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US Cancels Flight After Pax Protest  
User currently offlineflydeltajets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1882 posts, RR: 2
Posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 23836 times:
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Last night a US flight between PHL and ISP was cancelled after what appers to be passengers protesting the removal of a blind passenger after a dispute between that passenger and the crew regarding how his guide dog was positined under his seat.

A local Philadelphia ABC Station has the story


Excerpt:

Passenger Frank Ohlhorst described what happened.

"When we, the passengers, realized what was going on, we were, like, 'Why is this happening? He's not a problem. What is going on?'" said Ohlhorst. "And we all kind of raised our voices and said, 'This is a real problem.' The captain came out of the cockpit and he basically asked us all to leave the aircraft."

The airline says both the dog and the unrest among the passengers created a safety hazard as defined by its operating protocols.

The flight was eventually cancelled.


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
74 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMesaFlyGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 3133 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 23770 times:
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Off topic, but I actually flew on flight 4384 last Tuesday!

I'm waiting to hear the full story before I pass judgement, butit was a BIG dog, I doubt he could've gotten it under the seat. But at the same time, isn't it a safety violation to have an animal on the seat, service or otherwise?

However the incident occured, I hope everybody got to their destinations safely.



\________(---)________/ :) World's most beautiful aircraft: 757-200, MD-88/90, E-190, A321
User currently offlineYQBexYHZBGM From Canada, joined May 2009, 204 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 23286 times:

I viewed the TV news story. If the behavior of the flight attendant was indeed as described, this incident was offensive and unwarranted, whether "just following company policy" or not. There's no way that dog could fit under a seat. As long as it was on its leash and held by its owner, it should have been allowed. Service animals are not pets. I hope various disability advocacy groups and their lawyers teach the parties involved a lesson.
Al


User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3138 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 23203 times:

No guide dog I've ever met, Labrador, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, including my own former guide dog, would ever fit UNDER an airliner seat. However, they can fit easily under the passenger's legs and not interfering with other passengers. I think it's an ADA violation to prohibit the guide dog.

-Rampart


User currently offlinedoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 23004 times:

Quoting rampart (Reply 5):
I think it's an ADA violation to prohibit the guide dog.

ADA does not apply to airlines, that would be the ACAA, which does not trump op specs. I believe most allow the dog to occupy a seat adjoining the person. Not sure if seat is comped or pax is expected to pay for an extra seat.



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineflydeltajets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1882 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 22774 times:
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Quoting rampart (Reply 3):
I think it's an ADA violation to prohibit the guide dog.
Quoting doug_Or (Reply 4):
ADA does not apply to airlines, that would be the ACAA

Correct the ACAA is the federal regulation and it would have been in the airline's best interest to have a CRO present anytime a situation regarding a passenger with a disability is developing.



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21634 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 22599 times:

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 4):
I believe most allow the dog to occupy a seat adjoining the person.

No, the dog is not allowed to occupy a seat. It must be on the floor.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 7, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 22491 times:

Quoting YQBexYHZBGM (Reply 2):
I viewed the TV news story. If the behavior of the flight attendant was indeed as described, this incident was offensive and unwarranted, whether "just following company policy" or not. There's no way that dog could fit under a seat. As long as it was on its leash and held by its owner, it should have been allowed. Service animals are not pets. I hope various disability advocacy groups and their lawyers teach the parties involved a lesson.

As someone familiar with the situation, you are right that there is no breed of guide dog that can fit underneath a seat. When my family raises guide dogs, they take trips to the airport, and the school arranges flight training occasionally, usually just at the gate but once in a while they actually fly. Never are they asked to try to shove the dog under the seat. Under the legs is what they are trained for.

The dog is trained to guide the blind person, even in an emergency. It's not a hazard because it isn't ever going to be in the way.

