American Airlines banning ferrets, goats and hedgehogs from flights

American Airlines banning ferrets, goats and hedgehogs from flights
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American Airlines will ban a number of animals, including hedgehogs, sugar gliders and goats, from its flights, beginning July 1.

The airline issued a list of animals — even those kept for emotional support — that will be banned from flights, due to "safety and/or public health risks."

Suzanne Boda, American’s senior vice president, Los Angeles, said in a video posted on the airline's website on Monday that the changes apply only to "support animals," and that the company's current policies regarding service animals would remain in place.


Boda cited past "incidents" regarding support animals as the airline's reason for the new restrictions.

"We're tightening things down a little bit, because as you know, we've had some incidents in the past on our aircraft and we want to make sure that the safety of everyone, including support animals, is protected," Boda said.

The number of customers bringing support animals on flights has skyrocketed in recent years. American said that from 2016 to 2017, the number of cases increased by more than 40 percent.

United and Delta also issued guidelines this year that implemented new restrictions on support animals on their flights.

United issued a new pet policy shortly after a highly publicized incident in which a dog died on one of its flights after being forced into an overhead bin.

American said it will begin to enforce a policy requiring passengers to give 48-hour advanced notice before bringing an emotional support animal on a flight. However, the airline said that it will have procedures in place for emergency travel booked within 48 hours of a departure.