One Airline Manager Won’t Tolerate Dog Poop in the Terminal

Recently I wrote about a comedian who took revenge on a dog owner who wouldn’t pick up poop in the Delta terminal at LAX.

    My dog has never done this

A reader who is a manager for one of the country’s large airlines at a major airport shared this recent ‘dog poop in the terminal’ story,

Hey Gary, on the heels of your dog poop story, you’d probably appreciate this story:

A lady was DRAGGING her [emotional support animal] across the floor at […] to the point that it was leaving a trail of little poop nuggets. Another passenger tried to get her attention behind her and she yelled, “MIND YOUR OWN DAMNED BUSINESS!”

I chased her down, stopped in front of her, stopped her in her tracks, and asked her politely to pick up after her dog.

When she replied with, What do you mean?! I might have gotten a little too gruff being a manager and all but snipped back with, “Ma’am, pick up your dog’s poop! NOW!”

She sheepishly went to the restroom (she didn’t carry any bags) to get some towels and clean up.

Sure this is an airplane lav but I don’t take photos in airport restrooms

Now if that were the end of the story, it would just be every day at the airport. But this manager doesn’t tolerate terminal-pooping purported emotional support animals.

When she got back, I then informed her that it was clear that her dog was not well trained and therefore could not travel on the flight; we allowed her to rebook for the next day, but I added comments to her PNR that she needed to pay the in-cabin pet fee and go buy an underseat kennel. And she wasn’t local.

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. Thank goodness. I’m not a particularly old dude, but the earlier story depressed the hell out of me. I thought: what kind of world am I living in that a pet owner doesn’t take it upon themselves to pick up their pet’s poop AT AN AIRPORT??? I’ve seen some crazy, rude and confusing things in my time at various airports around the world, but someone who brings any pet (emotional support or otherwise) to a public place should know better. Kudos to the airport manager and (hopefully) he’s not the exception to the rule.

  2. Fuck this manager. That is not an appropriate way to behave to customers. Insubordination and lack of subservience in this country is why we will never meet the Asian and Middle Eastern standard of service.

  3. @BobInLA — “I thought: what kind of world am I living in that a pet owner doesn’t take it upon themselves to pick up their pet’s poop AT AN AIRPORT???”

    Answer: somebody who is mentally ill.

    Congratulations to the self-serving manager for making this passenger fly a day late and incur $100s extra expenses.

  4. Jason, where you want to see subservience I want to see clean, safe, poop free floors. Subservience to one passenger is fine till it helps cause danger to another.

  5. @Charles — if the manager took it upon him or herself to clean up the poo, we would have cleaner floors in less time, and we would also not have had a customer snapped at.

    What worries me is how many service workers in the west are proud of snapping at customers.

  6. @J.C. — so, assuming of course you are not a douchebag, you have never experienced bad service, correct?

    And there’s of course 100% agreement at all times as to whether or not any individual is a douchebag, right?

    You think all those people who have been the victim of bad service (or worse, in the most extreme form: police brutality) have done something to deserve it? After all, they’d have never been mistreated if they weren’t transgressing?

    You reek of white privilege and I can’t believe I, a Trump supporter and vehement opponent of identity politics, just said that.

  7. @J.C. — wait a minute, there’s actually a very simple way to disprove your claim. Let’s assume without loss of generality you are a non-douchebag. Ready for me to snap at you?

    Alright here goes.


  8. @Wilma — thanks for your input. I fundamentally disagree that advocating respect at all times toward customers is “entitled.”

  9. @Wilma: Jason doesn’t like being told what to do. It’s a mommy issue. Common in the hood.

  10. I rue the decline of (good) customer service by airline staff, but it the story is accurate, I’d say the lady deserved the harsh treatment that she received. We have a rescue German Shepherd (which has passed the Good Canine Citizen test but failed part of the test for therapy dogs), and I’ve always joked with my wife about what’s required to take our dog with us on board a flight as an emotional support animal.

    If the lady was dragging her dog across the terminal, chances are that the dog was frightened or scared. The fact the dog was defecating while being dragged reinforces my opinion (and obviously made the situation worse for other people/passengers). Sounds like her DOG was the one needing emotional support. BTW, I feel doubly sorry for the dog. As rude and uncaring as this woman seems, wouldn’t surprise me if she scolded and/or kicked her dog for costing her more time and money.

