frequently asked questions

Disabilities & Special Needs

Are service animals allowed for passengers with disabilities and special needs?

Service Animals

AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines welcomes service animals trained to assist our passengers with disabilities. A service animal may accompany the passenger in the cabin, provided the animal can be accommodated without blocking an aisle or other area used for emergency evacuation. There is no fee for service animals used by passengers with disabilities. Please note, some destinations may have quarantine laws that prohibit or restrict entry of these animals. Your reservation agent or travel agent can help you check regulations for your destination.

Emotional Support Animals

Animals used for a customer’s emotional support are accepted in the cabin. In order for a customer to travel with an emotional support animal the customer must provide, to an AirTran Airways or Southwest Airlines employee, current documentation (not more than one year old) on letterhead from a mental health professional or medical doctor who is treating the customer’s mental health-related disability stating:

  • The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition (DSM IV).
  • The passenger needs the emotional support of a psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger’s destination.
  • The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional, and the passenger is under his or her professional care.
  • The date and type of mental health professional’s or medical doctor’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.

Assistance and emotional support animals must be trained to behave in a public setting. Customers traveling with an assistance animal or an emotional support animal cannot sit in an emergency exit seat.


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