US has some splainin to do. While it may be a federal regulation to comply with the flight crew, when the flight crew asks you to do something that isn't possible, it's not lack of compliance when you can't do it. The dog can't fit under the seat, so the FA could ask until he/she is blue in the face. Doesn't change the reality that the dog doesn't fit. Guide dogs have special treatment under the law (not the same as a "helping animal" or a "comfort animal.") They can enter restaurants despite health codes prohibiting dogs. They can go to beaches despite many beaches prohibiting dogs.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinedoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 22347 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 6):
No, the dog is not allowed to occupy a seat. It must be on the floor.

-Mir

You're correct. This is in our F/A and CS manuals as well. I wonder if this is universal and if so, how the pigs and small horses have gotten on in the past?



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineD L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11354 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 22340 times:

I don't know... it sure sounds like some journalistic elements are missing from this story.

Where do guide dogs normally sit on a Dash 8? US Airways is claiming to have been in the right:

Quote:

US Airways transports more than 80 million customers each year and ensures that all customers, including those with disabilities, are treated with dignity and respect. We're particularly sensitive to those customers who travel with service animals since we partner with Assistance Dogs International (ADI), an organization that trains and places assistance dogs around the world. US Airways employees volunteer to travel with and work with assistance dogs in training to help them prepare for travel with disabled partners. Over the past 10 years, US Airways employees have participated in transports everywhere from California to Croatia.

In this instance, Mr. Rizzi became disruptive and refused to comply with crew member instructions when the flight attendant asked him to secure his service dog at his feet. As a result of his disruptive behavior, the crew returned to the gate and removed Mr. Rizzi and his service dog from the flight. The flight eventually cancelled and we transported Mr. Rizzi, his service dog, and the rest of our passengers on the flight to ISP by bus.

We apologize to the customers of the flight for the inconvenience. We are continuing to investigate the incident.



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User currently offlinerampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3138 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 22174 times:

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 4):
ADA does not apply to airlines, that would be the ACAA, which does not trump op specs.

I stand corrected. Thanks.

-Rampart


User currently offlineTW870 From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 21890 times:
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Something doesn't add up with this story. When I was a United flight attendant, I had guide dogs on the airplane all the time. Customer service would put the passenger and the dog on a (non-exit) bulkhead, and the dog would be in the floor in front of the passenger. The only breed of guide dog I ever had was a golden retriever. A dog that big would clearly not fit under any seat in any cabin. Unless this flight attendant was brand new, they would have had a vision impaired passenger with a dog before and they would have been used to the procedure. They would also have trained on it, as we certainly did at United in the mockup. I am guessing the media coverage is missing details here.

User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21532 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 21685 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 9):
Where do guide dogs normally sit on a Dash 8? US Airways is claiming to have been in the right:

The dog should always go under the legs of the blind person. If the F/A was asking him to put his dog under the seat, it would be impossible to comply. If the man was having the dog in the aisle and refused to move it, then he is at fault because it would prevent the F/A from doing his/her job.

Wonder where the truth lies.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 21644 times:

Quoting YQBexYHZBGM (Reply 2):
I hope various disability advocacy groups and their lawyers teach the parties involved a lesson.

Do that and someone will complain that the US is too litigious.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlinesharktail From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 34 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 21130 times:

This article has more information:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/14/tr...man-us-airways-incident/index.html

Looks like the man was seated in the middle seat at the back of the plane and therefore the dog could become a projectile.

The flight attendant asked for the dog to move rather than move the man which was wrong. The dog is trained to stay with his master. So he would continue to go back. That caused the issue and and it escalated from there.

Clearly the flight attendant is at fault as well as the gate agent for not reseating the man. The dog did what he was trained to do: stay under the legs of his master. The passenger could not retrain his dog in 5 minutes.

Seems like US skipped the dash flight attendants when training FA's on handling service dogs.


User currently offlineORDTLV2414 From United States of America, joined Mar 2013, 302 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 21068 times:
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honestly those passengers make me proud to be an american. Good job guys! and is ISP-PHL mainline?