  11. ^^^
    P.S. It’s possible her dog really needed to eliminate (#2) and she was too rushed or uncaring to give her dog a chance to go #2, hence her dragging the dog through the terminal. In any case, there’s no way she and her dog should have been allowed to fly (especially if she couldn’t get her sh*t together and care for her animal before the flight)

  12. The airport manager is correct. This isn’t an issue of customer service — it’s an issue of public health to which the manager responded. And, if the article is correct, the woman owning the dog had already shown an abysmal lack of common courtesy by failing to respond to others who asked her to pick up after her dog.

    The customer may always be right — except when they are unreasonable out of the gate.

  13. This emotional support animal garbage needs to stop. If people can’t deal with flying without an animal next to them then they should take a car, train, boat, whatever. Way too many people abuse this. There needs to be way stricter regulations on what qualifies as an emotional support animal.

  14. Kudos to Bill who is 100%, absolutely correct. You asswipes who need “therapy” and abuse the process should stay home or take your car (if you have one and have a license to drive).

  15. Rude disgusting behavior needs to snapped back to reality. This is a health issue, standing up for this behavior is idiotic.


  16. Good for the manager.

    @jason wtf is wrong with you?

    @Gary, I thought you were considering a ban of moronic, offensive and/or commenter who were distracting, off topic and detract from the generally enjoyable and helpful space that your blog provides? If so, Jason is a good example of someone to ban. Not because I disagree with some/all of his views, but because he is an offensive and distracting presence.


  17. YES!!! to the manager who exhibited common sense!!!!

    NO to Jason – whose comments contradict each other and contain no useful content as well as being gratuitously insulting- Gary please save us from having to read his rants.

  18. @Jason, until I saw your retorts, I thought your initial post was tongue in cheek. Yes, I do enjoy the fawning service I receive in Asia, but I would not expect a Park Hyatt or Peninsula personnel there to clean up after my dog. Certain tasks should not get assigned to the help when I am situated to do them myself. (FWIW, I have a dog walker – I expect him to celan up after the dog when she is being walked and I am at work 5 miles away).

    And, damn, an airport is practically a public utility. I expect the staff to be polite and reasonably helpful, like telling me how to get to Gate C15. But I would fully expect them equally to police the behavior of other users.

  19. @Everyone

    Jason wrote that he still supports Rump. Why are any of you surprised at his other writings?

  20. The manager did the correct actions and I fully support them in their actions.

    This was NOT a properly-trained service dog. Most likely, this was someone’s personal pet with no training whatsoever. I have two friends who have proper service dogs. One is an epileptic, the other is in a wheelchair. Their dogs are amazingly well-trained and well-behaved. For that matter, I’ve had many rabbits over the years. We’d even take them on trips. 3-6 hours in the car at a time and never a potty incident with them.

    This emotional support animal stuff is a farce, at best. When the aircraft hits severe turbulence or needs to make an emergency evac, or the oxygen masks drop, your little Princess chihuahua isn’t going to be able to calm you down, get you down the slide, or put on your mask for you. If you are THAT unstable, you should be traveling with a human companion who CAN take care of you in a real emergency. Panic attacks suck, but a dog isn’t going to help you with in-flight emergencies.

    And before you pull some outrage crap over my comments — I’ve been put through a lot of hell at the hands of others and been in some very dark places over the years. I’ve earned the right to say this and have the paperwork to prove it.

  21. @Jason – Are you the same etiquette clown that was posting in the other thread too?

    I don’t know when or why personal responsibility disappeared in this country, but things have been getting out of hand for quite some time now.

  22. Anyone who treats an animal (and a public place) like this should be escorted outside the terminal for a do-over. Call it a time-out. It’s now up to them to change their behavior or fly another day.

    Gary, some commenters lost their minds (a little bit). Are their contributions being posted initially (which gives your readers a sample of their vitriol) but censored as they further trash-talk? Just wondering where they went…

  23. Gary wow. Things really went off the rails on this one.
    Good evidence of what our country is turning into because of you know who.
    Civil war anyone?

  24. Disappointing choices of words, ad hominem attacks, along with stereotyping do not reflect the finest moments of several of the commenters – regardless of which view you ascribe to. We can have differing opinions on matters and still keep things civil. But apparently that has seemed to go out of style these days. Maybe some people should switch to Brim?

  25. I will tolerate a lot of things but animal poop in the house is not one of them . This women and her dog should not be allowed indoors .

  26. Restaurants and health care establishments do not allow dogs in for very good reasons. Should be the same for airlines and airports. Pets carry diseases, insects, and fecal matter. They do not wear shoes and are often up on the seat with the passenger.

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