Exp Realty LLC

Are you Moving With Pets?

by Krystal Faticoni 05/05/2019

More and more frequently, travelers see animals on board airplanes—in the cabin, rather than as special cargo. According to the Air Carrier Access Act, a service animal is: “any animal that is individually trained or able to provide assistance to a person with a disability; or any animal that assists persons with disability by providing emotional support.”

Which animals qualify?

Service animals and emotional support animals, not pets, must fit the description of an animal which, as determined by a qualified medical professional, provides individuals with a benefit to a physical or emotional disorder. Benefits of emotional support animals might include keeping the individual calm or providing relief from anxiety during travel. 

Service animals, such as guide dogs for the blind, or those trained in medical detection for a pending epileptic seizure have more specific benefits, but emotional support animals range from a wide variety that includes dogs, cats, birds, miniature pigs, lizards, and even kangaroos.

The difficulty for airlines is determining which animals are for emotional support and which are merely a pet. While each airline determines its own qualifications, the Act allows airlines to prohibit any animals already banned from entering a foreign country where the flight terminates. Also prohibited is any animal that is too heavy or a size that cannot be accommodated safely in the cabin, any animals that pose a threat to the health or safety of other passengers, and those that might be disruptive to the flight. Airlines flying to and from the United States are only required to accept dogs as service animals.

Airlines may reject reptiles (including snakes), rodents, ferrets, spiders, and sugar gliders at any time.

Is documentation required?

While requirements for each airline may differ, in general, airlines may require any of the following:

  • A current (within one year) document indicating that the passenger has an emotional disability recognized by the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders); and
  • That the passenger needs the animal for emotional support;
  • The provider of the document is a licensed medical or mental health professional;
  • The jurisdiction of the medical professional, and the issue date of their license.

Airline employees may determine the validity of a service animal via verbal assurance, physical indicators such as tags and harnesses, or requiring documentation. Before assuming an emotional-support animal may board with you, check with your airline(s) since some request a 48-hour advanced notice to accommodate your animal.

If you're moving to a new city and need to transport your pets, do not assume they can board the aircraft with you. Ask your local real estate agent to help you locate a certified pet transport service to bring your pet safely to your new home.

About the Author
Author

Krystal Faticoni

Full Time Realtor® servicing Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Union, Gaston, Iredell and York counties. I have 10+ years experience in sales and customer service. She received many awards since breaking into the business. One of them that I'm most proud of is the Rising Stars of Real Estate I received shortly after entering the business. 

I'm confident with my work ethic, determination, negotiating skills and overall customer service, I can assist anyone with their real estate needs. First time home buyers and those looking to relocate, look no further. I stay side by side with my clients to assure they not only find exactly what they are looking for, negotiate the best deal possible and educate them along the way. I believe that buying and selling a home for most is one of the biggest purchase you will make in your life. I want my clients to understand the process from start to finish. I also enjoy new construction and investors as well. Need to sell your home in order to purchase another one? Having been through that I know exactly how nerve wrecking that can be. Let my past experiences and expertise guide you through the process smoothly. 

I am a wife and a mother of 2. When I'm not selling Real Estate you can find me out on the soccer fields. Both my children play travel soccer and my husband coaches for Pfeiffer University. I was born and raised in central New Jersey. I later moved to the shore where we purchased our first home and started our family. We made the move to NC in 2015. Since being here we've totally fallen in love with all the things this beautiful state has to offer. I also spend my time volunteering for Cabarrus County Special Olympics, where I'm on the committee. I am also a part of the Cabarrus County Parent Advisory Council, PTA, leader of our neighborhood HOA Social Committee and 

I'm a volunteer for the Mecklenburg County schools as well. A Child's Place is a non profit organization in Charlotte that I also volunteer with. I agree with Audry Hepbrun, when she said; "As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands - one for helping yourself, the other for helping others."

Licensed in North Carolina & South Carolina