Alaska Airlines ESA Policy

Traveling with Service or Emotional Support Animals

We welcome trained service animals and emotional support animals on Alaska Airlines. To ensure that both you and your service animal or emotional support animal travel easily and comfortably, please review the following information.

  • Trained service animals or emotional support animals travel for free. The size of the animal must not exceed the footprint or personal space of the guest’s seat or foot area during the entire flight.
  • Service animals or emotional support animals must be under the control of the owner at all times in the airport and onboard the aircraft. Due to safety concerns, emotional support animals must be leashed, or in an approved carrier that fits under the seat.
    • Note: If your dog or cat is in an approved carrier, it must be stowed under the seat in front of you for taxi, take off, and landing, in accordance with FAA regulations.
  • We suggest that you not overwater or overfeed your service animal or emotional support animal on the day of travel.
  • Keep this list of airport animal relief areas handy.
  • Service animals or emotional support animals are expected to be seated on the floor space below a guest’s seat or, if no larger than an infant, seated in the guest’s lap, if needed to accommodate your disability.
  • Service animals and emotional support animals are expected to behave appropriately in the airport and on the aircraft.

Service animals or emotional support animals must not:

  • Occupy a seat or sit on a tray table at any time.
  • Obstruct the aisles or areas that must remain clear for emergency evacuation.

When traveling with a service animal or emotional support animal, we will do everything we can to seat you in a row with the most leg room within your class of service.

  • For safety reasons guests traveling with a service animal or emotional support animal are not permitted to sit in an emergency exit row.
  • We recommend choosing a window seat so the animal is safe from foot traffic.

We encourage all guests to check in at least one hour prior to departure. If you are traveling with an emotional support animal, you must check in one hour prior to the check in time for the general public and advise the customer service agent upon arrival at the airport to ensure we have your animal accounted for onboard the aircraft.

If your trip includes Hawaii or international travel, please also review the additional information below for additional documentation requirements and recommendations.

Note: If you encounter any issues with your service animal or emotional support animal at the airport or on board, please ask to speak to a Complaints Resolution Official (CRO). These trained Alaska representatives are ready to assist guests with accessibility needs and protect your rights when traveling by air.

Traveling with a trained Emotional Support Animal

Emotional support animals assist those with a mental health related disability and are not trained to perform a specific task or work.

Each guest who is a qualified individual with a disability may travel with an emotional support animal in the cabin. Certain documentation requirements must be met.

Each guest is limited to one emotional support animal per flight.

Animals accepted as trained emotional support animals are:

You must provide Alaska Airlines the following completed documentation at least 48 hours before departure, and keep the completed forms with you for the entire journey.

  • Animal health advisory form
    • We strongly recommend guests should have a certified copy of the animal’s health certificate from their veterinarian for their entire journey. Refer to Alaska’s pet policy for requirements for a health certificate.
  • Mental health form
  • Animal behavior form

Download the required forms in English

Traveling with a service animal in training

We will accept service animals-in-training free of charge that are being delivered to their new owner/handler’s home provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The service animal is being transported by a trainer.
  • The trainer can identify the new owner’s/handler’s name and home city.
  • The trainer can provide documentation on official letterhead noting the service animal has successfully completed training.
  • Space must be available and confirmed in advance for traveling in the cabin or cargo compartment. (Limited and subject to availability).

In addition to being delivered to their new owner/handler, a service dog/puppy-in-training only may be accepted for travel free of charge while they are in training provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • Travel is wholly within the United States.
  • The service dog/puppy is being transported by their trainer/raiser.
  • The trainer/raiser must provide a health certificate for the service dog/puppy in training on official letterhead from the assistance organization or local veterinarian.
  • The trainer/raiser must provide an official Trainer ID card issued by the assistance organization.
  • Space must be available and confirmed in advance for traveling in the cabin or cargo compartment. (Limited and subject to availability).Note: Service Animals in Training are not covered by the Air Carrier Access Act (Part 382) and are accepted at the airline’s discretion.

Animal behavior

If your service animal or emotional support animal engages in disruptive behavior such as (but not limited to) the following, your animal will be subject to our pet policy:

  • Barking excessively, not in response to a handler’s need or distress
  • Aggressive behaviors towards other guests or animals (e.g. biting, growling, snapping, lunging, etc.)
  • Freely wandering or running around
  • Relieving themselves in the aircraft cabin or places other than designated pet relief areas
  • Jumping on guests or employees
  • Occupying an aircraft seat or seatback tray table
  • Eating off seatback tray tables
  • Not responsive to owner/handler’s commands

Hawaii travel requirements

The only service animal permitted into Hawaii is a service dog. In addition to our general service animal policies, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture requires the owners of service dogs to present appropriate health documentation.

The only emotional support animal permitted into Hawaii is a cat or dog. Owners must follow the standard cat or dog pet entry requirements.

Hawaii is the only state that is rabies-free. It is important that Hawaii maintain that status. The introduction of rabies would have dire circumstances, not only for public health, but it would have an adverse effect on Hawaii’s unique eco-system, tourism, as well as local lifestyle.

To maintain this unique status, there are strict guidelines and specific programs that must be completed before your service animal or emotional support animal will be accepted into the state of Hawaii. Service animals or emotional support animals arriving without proper documentation may be quarantined for up to 120 days in Honolulu at the owner’s expense. Alaska Airlines is not responsible for any costs incurred should you arrive in Hawaii without the proper health documentation.

Prior to Departing the US mainland

To Honolulu:
Visit hdoa.hawaii.gov “This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines.” to obtain information on health and documentation requirements for transporting service dogs into Honolulu.

To Kona, Lihue, or Kahului:
In order to transport your cat or dog, an original Neighbor Island Inspection Permit (issued in the traveler’s name) must be presented to an agent at check-in. Without it, we may deny transport of your animal.

The Permit must be kept in your possession until after you have cleared Agriculture in Hawaii.

Visit hdoa.hawaii.gov “This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines.” to obtain information on health and documentation requirements for transporting service dogs into Kona, Lihue, or Kahului.

Arriving into Honolulu, Kona, Lihue, or Kahului

When arriving into Honolulu, Kona, Lihue or Kahului, see the gate agent at the aircraft door who will escort you and your animal to the inspection station. Please have all required documentation ready for inspection.

International travel recommendations

If you are traveling outside of the United States with your service or emotional support animal, we highly recommend that you contact the appropriate consulate or embassy at least 4 weeks prior to departure. This is to ensure that you understand and are able to obtain the specific documentation, including health certificates and proof of vaccination, required for entry into that country.

Failure to ensure that all proper steps have been taken and documentation provided may result in your animal being placed in quarantine on arrival. Any costs related to the care of your animal in quarantine, issued fines, and any fee associated with returning the animal to its origin will be your responsibility.