As an individual with a mental health condition or emotional disability, flying can be a daunting experience. However, emotional support animals (ESAs) can provide comfort and assistance to those who require it during air travel. In order to fly with an ESA, an emotional support letter is necessary. In this blog post, we will discuss what you need to know about Flying with Emotional Support Letters.
How to Get an Emotional Support Letter?
In order to obtain an emotional support letter, individuals must first be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional. This can be a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed therapist. During the evaluation, the mental health professional will determine if the individual has a qualifying mental health condition or emotional disability and if an ESA would be beneficial in managing their symptoms. If the professional determines that an ESA would be helpful, they will provide an emotional support letter.
It's important to note that emotional support letters can only be provided by licensed mental health professionals. Online certification or registration for emotional support animals is not recognized by the Department of Transportation (DOT) or airlines.
What Should an Emotional Support Letter Include?
An emotional support letter should include specific information about the individual's mental health condition or emotional disability, and how an ESA would assist them during air travel. It should be on the mental health professional's letterhead and include their professional credentials and contact information. The letter should also include the date it was issued and the expiration date, if applicable.
Additionally, the letter should state that the individual has a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that the emotional support animal is necessary to assist them with their disability. The letter should also provide information about the ESA, including its breed, size, and behavior.
What Should You Know Before Flying with an Emotional Support Letter?
Before flying with an Emotional Support Animal in New York, it's important to be aware of airline policies and requirements. Each airline may have different policies and procedures for traveling with ESAs, so it's important to check with the airline in advance.
Some airlines may require additional documentation or advance notice before allowing an ESA on board. It's important to contact the airline in advance and provide them with a copy of the emotional support letter. It's also important to arrive at the airport early to allow extra time for check-in and security screening.
Additionally, it's important to ensure that the ESA is well-behaved and can handle the stress of air travel. The animal should be trained to be calm in public and not cause a disturbance during the flight. It's also important to bring necessary supplies for the animal, such as food and water, and to ensure that the animal is properly secured during the flight.
Flying with an emotional support animal can provide comfort and assistance to individuals with mental health conditions or emotional disabilities. However, it's important to obtain an emotional support letter from a licensed mental health professional and be aware of airline policies and requirements before flying. With the right preparation and documentation, flying with an emotional support animal can be a positive and stress-free experience for both the individual and the animal.