Delta Airlines’ Policies on Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animal Delta Airlines’ Policies on Emotional Support Animals

Delta Airlines’ Policies on Emotional Support Animals

Following an 85 percent increase of animal-related incidents on Delta airplanes since 2016, Delta made strict changes to its emotional support animal (ESA) policy that went into effect on January 11th, 2021. Although Delta's updated ESA policies still support people with disabilities' right to travel with their trained service animal, ESA users are now concerned about flying with Delta Air Lines.

If you want to learn more about the new Delta emotional support animal policy and how to request ESA accommodation, continue reading to find out what you can do as a Delta passenger to travel with your emotional support animal. The process is no longer easy, but DoNotPay has the tools to help you travel with your deserved accommodations.

What Is an Emotional Support Animal?

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, an emotional support animal is an animal that helps alleviate the symptoms of someone with a disability by providing comfort through emotional support. Emotional support animals help people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other disabilities live more comfortably.

What Is an ESA Letter?

Although many online sites claim to grant ESA certificates in exchange for a fee, the only real way to distinguish your pet as an emotional support animal is through an ESA letterAn ESA letter acts as proof that your animal is categorized as an ESA by a licensed medical professional. To get a legitimate ESA letter, you must:

  • Speak with a licensed medical professional in your state
  • Be diagnosed or seeking treatment for a disability or mental illness
  • Have your health professional sign an ESA letter, date the letter, and include any of their contact information and license number on the letter

What Is Delta's Policy for Emotional Support Animals?

Delta has specific policies in place for emotional support animals, trained service animals, and pet travel.

Emotional Support Animal PolicyDue to the Department of Transportation's final ruling in December 2020, the emotional support animal policies on many airlines changed. Federally, ESAs are no longer considered service animals, so airlines like Delta or United Airlines are now allowed to make their own policies moving forward.

Delta swiftly took this opportunity to ban emotional support animals from guaranteed airplane cabin access on all their flights. While service animals are still allowed to fly with their owner as long as the required paperwork is filled out, people with emotional support dogs are no longer granted this privilege. Even if you have an ESA letter, as of January 11th, 2021, your ESA will no longer be allowed in the cabin of a Delta Air Lines flight.

Trained Service Animal PolicyTrained service animals are still allowed to accompany their owner in the cabin of all Delta flights, given these conditions are met:

  • Current on all vaccinations
  • Submit the completed U.S. DOT Service Animal Air Travel documentation through My Trips
  • A completed DOT Relief Attestation form if your flight is longer than 8 hours
Pet Travel PolicyAlthough ESAs are not required access to the cabin, you may still be able to fly with your pet near you if they fit Delta's pet carry-on requirements:

  • The animal must stay inside a kennel that can fit underneath the seat in front of you.
  • The animal must be small enough to fit inside the kennel.
  • The kennel must be ventilated and leak-proof.

How to Apply for an Emotional Support Animal on a Delta Flight on Your Own

For many ESA owners, Delta's emotional support animal ban is very unfortunate news. Many people rely on their ESA's support to fly comfortably, or they need their ESA once they arrive at their flight's destination.

Although paying a fee or submitting forms will not guarantee access to your ESA on a Delta flight, there are some things you may be able to try to request an exception from Delta:

  1. Make sure your dog is an ESA, with an official ESA letter from a licensed medical professional in your state.
  2. To create a stronger case, get your ESA up-to-date on all their vaccinations with the proper documentation. If your dog was professionally trained, gather any evidence of that.
  3. Write a letter to Delta that requests an exception be made for your ESA. Provide all the evidence you can that demonstrates why you need your ESA with you and why they should be allowed the same access as a trained service animal.

Writing this accommodation request letter on your own can be overwhelming. Consider letting DoNotPay help write the letter to Delta for you.

How to Request ESA Accommodation From Delta With DoNotPay's Help

Even though Delta's ESA travel policy is strict, Delta may be willing to make accommodations if they are sent a convincing ESA accommodation request letter. The good news is that you don't have to write this Delta Air Lines ESA request letter yourself; DoNotPay can do it for you and send it on your behalf.

Here's how DoNotPay can help:

Through our new Service and Emotional Support Animals product, DoNotPay can help you with all of your ESA-related concerns, including contacting your landlord about your ESA, asking airlines about their accommodation options, and finding the most affordable online ESA-letter service.

  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.

What Makes DoNotPay's ESA Travel Solution the Best?

Since Delta Air Lines' ESA policy is highly restrictive, requesting accommodation for your ESA is not an easy process on your own. Delta also may not take you seriously and could quickly deny your request if your ESA accommodation request letter is not professionally formatted and written.

With DoNotPay, we have your best interests in mind when we craft a convincing demand letter on your behalf. We know the right things to say and what evidence to provide to give you a better chance at Delta accepting your request to make an exception to their ESA policy. 

DoNotPay's solution also requires very little time and effort on your part. After you answer a few questions, we can take it from there.

Have More Questions About ESA Accommodations? DoNotPay Has Answers

As an information hub and robot lawyer, DoNotPay has answers to many of your questions about emotional support animals, as well as solutions to your ESA-related problems. Find more answers here:

More Helpful DoNotPay Products for Your Pets

DoNotPay is not just an ESA and pet support company, but you'd think we were because of how many pet-related solutions we offer, including:

DoNotPay Goes Beyond ESA and Pet-Related Issues

DoNotPay is your one-stop shop for solutions to all your frustrating issues. Whether you have more travel concerns or need help suing someone, DoNotPay has the solution for you. Check out a few of the things we offer:

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