Service Animals Are Returning To The Sky

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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, 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. Goody. Looks like I can bring my Service Crocodile and Service Hippo back with me when flying !!

  2. Good doggy. Sit. Stay.

    If some airlines served onboard dog food during meal service, would passengers even notice the difference?

  3. It is deeply disheartening to be disabled and then have the added judgment of “is that a REAL service animal?” There are no doubt many people who abuse disability laws, just as there are “wheelchair” passengers who seem to walk quite nicely.
    But there are also passengers who depend on service animals for a variety of tasks. A service animal can mean having the freedom to live or travel alone, reduce medication burden, offer eyes to the blind, and more.
    “Emotional Support” animals and exotic species are not allowed anymore, thus jokes about emotional support cobras are outdated.
    Unless an animal is causing you personal distress or harm, it’s probably wisest to defer judgment. A dog is usually better behaved than most adult passengers.

  4. I always stack my bins unless I’m running really late for my flight, which rarely happens because I allow a lot of time for check in and TSA. Why? Because my first career in the industry and because a good turn never hurts.

    Time at the airport allows you many things in a less hurried, lower stress environment. I try to be at the gate about an hour before, then scope out the shops for a bottle of water, an inflight snack, and a leg stretching walk. I’m also an airplane and operations watcher and mentally give the employees good or bad points for how the gate and ramp ops run.
    You can take the employee out of the airlines, but…

  5. So , I don’t question the need or utility of service animals , but I can’t get my arms around the safety of having animals on the floor , especially in bulkheads .

    Looking at the picture you use in the article , isn’t that animal blocking egress for the person at the window seat ? Passengers can’t stow any objects on the floor during takeoff and landings but a service animal in the same space is ok ? I just have never understood this safety situation. I get that objects on the floor can become a hazard to emergency evacuation or can become a flying projectile but isn’t the same true of a service animal ? We have all seen or heard of passengers who don’t buckle up that are injured by severe events that produce g forces strong enough to lift them from their seats – isn’t that also a possibility for a service animal on the floor ? I would love to hear how the airlines reconcile the difference .

  6. I think they never went away-even with less travelers there has always been 2-3 or more on every flight I have taken in the past 2 years!! Poor animals and what they have to contend with by owners dragging them everywhere…SAD!!!

  7. We were at a Safeway market and they have a sign that says Real service animals see welcome but all others get the f out. They even define what a service animal is based on the ADA law. So get you pets bout of lowes Home Depot and macys

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