iStock / Sonsedska

If you think the current rules around what you can and can't take on airplanes are confusing, try getting your head around this up-and-coming change.

Your emotional support spider, emotional support goat and emotional support lizard are now banned from flying with American Airlines. But what about your emotional support miniature horse?

Miniature horses are fine. Obviously.

The new rulesalso ban ferrets, rodents and animals with tusks, horns or hooves. But miniature horses are allowed on board if they are properly trained as a support animal.

The policy is in response to a rise in people flying with emotional support animals - examples that made headlines include a peacock, a pig and a duck.

Between 2017 and 2018, the airline reported an increase of more than 40 per cent for requests for emotional support animals travelling in a plane cabin - similar to increases seen by other airlines, such as Delta and United, which made similar changes this year.

American Airlines said in a statement:

We support the rights of customers, from veterans to people with disabilities, with legitimate needs for a trained service or support animal.

Unfortunately, untrained animals can lead to safety issues for our team, our customers and working dogs onboard our aircraft. 

The changes, which will go into effect on 1 June, require at least 48 hours' notice that the animal will be flying and proper documentation to allow the airline to contact the passenger's mental health professional for confirmation.

But the airline have now clarified that procedures are in place for emergency travel booked within this notice period.

The company also said it met with a number of disability groups for input before making the changes.

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