Pigs can’t fly, but miniature horses can: Southwest Airlines updates service animals policy
Pint-sized equines will be the newest passengers allowed to board Southwest Airlines beginning September 17.
The major U.S. airline updated its policy to accept miniature horses trained as service animals in the cabin, along with dogs and cats.
Traveling with the mini horses will still require “credible verbal assurance” from the passenger that the animal is a trained service animal, and no horsing around will be allowed.
An animal must be trained to behave properly in a public setting and under the control of the handler at all times. An animal that engages in disruptive behavior may be denied boarding. Examples of disruptive behavior include (but are not limited to):
- Scratching, excessive whining or barking
- Growling, biting, lunging
- Urinating or defecating in the cabin or gate area
But not every animal under 34 inches tall can travel as a service animal. The updated policy does not allow “unusual or exotic animal[s] (including, but not limited to: rodents, ferrets, insects, spiders, reptiles, hedgehogs, rabbits, or sugar gliders) acting as a trained service animal.”
Passengers flying Southwest with an emotional support animal will be limited to bringing only a cat or a dog and it must be stowed under the seat in front of the passenger or remain on a leash at all times.
Other airlines have also adopted stricter animal rules to curtail the “creative” attempts by passengers to bring various animals on board. (Like the United Airlines passenger who tried to take her emotional support peacock with her.)
No matter how you feel about the animal policies, I think we can all agree this is the cutest miniature horse commercial: