For travel beginning on October 15th, 2018, there are new requirements in order to travel with your emotional support or psychiatric service animal, regardless of the day you purchased your ticket. Please see the requirements below.
We welcome trained service, emotional support (ESAN), and psychiatric service animals (PSA) onboard as long as the following guidelines are met at the time of travel. Please note that there is a difference between service animals and emotional support animals/psychiatric service animals and as such, requirements differ. Our agents will not require details specific to any disability but are permitted to ask questions in order to determine to which category the animal belongs.
We accept service animals, or animals which are trained to provide a service to those with a disability. You will be asked at the airport to verify the service the animal provides.
For additional information regarding travel with your service animal, please see our “Additional Guidelines” section below.
Emotional Support Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals
Travel Before October 15th, 2018
In order to travel with your ESAN or PSA, you must provide a letter to an agent at the airport on your day of travel meeting the following requirements:
- The letter must be no older than one year preceding the date of your scheduled initial flight
- The letter must be on the office’s letterhead of a licensed mental health professional, which includes a medical doctor specifically treating your mental or emotional disability, a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a licensed clinical social worker, stating the following:
- You have a mental health related disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth or Fifth Edition (DSM IV or V);
- You need the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at your destination;
- The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and
- The date and type of the mental health professional's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.
Travel Beginning October 15th, 2018
Required documentation and procedures if you’re traveling on or after October 15th, 2018, regardless of when you booked your flight.
In order to travel with your ESAN or PSA, please download the three forms found at the bottom of this page, and submit the completed forms here at least 48 hours before your flight.
If these forms are not submitted at least 48 hours prior to your flight, while we will do our best to review and approve them, we cannot guarantee travel with your animal. Please know:
- These forms will need to be submitted for each reservation you will be traveling on as documents are not kept on file.
- We also recommend you carry these forms throughout your travels, in case of irregular flight operations potentially resulting in travel on another airline.
- Our agents at the airport cannot approve your forms, as they must be submitted electronically and approved by our dedicated team of Disability Coordinators.
- Mental Health Professional Form
- Veterinary Health Form
- Passenger Liability Form
Please note that these three documents can be found at the bottom of this page and should be submitted here at least 48 hours before your flight:
- The animal must remain with you at all times.
- If at any time the animal shows signs that it will cause a disruption in the cabin, it has not been trained to function as a service animal in a public setting, or any signs of aggression, it will not be allowed to travel. Examples of disruptive/aggressive behavior include, but are not limited to:
- Barking which is not part of the animal’s training (e.g., to alert to a medical issue)
- Jumping on other Guests
- Relieving itself onboard the aircraft or in the airport in any area other than a designated animal relief area
- Emitting a strong odor
- For international flights, along with the three required documents, there may be additional documentation and requirements for your service animal, ESAN or PSA.
- We, or your travel agent, may be able to help you find out what additional documentation or requirements you may need for your destination. Please feel free to give our Spirit Guest Service a call at 801.401.2222.
- Keep in mind, it is up to you to ensure that the requirements are met.
- You may choose to sit anywhere you wish with the exception of emergency exit rows; however, additional seating requirements may apply depending on where your animal will be seated when traveling.
- Animals in pet carriers may not sit in the first row.
- If your emotional support and/or service animal must sit in your lap (provided the animal is no larger than a lap child), you may not occupy any seat equipped with an inflatable seat belt. While these are perfectly safe for you, it could put your animal’s well-being at risk if the seatbelts were to inflate. Please see the chart below of the seats with inflatable seat belts.
1, 4, 5, (D, E, F)
1, 3, 12, 13
- Service and emotional support animals can be placed on the aircraft floor or (provided the animal is no larger than a lap child and the seat does not have an inflatable seat belt) on the Guest’s lap. Please note that no animals or any part of the animal can be placed on an aircraft seat at any time.
- If the animal is seated on the floor at your feet, it cannot block an aisle or other area that must remain clear for emergency evacuation.
- If the animal is seated on the floor at your feet, it cannot extend into another Guest’s foot space, unless that Guest gives consent allowing it to do so.
- If you believe your animal needs more space than one seat allows, you are welcome to purchase either an additional seat/reservation or upgrade to one of our Big Front Seats. If you choose not to do so, we will attempt to accommodate you as best as possible upon your arrival to the airport, but we cannot guarantee space for your animal.
What type of service/ESAN/PSA animals do you allow onboard?
- While we welcome many animals onboard, there are certain animals we are not required to accept, such as:
- Other reptiles
- Sugar gliders
- For other unusual animals, several factors determine whether an animal can travel in the cabin as a service animal. These factors include: the animal’s size, whether the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, and whether if the animal is prohibited from entering a foreign country. If you have any questions, please contact us at spirit.com/help.
Are there animal relief areas at the airport?
- Yes, all airports are required to have pet relief areas. For the location of animal relief areas at the airports you will be traveling through, please feel free to review the appropriate airport’s website or ask one of our agents at the airport. Our agents are happy to help.
Please submit all three completed documents here at least 48 hours before your flight: http://www.spirit.com/submitsupportdocs