While I absolutely agree that pets should be seated as far away from people who are allergic, but that must be a new policy. I have hypoxia and am on oxygen. I also have asthmatic reactions to cat hair. When a cat was being boarded, I told the pre-boarding person and their response to me was to ask me if I had a letter from my MD. Well, I do now carry a letter to this effect, but my doctor and all of the people I have told were shocked by this response.
My daughter was on one of those flights she was not made aware that a dog was brought on board. She is allergic to dog and her airways began closing. She began to panic.
I too am a US vet. If my daughter looses her life behind some dog I will be looking for you and it won’t be to talk about it. I will have a handful of Benadryl for you
Sorry to hear aout your daughter's problem. I presume that she'sOK? I hope so.
That being said, you/she should never presume there will not be a dog or cat or board (or was on a flight earlier and left fur and dander on board)) - on Southwest or any other airline. All airlines are required by federal law to carry service animals. They have no choice in the matter.
You daughter should always carry her meds with her (epi en when it gets serious?) on board.
It is your/your daughter's responsibiity to notify the airline of the alergic issue. Southwest will try to seat your daughter as far from animals as possible, but won't know to do that unless someone says something to the airline. Since Southwest cannot prevent service animals from boarding the aircraft, it has no way of knowing how many will be on board. Thus there is no guaranteee that the airline will find a seat far enough from an animal (or fur left over from a previous flight) to insure your daughter will not have an allergic reaction. Thus my comment about your daughter ALWAYS carrying her med.
If a Customer is severely affected by allergies to an animal and notifies us of his/her allergy at the departure gate, we can ensure that the Customer with the allergy is seated as far away from the animal as possible.
Moderator here, wanted to drop in with some information on this topic.
With respect to animals, we're required by law to accept trained service animals as well as emotional support animals onboard our flights. As a result, we can't designate "animal-free" flights; however, we have procedures for accommodating Customers with animal allergies by establishing a buffer zone. On most occasions, both the Customer with the animal and the Customer with the allergy can travel comfortably on the same flight. If a Customer is severely affected by allergies to an animal and notifies our personnel of his/her allergy, we can ensure that the Customer with the allergy is seated on the opposite end of the aircraft, as far away from the animal as possible.
Southwest also allows a limited number of pets on our flights for a fee. As stated above, in our experience, we can create a buffer zone to ensure the Customer with the animal allergy can travel comfortably. We have come to the conclusion that our decision to allow pets in the cabin would not change the fact that animal allergens are everywhere and are nearly impossible to avoid.
I hope this is helpful, and that more anything it is clear that we care very much about all our Customers and want to do whatever we can, within reason, to make sure each of you enjoy the time you spend with us.
Lindsey Community Manager The Southwest Airlines Community