TSA ends restrictions that may have stranded passengers with pets on Delta, American flights

After almost a week of issuing suspensions for dogs on Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration has eased its restrictions against dog owners flying with their pets on those carriers.

Since Friday, passengers traveling to or from the nation’s capital have been allowed to fly with their four-legged passengers aboard any airline where a three-foot-high barrier separates them from the cabin crew. The exemption came as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld federal regulations prohibiting the transport of animals in the cabin. As a result, no longer was Delta allowed to issue waivers for passengers to fly with animals in small strollers in the cabin.

Initially, the rules had meant that Washington-area travelers for the Fourth of July holiday may have been left with no room for their pets with advance purchases of full tickets. Delta and American no longer offered refunds for passengers who were stranded by the restrictions.

But at the federal government’s insistence, the TSA reconsidered its decision. Starting Friday evening, the security agency has decided that all airports in the United States will be allowed to continue enforcing the current regulations.

The TSA also warned travelers to watch for potential violations by FedEx, United Parcel Service and others.

TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein said a letter to airlines said the new rules “don’t affect your program or your customers’ compliance with the pet security requirements.”

Customers who have already received waivers and traveled with their pets should not have to wait a full week to get their dogs back at the airport, he said.

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