The Bottom Line:
- Does Allegiant Still Accept ESA Letters? - Allegiant now considers ESAs to be pets and does not accept an ESA letter to allow them to fly in the cabin as service animals.
- What is a PSD Letter? - Psychiatric service animals are still considered service animals under the new policy. A PSD letter verifies that your dog qualifies as a service dog.
- How Do You Get a PSD Letter? - Consult with a licensed mental health professional in your state to obtain a PSD letter.
- How Do You Qualify for a PSD Letter? - A licensed mental health professional in your state can evaluate you to determine if you have a qualifying disability.
- How to Get Started? - Complete the Pettable 3-minute quiz and Pettable will use your answers to match you with a licensed mental health professional in your state.
Federal guidelines require service dogs, including psychiatric service dogs, to be allowed in the cabin of all commercial flights. Allegiant is compliant with this regulation. However, under a Department of Transportation rule change that took effect last year, the Allegiant ESA policy has been revised. Emotional support animals are now considered pets, meaning that you can still take them on the plane with you but you have to abide by the Allegiant pet policy.
However, under a Department of Transportation (DOT) rule change that took effect last year, the Allegiant ESA policy has been revised. Emotional support animals are now considered pets, meaning you can still take them on the plane. However, you must abide by the Allegiant pet policy, whether making sure other passengers are still safe on the flight or keeping the pet as a carry-on, such as a small dog.
Allegiant reserves the right to ask for a veterinary health form for domestic dogs, even if they are fully trained as service animals, and can also ask for the document with other service animals.
Recent Changes to Allegiant’s ESA Policy
Before 2021, the Department of Transportation required that Allegiant and all other airlines allow emotional support animals on planes with the necessary documentation. However, the DOT stopped requiring airlines to allow ESAs on flights as of Jan. 11th, 2021. Instead, it gave airlines the choice of whether they would enable ESAs or not. In response, the Allegiant emotional support animal policy was rescinded, and the airline no longer gives ESAs a status similar to that afforded to service animals.
Instead, if a passenger wishes to travel with an emotional support animal, they must travel as a regular pet, abiding by Allegiant's pet policies and fees. Alternatively, ESA owners may consider having their ESA trained as a psychiatric service dog.
Per federal regulations, airlines are still required to allow psychiatric service dogs to fly in cabins as long as they comply with the Allegiant service dog policy and have the necessary documentation. Most importantly, you must fill out the Department of Transportation form. Still, the documentation includes an official PSD letter from a licensed therapist that you can receive from Pettable.
How To Fly with Your Psychiatric Service Dog on Allegiant
To be able to have a service dog on a plane, you need to have a qualified disability. People with physical and mental disabilities, including psychiatric, intellectual, or sensory disabilities, are eligible to bring service animals on planes. Your official PSD letter from Pettable can demonstrate to officials that you qualify by virtue of your disability.
However, proving that your Allegiant service dog has received the necessary training is even more important than documenting your disability. To do this, you must fill out the official Service Animal Air Transportation Form provided by the Department of Transportation. The form is short and fairly straightforward; it asks you to attest to the animal's health and that it has received the necessary training. It also asks you to affirm that you understand the regulations you have to follow as the handler of a service dog and that you are responsible for any damage that the animal may cause through misbehavior.
Ideally, you should submit the completed form to the department that handles Allegiant service dog requests no less than 48 hours prior to scheduled departure. If you book the trip within this 48-hour window, you must undergo an animal verification process with an Allegiant representative. This involves presenting the completed form and the animal to the rep. Allegiant recommends that you present your PSD and the form to the agent at least two hours prior to scheduled departure to allow sufficient time to complete the verification process.
Allegiant also has policies in place for service dogs currently in training. For the necessary verification of the supporting documentation to take place, the airline requires at least 72 hours advance notice. Allegiant approves PSDs in training on a case-by-case basis in accordance with its normal animal policies.
How To Get Your Legitimate Psychiatric Service Dog Letter With Pettable
At Pettable, we've made obtaining a legitimate PSD letter as simple as possible so that you can make your psychiatric service dog official without hassle.
Take Our Online Assessment
To provide you with a letter allowing you to take your Allegiant service dog on the plane, we first need to assess your needs. This is accomplished by responding to a few simple questions on our website; it takes about three minutes to complete. This assessment helps us understand your circumstances and your needs for a psychiatric service dog. It will also tell us whether you need a PSD letter for housing, travel, or a combination.
Meet with a Mental Health Professional
We'll ask you to complete some privacy and consent forms that allow our therapists to work with you, and then we'll connect you with one of our licensed mental health professionals (LMHP). We partner with therapists in all 50 states, so, based on your assessment, we can match you to one l who practices in your area. We'll send you a link so you can schedule a live consultation with them, during which they'll evaluate your mental health to determine if you are eligible for a PSD.
