Why you are seeing more dogs and cats in airports

Why you are seeing more dogs and cats in airports

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Have you been on a trip recently and wondered why you are seeing more dogs and cats in airports? More people are becoming aware of emotional support animals and the benefits they have on mental health for people with certain psychological conditions. One of the main benefits of having an emotional support animal is being able to bring them on planes. Many people feel stressed when flying, and that stress can worsen symptoms of certain conditions, having an emotional support animal can help ease stress and anxiety. 

The ESA Travel Law

There are two main ESA laws outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Air Carrier Access Act. The Air Carrier Access Act allows those with qualifying disabilities to travel with their emotional support animals on planes. Emotional support animals can sit on their owner’s lap during the plane ride or in the space in front of their seat. Airlines can not charge a pet fee for emotional support animals. Emotional support animals do not have to be in carriers during the flight and can walk around the airport. Most major airports have pet relief areas for service dogs and emotional support animals. Learn more by clicking here.

Why More ESAs in Airports?

Emotional support animals are becoming more popular because people are more aware of their benefits than they have been in the past. Mental illness is very common in the United States, but many people had not felt comfortable talking about it until a few years ago. Fewer people talked about having emotional support animals. People today are more aware of the importance of self-care and well-being. Many licensed mental health professionals recommend emotional support animals for those with certain mental disorders.

ESAs for Travel

Travel anxiety is common, especially when flying. Airports are crowded, chaotic, and unpredictable. Many people feel increased stress and anxiety when they have to fly. Emotional support animals help calm their owners, reducing their travel anxiety.  Stress and anxiety can exacerbate many of the psychological conditions psychologists recommend emotional support animals for. As mental health becomes a more widely acceptable topic to discuss, emotional support animal owners feel increasingly comfortable sharing their experiences. Testimonials from emotional support animals, whether it’s online or sharing a story in person, helps those who have diagnosed (or diagnosable) mental condition feel more comfortable talking with their doctors and psychologists about making their pet an emotional support animal for travel.

Emotional support animals can travel with their owners on flights, sitting on their lap or in the space in front of their seat. Unlike carryon pets, they do not need to stay in a bag during the flight, and the airline cannot charge a pet fee. ESAs can walk through the airports, as service animals do. It’s more common to see emotional support animals, like dogs and cats, in airports because people are more aware of the benefits of ESAs and how they can help those with certain psychological conditions easy the stress and anxiety of traveling.