CHICAGO—Saying they were committed to providing safe and enjoyable air travel for all customers, United Airlines on Friday announced new guidelines to crack down on emotional support spouses. “Starting today, passengers will need to provide proof that their comfort husband or wife is fully vaccinated, as well as a letter from a medical professional outlining how the partner is trained to help,” said United Airlines spokesperson Ron Lightsey, noting that the stricter requirements are in response to a string of incidents, including one where an untrained emotional support spouse bit a flight attendant in the face, requiring hospitalization. “We’ve received numerous complaints of ill-behaved significant others who were loud, took up entire seats, and even threatened other passengers. United Airlines understands that traveling with your support mate is therapeutic for many people who would otherwise be too anxious to fly, but abuse of these policies has necessitated harsher regulation.” United Airlines also confirmed that the rule change would not affect caged spouses traveling in cargo.
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