Under the FHA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which significantly limits a person’s major life activities. Even if a lease says “No pets” or restricts pets, landlords are required to make what is called a “reasonable accommodation” to allow pets who serve as assistance animals, which includes animals who provide emotional support. Assistance animals are in a different legal classification than pets who are not assistance animals, which is why pet restrictions and fees are waived for them. They also do not need to be individually trained or certified. Assistance animals are animals that work, assist and/or perform tasks and services for the benefit of a person with a disability or provide emotional support that improves the symptoms of a disability.
In order to fly with an Emotional Support Animal OR Psychiatric Service Dog in the cabin of the aircraft with you, you will need a special letter from a licensed mental health professional. It is not fair that people with PSDs are treated differently than those with other sorts of service dogs but they are and this is written into regulatory law. You can thank the fakers for that because it didn’t used to be that way until faking became such a problem this change was added to cut down on it. Regulations require that the airline accommodate reasonable requests to fly with an ESA or PSD if the airline is contacted at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time and the following described letter is offered on request (you may have to FAX it to them). If you do not contact them in advance or do not give them the letter in advance so that they have the opportunity to call the doctor’s office to verify it, then they can deny you. So if you just show up at the gate and do not call ahead, you take your chances on whether or not they will actually let you board, even if you have the letter.