Dogs on Alaska Flight

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Old Jul 25, 16, 9:06 pm
  #1  
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Dogs on Alaska Flight

This was a new one for me (and to the flight attendants and pilots as well it seemed).

Today my flight was delayed when a woman got on board with TWO large (90+ lbs) Boxers. They were on a wire/cable leash. Apparently she claimed they were "service dogs".

She got to her seat -- a middle seat mind you -- and tried to figure out what to do with her dogs.

The passenger on the aisle had to be reseated (he was pissed, understandable, as the only open seat was a middle seat) so there was room for the dogs.

The flight attendants had to work with her and even the pilot came out to check on how things were going.

It delayed take off by maybe 10 minutes.

I understand that the airlines are in a bind; they don't want to be accused of discrimination. But can't something be done?

As a side note; is there any reason (that I can't think of) why someone would need TWO large service dogs?
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Old Jul 25, 16, 9:37 pm
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No one needs two service dogs.

More proof that this whole service animal thing has gotten out of hand.
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Old Jul 25, 16, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Single_Flyer View Post
But can't something be done?
Probably not without negatively impacting legitimate service animals. As for having two of them, I wouldn't be surprised if there are cases where two may be necessary. Dogs can be trained to do amazing things, but I'd bet there are some situations where a single one can't be trained to cover every issue a person may have.

Yes there are people who abuse this, but no you aren't going to be able to determine yourself if they are or not.
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Old Jul 25, 16, 10:16 pm
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What are the safety issues for getting out of a window seat with two boxers on the floor and for getting down the aisle with two boxers in the way? Does anyone insist that a service dog that cannot be held on a lap or in the owners' arm be trained to evacuate a plane without impacting human passengers? I love my Wolfhound so I'm not anti-dogs and I'm not anit service dogs at all but I am anti having my life or someone else's life put in jeopardy so that someone can have two boxers in the cabin! Surely there needs to be some regulation of this.
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Old Jul 25, 16, 10:50 pm
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There is nothing that says a service animal cannot be human. What if a mother brings two kids. For drama, she has two leashes available. She gets anxiety if she doesn't have the two kids nearby.

I want my free seats for my two service animals!

Americans look towards Canada as a more liberal and compassionate place. See the Canadian government website.

https://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/service-animals

Carriers may need more information about your requirements. You should be prepared to explain that your animal provides disability-related assistance. You might need to provide additional information or medical documentation.

Carriers may also need information about the animal's training and behaviour in public settings. You should be prepared to provide proof of any training or assurances about the animal's behaviour.
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Old Jul 25, 16, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Single_Flyer View Post
This was a new one for me (and to the flight attendants and pilots as well it seemed).

Today my flight was delayed when a woman got on board with TWO large (90+ lbs) Boxers. They were on a wire/cable leash. Apparently she claimed they were "service dogs".

She got to her seat -- a middle seat mind you -- and tried to figure out what to do with her dogs.

The passenger on the aisle had to be reseated (he was pissed, understandable, as the only open seat was a middle seat) so there was room for the dogs.

The flight attendants had to work with her and even the pilot came out to check on how things were going.

It delayed take off by maybe 10 minutes.

I understand that the airlines are in a bind; they don't want to be accused of discrimination. But can't something be done?

As a side note; is there any reason (that I can't think of) why someone would need TWO large service dogs?
I wonder what compensation they offered to the PAX in the aisle seat that had to move to a middle seat due to the dogs. I would have been pissed as well if this were to be the reason unless I visually noticed that this person might have really needed two dogs.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 12:34 am
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I happen to stumble across this, guidlines from the DOT regarding transport of service animals in accordance of the ACAA:

http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/20030509.pdf

What About the Passenger Who Has Two or
More Service Animals?

A single passenger legitimately may have
two or more service animals. In these
circumstances, you should make every
reasonable effort to accommodate them in the
cabin in accordance with part 382 and
company policies on seating. This might
include permitting the passenger to purchase
a second seat so that the animals can be
accommodated in accordance with FAA
safety regulations. You may offer the
passenger a seat on a later flight if the
passenger and animals cannot be
accommodated together at a single passenger
seat. Airlines may not charge passengers for
accommodations that are required by part
382, including transporting service animals
in the cargo compartment. If carriage in the
cargo compartment is unavoidable, notify the
destination station to return the service
animal(s) to the passenger at the gate as soon
as possible, or to assist the passenger as
necessary to retrieve them in the appropriate
location.

What if the Service Animal Is Too Large to
Fit Under the Seat in Front of the Customer?

If the service animal does not fit in the
assigned location, you should relocate the
passenger and the service animal to some
other place in the cabin in the same class of
service where the animal will fit under the
seat in front of the passenger and not create
an obstruction, such as the bulkhead. If no
single seat in the cabin will accommodate the
animal and passenger without causing an
obstruction, you may offer the option of
purchasing a second seat, traveling on a later
flight or having the service animal travel in
the cargo hold. As indicated above, airlines
may not charge passengers with disabilities
for services required by part 382, including
transporting their oversized service animals
in the cargo compartment.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by Box10 View Post
There is nothing that says a service animal cannot be human. What if a mother brings two kids. For drama, she has two leashes available. She gets anxiety if she doesn't have the two kids nearby.

I want my free seats for my two service animals!

