Is Amtrak Emotional Support Animal Traveling Possible?
Yes, Amtrak emotional support animal (ESA) traveling is possible. However, since Amtrak does not recognize emotional support animals, they must be registered as regular pets.
There are laws protecting people with disabilities who need a service animal, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but the protections do not extend to emotional support animals (ESAs).
Amtrak is allowed to choose whether or not to allow ESAs on their trains, and they have chosen not to. Luckily, Amtrak emotional support animal is possible as the trains are pet-friendly, so anyone traveling with an ESA must follow the rules and restrictions for pets in Amtrak’s pet policy.
How do I Travel With my Pet on Amtrak?
For Amtrak emotional support animal traveling, you will need to reserve the animal as if it was a regular pet. Emotional support animals are considered comfort animals that are more of a luxury than a traveling necessity.
This means you will need to follow the rules laid out in the Amtrak pet policy and carry-on pet guidelines. In contrast, service dogs are not required to follow these pet rules.
What Pets are Allowed on Amtrak?
Currently, Amtrak emotional support animal traveling is only possible for cats and small dogs. No other types of animals are allowed on an Amtrak train ride.
How do I get an Amtrak Pet Reservation?
Here are the steps to take for an Amtrak emotional support animal traveling:
- Step 1: Go to Amtrak.com and open the link with their pet policies. Review them to ensure your pet fits the requirements for an Amtrak train. Here is where you will find Amtrak’s animal restrictions and specifications.
- Step 2: Go to the Amtrak.com homepage and book a ticket.
- Step 3: Next, click the “modify trip” button in the right top corner of Amtrak’s homepage. You will need your reservation number for this, and here is where you can add a furry friend to your reservation. One pet is allowed per person.
Alternatively, you can call 1-800-USA-rail and make pet reservations over the phone once your regular ticket has been purchased.
Once a reservation for Amtrak emotional support animal travel has been made, ensure your pet carrier meets the requirements of being well ventilated, leakproof, and fitting under the seat in coach class.
The exception is on an Amtrak Cascades train, where the carrier can fit on the floor at your feet rather than under your seat. You will need to fill out the pet waiver and give it to the Amtrak employee (if at a staffed train station) no later than 30 minutes before departure to complete the release paperwork.
There are other important things to note about bringing a pet on an Amtrak train. For instance, the pet must remain in the pet carrier for the duration of the trip and require no attention during the ride.
Signing the pet release form is considered to be the pet owner’s certification that the pet is up to date with its vaccines and acknowledgment that Amtrak does not accept liability for the health and well-being of pets.
Lastly, pets are not allowed in sleeping cars, food service cars, first-class cars, or business-class cars. They are only allowed in coach cars. Anyone traveling with a search and rescue dog or police dog must contact Amtrak Police Department for assistance.
How do I Travel With a Service Animal on Amtrak?
Service animals are animals trained to perform specific tasks related to a person’s disability and are permitted in all areas where passengers are allowed on Amtrak.
To travel with a service animal, you must make a reservation at Amtrak.com or call them at 1-800-USA-rail much as you would if you were making a reservation for a pet. There are no pet fees for bringing a service animal on an Amtrak ride.
How do I Submit Service Animal Documents to Amtrak?
At staffed stations, complete a pet release form no later than 30 minutes before departure.
At unstaffed stations, bring the pet on board, and the conductor will verify pet eligibility and provide the release form.
What are Amtrak’s Requirements for a Service Animal?
Service dogs are the only service animals Amtrak allows on their trains. Handlers of service dogs must be in control of the animal at all times, and the leash is not to interfere with walkways on the train.
The dog is not to be disruptive, aggressive, or pose a threat to passengers or Amtrak employees, and, unlike pets, service animals may travel on an Amtrak train for more than seven hours at a time.
How Much is Traveling With a Pet on an Amtrak?
Amtrak emotional support animal or pet traveling will cost you $26.00 or 800 guest rewards points.