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Travel Assistance for
Customers with Disabilities

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Flying Pets

Registrar
New Arrival

I know we all love our pets, but there are some people who are allergic to pets, and there are people that are afraid or do not like dogs.  I think that the airlines that have adopted the policy of allowing pets on flights, should have 'pet friendly' flights and 'no pet' flights, the way the  hotel industry treats this area.  There are a lot of issues connected to this policy to be considered and I think it has to be explored a little more in depth. 

 

Recently a friend of mine was on a flight where a couple had 2 big dogs, too big to fit in a carriers, she was wondering if they had to buy seats for them????  There has to be some guidelines set and followed.  I personally, love dogs, and have always had one, but between hair, drool, and barking, I would not expect everyone else to be thrilled having a dog next to them, as it is we are squished in like cattle.

 

I can barely get my small carryon under the seat, I don't know how you would get a dog carrier under there.  

11 REPLIES 11

Re: Flying Pets

m1waters
New Arrival

I agree with you about how annoying it is to have dogs on the plane that are not in a carrier.  I fly a lot and it is a real problem on Southwest; but not so much on other airlines. I have witnessed a woman pre-board a SW flights with two full-sized dogs on leashes. When I inquired why, I was told they were emotional support animals; both of them for one woman. They took up the whole front row she did not have tickets for all 3 seats; no one would sit by her with those dogs. It worked out great for her but not for the business select customers that paid to get on early in hopes of getting those seats. SW's open seating and "no questions asked" to pre-board encourages passengers with pets to claim a disability in order to get on early to take the spacious seats up front.  This doesn't happen on other airlines because pre-boarders still have to take their assigned seat and without the assurance that they will get the extra spacious seats they get on SW they don't try to bring their pet and pass it off as an emotional support animal. This is becoming a real problem with SW preferring pre-boarders with pets over the health and comfort of their other passengers. SW needs to change their policy or go to assigned seating. 

Re: Flying Pets

m1waters
New Arrival

As I write this, I am on a SW flight from Seattle to St. Louis. There is a pre-board passenger with small dog that I assume she passed off as a service animal of some type because it wasn't in a carrier. That is a usual occurrence in my experience flying numerous Southwest flights.  I have previously seen dogs in the isle and on the seats but today was a first. This dog was laying on the lady's fold down tray in plain site of the flight attendants linking food off the tray. This is completely unsanitary and a health risk to future passengers that sit in that seat on the next flight and use that tray for their food. SW does not clean or disinfect the tray tables between flights. I know that SW fiercely defends service animals and pets rights to fly in the cabin over the comfort and medical consequences to other passengers but now they have stooped to a new level of exposing passengers to unsanitary conditions.

Re: Flying Pets

LizF
New Arrival

I lost a significant amount of my hearing from an autoimmune disorder. I can't hear soft noises or any higher pitched sounds such as a SMOKE DETECTOR, CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR, POLICE AND AMBULANCE SIRENS, TORNADO SIRENS, RATTLESNAKES, doorbells, kitchen timers, rattlesnakes, and etc... I am blessed with a hearing alert service dog that alerts me upon hearing such important sounds. I have never experienced a fire or CO2 poisoning in my home, but my service dog alerted me to a timber rattlesnake that was within 2 yards of my feet and a tornado siren (when visiting my elderly mother in Oklahoma).

 

This is the USA.  There are rights for people with disabilities in the USA.  My hearing alert service dog weighs 4.6 pounds and you may believe it is just a pet, but I depend upon my service dog to save my life.  I hope I never have to meet you or sit anywhere near you on a SW flight with my service dog.

