The DOT and Delta had been at odds on the pit bull ban, which Delta said was a response to safety concerns. The agency said bans of service animals solely based on breed are not allowed.
“The DOT’s final rule enables airlines to put the safety of all employees and customers first, while protecting the rights of customers who need to travel with trained service animals,” said Delta senior vice president of in-flight service Allison Ausband.
Delta said it has seen an 85% increase in animal incidents including urination, defecation and biting since 2016. The airline was sued in 2019 by a customer who was mauled by another passenger’s emotional support dog on a flight.
The airline said passengers can still travel with a pet in the cabin for $125 each way on domestic flights, if the pet meets requirements.
“We strongly believe this policy change will enhance the overall travel experience for everyone,” said Delta senior vice president of corporate safety and security David Garrison in a written statement.