New airline rules haven’t stopped an increase in pets, including emotional-support animals

Last year, the number of pets carried by U.S. airlines (usually for a fee in the cabin or cargo hold) increased 11% to 784,000, according to Airlines for America, the industry’s lobbying organization. The number of service animals increased 24% to 281,000, according to A4A. And the number of emotional-support animals leapt 56% in that one-year period, to 751,000.

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Emotional-support animals are becoming a big problem on planes, and airlines want them to go away

According to Airlines For America — a trade group that represents major US airlines including American, United, JetBlue, Southwest, and Alaska — the number of emotional-support animals, or ESAs, traveling aboard commercial flights jumped 74%, from 481,000 in 2016 to 751,000 in 2017.

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