How to Let the Department of Transportation Know Your Thoughts: Service Animals on Planes

A service dog lying down

Late last month the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) concerning traveling by air with service animals. What that means is that the DOT has once again released a document proposing new regulations governing air travel with service animals.

So here’s where you come in: DOT is giving the public 60 days to comment on the proposed regulations, and the NPRM can be accessed here along with a summary created by DOT with the main points. Some tips for locating the section if you wish to comment:

  1. Find a link at the end of the summary with the docket number associated with the NPRM
  2. Hit enter on the docket number and you’ll get to a page with a “comment now” button
  3. Hit that button to get to the form where you can submit your comments

Remember, the proposed regulations are not yet law. So far they are just proposals to change the law. I just flew home to Chicago from Newark a couple weeks ago, so I can vouch for that: laws regarding service animals on planes have not yet changed. The DOT says they will not issue final new regulations until they have reviewed public comments.

All that said, given DOT’s current enforcement priorities, you might want to check on your specific airline’s policies before you fly. Think about keeping your animal’s health record with you when you’re taking a plane anywhere: it is sometimes difficult to determine if a specific airline will ask you to show it, so may as well be prepared.


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

Comments are closed.