American Airlines Passenger Bought Himself A Seat – And Two Seats For His Dog

Emotional support animals on planes have become less common since the Department of Transportation began allowing airlines to impose bureaucratic hoops for passengers to jump through to bring them on board. Previously air carriers had been fearful of turning away almost any living creature for fear of liability under the Air Carrier Access act.

Still, it’s possible for someone that’s seen “Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground” on planes to be a bit surprised.

You can buy your pet a seat on the plane. Twenty three years ago US Airways stirred controversy allowing a passenger to buy a first class seat for a pig but the government backed them up on it. You can also buy yourself an extra seat. Some airlines will even let you buy yourself a whole row.

But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a passenger book more than one seat for their animal before. Yet here is a man traveling with his dog. He has one seat, the great dane has two. And the dog needed every inch of it.

Throughout this cross country flight to New York JFK on an American Airlines Airbus A321T, the 140 pound pup stood up, sat down, napped, and interacted with the rest of the cabin.

@gibbon1215 Who says Great Danes aren’t airplane dogs. Shoutout to @American Airlines for making our move to Brooklyn a piece of cake though! (Yes I bought 3 seats for us on the plane) #greatdane #dog #gay #fyp #tiktok #newyork #brooklyn #doggo ♬ Funny Background – Stefani

(HT: Paul H)

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, 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. FYI not all ESA are fake. Yes, many people probably do buy a “certificate” online, but they aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. There is no such thing as a “certified” ESA. My Jack Russell is an ESA, and I have a letter from a licensed mental health professional to back this up. That is what you are supposed to have; a letter from either your Dr or mental health professional stating that the dog/cat helps you deal with xyz, in my case it is cancer.

  2. I think you would be surprised to see how long dogs can go without pee’ing….probably longer than most humans.

  3. My dog has gone easily 12 hours without needing to pee. And when let out of his crate the first thing he wants to do before going out to pee is eat then pee.

  4. You pay for the seat, you should be able to use it! It is absolutely inhumane to put a dog in a crate
    and transport them with luggage. They are living breathing beings and should absolutely be allowed on the plane no questions asked!

  5. @Lori: Yeah, sure. I’ll bring my pet lion. He’s a living breathing being as well.

  6. Unbelievable, some people ,value more an animal them people.
    Helping a child ,he or she will contribute to human kind,money spend in dogs and cats, are worthless.
    Children across this country, starve, can’t get an education,in the meantime, people are spending money in animals, in which will never will contribute to society.
    They don’t work
    Don’t pay taxes
    Will never became a doctor, or a scientist, or a fireman.

  7. Sick of WYTEE Folks wanting 2 Bring Fk’n Dogs everywhere! Leave them Mutts at home!!

  8. There should be pet airlines where pet people and their animals can be together and the gross animal haters can stay away. Animals are so much better than humans. We are lucky they love us because human beings are the scourge of the planet. That said, I hardly ever fly and would never, ever put my dog in cargo. Some people belong there, though!

  9. What about the people who have allergies to pets? I don’t want to share to plane cabin with a animal. Also for people who need need emotional support animals need to order their food online.

  10. FYI – the only dogs allowed on the seat are TV/Celebrity dogs. He may have bought 2 seats, but that would only mean 2 floor spots for the dog. I do not want to be the next passenger having to sit where the dog had been licking. Too gross.

  11. I seen ESA dogs attack each other in airports. I haven’t seen children attack each other in airports.

    And the dog is better behaved than some middle age Karen’s.

  12. I’ve been saying this for years. That there would come a point when people would start arguing that their dog has as much right to the airline window seat as you do. And here it is.

    The infantilizing of pets has reached a ridiculous level in this country. And there’s an entire industry promoting it to make a lot of money.

    It’s reached a point where you can’t go anywhere where somebody isn’t bringing their damn dog. The grocery store, airlines, next you’ll be at restaurants and there will be a great dane sitting at the table next to you eating off the table.

    I grew up in the South and I love hound dogs. But they are pets. And not everybody is as enamored with your animal as You are.

    And you have no right to force other people to deal with them. It’s just straight up rude.

  13. What happens if there is a problem with the plane and passengers need to get off right away. – how many passengers will be blocked from getting to the emergency door with this loveable “monster “ blocking the aisle??

  14. what happens if there is an emergency?
    – probably the same thing that would happen with all of these passengers “of size” or needing wheelchairs or are 104 years/old or who dont speak the language. Of course FA are required to get verbal confirmation that you are ok to assist in the event of an emergency.

