This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND – The federal government may clamp down on an increasing trend, emotional support animals on planes. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Transportation says last year an advisory committee was formed to discuss the issue. Now the department is reviewing the committee’s findings.

“There needs to be more oversight because people take advantage of the situation when they have an opportunity to do so,” said flier Kim Peatee at Hopkins International Airport.

Under the Air Carrier Access Act any animal could be considered an emotional support animal and fly free of any fees. A letter or prescription from a licensed mental health professional is needed to prove the animal is necessary for a passenger’s health and well-being. Some flyers say additional oversight should not be required.

“If somebody else is bothered by it [emotional support animals] then they don’t need to travel on that plane,” said flier Lauren Feola.

Those who have made a career training assistance and guide dogs argue people with no medical need for an emotional support animal but fly with one anyway put a black eye on a serious health issue.

“Just because you want a dog to accompany you somewhere it makes it harder for everybody else who has worked really hard to have a well-behaved dog on a plane or in the community,” Leslie Stephens is a Regional Puppy Manager for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Fox 8 reached out to several major airlines for comment, those that responded to our requests for data on emotional support animals on planes would only say it’s an increasing trend but they would not provide any numbers to support the statement.

“If you haven’t prepared the dog [for a plane flight] it’s not a good experience for the dog the person or the people around you either,” said Stephens.

Frequent fliers argue assistance dogs and emotional support animals have differing levels of training that can cause problems or be a nuisance on a plane.