Rules for Flying With a Service Dog

Guide dogs are allowed to fly the friendly skies.
Guide dogs are allowed to fly the friendly skies. (Image: "Guide Dog" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: midiman under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Flying with a service dog is allowed on all airlines. Specific laws exist governing the use of service dogs on airplanes.

Service Dogs

A service dog can accompany a person with a visual or hearing impairment on an airplane. Dogs trained to aid with seizure alerts, psychiatric comfort and emotional support are considered service dogs under U.S. federal government statutes.


Passengers must present airline staff with proof the animal is a trained service dog. Accepted forms include identification cards, service harness, written authorization or credible visual or verbal statements when the need for a service animal is obvious to staff.


Service dog laws allow the animals to sit with the passenger in need as long as emergency exits are not obstructed.

Fees and Exceptions

Additional fees are not allowed when a service dog accompanies a passenger in need on a flight. Airline staff has the right to question or prohibit the use of an animal only if the dog poses a threat to others.

Dogs in Training

Service animals in training are allowed to accompany a passenger or trainer onto a flight. Each airline designates its own policy governing the passage of animals that have not yet completed a service dog or emotional support program.

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