    I think we are confusing people who need to travel with their pets like they are fashion accessories and those who have other more objective and practical needs (like how I often travel for work – often 4-6 weeks at a time – and it would be nice to bring a key part of my family with me). The hate towards pets on this is impressive, but for some of us, a dog is a key part of our Family – always have been and always will. If you have never had one or been brought up with pets, then we dont expect you to understand – just dont hate us for it.

    While allergies are probably legit. that’s why, when I traveled with my dog in the past, I always made sure that the passengers around me were ‘ok’ – never had a problem. In fact, my dog brought joy to what is often a miserable experience – traveling in a economy. Of course, I wish other passengers who overdose on perfume, dont shower, or inflict the result of us on their “freedoms’ is a different story.

  15. I had dogs, cats in the past. They are my family and I love them more than anything else. I spent thousands to the vets when they’re sick and at their last moment with me. They traveled with us everywhere on every vacation trip in my car. But I definitely don’t take them on a flight. Not good for them, for us and others. Unless I have no choice in a relocation trip.

  16. Amtrak has a very limited route network. As a result, airlines remain the only way for many people to transfer pets long distances.

  17. I like dogs, but I’m highly allergic to dogs, cats, birds, horses, etc . Even “hypoallergenic breeds”. I can’t touch them or I will immediately break out in hives, and have asthma attacks. Same with if a dog licks me, or brushes against me (indoors or out). I can’t go in my neighbor’s houses for more than 15 minutes before I have an asthma attack, stuffy head, itchy watery eyes, sneezing and other symptoms. The symptoms last for hours, even after I leave. If I push it and stay longer, I will be sick for the next few days. We have to keep their dogs away if we are outside.

    So while I appreciate dogs on plans with their owners…

    I sure hope they can tell me before I plan and book flights for my vacation, or work travel.

    I’d hate to get on the plane to find an animal and have to change my whole vacation so I’m not sick. Or worse, be stuck on the plane and end up sick ruining my vacation, or work trip.

    Just as bad would be my sitting in a seat after a dog sat there.

    And before someone says “if you get that sick, don’t fly”, that isn’t always an option. And that’s like telling a pet owner “just dont bring your pet on an airplane”.

    I would love to see the airlines classify “planes/flights as “pet friendly” and “pet free” when booking. But I’m betting that they’d need extra flights per route, or it will cost them more.

  18. I’m allergic to dogs. Does the airline take into account that not all passengers can be in a confined space with someone else’s dog?

  19. Americans obsession with dogs is out of hand! Im tired of going to grocery stores and seeing stinky dogs panting and slobbering near foods and these are regular pets, not emotional service dogs. Digs are now being treated like humans. They are in their own strollers, taken to outdoor cafes, department stores and outdoor concerts cant really be enjoyed because of all the stinking dogs White people bring to venues. These dogs do t use toilets! As one with asthma I dont want to fly or travel on subway with dogs. These creatures dont need to be on planes and grocery stores.

  20. last i knew

    only movie star animals – lassie , spuds Mackenzie … , we’re allowed to sit in a seat

    even service dogs , not emotional al support ‘ service ‘ , have to sit on floor under the seat in front of the passenger

    at least that was the rule when i was a flight attendant , things may have changed in 9 yrs

  21. I do agree they are living things and should be treated with kinds , however we don’t need to humanize them.

  22. Pleasssse shhhhhhhh
    Mind your own business

    Allergies is the only comment that makes sense
    The LION comment is hilarious

  23. Who doesn’t love a big slobbering dog in an enclosed cabin. Great Danes don’t know how big they are and offer lots of love but who really wants that all over their clothes

  24. my father had very bad allergies to cats – even to the point in which he could not go into someone’s house if they had a cat or if he got near someone who had cat hair on their clothing.

    Are we now going to expect airlines to cover the cost of dry cleaning or laundry if a passenger reports an allergic response (or a concern of exposure) to a near-by passenger?

    maybe we should just all back to wearing masks on planes?

    just asking for a friend – or /s
    .. you pick

  25. Wow, this is quite a unique and heartwarming story! It’s refreshing to see airlines accommodating passengers and their furry friends in such a generous way. The image of a 140-pound great dane enjoying not one, but two seats on a cross-country flight is both amusing and endearing. It’s a testament to the special bond between humans and their pets. I’m glad American Airlines allowed this arrangement, providing not just a seat but a comfortable experience for both the passenger and his canine companion. Travelling can be stressful, but stories like these add a touch of joy to the journey.

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