Spirit Airways’ Guidelines on Emotional Support Animals
Social media and other technological advancements serve to bring people close to each other. Unfortunately, it's created more of a barrier to interpersonal connection, leading to a loneliness craze.
According to a report by NCBI, loneliness is said to be the leading cause of depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, especially among younger populations. The World Health Organization classifies depression as a global epidemic.
While we crave connection with others, emotional support animals (ESAs) can also provide a certain level of connection that helps alleviate symptoms of mental health problems.
The question, however, is, can you take your ESA with you everywhere?
Every travel company and organization takes the welfare of its customers seriously, especially when onboard their premises. As such, they make provisions for emotional support animals under very strict conditions to ensure the safety of other passengers as well.
DoNotPay can help you request accommodation of your . In addition, we can also help you secure the right documentation for your ESA to ensure you're in compliance with the rules regarding ESAs.
What Are Emotional Support Animals?
Emotional support animals are pets prescribed by licensed mental health professionals to their patients in an effort to help them manage their mental health symptoms. ESAs are not just dogs— they can be any domestic animal such as:
- Chicken, etc
As long as the animal is deemed to provide therapeutic value to the owner without posing a threat to others, your therapist can allow it to be an emotional support animal.
For your pet to be considered an ESA, you must have a letter written by a licensed mental health professional, validating your need for an emotional support animal.
How Are Emotional Support Animals Different From Service Dogs?
While dogs can be emotional support animals, they are not similar to service dogs. Service dogs are trained to perform specific roles in order to help their owners who deal with a physical or mental disability.
For instance, a service dog can be trained to fetch items, help retrieve medication, pull a wheelchair, etc. What's more, the rules governing ESAs and service dogs differ. As such, the two categories of animals have different legal rights.
While service dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, emotional support animals are not. Service dogs have free public access while ESAs rights are limited. For an ESA to gain access to pet restricted areas, you must produce a valid ESA letter.
Questions you may have about the differences between an emotional support animal and a service dog:
|Definition||A pet, whose presence is determined to be needed for the mental health of a patient. The pet is prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness.||According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are dogs that are trained to perform tasks or do work for people with disabilities.|
|Does the assistance animal have access to public areas?||No||Yes|
|Can the assistance animal be banned or restricted when the owner is obtaining housing?||No||No|
|Will the owner of the assistance animal be charged a pet deposit for living with one?||No||No|
|Is the assistance animal allowed on flights free of charge?||No||Yes|
Can I Travel With an Emotional Support Animal?
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) made a ruling that no longer recognizes emotional support animals as service animals. The ruling set out to sensitize travel safety and the safety of passengers on board. As such, airlines and other transport companies should treat ESAs as any other animal.
That said, travel companies that allow pets can allow emotional support animals. In addition, you have to follow the travel company's rules regarding animals and pets when boarding their vehicle, plane, or other travel means.
Are Emotional Support Animals Allowed on Spirit Airlines?
There is no legal mandate for airlines to allow emotional support animals, given the DOT ruling. However, Spirit Airlines, like most airlines, allows emotional support animals, provided the animal meets the threshold for regular pets and the owner follows the company's rules.
Note that the only emotional support animals allowed at Spirit Airlines are domestic dogs and cats, household birds, and rabbits.
How to Travel With an Emotional Support Animal on Spirit Airlines
Here are the set rules and regulations that must be followed to travel with an emotional support animal at Spirit Airlines:
- Emotional support animals can travel with Spirit Airlines as pets. To travel with your ESA, you must state so when making your reservation.
- Every flight has a maximum of 6 pet containers so it's vital to confirm with the reservations office before booking your flight. Contact the reservation center via call on 1-855-SAVE-555 855-728-3555 or via text on 48763.
- If you're traveling with an ESA, you must check-in at the ticket counter. Note that extra charges apply for traveling with an animal. The animal must go through screening before it is allowed on the plane.
- For international flights, specific documentation for the animal may be required. Contact Spirit Airlines Customer support on 855-728-3555 to check your destination's regulations before booking a flight.
Request Emotional Support Animal Accommodation on Spirit Airlines With the Help of DoNotPay
You don't have to wait for another flight just because all pet carriers are utilized. DoNotPay can help you not only jump the queue but request your ESA's accommodation on any flight or for housing purposes within minutes.
DoNotPay can help you solve your ESA-related issues, such as:
- Contacting your landlord about your ESA in compliance with the Fair Housing Act
- Inquire about ESA accommodation on different airlines
- Provide you with an ESA sample letter
- Help you find the most affordable online ESA-letter service
Here are the steps to take when using the product:
- Search "service animal" on DoNotPay.
- 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.
- 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.
Whatever your issue is, DoNotPay will either generate and send a letter of housing to your landlord, contact the airline on your behalf, or request an ESA letter from your mental health professional.
What Else Can DoNotPay Help You With?
Getting your emotional support animal onboard , American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, or United Airlines with you is not the only service we can help you with. DoNotPay provides all users with one single platform to sort out all manner of problems ranging from legal issues to day-to-day challenges. We work with all government institutions, private companies, service providers, and other agencies to provide our customers with quick access to services and information.
Other services we can help you with include but are not limited to:
- Applying for pet licenses and registration
- Getting airline flight compensation
- Renew your vehicle registration
- Discover and apply for scholarships
- File a complaint against any company
- Jump the phone queue for any company