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Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

LizaF
New Arrival

A dog is less likely to leave a "dirty" seat than an incontentent, elderly human.  Next time you go to any office with cloth seats, check out the stains.  

 

If your religion forbids you to have contact with dogs (Islam), you can always drive your car to your destination. 

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

vonjet
New Arrival

A lot of people done wipe either.  And to say an animal leaves a seat dirty for the next passenger is rediculous.  The seats are always dirty with left over food, crackers old candy and junk that person left not an animal.  These planes are never sanitized between flights.  Babys dont wipe either should we ban them too? Nuff said.. 

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

rlbee
New Arrival

This is in regards to the person complaining about their allergies.

 

You having allergies is not a disability. So if you have allergies and know you will be in an area with animals, then take some allergy medication prior to the flight. Service dogs are considered medical equipment. People like me have real debilitating disorders. Mine prevents me from driving among other things so I do not have other options when I travel. It’s kinda aweful that you think your allergy problem in flight being resolved is more important than service animals being able to accompany their handlers. In SW guidelines, the service animal must be clean, groomed and in sanitary conditions. This helps prevent excess dander getting into the air. Think about the perfumes, cleaning solutions, ect and other things not animal related on passengers, in the cabin and already in the air that you’re exposing yourself to. What about passengers who have a cat at home, show up at the airport covered in hair then that hair gets on your seat? There are so many things that can trigger allergies, yet you blame service animals. Yes a lot of people scam and shame on them and the companies for not actually checking into medical history/training. But don’t let those people cause you to feel ill towards those of us who NEED that animal to travel, function and (for some of us) to survive. 

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

mkb33763
New Arrival

I am an exclusive Southwest traveler. Until my trip this month I have not had problems with the animals. On my flight Tampa to Denver on July 28. There was a cat onboard. Even though it was in a kennel, I must have been seated near it. I had a severe allergy and asthma attack. I am allergic to cats and dogs. 

On my return trip, flight 1852 August 12, there was an ESA on the flight. It was a dog (not in a kennel). The passenger had it on a leash until she scanned her boarding pass. The agent could see that she had taken it off the leash. She sat with it in her lap, unrestrained. This is against SW policy but was not enforced.

I have a suggestion for SW. Since planes were designed with people, not animals, in mind; those traveling with animals be required to sit in the rear of the plane. I don't think the attendants make note of where the animals are. Someone who is allergic can sit very near an animal without knowing. In the future I will ask if there are animals confirmed. Unless the attendants take charge of the situation, how can they assist those with allergies. If they are restricted to a certain area of the plane, it will be easier for the attendants to know where they are. There is more consideration for the animals traveling (mostly free) than those who have paid for tickets and keep the airline running. Southwest, please do something about this so I can keep traveling on your airline.

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

dfwskier
Rising Star

@mkb33763 wrote:

I am an exclusive Southwest traveler. Until my trip this month I have not had problems with the animals. On my flight Tampa to Denver on July 28. There was a cat onboard. Even though it was in a kennel, I must have been seated near it. I had a severe allergy and asthma attack. I am allergic to cats and dogs. 

On my return trip, flight 1852 August 12, there was an ESA on the flight. It was a dog (not in a kennel). The passenger had it on a leash until she scanned her boarding pass. The agent could see that she had taken it off the leash. She sat with it in her lap, unrestrained. This is against SW policy but was not enforced.

I have a suggestion for SW. Since planes were designed with people, not animals, in mind; those traveling with animals be required to sit in the rear of the plane. I don't think the attendants make note of where the animals are. Someone who is allergic can sit very near an animal without knowing. In the future I will ask if there are animals confirmed. Unless the attendants take charge of the situation, how can they assist those with allergies. If they are restricted to a certain area of the plane, it will be easier for the attendants to know where they are. There is more consideration for the animals traveling (mostly free) than those who have paid for tickets and keep the airline running. Southwest, please do something about this so I can keep traveling on your airline.


Sorry to hear that you had some trouble with other peoples' animals. In the future, I'd recommend that you pre announce your allergy to the gate attendant, and request assistance in seeing that you are seated as far from animals as possible.

 

I'm not sure it is practical to require that animals be located behind row X. Why? Some of the dogs are needed to help physically move their humans, so they are relatively large. In some cases the only place they "fit" is bulkhead row 1.

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

NicoleAshley Employee
Employee

@mkb33763, we're saddened to hear of your experience. As a peer-to-peer support forum, we are not equipped to address your concerns here; however, we encourage you to reach out via the options in the link below.

 

https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t5/Knowledge-Base/Submitting-a-Suggestion-and-or-Complaint/ta-...

Nicole
Community Manager

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

beaner_46
New Arrival

Many of you are being judgmental. You are judging those of us with diabilities that aren't openly apparent to you and you don't even know us. I have severe PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety. I was prescribed an ESA for my PTSD. When I'm in close contact with large crowds of people (like at an airport or on an airplane), my PTSD affects me. 

 

It's NOT EASY to get on a SW flight with an ESA. I had to show a letter on a letterhead from my doctor, stating that he prescribed it AND stating my diagnosis. SW doesn't play around with this like you think they do. Just because you don't know the details of getting an ESA doesn't mean there aren't any. The letter can't even be over a year old. And you canNOT get them online. You can order an ESA vest online, but not a letter from a doctor. 

