Southwest bans emotional support animals on flights

State & Regional

FILE – In this Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, file photo, people are seen wearing face masks to protect against COVID-19 while riding on a Southwest Airlines flight from Norfolk, Va., making its landing approach into Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, in Glen Burnie, Md. On Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, the airline warned nearly 7,000 employees that they could lose their jobs unless labor unions accept concessions to help Southwest cope with a sharp drop in travel during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines announced Monday that, starting March 1, emotional support animals would no longer be allowed on Southwest flights.

The airline said only trained service dogs would be accepted, according to a release.

The move comes after the U.S. Department of Transportation updated their policies to allow airlines to ban any animal other than dogs formally trained to help people with physical or psychological disabilities.

Other companies such as United Airlines and American Airlines have also announced similar bans after the DOT announced the policy changes.

Southwest said customers without trained service dogs can still bring their cats and dogs onto flights with their existing pets program, for a charge.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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