Receive Your PSD Letter
Suppose your mental health professional determines a psychiatric service dog to be instrumental to your well-being. In that case, they'll make a PSD an official component of your mental health treatment plan by writing you a legally-recognized PSD letter. Once approved, you can get your letter within 24 hours from the time of your appointment (excluding California residents).
Your satisfaction is important to us. That's why we back up our PSD letters with a money-back guarantee, meaning we will give you a complete refund if it doesn't work. However, remember that you must also submit the DOT's Service Animal Air Travel Transportation Form.
What Is the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)?
The Air Carrier Access Act is a federal law that passed in 1986 and prevents airlines from discriminating against travelers with disabilities. It also requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of disabled passengers, which includes service animals.
Emotional Support Animals under the ACAA
Until 2021, the ACAA specifically included emotional support animals as accommodations for disabled passengers that airlines had to allow. The rule change in 2021 lifted this requirement and gave airlines the choice of whether to allow ESAs on flights or not. The Allegiant emotional support animal policy was revised to make ESAs indistinguishable from other pets.
The rule change defined a service animal as a dog trained to perform certain tasks for its owner, whereas before the definition of a service animal had included other species as well. However, the rule change also prohibited airlines from prohibiting service dogs of certain breeds to fly on planes. Previously, Allegiant pet policy had banned pit bulls on flights, but under the current ACAA, they must be allowed if they meet the other requirements for service dogs and are verified as fully trained service animals.
The ACAA stipulates that airlines must allow service dogs on a flight if their handler has a valid PSD letter and a completed Service Animal Air Transportation Form. Airlines may deny a service dog if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, causes significant disruption in the airport gate areas or the cabin, or if it violates health or safety requirements.
What Is the Difference Between an Emotional Support Animal and Psychiatric Service Dog?
An emotional support animal is a pet that provides comfort and relieves stress for its owner by providing companionship. The expectation is that ESAs are well-behaved but do not undergo special training. ESAs are also not covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, so there is no legal requirement that ESAs be allowed to go everywhere that service animals can. However, emotional support animals do have legal protection to be allowed to live with their owner in any housing – renting or owned.
Your pet qualifies as an ESA, depending on your mental illness or psychological condition. Qualifying conditions include the following:
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorders
The same conditions that qualify you to consider your pet an ESA also allow you for a psychiatric service dog. However, to be considered a PSD, your dog has to undergo training to perform specific tasks for you. Examples of the functions a PSD may be trained to do include moving between you and other people to create a safe zone or making eye contact, or touching you when you need to be distracted from your thoughts. Psychiatric service dogs are included under both the ADA and the ACAA. This means that, in addition to housing protections, they are allowed access to almost all public places and places of employment.
Allegiant’s Service Dog Policies
Under Allegiant service dog policies, you are allowed to take up to two fully trained service animals with you on the plane if they are necessary to perform tasks or work for you related to your disability.
Any service animal that you bring onto an Allegiant flight must be fully task trained and remain under your control in the airport and on the plane. This means that the animal must be on a leash, harness, or tether at all times. An animal that displays disruptive behaviors, such as showing aggression by biting or growling or relieving itself in the terminal or in the plane cabin, can be denied transport.
Allegiant does not allow animals in the exit row of the plane, but otherwise, you can choose any seat you want. Small dogs can sit in your lap, but otherwise, your PSD has to remain on the floor within your foot space. The dog cannot extend into the aisle nor into the foot space of another passenger, so if your dog is larger than your foot space, you may have to purchase an extra seat to allow adequate room while remaining in compliance.
Allegiant’s Required Documentations
The only form that Allegiant lists on its website as required to fly with a PSD is the Service Animal Air Transportation Form provided by the Department of Transportation.
Allegiant requires that you provide notice of your intention to fly with a service animal and submit documentation at least 48 hours ahead of your scheduled departure. You can send the form by mail to the following address: Allegiant Travel Company, Attn: ACAA Team, P.O. Box 371477, Las Vegas, NV 89137. You can also email the completed form to [email protected]. If you have questions, you can call customer care at 702-505-8888.
Other Allegiant’s Pet Policies To Know
Traditionally, pets other than service animals have had to fly in the cargo bin on the plane. However, Allegiant does not transport pets by cargo storage. Dogs and cats can travel in the cabin as long as certain requirements are met. Travelers are encouraged to check in with an Allegiant agent at least one hour prior to departure to ensure compliance. Allegiant considers ESAs to be pets.