Americans look towards Canada as a more liberal and compassionate place. See the Canadian government website.
Yes but Canadians aren't as quick to sue as Americans. I've heard employees of airlines, grocery stores and other places state that they cannot by law ask if the person has a disability and thus needs the service animals as it's against the law. So they seem to be in a catch-22 situation now where people can bring animals onboard without seeing the necessary paperwork as in other countries. I seem to remember that you used to have to prove with paperwork that the animal was certified as a service animal but no more----plus I've read that you can even get this "certification" easily and cheaply on the web anyway.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 10:52 am
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It IS out of control. I have a "friend" that has one of those little rat-like puntables that she got a bogus tag for, can claim her dog is a "service animal in training" (because she certainly has no disabilities) and takes that thing anywhere and everywhere. It's been going on for 2 or 3 years now. That rat (dog) is not being trained as a service animal. It is a ruse, plain and simple.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 10:59 am
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It's completely out of hand. But even if an employee can't, there is no law that bars a customer from defensively interrogating another customer about her actual need for two service animals.

Next time, I'm bringing along my therapy python.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by IceTrojan View Post
I happen to stumble across this, guidlines from the DOT regarding transport of service animals in accordance of the ACAA:

http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/20030509.pdf

What About the Passenger Who Has Two or
More Service Animals?

A single passenger legitimately may have
two or more service animals. In these
circumstances, you should make every
reasonable effort to accommodate them in the
cabin in accordance with part 382 and
company policies on seating. This might
include permitting the passenger to purchase
a second seat so that the animals can be
accommodated in accordance with FAA
safety regulations. You may offer the
passenger a seat on a later flight if the
passenger and animals cannot be
accommodated together at a single passenger
seat. Airlines may not charge passengers for
accommodations that are required by part
382, including transporting service animals
in the cargo compartment. If carriage in the
cargo compartment is unavoidable, notify the
destination station to return the service
animal(s) to the passenger at the gate as soon
as possible, or to assist the passenger as
necessary to retrieve them in the appropriate
location.

What if the Service Animal Is Too Large to
Fit Under the Seat in Front of the Customer?

If the service animal does not fit in the
assigned location, you should relocate the
passenger and the service animal to some
other place in the cabin in the same class of
service where the animal will fit under the
seat in front of the passenger and not create
an obstruction, such as the bulkhead. If no
single seat in the cabin will accommodate the
animal and passenger without causing an
obstruction, you may offer the option of
purchasing a second seat, traveling on a later
flight or having the service animal travel in
the cargo hold. As indicated above, airlines
may not charge passengers with disabilities
for services required by part 382, including
transporting their oversized service animals
in the cargo compartment.
Well these rules make it sound like in the OP's circumstance the flight crew just thought inconveniencing other pax would be easier than enforcing the actual regulation.
Too big to fit under the seat? No bulkhead availability (maybe disabled persons there)? Dogs go cargo, or all three fly another flight where bulkheads are available. No charge to the pax.
That's what the rule says.
Maybe everyone should just carry a copy to quote when necessary.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 2:17 pm
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I was on a flight a couple of months ago that had to go back to the gate just before takeoff because of a dog. The issue was first that the dog was in a crate that could not fit under the seat in front of the passenger. The passenger had a language barrier and the flight attendants patiently explained all this to the woman through a friend on the phone who was translating. They explained that the dog had to go in the hold and the dog was put in the hold. The plane departed and then someone realized that it was a breed of dog not authorized to be in the hold (snub nose and may not be able to breathe) and the plane had to come back to the gate, get the translating friend on the line again and the woman and dog had to get off. I don’t think this was a service dog.

I noticed yesterday, that on my flight a couple in row 1 had a small dog on a leash and I wondered why this was allowed, since generally everything in row 1 has to be stowed for takeoff and landing and the not fitting under the seat had been a big deal in the first case.

I personally don’t understand why loose dogs are allowed on flights at all due to the possibility of someone on the flight being allergic to them.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 2:21 pm
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I see nothing wrong with discretely providing documentation (real proof) to the airline or some airline group body that the disability is real. If it's fake, the animals AND the pax go down to the cargo hold
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Old Jul 26, 16, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Well these rules make it sound like in the OP's circumstance the flight crew just thought inconveniencing other pax would be easier than enforcing the actual regulation.
Too big to fit under the seat? No bulkhead availability (maybe disabled persons there)? Dogs go cargo, or all three fly another flight where bulkheads are available. No charge to the pax.
That's what the rule says.
Maybe everyone should just carry a copy to quote when necessary.
This really stinks, but the airlines are in a tough position. Technically, they were within their right to reseat the aisle passenger; that's why all carriers state seating assignments are not guaranteed, only the class of service purchased. Had the flight been fully booked, I wonder if they would have said no to the dogs, or would they have asked for DBC volunteers?
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Old Jul 26, 16, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by wwongo View Post
I personally don’t understand why loose dogs are allowed on flights at all due to the possibility of someone on the flight being allergic to them.
not defending the 'service dogs who aren't crowd, but to someone allergic there is little material difference between a dog in a carrier and a dog in the open cabin.

BWI-SEA last month had a girl with her 'service dog' in the F cabin. dog was very well behaved, girl not at all obnoxious or self-entitled about it, everything went fine.

still, i think the policy needs a bit more policing. however, i'm not at all in favor of an 'all animals in the hold' policy either.
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