Re: Flying Pets

Em_Flies
New Arrival

I lost a significant amount of my hearing from an autoimmune disorder. I can't hear soft noises or any higher pitched sounds such as a SMOKE DETECTOR, CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR, POLICE AND AMBULANCE SIRENS, TORNADO SIRENS, RATTLESNAKES, doorbells, kitchen timers, rattlesnakes, and etc... I am blessed with a hearing alert service dog that alerts me upon hearing such important sounds. I have never experienced a fire or CO2 poisoning in my home, but my service dog alerted me to a timber rattlesnake that was within 2 yards of my feet and a tornado siren (when visiting my elderly mother in Oklahoma).

 

This is the USA.  There are rights for people with disabilities in the USA.  My hearing alert service dog weighs 4.6 pounds and you may believe it is just a pet, but I depend upon my service dog to save my life.  I hope I never have to meet you or sit anywhere near you on a SW flight with my service dog.


@LizF wrote:

I lost a significant amount of my hearing from an autoimmune disorder. I can't hear soft noises or any higher pitched sounds such as a SMOKE DETECTOR, CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR, POLICE AND AMBULANCE SIRENS, TORNADO SIRENS, RATTLESNAKES, doorbells, kitchen timers, rattlesnakes, and etc... I am blessed with a hearing alert service dog that alerts me upon hearing such important sounds. I have never experienced a fire or CO2 poisoning in my home, but my service dog alerted me to a timber rattlesnake that was within 2 yards of my feet and a tornado siren (when visiting my elderly mother in Oklahoma).

 

This is the USA.  There are rights for people with disabilities in the USA.  My hearing alert service dog weighs 4.6 pounds and you may believe it is just a pet, but I depend upon my service dog to save my life.  I hope I never have to meet you or sit anywhere near you on a SW flight with my service dog.


 

Right, but that's not an emotional support animal. That's a real, legitimate service dog who provides true service that is vital to your health, life, and independence. Also, service animals are highly trained. An awful lot of ESAs are not. 

Re: Flying Pets

mrgm50
New Arrival

I absolutly agree.  On our last flight on Spirit a passangers small dog could not sit still and I felt for the passanger sitting next to them. Up in her lap then down on the small space on the deck. Lets go back to on board pets must be in a carrier. If they are specially trained they should be able to be in a carrier for the duration of the flight. And I am sympathetic to the needs of the disabled. My sister in law trains speacial needs dogs. These dogs are chosen and trained for idle time and temperment. I would guess this ladys dog had non of it.

Re: Flying Pets

ParSWA
Active Member

When my wife and I fly together, we almost always bring our 2 small dogs (under 9 & 15 lbs) and we pay $200 roundtrip per-dog ($400). They stay in their carriers under the seat in front of us. They almost never see the light of day until after we are off the plane. They are well behaved and 99% of people never know we have our dogs with us.

 

However, if we were to scam the system and go the ESA route, our dogs would fly for free (saving us about $2,800 per-year), get preferential boarding, sit on our laps, and apparently we could let them lick the seat back tray (which, of course, we'd never dream of doing). We won't go the ESA route, but we can all see why people scam the system.

 

And people look at me funny when I pull out the Lysol wet wipes and wipe down the daylights out of the seat tray, seatbelt, armrests, headrest, and anything else our hands will be touching on the petrie dish, aka. airplane.

Re: Flying Pets

jonathanforell
New Arrival

Give me a break. It's more unsanitary to use the public restroom on the flight than worry about a dog licking you. 

Highlighted

Re: Flying Pets

Lbwynn
New Arrival

Flying large pets and monkeys and birds has gotten out of hand. I recently flew from Charlotte to San Antonio. A lady pre boarded with a lab. She not only took her seat on aisle in the front and put the dog on floor.  The dog took up foot space for the other 2 seats.  Luckily it was not a full flight from Charlotte tp Dallas but was to SA. I think Southwest needs to do a better job screening and limiting emotional support dogs. Customers are taking advantage of this rule so they don’t have to pay for their dogs. They do not take into consideration the saftey of the crew and passengers. If this trend continues I will not be flying Southwest.  

Re: Flying Pets

LizaF
New Arrival

Emotional support dogs do not fly for free on Southwest.