support animals are wonderful companions for people suffering from
severe anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Though
ESAs are not service animals, they do have some legal rights. For
example, as long as you have a legitimate
your animal can fly with you due to the Aircraft Carrier Access Act.
this legislation, traveling with an ESA has become an easier process.
However, your ESA is still a living, breathing animal with needs and
feelings. Though an ESA is meant to provide comfort and security, it
is also important to ensure their comfort as they fly.
if you’re getting ready to travel with your ESA, here are five tips
to make the journey easier for both of you.
– Give the Airline Advanced Notice
and your animal may be covered by the ACAA (with a valid letter), but
you still need to give the airline a heads up well in advance. The
crew needs to prep your seating area to give space for your animal,
although most often they will have to stay in your lap if they’re
airlines have their own requirements as well and discussing these in
advance will help you be more prepared.
– Bring a Comfortable Leash/Harness
ESA will need to be on a leash during your flight, so getting them a
comfortable leash and collar – or better yet, a harness – should be a
priority. Harnesses put less strain on their necks, but lighter
collars and leashes are good, too. The strain shouldn’t be much of
a problem if your ESA is well-trained.
if you aren’t traveling by plane, having a secure but comfortable
harness will be the best for long rides. It’s easier to leave on
the harness, even if you’re in your own car. Then you can clip on
the leash and be ready to go any time.
– Eat, Play, Potty
matter what method of travel you choose, you should make sure your
pet has had the following beforehand:
visits a couple of hours before you depart
easier when traveling in your own car to stop for breaks, but for
flights or train rides, your ESA will be stuck in one place for much
longer. It’s almost impossible to give your animal food or water on
a plane or train.
airports and likely train stations will have relief areas for ESAs
and service animals, but it’s still best to try to take care of it
– Pack the Essentials
absolutely need your ESA letter above all else, but what about for
your animal? You have your leash and harness, but you should also
bring a bed or blanket for their comfort. A travel carrier is also
not a bad idea, especially for smaller pets. You should also bring
clean up supplies, just in case.
– Arrive Early
mainly applies to plane and train travel, but having your ESA usually
means you have pre-boarding access. Arrive early so you can take
advantage of that. You won’t have to fight through as many people
to get to your seat with your animal, which is better for the both of
with your ESA is not too different from traveling with a pet. Your
animal will have a few more “freedoms,” like the ability to
remain with you in your seat, but it’s still a living creature in
your care. Take care of their comfort so you can rest easy during