User currently offlineMesaFlyGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2012, 3133 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 17343 times:
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Quoting ORDTLV2414 (Reply 15):

"Is PHL-ISP mainline?"

HA! I wish man!   No it's all Dash 8's  



\________(---)________/ :) World's most beautiful aircraft: 757-200, MD-88/90, E-190, A321
User currently offlineYQBexYHZBGM From Canada, joined May 2009, 204 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 16271 times:

Quoting MesaFlyGuy (Reply 17):

Quoting ORDTLV2414 (Reply 15):
"Is PHL-ISP mainline?"
HA! I wish man!   No it's all Dash 8's  

It was CRJs until fairly recently, was it not? (If not the regularly-assigned aircraft, I am certain I observed a CRJ at the gate when the flight to ISP boarding in December 2012). I pay attention to these things, since ISP was my "home" airport until I moved away.
Al


User currently offlineC680 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 15835 times:

For those of you interested in the actual Federal Regulation:

§ 382.37 Seat assignments.
(a) Carriers shall not exclude any qualified individual with a disability from any seat in an exit row or other location or require that a qualified individual with a disability sit in any particular seat, on the basis of disability, except in order to comply with the requirements of an FAA safety regulation or as provided in this section.
(b) If a person's disability results in involuntary active behavior that would result in the person properly being refused transportation under § 382.31, and the safety problem could be mitigated to a degree that would permit the person to be transported consistent with safety if the person is seated in a particular location, the carrier shall offer the person that particular seat location as an alternative to being refused transportation.
(c) If a service animal cannot be accommodated at the seat location of the qualified individual with a disability whom the animal is accompanying (see § 382.55(a)(2)), the carrier shall offer the passenger the opportunity to move with the animal to a seat location, if present on the aircraft, where the animal can be accommodated, as an alternative to requiring that the animal travel with checked baggage.



My happy place is FL470 - what's yours?
User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 19, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 15582 times:
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The fact that the passengers left with the person and his dog being removed should speak volumes on how he was being treated by this crew.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 15314 times:
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Here's the article in Fox this morning.


http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/15...n-with-guide-dog-kicked-off-plane/

One of the pax was so upset about it he was ready to rent a car and drive the blind man and his dog home!



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineDL WIDGET HEAD From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2094 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13787 times:

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 24):
Quoting silentbob (Reply 16):
As I understand it, the passenger refused to move to another seat where the dog could lay under the seat and insisted that he sit in the seat at the end of the aisle where there was nowhere for the dog to legally lay. The article you linked mentions 35 passengers, the aircraft seats 37, so there was obviously an empty seat somewhere. Think about it for a minute, do you really believe that passengers wouldn't offer to change seats with him, but would offer to let his dog lay in their leg room? Especially, if swapping seats with him would give them extra leg room? Even without knowing his history, the story stinks.


Too many people believe everything they read from the media...especially the first reports which are almost universally wrong in some or many ways. Better off not giving a biased opinion until you have the real facts. This story stunk from the beginning and as usual, is biased toward the passenger who has been wronged by the horrible, evil US Airways.



It's hard to believe that the passengers en masse walked off of the aircraft in support of this man if he was the one acting like a jerk or was unreasonable. That doesn't pass the smell test. It does sound much more plausible, that these passengers knowingly inconveinenced themselves in support of this man because they felt strongly that he was mistreated by the US crew. Their actions, en masse, ring true. The US crew, in the very least, needs more training and possibly some disciplinary action.

[Edited 2013-11-15 09:00:24]

User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4058 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11314 times:

Quoting DL WIDGET HEAD (Reply 27):
The US crew, in the very least, needs more training and possibly some disciplinary action.

You don't know that.

It is entirely plausible and quite believable that the passenger group of an aircraft would "en masse" completely misunderstand the situation and band together behind whoever they perceived was being wronged. Perception however does not always reflect reality. Groups of people love to get "outraged" over things.