 

Stop assuming that because people don't have a physical disability that they don't need an ESA. And stop assuming that it's easy to prove your ESA is authentic to SW because it's definitely not. It's a legitimate process that weeds out people who are trying to bring pets onboard for free. SW is providing for people with legitimate disabilities or disorders, according to the law. 

 

It's my personal opinion that ESAs are becoming more common because doctors are seeing the value and benefits that they provide to their patients. I've definitely noticed more ESAs around in general and that would explain why there are more of them on flights. Laws are being obeyed whether you personally like it or not. 

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

MyLOY
New Arrival

I am glad to stumble upon this reply. I would just like to say that you speak for a lot of us. 

It is so unfortunate to see how quickly people can pass judgement on others. Invisible disabilities do exist and they are real. 

I have flown a few times with SWA with my ESA dog. After complying with all requirements needed (letter from my doctor with diagnosis less than a year old) the airline has not given me any troubles. I wish I could say the same with the whole experience. People can be so cruel. The looks they give can speak a thousand words and some are just hurtful and unfair. My disability is my business, it is private and not something I like to flaunt. The fact that I need an ESA dog to accompany me for every flight and for everyone to see this is not easy. It's like I've announced to the world that I was flawed - I might as well wear a vest too. I am happy that I am able to travel, get out of the house and join civilization sometimes although I would prefer not to. My ESA dog not only calms me but takes my mind away from all the noise and anxieties of the outside world. Although it may appear that I am taking care of her, her presence keeps me busy and focused on her instead of my own issues. I wish people could understand that and stop judging. You don't know my story. 

The last flight back to LAX was the worst. Out of courtesy and to avoid more nasty looks I opted to skip pre-boarding. Anxiety was quite high for me that day and I wanted to stay as invisible as possible. Even with a boarding group of B I was surprised to see that there were very few seats left on the plane. My teen daughter and I (with my ESA) proceeded to the back of the plane - only middle seats available. With 4 bags already checked-in we quickly realized that we may have overpacked one of our carry-ons thus making it quite difficult for my daughter to lift into the overhead bin. It was a scene I was trying so hard to avoid. As much as I wanted to help her, my physical disabilities did not allow this. It felt like the air was getting thin and my heart began to race. Thank God for a very kind passenger who offered to help. As my daughter and I stood there trying to assist the kind passenger in finding the right angle to make our carry-on fit into the overhead bin, the seats began to disappear. From the back of the plane I heard a flight attendant ask in a condescending tone "whose bag is that?" - I said ours. As she stood a few inches away from my face she looked at my ESA dog, looked at me and rolled her eyes as she turned around to walk away. I had to ask why she had to do that and she responded that she felt sorry for the man that was helping us and that we should have checked the bag in. It was  embarrassing to be put on the spot like that in the middle of the aisle. Were we being reprimanded for receiving assistance from another passenger who voluntarily offered to help us? 

As I tried to frantically find a seat, the first 3 middle seats I attempted to sit in had passengers refusing to sit with me and my dog. They all claimed to be allergic to dogs. It was such a horrible feeling to walk up and down the aisle desperately trying to get away from the center of  other people's snickering and insensitive comments. Luckily, with the help of one of the flight attendants I was able to find a seat in the middle of passengers not having a problem with my dog.  I am very thankful to these 2 gentlemen who allowed my ESA dog and I to get away from the embarrassment. I apologize for crying my eyes out for the whole duration of the trip. It is a disability that I have no control over and one of which I never wished to have. 

I may walk and talk like you but I am not you. Please learn to respect that. 

 

Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

sevymt
New Arrival

People can be so cruel. I have had both kind and unkind experiences with Southwest employees.  You do get alot of attitude and eye rolling when you travel with an ESA.  Which only feeds the stress and anxiety that is part of my issues. We all have to deal with uncomfortable situations. What about the crying baby or the body order or the napping snoring passanger, or someone wearing perfume when you have allergies.  Life is full of situtions that there is no perfect answer to. I applaude Southwest for doing the best they can to service their customers.  Back in the day, pets flew free, (with size limits) Now people feel since there is a fee ESA is being abused.  And that may well be, but you can't punish the legitimate customers traveling with an ESA or Service animal. It seems to me the people objecting to ESA (on this thread) are selfish and only care about themselves.  They do not care about others. The whine about their issues health or otherwise.  I even read where someone said they should stay home if they require and ESA.  Well maybe they should stay home if they can't deal with accomedating all people. And as they pointed out for others, chose another mode of transportation. I do agree with them on one point, a service dog or ESA should behave properly. I have trouble with people wanting to pet or talk to my ESA. As for the free farr for my ESA.  Yes that is great! I love that! That being said I'd gladly pay the pet fare and give you my cancer.  Seems like a fair trade.  The complainers can have my cancer and I'll pay the pet fare...and then won't we all be happy! In closing I'd like to say sometimes we think the only wounds that are real are the ones you see.  Not true. We should work together to accomadate everyone to the best of our abilities and exclude no one from living their life .

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Re: limits to Service animals and ESA dogs?

DfDrPepper_23
Active Member

@sevymt

 

Yeah, I agree with you. They won't let me take Pookie ( my Pitbull ) with me. One of these day, many peoples for no reason tried to takes up on me. I decided to fly with Pookie, unfortunely, SWA will not let me fly with my dog. It is so sad, I know Pookie gave me that sad eyes looking. Because he is much worried about me going without him while I am on the trip...