Passenger Bloodied By Emotional Support Animal on Delta Flight, Possible New Air Canada-United Venture

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  1. The dog incident might be the excuse the airlines have been looking for to institute a ban on ESAs (which are NOT real service animals). Delta can spin it as a liability/passenger safety thing. That might be a tiny bit of good to come out of the man’s suffering.

  2. They’ll ban peanuts if someone’s allergic but not a dog that someone spent $20 on for some bogus support animal harness

  3. You can tell that we’re a dog-loving nation because there’s been little to no outrage over that dog mauling incident on DL. Let’s face it: unless you refuse to cooperate with police, you’re not going to be “Dr. Dao’d” on an airplane. But there’s no guarantee that you’re not going to have to sit next to somebody’s “emotional support animal” — that might try to bite you. There’s basically zero screening by the airlines as to whether these animals are properly trained and vetted to “behave” under these conditions. And, even if they are well behaved, it’s still no fun to sit in an airplane seat next to a human AND a dog.

  4. Maybe this will be the wakeup call that animals should not be in the cabin. This was totally foreseeable and i hope this person sues for a hyge amount. Im amazed that all dogs arent required to wear muzzles.

  5. @ iahphx – This just happened on Sunday. Even in the Instatwitterverse era, it usually takes more than a day for shit to go viral.

  6. IF you are such an emotional wreck that you cannot fly without a dog, DON’T FLY! I’m a dog owner, and while I don’t care if someone carries their Yorkie in a little bag on the floor between their legs, I have a MAJOR problem with a big 50 pound dog sitting on the seats (hygiene issues) and so close to me, my face, arms or whatever it decides looks tasty. Dogs are apprehensive on planes and in closed spaces to begin with, the poor guy who was attacked was in the most vulnerable place imaginable with no way out. Screw that ! Your so called emotional issues can ride in the cargo area!

  7. @ Penny — I tend to agree with you, but I don’t think your position “flies” (bada bing) under the ADA. Heck, the other day somebody was snarky to me when I thought it reasonable for an airline to question the ability of a blind grandfather to take care of an 18-month-old on an airplane. So the idea that you’re not going to allow “emotionally challenged” individuals to bring their support animals on board seems far-fetched. That said, perhaps we can hope that such animals are given more scrutiny — like actually being trained as service dogs.

  8. There is no way a 50 pound dog and a passenger fit in a middle seat without encroaching on adjacent passengers. That’s just not right.

  9. There are a lot of people out there who are in support of ESA’s, and in a recent article I wrote a comment that those who must fly with an ESA have other options as far as taking different transportation, flying with a friend or family member, medication, etc and the visceral response I received on that comment was insane. People really got their underwear in a twist about it. On the other hand, they probably have no response when this kind of thing happens. I don’t deserve to get mauled simply because you can’t handle flying. Yes, that may sound cold, but too bad. The majority win on this one.

  10. The phenomena of Emotional Support Animals has relatively little to do with emotional support, but rather is driven by the fact that this is usually the only way to get a dog onto the airplane. Sometimes passengers need to travel with their pets — relocations, etc. — and there is no safe way to get the pet there. The statistics relating to casualties for pets traveling as baggage is scandalous, and nobody would be flying if people were put to the same risks. Other than putting pets in baggage, most airlines offer few or no other options for most pets, at any price. Many people can’t relate, but animals are family members to many people, and they won’t risk never seeing them alive again, and thus the ESA is born and thriving. Finding some way of allowing passengers to pay to block a seat for their pets, or some such, would go a long way to curbing these abuses.

  11. I ABSOLUTELY agree Captain Obvious, and no one has mentioned the SIZE of the animal as well.
    I have a SMALL dog that could easily fit into a tote bag, she couldn’t bite anyone while in it (she’s a Yorkie, wouldn’t bite except in self defense I don’t think) but I still wouldn’t trust her (or any dog) with say an infant or toddler as they are sometimes threatened by babies/kids and you never know what could set a dog off. Yeah, you could probably defend yourself from a Yorkie or a Poodle but when it is a Shepherd or a Pit Bull or other big dog it is a LOT harder. Even bystanders can’t really HELP on a plane because they don’t have any weapons readily available…think about it…if you’re in your neighborhood and someone’s dog attacks you, mostly likely a neighbor would grab a shovel, a stick, a gun to stop it. What are you gonna do on a plane, hit it with your purse?

    How many hundreds of kids have been mauled or died as a result of injuries from trusted family pets? It happens EVERY SINGLE YEAR all around the U.S. and it is all breeds from Labs to Pit Bulls and everything in between and everyone is sorry afterward, but the kids and toddlers/babies are STILL DEAD! I am a dog lover but I don’t trust being in closed quarters with a dog who is potentially deadly, feeling anxious, protective, scared and a whole range of emotions it doesn’t know how to process. The victim in this case could have been doing anything from eating a candy bar to reaching in his laptop bag for his Kleenex, we just don’t know what set the dog off…..and unfortunately, until this happens many times or until the airlines want to take it to court citing protection of other passengers, etc. after they are sued over and over it will continue to be a risk.

  12. Gotta love ESA’s poor thing was probably in its first flight and terrified. i read the whole combat veteran who was crying before the flight which is somewhat odd and sad and I’m not sure why h/she needed to fly but all I can say is that if flying freaked me out I wouldn’t fly…I don’t care if I had to go Hawaii. If airlines want to be open armed to ESA’s then they should be subject to strict liability for these events. Ultimately I’m not sure why real service animals aren’t required to go through some sort of licensing process to cut down on this. And I get the ESA v. service animal thing and I guess my point is that if you really need an ESA you should “need” a service animal that provides services in additional to being cuddly cuz if that’s all you need, get a teddy bear…or an escort.

  13. Please tell me the difference between a 50# child who needs to pay full fare – hey, their parents are their support and visa versa. WHY does an animal have free flights as opposed to a child. I actually think my husband is my emotional support “animal” – can he fly free? Airlines NEED to set weight limits as a minimum – and fit under the seat!!!

  14. Why must people with allergies be forced to sit next to these “emotional support animals”? Didn’t a bunch of airlines just remove peanuts because people were allergic to them? It’s not like most of these animals are legit anyway. There are a few that are specially trained to detect seizures, etc, but the VAST majority are just scams.

  15. “Finding some way of allowing passengers to pay to block a seat for their pets, or some such, would go a long way to curbing these abuses.”

    Yes. And requiring dogs in cabin to either be in an under-seat carrier or wearing a basket muzzle would keep everyone (including the dog) safer as well.

  16. Appears to be a pit bull mix.

    Political correctness always come back to bite you.

  17. Delta put a dog that just MAULED a passenger on another flight? Animal control should have seized the dog to determined it should be PUT DOWN , now that is NORMAL PROCEDURE everywhere else in the USA.

    These ESA are NOT trained in any way to be with other humans, they are animals there to protect their owner, to MAUL AND KILL OTHERS.

    FAA needs to get off their butt and get these animals in cages or they will be sued too, now

  18. I hope Canada holds strong and does not approve the United/Air Canada tie-up. (Since the US government is owned by big business, I have no doubt it will be approved by the US again.) If you think it’s expensive to fly between the US and Canada now… just wait if this is approved.

  19. @Jimmy – My wife is allergic to carrots like people can be severely allergic to peanuts. But since it’s not peanuts, for some reason nobody cares if she could die while on the flight. Luckily she carries two Epipens and has never had to use them, but a few times she has taken Benedryl due to reactions. She’s really screwed on Asian carriers when she can’t eat anything they serve since every dish always has carrots.

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