Emotional Support Dog.. in a Bow Tie! And Chinese Panhandler Innovations

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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. Yea it is only a matter of time before beggars go digital. I almost never carry any cash on me and I figure many people are the same way so that cuts into the profits of beggars.

  2. I’m not sure what the issue is the with dog flying with a bow tie – if the passenger had the correct paperwork to evidence the dog’s need, it’s not up to the ticketing or gate agent to turn them away because the dog has a decorative accessory on its harness or leash (or whatever). Since this information isn’t clear based on this tweet, I don’t think we can or should be judging this passenger’s need for his or her dog.

    I suppose this could have gone the other way and Delta denied boarding to the dog for the bow tie and we’d be talking about that.

  3. If Mark Halperin has a problem with a support dog(which is cute imo) then maybe the pompous azz should either buy out the cabin, or here’s a thought. Lear Jet, buy one or rent one.

  4. A lot of people have phony “service” dogs. These people use the poorly worded regulations to abuse the system to travel with their pets.

  5. Just like with the recent air incidents, social media reacts judgmentally without the facts. Halperin sent a follow-up tweet saying that he was expressing he couldn’t believe Delta sat the dog apart from its owner (“Seriously, Delta?”).

    Social media immediately jumped on Halperin (ad hominem attacks or attributing motive) or the service animal debate.


  6. Is it really a support dog? According to this Slate article it was the dog of an off-duty flight attendant who had bought a seat for it and does so on 2-3 roundtrips a month.

    Assuming the guy claiming to be the owner is legit, how is this ok? I thought Delta rules were that dogs in the cabin had to be in a carrier. Can you just buy a seat for a dog? (I’m also skeptical that a flight attendant would buy two cross-country full-fare business tickets for him and his dog 2-3 times a month, but maybe I guess?)

  7. I’m betting the support dog is bogus, like most, but he wouldn’t bother me ‘cuz he is SO CUTE!

  8. I’ve twice now had people on the subway in NYC tell me that they take credit cards (I assume via square). Am frankly surprised I haven’t seen it in SF either…

    Sure as hell am not going to hand a guy begging for money my credit card to scan on a phone. But it was a bit amusing.

  9. Maybe the dog was a paid in-cabin pet?
    I take my dog on board a couple times a year and always pay the extortionate fees ($125 each way on American) to take him on board as a normal, non-service animal. I have him in a carrier on the floor, he makes no noise – and people STILL complain to me about it. I’ve been accused multiple times of “gaming the system” (no, I’m not, I’m purchasing a ticket for him, which is a service offered by the airlines). People have snickered at me and said, “that’s not a service dog!”, and I say, “Correct, he’s just a pet. And I paid for a ticket”.
    If you don’t want to even have the slight possibility of seeing a dog on a flight, don’t fly on an airline that sells tickets for in-cabin pets.

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