United Polaris Gone To The Dogs: Multiple Dogs With Their Own Business Class Seat

A New York City-based family filmed the start of their vacation flight, departing Newark on United Airlines. They brought their Yorkshire Terriers alone, buying each of the two dogs a seat in business class. The dogs, Amy and Emily, are “task-trained service animals” according to their owner. Do you believe them?

The girls are always happy to spread peace, love and happiness Emily may look like she was judging, but in reality she was just wishing they would hurry up with boarding and turn the lights off!!

Airlines were able to crack down on emotional support animals six years ago, sort of. You need to fill out paperwork in advance, attesting that they’re actual service dogs. Then they do not have to be treated as a ‘pet in cabin’ kept in their carrier underneath the seat in front of you (giving up one of your carry-on items and paying the pet in cabin fee). You can buy them their own seat.

Frankly buying a seat for a dog is better than having a large dog on the floor, protruding into the space of the passenger next to you. And these are dogs – not a horse or a turkey and not a rabbit or a peacock either. They’re small, cute dogs no a pitbull.

My biggest concern here is, what route are they flying? These are business class seats, not domestic first class seats. While United does fly these on some shorter routes, they are mostly used for long haul, transoceanic flights. The dogs are going to need to potty. And the truth is that planes aren’t cleaned that extensively between flights, and also that Yorkies are notoriously difficult to potty train in any case.

Bathroom issues aside, dogs can behave much better than many passengers I see in cabins these days. And buying them a seat is great. United will no longer accept pets in cargo, with some limited military and foreign service exceptions, after losing a rash of animals and worse six years ago under their ironically-named ‘PetSafe’ program. So what else is a passenger to do?

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 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. I have a 13 yr old male Yorkie. He’s been through extensive obedience training when he was a “young” pup.
    Today is well behaved. As far as “potty” habits. He was trained at a young age. Today ever has a accident. He has a bell he rings when he needs his potty break. He is able to hold his “business” for around 12 hours. When traveling I cut back on his h20 intake.

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