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The End of Emotional-Support Animals? Every Major Airline's Policy

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Support Animals Grounded

The days of domestic air travelers bringing dogs, cats, rabbits, miniature horses, pot-bellied pigs, snakes, and the occasional peacock on board as emotional-support and therapy animals are done, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Service animals such as guide dogs are still permitted under the new regulation, which was announced in December and goes into effect Jan. 11. But critters designated emotional-support animals are no longer classified as service animals, meaning airlines no longer have to permit them on board at no charge. One by one, major U.S. carriers have been announcing their own modified rules, subjecting emotional-support animals to the same pet policies — and fees — that apply to other animals. Here's a look at which airlines have changed their policies and which ones still allow emotional-support animals to fly for free, with the proper paperwork — for now.

Related: 30 Air Travel Perks We Miss

Alaska Airlines
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Allegiant Airlines
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Allegiant Airlines

Emotional support animals permitted at no charge: No, except for existing reservations booked before Jan. 11 for travel before May 1
Animals allowed as pets: Domestic dogs and cats
Pet fee: $100 per travel segment

Full service-animal policy
Full pet policy

American Airlines
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Delta Airlines
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Frontier Airlines
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Frontier Airlines

Emotional support animals permitted at no charge: No, except for reservations booked before Jan. 11 for travel on or before Jan. 31
Animals allowed as pets: Domesticated dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, and small household birds
Pet fee: $99 each way

Full service-animal policy
Full pet policy

Jet Blue
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JetBlue

Emotional support animals permitted at no charge: No, except for flights booked before Dec. 20, 2020, for travel through February 2021
Animals allowed as pets: Domestic dogs and cats
Pet fee: $125 each way

Full service-animal policy
Full pet policy

Budget Airlines
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Spirit Airlines

Emotional support animals permitted at no charge: No, effective Jan. 11
Animals allowed as pets: Domestic cats and dogs, small household birds, and small domestic rabbits 
Pet fee: $110 each way

Full service-animal policy
Full pet policy

Southwest Airlines
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Sun Country Airlines
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Sun Country Airlines

Emotional support animals permitted at no charge: Yes, with required documentation
Animals allowed: Domestic dogs, cats, and miniature horses; others on a case-by-case basis

Full service-animal policy
Full pet policy

United Airlines
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