A year after Delta banned “pit bull type” dogs from flying on its planes as service animals, the Department of Transportation has decreed that the airline must allow all types of service dogs on board.
Delta instated the ban after two employees were bitten, and in a statement to People, the airline insinuated the dogs might not have actually been trained service animals:
“We must err on the side of safety. Most recently, two Delta employees were bit by a pit bull traveling as a support animal last week. We struggled with the decision to expand the ban to service animals, knowing that some customers have legitimate needs, but we have determined that untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk.”
But the DoT has ruled that regardless of whether or not the airline believes a service animal is an imposter, the dogs must be allowed to fly, regardless of breed:
“The Department’s Enforcement Office views a limitation based exclusively on breed of the service animal to not be allowed under its service animal regulation,” the DOT wrote.
Interesting facts I learned in this article: many airlines only allow dogs, cats, and miniature freaking horses over the age of four months to fly as service animals, and the DOT has decided that “a total of three” service animals is an acceptable number with which to travel.