Southwest Policy

Traveling with an Emotional Support Animal

A Customer seeking to travel with an emotional support animal must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • The emotional support animal must be either a dog or cat.
  • The Customer has only one emotional support animal.
  • The emotional support animal must be in a carrier that can be stowed under the seat in front of the Customer or on a leash at all times while in the airport and onboard the aircraft.
  • The Customer must provide to a Southwest Airlines Employee documentation (not more than one year old) on letterhead from a licensed mental health professional or medicaldoctor who is treating the Customer’s mental health-related disability. The letter must state all four items below:
    • The Passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    • The Passenger needs the emotional support animal as an accommodation for airtravel and/or for activity at the Passenger’s destination
    • The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional or medical doctor, and the Passenger is under his or her professional care
    • The date and type of the mental health professional’s or medical doctor’s licenseand the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued

    Note: An animal that is not trained to behave in a public setting or engages in disruptive behavior may be denied boarding.