Singapore Airlines (SIA) said recently that its passengers will no longer be able to fly with their emotional support dogs starting in April 2023. These dogs are considered separate and apart from so-called “assistance dogs” that, for example, help blind people navigate their world. The airline said its policy on assistance dogs remains unchanged.
An airline spokesperson told Singapore media that customers departing from Singapore may still travel with their emotional support dogs after 1 April 2023 if they submit a request before the cut-off date. Customers who want to transport their emotional support dogs in the cargo hold after April 2023 should contact the Singapore Airlines Cargo office for assistance before their flight.
According to SIA’s website, pets are generally not allowed in its flight cabins, but assistance dogs – such as guide or hearing dogs – and emotional support dogs are exceptions. Passengers travelling with these dogs need to comply with the specific conditions and regulations of departure, transit and destination countries.
The dogs have to be at least four months old and be trained to obey commands and behave appropriately. They must also not pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other passengers. SIA’s guidelines also stipulate that the dogs must not occupy a seat. Small dogs no larger than the size of a two-year-old child may sit on a passenger’s lap, while larger dogs must sit on the cabin floor in front of the passenger’s seat. Dogs must be always leashed or kept in a carrier, and must not obstruct the legroom of other customers or block the aisle or emergency exit. Moisture-absorbing material must also be placed on the cabin floor beneath the dogs at all times.
Last month, two corgis made headlines after they travelled in business class on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ33 from San Francisco to Singapore. The dogs were allowed in the cabin after their owners showed emotional support animal documentation.