American Airlines banning ferrets, goats and hedgehogs from flights

American Airlines banning ferrets, goats and hedgehogs from flights

American Airlines banning ferrets, goats and hedgehogs from flights

They come after a boom in the number of passengers who are transporting service or support animals aboard planes.

American Airlines is setting some new ground rules on emotional support animals, barring companions like spiders, hedgehogs, goats and snakes from taking flight.

Suzanne Boda, American's Senior Vice President in Los Angeles, said in a video posted on the airline's website on Monday that the changes apply only to "support animals", and that the company's current policies regarding service animals would remain in place.

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From 2016 to 2017, the airline said it saw a 40 percent rise in service or support animals on its aircraft - similar to increases at other airlines like Delta and United, which made similar changes this year. Guests will also be required to provide a form filled out by their doctor detailing their need for a support animal, or a letter from their doctor. Last year, more than 750,000 emotional support animals were transported by USA carriers, The Dallas Morning News reports. It is also restricting additional animal types, including insects, hedgehogs and goats.

American will also require those flying with an emotional support animal to submit a form at least 48 hours before their flight that is signed by their licensed mental health professional and that states their recognized mental or emotional disability and why they need the animal.

Photos of a peacock, which a passenger in New Jersey tried to bring onto a plane, went viral earlier this year after United banned the flightless bird from travelling. Passengers were previously allowed to provide the documents the day of their flight.

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American joins other US carriers-including United, Delta, and Alaska-that have changed the rules about which animals are considered appropriate as flight companions.

As for Canadian airlines, WestJet allows "qualified individuals with a disability" to bring emotional support dogs, cats, miniature horses, pigs and monkeys on most flights.

Both of the Canadian carriers say their require 48 hours advance notice and supporting documentation for flying with an emotional support animal.

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