United Airlines Policy
Emotional support and psychiatric service animals
Emotional support animals and psychiatric service animals provide emotional, psychiatric or cognitive support for individuals with disabilities, but may or may not have task-specific training with respect to a disability.
Emotional support and psychiatric service animals are also accepted in cabin for qualified individuals with a disability if certain information and documentation are provided in advance of travel. United requires additional documentation for customers traveling with an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service animal. In addition to providing a letter from a licensed medical/mental health professional, customers need to provide a veterinary health form documenting the health and vaccination records for the animal as well as confirming that the animal has been trained to behave properly in a public setting. With prior documentation and clearance, a customer may travel with no more than one emotional support animal, which cannot weigh more than 65 pounds, may only be a cat or dog and must be of a minimum age of four months. Multiple emotional support animals for a single customer are not permitted. Emotional support and psychiatric service animals are not allowed on flights eight hours or more in duration. United will consider all relevant information, including information from the required documentation, when determining whether an emotional support animal or psychiatric service animal may safely travel in the aircraft cabin.
Additional documentation beyond United’s requirements may also be required for an animal traveling to an international destination, Hawaii and other locations. Please note that not all international destinations allow the entry of animals, and restrictions vary by country. Customers should contact the appropriate consulate or embassy to make sure that all necessary procedures are followed.
An animal must sit at the customer’s feet without protruding into the aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed to comply with safety regulations. Customers may elect to use an approved in-cabin kennel for smaller animals. Unless in a carrying container, the animal will need to be leashed at all times in the airport and in flight. Exit row seating is prohibited. Refer to the U.S. Department of Transportation 14 CFR Part 382 or contact United for additional information.
Customers traveling with an emotional support animal or a psychiatric service animal must submit the required documentation at least 48 hours before the customer’s flight via our secure portal. If we are unable to validate the documentation, if the customer does not provide completed documentation, or if advance notification is not given, the animal may be denied boarding or may be eligible to be transported as a pet, and pet fees may apply. Contact the United Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744 if you have any questions about this process or are booking a flight within 48 hours of the departure time. See Rule 16 of United’s Contract of Carriage for additional information on service animals.
Psychiatric/Emotional Support Animal Request Instructions
All forms must be completed before submission.
United requires a passenger who is a qualified individual with a disability within the meaning of Department of Transportation Rules (Part 382) who wishes to fly with a psychiatric service or emotional support animal to obtain and submit documentation: 1) from a licensed medical/mental health professional, 2) a Passenger Confirmation of Liability and Emotional Support/Psychiatric Service Animal Behavior and 3) a veterinary health form completed by a licensed veterinarian.
- These forms are valid for one year from the date of the earliest of the signed authorizations and must be submitted at least 48 hours before each trip; ideally well in advance of travel.
- Other documentation may be required for travel entering or exiting an international location or Hawaii.
- Animals must be properly controlled. If an animal kennel or other carrier will be used, it must meet the USDA guidelines and fit under the aircraft seat.
- With prior documentation and clearance, a customer may travel with no more than one emotional support animal, which cannot weigh more than 65 pounds. Multiple emotional support animals for a single customer are not permitted.
Please submit your completed forms as soon as possible via our secure portal. The required travel documents for your emotional support or psychiatric service animal must be submitted for approval at least 48 hours prior to your day of travel. Please bring your original forms with you while traveling and be prepared to present them to airline representatives if requested.
With respect to an animal used to assist a qualified individual with a disability, the animal must be trained to behave appropriately in a public setting. Animals found not to have been trained to behave will only be accepted in accordance with United’s current pet policies or may be denied boarding.