Allegiant’s Pet Fees
Allegiant charges an each-way fee of $50 to travel with pets in the cabin. This is a non-refundable fee.
Allegiant’s Breed Restrictions
The current pet policy page on Allegiant's website does not specifically mention any breed restrictions, though it does limit pet transport to dogs and cats. The policy does require that pets must be transported in a carrier of a certain size, which would exclude large dog breeds.
Allegiant’s Pet Carrier Size Requirements
Allegiant limits each passenger to one pet carrier, which can contain no more than two pets. The pet carrier cannot be larger than 16 inches wide, nine inches high, and 19 inches deep. It must be fully enclosed and leak-proof, and while it can be hard-sided or soft-sided, Allegiant recommends the latter. Pets must remain entirely in the carrier at the airport terminal and during the flight, and the page must remain on the floor during take-off and landing.
This also means that pets must fit into the carrier comfortably and without protruding out at all.
It's important to note that having a pet carrier counts as one of the two items you allow on the aircraft. In other words, if you have a pet carrier, you may also have a personal item or a paid carry-on bag, but not both.
Allegiant’s Travel Requirements
Allegiant requires that any pets traveling in the cabin be healthy but does not require a health certificate. Any animals traveling with you must be at least eight weeks old, non-disruptive, harmless, odor-free, and not physically distressed.
Allegiant also does not assume any responsibility for the health or well-being of your pet. Pets can be handled only by the traveler with them. Travelers with pets cannot sit in an exit row, the row ahead of or behind an exit row, or in a seat in the bulkhead.
Noncompliance to these requirements may result in Allegiant prohibiting your pet from boarding future flights.
Allegiant only transports domestic cats and dogs, and only within the 48 contiguous United States.
Allegiant does not transport pets to U.S. territories or international destinations.
Pettable’s Tips on How to Fly with Your ESA and Psychiatric Service Dogs
To make your trip more accessible, we offer the following tips:
- Fill out and submit your documentation early to avoid rushing at the last minute.
- Bring pee pads so your dog can relieve himself if needed. If your dog has to go on the plane, take him to the restroom and put the pee pad on the floor. While at the airport, ask an airport or airline professional where the nearest animal relief area is.
- Dogs can get motion sickness, so do not overfeed your dog before the flight and avoid new treats. Bring along a chewy toy or perhaps a hard chewy treat to help relieve discomfort from pressure build-up in the ears during take-off and landing.
- Exercise your dog beforehand to encourage her to sleep during the flight.
- Before arriving at the airport, check your flight's status. Please arrive at the airport and check in as early as possible to give plenty of time for checking baggage, going through security, letting your pet or service animal relieve themselves, and boarding the plane. And always stay on alert for changes to your gate or flight time.
- If you're traveling internationally, find out your destination country's service animal policies and requirements
Here are answers to questions that often arise when flying on Allegiant with pets, service dogs, or ESAs.
Do Service Dogs Fly for Free on Allegiant?
DOT rules require all airlines to allow service dogs to fly for free. This does not include ESAs.
Does Allegiant Allow ESA Dogs?
ESAs are not considered service dogs and are subject to Allegiant's pet policy.
Can Allegiant Deny My ESA?
Allegiant may deny transport to an animal that does not comply with its pet policy. This is true even if the animal is an ESA.
Which Airlines Are Still Allowing ESA Dogs?
See this post for a list of domestic and international airlines that still permit ESAs.
Can My Dog Sit on My Lap During an Allegiant Flight?
An Allegiant service dog that weighs no more than 30 pounds, i.e., approximately the size of a two-year-old child, can sit in the handler's lap during the flight. Otherwise, service dogs must be on the floor and pets must be in carriers.
Does Allegiant take service dogs?
Yes, Allegiant welcomes fully-task-trained service and support animals and is subject to the ACAA, which requires that airlines accommodate assistance dogs.
What size service dog can fly in a cabin?
Allegiant does not mention size, weight, or breed restrictions for assistance animals. For a service animal to sit on your lap, it must be under 30 pounds. Otherwise, they must fit within your foot space and not take up the foot space of any neighboring passenger or the aisle. If your service dog is too big, you will need to purchase another seat so they can use that extra space.
How strict is Allegiant with pet carriers?
Allegiant allows up to two animals per carrier and one carrier per person. Carriers must be no larger than 16 inches wide, nine inches high, and 19 inches deep. A pet carrier must be leak-proof and fully enclosed and can be either hard-sided or soft-sided. Your pet must fit comfortably in the carrier.
Can my ESA dog fly with me in the cabin?
Yes. An ESA is subject to Allegiant's typical pet policies, and Allegiant does not hold animals in the cargo bin. All animals flying with Allegiant fly with their owner in the cabin.