Two dogs in the first class cabin: a new flight experience.

Old Nov 27, 10, 7:15 am
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GWH
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Two dogs in the first class cabin: a new flight experience.

Flew back in first from Mexico City to Frankfurt last Tuesday night, 23rd November.

I went to the lounge, LH use the United Lounge in Mexico City, and settled in for a quiet drink. To my surprise, the lounge attendant from the door desk led in a man with two dogs, took him to a seat, and left him there. Neither was a guide dog for the blind and I was puzzled as to what was happening. The owner fed the dogs from the snacks selection and gave them water in a plastic cup. Both dogs were large, and seemed to be cross breeds as I could not identify them. But the dogs made me feel uncomfortable.

I left the lounge and thought nothing more about it, as the lounge is used by Air France, United, KLM and Lufthansa.

Boarded the plane, my companion and I were in 83 AK, and in row 84, each in a seat were the two dogs, and their owner, taking three seats. We were led by a member of the cabin staff, through several staff talking to the dog owner. I felt a little uncomfortable at this stage with the thought of two large dogs behind me, primarily the thought of hygeine during the flight, especially toiletting of the dogs.

The purser then appeared with the captain, and another person from the flight deck and a long conversation/argument ensued. The man argued that the dogs were necessary to support him with a medical condition, and he needed both of them for this support. The captain argued he had known of one dog allowed on board, but not two. It the ensued that one was a pit bull terrier, and the other a crossbreed, but predominantly rottweiler. Eventually the other officer went to the flight deck, it would seem to ask higher authority for a policy decision, and came back with a piece of paper for the captain. The captain said that the safety and welfare of the aircraft was paramount, said that the breeds were aggressive, and the passenger could not fly, and that his decision as captain was final. The passenger and the dogs departed with good grace. This took about fifteen minutes (and crucially impeded champagne distribution as cabin staff had to keep guiding passengers who were boarding through the discussion, and of course were keeping an eye on the situation). I have of course only given the main and crucial elements of the discussion.

I don't know the regulations for dogs on planes, I assume he was allowed to take the dogs on board free, or at a nominal cost. Yet if the regulations did not allow the dogs to travel, how had he got to board the plane after checking in? In this respect, that he had got so far, I had some sympathy for his situation.

Overall I was more comfortable with the dogs gone.

A strange yet true tale to add to my many flight experiences.
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Old Nov 27, 10, 7:48 am
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Interesting story. Makes me wonder:

- What medical condition (except blindness) could require the assistance of two dogs?
- What would Lufthansa do if another passenger (in F or elsewhere) wanted to leave because of fear of dogs/allergies?
- Why did the dogs not have to travel in the hold? Aren't even guide dogs not permitted in the cabin if they exceed a certain size?
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Old Nov 27, 10, 8:21 am
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for the captain but I wonder if there was only one dog would he have allowed it to travel in the cabin? At least the captain handled the situation better than the one discussed in an earlier thread.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...96-dog-2k.html

I'm surprised that the passenger was allowed to board the plane with two dogs when the rules are pretty clear on LH's website.

http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...3&l=en#ancAbT2

If animals are allowed to travel in the cabin it looks like there are no higher fares based on COS.

http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...3&l=en#ancAbT4
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Old Nov 27, 10, 8:39 am
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Yes , the rules are quite clear , but from a practical point even if you are within weight and measurement restrictions with correct bag etc , where would you " store " the dog in F , with no under seat in front of you space and overhead bins to small ?
Anyone with experience ?
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Old Nov 27, 10, 9:47 am
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Just a little question: was the owner German speaking or Argentinean fellow ?
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Old Nov 27, 10, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mfkne View Post
- What medical condition (except blindness) could require the assistance of two dogs?
Maybe a multiple personality? Or maybe the dogs were "emotional support dogs"?

IMO all animals should be banned from the pax cabin except for certified guide dogs for the blind. (And in this rare circumstance it should be one dog)
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Old Nov 28, 10, 1:46 am
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Originally Posted by seat 1a View Post
Yes , the rules are quite clear , but from a practical point ... where would you " store " the dog in F ?
Erm ... the OP clearly states that the dogs were in seats. In other words, the pax had presumably bought 3 F tix.

cheers,

Henry
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Old Nov 28, 10, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by henry999 View Post
Erm ... the OP clearly states that the dogs were in seats. In other words, the pax had presumably bought 3 F tix.

cheers,

Henry
I think its pretty outrageous that any dog is allowed to sit in an aircraft seat.
so they disinfect /clean the seat after the dog has departed?
The only dog I ever saw in an aircraft was in F AA NY to LAX in a little box on the ground .. he certainly made a smell half way thru the flight.
i would not want to do that flight again.
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Old Nov 28, 10, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by NewbieRunner View Post
for the captain but I wonder if there was only one dog would he have allowed it to travel in the cabin? At least the captain handled the situation better than the one discussed in an earlier thread.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...96-dog-2k.html

I'm surprised that the passenger was allowed to board the plane with two dogs when the rules are pretty clear on LH's website.

http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...3&l=en#ancAbT2

If animals are allowed to travel in the cabin it looks like there are no higher fares based on COS.

http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...3&l=en#ancAbT4
Kudos to the captain, this was the right decision. But it also shows that LH will bend rules for F pax and not enforce them like they would for a SEN in C.
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Old Nov 28, 10, 3:35 am
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My mother (x flight attendant) was telling me a story about when lassie had been allowed on one of her flights so long as the handler sat next to the dog in F.

Compared to some of the pax i've sat next to in the past, a well groomed dog would be a welcome seatmate. (And I would assume anybody buying 3 F tix for themselves and the dogs would also take care of the animals).

And I also sympathize with the guy as he should have been denied boarding with the 2 animals when checking in, not once on the plane.
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Old Nov 28, 10, 3:44 am
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Originally Posted by DownUnderFlyer View Post
But it also shows that LH will bend rules for F pax and not enforce them like they would for a SEN in C.
Have you tried taking two dogs into the C cabin?
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Old Nov 28, 10, 3:58 am
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personally I would be far more concerned about some of the previous human passengers rather than a dog sitting in my seat... in terms of cleanliness. Some passengers do all sorts of pretty nasty stuff (like passing copious amounts of wind, or worse, walking bare foot into a lavatory and then putting feet on seats).

However - agree certain breeds such as pit bulls are possibly not the type of dog to be out in public. Their nasty tempers are well known.
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Old Nov 28, 10, 4:39 am
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It looked like the captain was the only sensible one here !
But I do agree, that this should have been aborted at checkin and not in the cabin.
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Old Nov 28, 10, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by LHR/MEL/Europe FF View Post
walking bare foot into a lavatory and then putting feet on seats
This appears to be only a problem if other have missused to lavatories floor. Sorry, but I take my shoes and socks of as soon as I am in my seat as I do not like to wear shoes when being in private in other peoples living room - and the F/C cabin is something like a living room
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Old Nov 28, 10, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
This appears to be only a problem if other have missused to lavatories floor. Sorry, but I take my shoes and socks of as soon as I am in my seat as I do not like to wear shoes when being in private in other peoples living room - and the F/C cabin is something like a living room
That's what slippers are for!
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