Delta banning 'pit bull type' dogs, limiting number of support animals on flights

Delta Air Lines will ban what it calls "pit bull type" dogs as service and support animals on its flights.

The prohibition takes effect July 10. In addition, Delta will introduce a limit of one emotional support animal per customer per flight.

The airline said the decisions are the result of growing safety concerns following incidents in which several employees were bitten. Delta said service animal attacks and bites, and incidents of urination and defecation, have nearly doubled since 2016.

One passenger was badly mauled by an emotional support dog last summer.

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"The safety and security of Delta people and our customers is always our top priority," said Gil West, Chief Operating Officer, in a press release. "We will always review and enhance our policies and procedures to ensure that Delta remains a leader in safety."

The carrier said it flies nearly 250,000 service and support animals annually.

Delta says some travelers have tried — and failed — to fly with comfort turkeys, possums, snakes, spiders and other unusual creatures. The airline said that ignoring the true intent of service and support animal rules can be a disservice to customers with real needs.

Delta's policy and additional information related to traveling with service and support animals is available here.