a session either in person or virtually with an appropriate healthcare professional.
  4. Review your situation and symptoms with the healthcare provider and explain why you need an ESA.
  5. Request an ESA letter using the ESA form letter you obtained earlier.

Though these steps seem relatively straightforward, problems may occur while seeking an ESA letter. Your doctor may refuse to sign if they're not previously aware of your mental health issues. Some healthcare professionals request that you come in for multiple appointments and do psychological testing before signing an ESA letter.

If you attempt to do the process with online services, you will need to log into different sites and juggle multiple passwords.

Let DoNotpay Help You Obtain Your ESA Letter

DoNotPay's Service and Emotional Support Animals product covers all your ESA needs. Follow the steps below to let DoNotPay take the frustration out of the ESA letter process:

  1. Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.


  2. Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues.


  3. Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you.


And that's it. Depending on your issue, DoNotPay will generate a letter to your landlord and mail it on your behalf, contact the airline agency and get back to you with an answer, or send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter.

Why Use DoNotPay?

If you're still not sure that you should use DoNotPay for all your ESA needs, consider these three important yet straightforward reasons:

  • Fast—You won't spend hours or days looking for an appropriate healthcare professional for your ESA letter.
  • Easy— You don't need to worry about taking multiple tests or keeping track of numerous usernames and passwords.
  • Successful—You can relax knowing that DoNotPay's legal experts know how to care for all your ESA needs.

DoNotPay’s Products Help With All Aspects of ESA

Just follow the links below for product information for your ESA needs:

Find Out More What DoNotPay Can Do for You

Pet owners will find DoNotPay's products such as Pet Custody Agreements, Lost and Found issues, Licensing, and more very helpful.

But even if you don't own a pet, DoNotPay helps with your everyday management and legal needs. Check out the suggestions below for more of how DoNotPay will make your life easier:

  • Animal control issues
  • Compensation for canceled flights
  • How to get free hotel upgrades
  • How to file a claim in Small Claims Court

If you'd like to learn more about DoNotPay's products for pet owners and non-pet owners alike, please visit us here.

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