User currently offlineIndy From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 4567 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10960 times:

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 33):
It is entirely plausible and quite believable that the passenger group of an aircraft would "en masse" completely misunderstand the situation and band together behind whoever they perceived was being wronged.

Or it is a case of an unhappy worker with a god complex. Just think of the miserable security guards you see in businesses. They are unhappy with life, poorly paid, and given authority. It makes for a bad recipe. We could be looking at a jerk FA or a jerk passenger. Either is very possible. But the fact that the passengers were willing to risk their flight in defense of the other passenger says something. It says to me the crew was likely acting with a god complex and nobody cares for that kind of attitude. Or worse... it could have been a jerk passenger and jerk FA. Worst possible combination there. There is no way that one ends up well.



Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
User currently offlineCplKlinger From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 10840 times:

Quoting D L X (Reply 32):
For what it's worth, US Airways' statement named the guy. Sounds like they've had it with him.

Well, if US Airways chooses to relase that info, fine. However, I would say that it is not the authority of some unnamed former employee to release any more information on top of that.


25 DL WIDGET HEAD : Not likely on a small, 35 passenger aircraft. No doubt, everyone on that aircraft knew of the altercation within a few minutes. I'm sure that most of
26 Post contains images 9w748capt : SO EXCITED AA is merging with this airline!
27 D L X : Why are you more likely to believe it is a person with a god complex than the blind man being at fault?
28 DL WIDGET HEAD : After reading several articles about this incident, not one of the blind man's fellow passengers fault him or in any way insinuate that he started th
29 robsaw : All sorts of things are "plausible" but that doesn't make them probable. In the domain of reasoned speculation I am going with "The US crew, in the v
30 Post contains images MesaFlyGuy : Not for the last few years, sadly. They fly to DCA from ISP too, using CRJ-200s (and an extra flight on an ERJ in the Spring/Summer )
31 Flighty : A Dash is a much superior ride to a CRJ. It sounds like PHL ground did not set this up well. Back seat middle is not where the guy should have been.
32 eal46859 : It seems clear from the press release that the passenger became disruptive... for whatever reason.. A service animal such as a Golden Retriever would
33 D L X : Okay, I'll play. How many said it was the FA's fault? How many said it was the Captain's fault? How many said it was the Airline's fault? And finally
34 rampart : I'm told that guide dogs are specifically bred to be small for their breed for the exact purpose of fitting in tight public places like airplanes and
35 MesaFlyGuy : 4384 often goes out full (if not oversold like when I flew it last Tuesday). And I agree, the bulkhead is where he should've been. I flew in 1F last
36 DL WIDGET HEAD : You can do your own due diligence. I read 5 different articles about the same incident. I found in those articles 6 of his fellow passengers who are
37 wjcandee : One dimwit FA's "disruptive" is most people's "assertive". The fact is that in most circumstances, passengers become belligerant over stupidities and
38 JBLUA320 : Through three hour tarmac delays and other onboard issues, I have never seen a service dog get restless to the point of disruption nor have I ever kno
39 MesaFlyGuy : I never thought of it that way. Thanks for shedding some light on the situation from a professional point of view (professional as in somebody who is
40 D L X : So, you're not going to show us any of your articles that back up your claim? It would help your argument if you did. Who said anything about taking
41 mjoelnir : So you have experience with placing the blind passenger into one seat with no seat in front of him and placing the dog than with an other passenger a
42 Dash8Driver16 : As a dash 8 pilot who has repeatedly flown that same route in the same plane, that on a whole that route has the most pax issues I have experienced. I
43 ikramerica : The regulation clearly states the pax and dog be moved, they should not be separated. Not true. They are not bread with tight spaces in mind. They are
44 JBLUA320 : I actually don't even know how you extrapolated what I said to mean that at all, but I digress... It's not an argument against the blind man. If anyt
