US Service Animals – Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy

For many pet owners, the ability to travel with their pets is non-negotiable, so it’s important to choose an airline with a flexible pet policy. For people with disabilities who rely on service dogs or emotional therapy animals, it is even more imperative for these animals to be allowed to travel on an airline. Each airline’s pet policy is different, and in this article we will outline the ins and outs of the Hawaiian Airlines Pet Policy. 

Service Animals 

Hawaiian Airlines define service animals as animals trained to help their owners with necessary tasks. These service animals are highly focused and consider it a job to support their owners by performing tasks specific to the owner’s disability. This may include guiding the blind, alerting the hearing impaired of noises and alarms, reminding a diabetic to take medication or alerting a drop in blood sugar, or supporting the mobility impaired with walking, standing or retrieving objects. Passengers with trained service animals are able to travel with Hawaiian airlines as long as they meet certain conditions. It is required that the airline is notified of the service dog travelling with a passenger at least 48 hours in advance, in order to make accommodations for the animal, such as allowing the passenger to sit in a space with enough room for the animal in the cabin. Passengers traveling with service animals are also required to check in one hour before general passengers on the flight. 

Is There A Fee For Service Animals?

Hawaiian Airlines does not charge to transport service animals, but passengers may incur extra charges for any necessary cleanup or damage the animal may cause beyond normal wear and tear. 

Can The Service Animal Be In The Cabin?

Service animals may accompany passengers in the cabin, and only need to provide documentation if there is no credible verbal assurance that the animal is a service animal. It is still important to make sure you have all documentation for your service animal on hand just in case it is requested. Service animals may stay on the floor in front of the passenger or in the passenger’s lap for the duration of the flight. They may not occupy seats, aisles or obstruct emergency exit rows. Service animals are required to have good behavior throughout the flight, and may be removed if the animal is behaving badly by running around, urinating, growling, barking or posing a threat of any kind to other passengers. 

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Emotional Therapy Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals 

Hawaiian Airlines has a slightly different policy regarding traveling with Emotional Therapy Animals and Psychiatric Service Animals. Because the tasks and necessity of these service animals are often less obvious, Hawaiian Airlines requires documentation stating the passenger’s disability, why the passenger needs to be accompanied by their animal, and information verifying the documentation is from a licensed medical professional. If these conditions are met, the passenger will be permitted to travel with the animal in the cabin at no extra charge. Passengers traveling with an emotional or psychiatric animal must inform the airline as least 48 hours in advance for domestic flights and at least 72 hours in advance for international flights. The airline has the right to remove emotional therapy and psychiatric service animals for exhibiting unruly, disruptive or threating behavior. 

Restrictions for Therapy and Service Animals 

Therapy and service animals in training are not permitted to fly with Hawaiian Airlines, nor are animals used for an organization or government such as animals that work in nursing homes, hospitals or schools, as they are not providing a direct service to a passenger. Unusual animals such as rodents, reptiles, fish, certain species of birds, and insects such as spiders and mosquitoes are prohibited from travelling with Hawaiian Airlines. Service and therapy animals traveling on international flights are subject to laws and policies that may vary according to destination. Passengers of Hawaiian airlines are responsible for consulting the country of destination’s consulate regarding these policies. 

Traveling with a service or therapy animal is easier than ever, as there are many policies protecting the rights of those with disabilities, as well as businesses and organizations that are willing to accommodate these animals. It’s important to research thoroughly the regulations for each airline specific to individual passengers’ situation and needs. More information regarding travelling with pets on Hawaiian Airlines can be found on the Hawaiian Airlines “Traveling with Animals” page.