A French Bulldog Got Lost On A Southwest Flight While Its Owner Was Sleeping

Airlines have generally cracked down on their role as modern Noah’s Arks, since there’s paperwork and advance planning now in bringing on board ’emotional support animals’. That’s limited the number of oversized and exotic animals on planes, but some emotional support animals remain – and passengers have always been able to (pay to) bring on a capacity-controlled number of animals that fit in carriers underneath the seat.

A passenger’s pet is supposed to remain under their control and not come out of the carrier inflight. Some crews enforce that more aggressively than others. And on a recent Southwest flight, one French bulldog came out – and wandered around the aircraft.

This went on long enough, and the bulldog made it far enough around the aircraft, that flight attendants made an announcement asking whose dog it was? And nobody answered. Eventually, it turned out, that the dog wandered away while its owner was asleep inflight.

The incident was filmed by passenger Amanda Dukes, a reporter at the local NBC affiliate TV station in Orlando, on her flight this week to St. Louis.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I think this one is in cabin as a small pet, not a service animal.

    The owner should have kept her in the carriage at all times. They should be fined for that.

  2. Small dogs are allowed in the cabin even if they’re not service dogs. French bulldogs are short enough that they fit under the seat in an approved carrier. On Southwest, it’s a $95 fare. You’re not supposed to let the dog out of the carrier, but that’s a different problem.

  3. The fact that I see people on this comment section being entitled themselves while calling others entitled is the textbook definition of irony.

  4. The dog was a paying fare with a passenger not a service animal. He got out of his carrier while his person was having a nap. You can see from the short clip he was friendly and did not pose any trouble. All you critics obviously didn’t read the accompanying article and seriously need to chill out.

  5. GirlinO – Oh, since the dog was “friendly” it is OK for it to be roaming around the airplane – and if the dog was not friendly, would it still be OK for it to roam around the aircraft? Other than genuine service animals, all other animals should not be allowed in the seating compartment of an airplane.

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