45 rampart : I don't doubt you. It's probably both. But yes, fitting in small places is relevant to the breeding and training, at least in the organization I'm fa
46 mjoelnir : Read what you have written and I have been quoting and think. My point is: when the Flight Attendant gets the start of this confrontation wrong, not
47 ikramerica : I have never heard that "fitting in small spaces" was a primary breeding concern. The hips and overall shoulder height are bred in for better gait an
48 JBLUA320 : I'm not going to argue with you, but they are absolutely relevant. Every mistake, every distraction, everything that was said is all relevant to pain
49 mjoelnir : Having done that mistake and not correcting it, the flight attendant has derailed the situation. The rest is smoke the result of a wrong situation fr
50 MSJYOP28Apilot : One thing that seems to be lost in this is that US Airways didnt operate the flight and US didnt cancel the flight. Piedmont Airlines operated the fli
51 silentbob : US has put out a much more detailed statement on their facebook page,
52 Post contains links D L X : Who is Albert Rizzi? He's an advocate for the blind. http://myblindspot.org http://myblindspot.org/tag/albert-rizzi/ http://www.gdui.org (formerly on
53 jetfuel : IMO the airline's response on Facebook is disgusting
54 reality : This is part of what is on US Facebook page... • In compliance with the Air Carriers Access Act, and the FAA, service animals must be either under t
55 jetfuel : Totally overlooking the fact that the F/A was trying to force the dog under a seat that was not near its master. Guide dogs are trained to stay with
56 PHX787 : I thought they got rid of the dashes? Either way, I think they should've reseat the guy in a seat that didn't jut out like that....it was the only sea
57 rampart : The cabin crew unknowingly walked into a mine field on this one. Or maybe they didn't if they've know the individual and already blacklisted him, in
58 Post contains images MesaFlyGuy : You of all people I would've thought knew that they hadn't! How, though? People with disabilities canot be seated in exit rows, which is what the bul
59 Post contains images PHX787 : Well theyre not in PHX and I don't follow US as much anymore since I moved to Japan The sight dog would not have been allowed in a bulkhead seat eith
60 silentbob : You're assuming the passenger was willing to move to another seat. I find it next to impossible to believe that someone was willing to let the dog ta
61 mjoelnir : If the flight attendant had been sensible, their would have not been any minefield.
62 mjoelnir : I am assuming that the passenger would have been willing to move. He sat were he was seated. You are not allowed to move from your assigned seat and
63 jetwet1 : I know what you are trying to say, but honestly, there is nothing unknowingly about it. A man arrives at the plane door with a guide dog, at that poi
64 D L X : Huh? The airline would have most of the evidence, and far more evidence than those of us on this board. The only way you can reach this conclusion is
65 mjoelnir : But I have to assume the FA can do no wrong. It is very easy, did the FA seat the blind passenger at a seat were that passenger could have his dog a
66 D L X : And which happened here? If you have a source, that would be useful. No, in every post, you have assumed that the blind man could do no wrong, which
67 mjoelnir : read the articles yourself. Do you have a source that the FA tried to move the blind passenger and he denied? Every article I have read agrees on wer
68 Post contains links and images D L X : You get a for that. If you read an article that says something that backs up your argument, you need to show us that article. "Read the articles your
69 JBLUA320 : Every article also seems to agree that the FA was trying to force the dog under a seat that didn't exist, so I'm not sure exactly what you're saying
70 Post contains images MesaFlyGuy : Because people love a good fight!
71 Post contains images johnboy : Fantastic. That makes me feel so much safer in a crisis situation.
72 Maverick623 : The "airline" didn't cancel the flight because of a passenger revolt. The flight was canceled because the flight crew refused to fly an airplane with
73 bennett123 : If the blind passenger, (and the bulk of the other passengers) were aggressive, as US seems to say, then why did they arrange alternative transport. W
74 Flighty : Those people bought a ride. US has certain flexibilities as all airlines do. Needless to say, if a Captain does not feel at ease, the flight will not
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