New Rules: Service Animals and the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern Time Zone


On December 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule to amend the Department's Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation on the transport of service animals by air carriers. The effective date for this rule is January 11th, 2021. Join us as our speaker provides details on the new rule, including a summary of the changes to the definition of a service animal in air transportation (once the rule becomes effective, airlines can treat emotional support animals as pets), DOT forms that airlines air carriers may require from passengers traveling with service animals, prohibitions against breed limitations, along with other changes. Following the presentation, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of the speaker.

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
Certificate of Attendance 1.5


Maegan Johnson, Senior Attorney Advisor, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary, Office of Aviation Consumer Protection

Questions for presenters:

1 Will air carriers based in countries other than the United States, such as Canada, be required to follow these rules if they fly within the U.S. and, if so, how will that work and when will they be required to begin compliance with these new rules?
2 Do Universities with Air Transportation programs/Aviation programs need to permit Service animals in the areas where learning may take place (or even in the small planes that students fly).
3 1) Will the U.S. military (Transportation Command = TRANSCOM) heed these rules as well? 2) What paperwork/documentation will be required?
4 If a flyer has connecting flights within the U.S. do they need forms for each flight?
5 What are the new rules regarding filling out the two new DOT forms when someone with a service dog is flying internationally?
6 Thank you for doing the session. It’s almost impossible for power wheelchair users to fly any place because the airlines destroy the wheelchairs in because there is no local transportation. However, if a power wheelchair user should attempt to fly, what happens if the flight is canceled and the passenger with the service animal is switched to another carrier, or told to rebook with another carrier.
7 A Hypothetical: two service dogs, accompanying different passengers, bark at each other for a moment. The airline decides to remove both service dog teams. Is there any on-the-spot appeal process?
8 With these new rules, will additional protections be provided by the airlines for service animals? ie - will airlines be pushed to accept their responsibility to address other passenger's complaints about and/or mistreatment of service animals while on the plane?
9 What documents are required to state that this is a service animal, not a pet. Example: People without a disability tend to use the service animal protections for their pets. A Hypothetical: A pet that is not trained as a service animal bites a passenger. Will this reflect negatively against the service animal protections?

Session Questions

This session is accepting questions from registered users. After you have registered to participate in this session you can submit your questions on your Account Manager page. Please note: the number of questions will be limited and submissions will be closed well before the session starts to provide time to prepare answers.