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Sitting next to a service dog on a plane is one thing, but flying with a pig? The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering new regulations that would allow pot-bellied pigs, miniature horses and monkeys to board the plane with their owners if they are being used as service animals or provide emotional or psychiatric support.
The proposed change requires that you let a service animal “accompany a passenger with a disability to the passenger’s assigned seat and remain there if the animal does not obstruct the aisle or other areas that must remain unobstructed to facilitate an emergency evacuation.
“Ultimately it is always at the discretion of the airline as to which animals are permitted onboard, so disabled travelers should call ahead and check with the airline at least 48 hours in advance of their trip,” Schlichter says. "Animals may be turned away if they’re too large or too heavy, if they’re deemed a threat, or if they have the potential to cause a significant disruption."
As far as any smells that might emanate from the animal, the DOT said passengers must provide documentation proving the animal “will not need to relieve itself on the flight or can do so in a way that will not create a health or sanitation issue on the flight." Pot bellied pigs, for example, can be trained to open and close doors and use a litter box.