Alaska Airlines Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and Psychiatric Service Dog Policy
Alaska Airlines Main Takeaways:
- Trained service animals can fly for free on Alaska Airlines with specific guidelines to follow.
- Required documentation includes a completed DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form.
- Advanced notice and additional documentation are necessary for service animals in training, travel to Hawaii, and international destinations.
- Alaska Airlines allows pets in the cabin or cargo compartment, with fees and size restrictions for carriers.
- Brachycephalic dogs and short-nosed cats are not allowed in the cargo compartment.
- Pets in the cabin must fit in carriers under the seat, and pets in the cargo must have a health certificate.
- Different requirements exist for domestic, international, and US inbound pet travel.
Trained service animals may travel on Alaska Airlines for free. However, they must meet the following guidelines:
- Must remain in the guest’s seat or the foot area of the guest’s seat without encroaching on other passengers’ space for the entire flight
- Only animals that are no larger than an infant may travel in the guest’s lap
- Animals must not exhibit disruptive behaviors
- Animals cannot occupy seats or tray tables or block aisles or emergency evacuation areas
- No more than two service dogs per guest
Alaska Airlines accepts service animals that are in training if they meet the following requirements:
- Animal is being transported to the new owner or handler
- 48 hours advance notice given
- Trainer is transporting the service animal
- Trainer can provide the new owner or handler’s home city and name
- Must confirm available space in the cabin or cargo department before the flight
- Travel is entirely within the United States
Alaska Air’s Required Documentations
Passengers must submit a completed DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form. Alaska Airlines must finish processing the form 48 hours before the flight, so it is a good idea to submit the form as early as possible. If the ticket for the flight was purchased less than 48 hours in advance, the passenger may complete the form at the airport but should arrive early to allow time for processing.
Once you have submitted your form online and it has been verified, you shouldn’t need to show it at the airport. However, the airline recommends carrying a printable copy in case of a technical outage. Passengers connecting to a flight with a partner airline must contact that airline to determine the required documentation.
Additional Documentation for Service Animals in Training
Passengers traveling with a service animal in training must provide official letterhead documentation proving the animal is in or has completed training. They must also provide a health certificate from a local veterinarian or assistance organization and an official Trainer ID card.
Additional Documentation for Passengers Traveling to Hawaii
Passengers traveling to Hawaii must provide documentation per the strict guidelines and programs in place to prevent rabies transmission. Otherwise, the service animal may be quarantined for up to 120 days in Honolulu at the owner’s expense.
Additional Documentation for International Travelers
Passengers traveling to international destinations must ensure they have obtained all of the specific documentation required by the country they are traveling to. Otherwise, the service animal may be quarantined at the owner’s expense.
Alaska Airlines recommends guests traveling with PSDs make reservations as early as possible and make service requests online or call the accessible services line at 1-800-503-0101 (dial 711 for relay services).
They also recommend arriving at the airport at least two hours before departure. Guests should notify the airline about any special requirements at check-in, on the aircraft, and in the boarding area.
Alaska Airlines offers its Fly for All app for iOS and Android to assist customers with cognitive and developmental disabilities.
Alaska Airlines allows pets to travel in the cabin or the cargo compartment if there is available space. To find out more, contact reservations at 1-800-252-7522. The airline doesn’t allow pets in the cargo compartment on certain flights from November 15 through January 10 during the holiday season. Animals that meet the airline’s pet policy requirements may still travel in the cabin on these flights. Additionally, pets may be allowed to travel as checked baggage on flights operating in Alaska.
The airline does not transfer pets traveling in the cargo compartment to other airlines. If you have a connecting flight with another airline, you must claim your pets and recheck them with the connecting airline.
Alaska Airlines’ Pet Fees
The fee for pets traveling in the cabin or the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines is $100 per pet each way. The fee is higher for Alaska Airlines flights that depart from Canada: $105 each way. If you are connecting to another airline, you may be charged an additional fee by that airline.
Alaska Airlines’ Breed Restrictions
Brachycephalic (“flat-faced”) dogs, such as bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos, and pugs, may not travel in the cargo compartment of any Alaska Airlines flight, including those operated by Horizon and SkyWest. The same rule applies to short-nosed cats like Burmese, Himalayan, and Persian felines. These breeds are permitted in the cabin if their carrier fits under the seat.
Alaska Airlines Pet Carrier Size Requirements
There are different carrier requirements for travel in the cabin and baggage or cargo compartments.
Carriers in the Cabin
To fly in the cabin, pets must be small enough to fit comfortably in a kennel that can be stored under the seat. Hard-sided carriers must be no larger than 17″ x 11″ x 7.5″. Soft-sided carriers must be no larger than 17″ x 11″ x 9.5″. A pet carrier counts toward your carry-on bag allowance. You may bring up to two pet carriers in the cabin, but you must purchase an additional seat next to yours to place the second carrier under it.
Pets Traveling in Checked Baggage
Alaska Airlines allows most small-sized domesticated animals to fly in climate-controlled baggage or cargo compartments. Some acceptable pets are cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, non-venomous reptiles, and tropical fish.
Pets traveling in checked baggage may need to meet the check-in requirements of the specific airport you are departing from. Pets are not allowed to travel in the baggage compartment of the Airbus fleet because the cargo space is not heated.
Pets Traveling in Cargo
If you are not traveling on the same flight as your pet, your pet will be transported using Alaska Airlines’ Pet Connect service. Kennels must be large enough for your pet to turn freely in a standing position, sit, stand erect, and lie down. The maximum size belly load kennel is 53″ x 48″ x 34″.
Alaska Air’s Travel Requirements
All pets traveling in the cargo compartment must have a health certificate dated within 10 days of outbound travel and 30 days of return travel. Pets traveling in the cabin are not required to have a health certificate. However, some states have health and vaccination requirements.
Passengers at least 18 years old may travel with dogs, cats, household birds, and rabbits in the cabin. Dogs and cats must be fully weaned and at least eight weeks old. They must be accustomed to eating solid food for at least five days without nursing. Dogs and cats traveling in baggage or cargo must also meet age and size restrictions.
Only dogs and cats may travel on international flights. Health and vaccination requirements vary by destination. You are responsible for remaining compliant with U.S. regulations and those of the country you are traveling to. Alaska Airlines will not reimburse additional costs you incur by not meeting the foreign country’s documentation requirements.
Only dogs and cats may travel to the United States from a non-U.S. location. All animals must have a valid health certificate that shows the breed, age, sex, and description of the animal. A family is limited to bringing two animals into the U.S. per flight from Mexico. Proof of rabies vaccination may be required when transporting animals from high-risk countries, per CDC requirements. You can find more information about specific countries’ requirements on the Alaska Airlines website.