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Emotional Support Animals, Service Dogs and Comfort Pets: The Definitive Thread

Emotional Support Animals, Service Dogs and Comfort Pets: The Definitive Thread

Old Dec 5, 13, 4:33 pm
  #1  
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Service Animals

I have noticed an uptick in service animals on flights. Today the gate agent boarded people with service animals after wheelchairs and children before first class. Is this a new boarding group?
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Old Dec 5, 13, 5:19 pm
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Sounds like this agent was rather specific, but fundamentally in line with DL's long-standing process of boarding passengers who may need additional time or assistance prior to First Class.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 5:36 pm
  #3  
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I'm hoping I won't need popcorn for this thread.

It does make sense that people with service animals would board in a group needing extra time, because it can take extra time to get the service animal settled, etc.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 6:00 pm
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I'm hoping I won't need popcorn for this thread.
Only if we start hearing GAs announce a separate boarding group for uncertified "Emotional Support Animals" after the certified Service Animals. But that might be considered as stigmatizing to that category of passengers.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 6:10 pm
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Is it really that big of a deal if people with a service animal board before FC? They are rightfully so a part of the group needing extra time. And you're probably noticing a few more because it's the holidays. As you know, more non-business travelers are flying, and yes, that includes those with service animals.

Regardless if we're first class or Sky Priority, let's be thankful we're not the ones needing extra time to board. From service animals to disabilities, or unruly kids, our travel experience will most likely be much easier. There are bigger issues to stress or worry about.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 6:25 pm
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Without digressing into a conversation about preboarding, was there a service animal on the flight? Perhaps the GA made the announcement with the specific intent of making the relevant pax aware of their permission to preboard.
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Old Dec 6, 13, 7:14 am
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Good Morning - Just to be clear, I have a 4 year old and have no issues with pre-boarding. I was just curious because I had never heard them announce a specific group for service animals. To houserulz77 point there were at least 5 service animals on this flight.
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Old Dec 6, 13, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by UnderEst View Post
And you're probably noticing a few more because it's the holidays. As you know, more non-business travelers are flying, and yes, that includes those with service animals.
Are you saying that business travelers are less likely to have service animals?
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Old Dec 6, 13, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by kipper View Post
I'm hoping I won't need popcorn for this thread.

It does make sense that people with service animals would board in a group needing extra time, because it can take extra time to get the service animal settled, etc.
Technically she was a working dog (cadaver dog), not a service animal, but she settled into her EC seat rather quickly. FA eventually made her move to the floor.

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Old Dec 6, 13, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by Openwater View Post
Good Morning - Just to be clear, I have a 4 year old and have no issues with pre-boarding. I was just curious because I had never heard them announce a specific group for service animals. To houserulz77 point there were at least 5 service animals on this flight.
IME, most GA's have called for parents with children under two to pre-board....so do not be surprised if you and your four year old get turned away.

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Old Dec 7, 13, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by PRWeezer View Post
Technically she was a working dog (cadaver dog), not a service animal, but she settled into her EC seat rather quickly. FA eventually made her move to the floor.

Silly question, but are the dogs required to be on the floor? And do the dogs require a ticket? From what I've seen most anti-ballistics dogs, cadaver dogs and service dogs tend to be medium sized breeds that aren't necessarily going to fit comfortably on the floor. All the dogs on flights I've ever seen were the <15 lbs like terriers and such which basically fit in a bag.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by photojojo View Post
Silly question, but are the dogs required to be on the floor? And do the dogs require a ticket? From what I've seen most anti-ballistics dogs, cadaver dogs and service dogs tend to be medium sized breeds that aren't necessarily going to fit comfortably on the floor. All the dogs on flights I've ever seen were the <15 lbs like terriers and such which basically fit in a bag.
Yes, this dog was required to be on the floor during the flight. Her handler did not have a ticket for the dog, just happened it wasn't a full flight so there was an empty seat and she hopped into it. She was a Belgian Malinois, probably in the 40-50 lb. range. Her handler originally sat in our row, the FA realized they were supposed to be in the 'bulkhead' row in front of us, which as you can see from the picture doesn't have a wall. I don't know if that's the airline's preference to have working/service animals in a bulkhead row, but I have seen them there a few times (vs. a non-service pet in a carrier that would fit under a seat but could not be in a bulkhead row w a wall).

This dog seemed comfortable on the floor. Back in the day MrWeezer once had a pax w a service Great Dane (alerted owner to seizures/stabilized her when they were coming on IIRC). He said that was a tight fit.
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Old Dec 7, 13, 8:40 am
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It would make sense to put service animals in a bulkhead row. In case of a crash or other issue they aren't buckled in. So the bulkhead would prevent them from flying through the cabin.
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Old Jul 7, 15, 10:45 am
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Question on service animals

I was in 10a going ATL to FLL Monday and I just got a call from Delta forcing me out of my bulkhead seat. I got moved 15 rows back. Is this federal law? I didn't know about this. We have a service dog for my brother and had no clue we were able to "force" people out of their seats? Or maybe I am just not knowledgable about US laws. I, of course, changed w no issues
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Old Jul 7, 15, 10:50 am
  #15  
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Which particular bulkhead seats on which aircraft type? When there aren't any other seats to assign, DL phone agents are generally willing to assign DMs to the seats (usually on the right side of the first bulkhead row in C+/EC coach) that otherwise would be reserved for those with special needs with the understanding that DL will take the seats back if they're needed for a handicapped person.

However, I'm confused. Are you traveling with a service dog and was the passenger with the dog booted from the bulkhead seat? Usually service dogs are given bulkhead seats.
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