What paperwork do you need to fly Space-A with your service animal? To answer this question, you first need to decide whether your animal is a working animal or an emotional support service animal.
The glossary of DODI 4515.13, Air Transportation Eligibility, Section 10: Service Animals, Pets, and Other Animals defines a service animal as:
” Working animals individually trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities, such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks.”
If your service animal meets these requirements, no added paperwork is required on a military aircraft.
Supporting documentation is only required on a military aircraft when you are flying with an emotional support service animal. The following is an extract from DODI 4515.13, Air Transportation Eligibility, Section 10: Service Animals, Pets, and Other Animals, Para 10.2:
“10.2. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICE ANIMALS. a. A passenger must provide proper documentation in order to travel with an animal that is used as an emotional support or psychiatric service animal. The documentation may be no older than 1 year from the date of the passenger’s scheduled initial flight and must be on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional (e.g., a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker), stating:
(1) The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”
(2) The passenger needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel or for activity at the passenger’s destination.
(3) The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional and the passenger is under his or her professional care.
(4) The date and type of the mental health professional’s license and the State or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.”
For more details, you may view the Dod Instruction at this link:
Space-a flights may also be offered aboard DoD contracted commercial aircraft. These are governed by the Department of Transportation. 14 CFR Ch. II, (1-1-12 Edition) page 434 says, ” As evidence that an animal is a service animal, you must accept identification cards, other written documentation, presence of harnesses, tags, or the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal.” This regulation goes on to require the same documentation for an emotional support animal as described above.
For more details, you can view this DoT document at this link:
Obviously, it’s always a good idea to notify the passenger terminal that you will be traveling with a service animal when you sign up for a space-a seat. Happy travels as you fly Space-A with your service animal!