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Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Fri May 19, 2017 11:58 pm

Throwing this idea out there to see if it has merit. We've all heard at one point or another how the rise of "emotional support" animals, while needed in some cases, has also made it more difficult for legitimate service animals and their owners; pets masquerading as emotional support animals are not trained, or at least not to the same standard as proper service animals, and frequently create problems in public, especially on aircraft. The fact that there's an incentive for doing so (I get to take Fluffy anywhere with me for free!) and that businesses have sprung up selling legitimate-looking badging, vests, and even doctors peddling notes after assessing a patient via telephone for a fee, exacerbates the problem greatly.

So, what if we went this route?

o Standardized, federally-issued service animal badging required for all service animals
o These could only be obtained via a prescription from a licensed physician, similar to controlled substances
o Require the badging be renewed after a set number of years, or even annually
o Make it a federal crime to knowingly provide a prescription for a service animal badge to people without a disability as codified under the ADA or ACAA
o Make it a federal crime to use false statements, badging, or other means to identify a pet or emotional support/therapy animal as a service animal

My thoughts are that this would more clearly enable businesses to identify a legitimate service animal vs.emotional support ones, allowing people to better support the needs of those customers while also being sensitive to the requests of those with emotional support/therapy animals but knowing the limitations under the law.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
ltbewr
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 12:12 am

While one could have a federal standard per the Americans With Disability Act and as to boarding aircraft, the permits and other regulations,would have to be managed by the states. This would be in line with the issuance for handicapped passes for where can park your car or that the holder is in, have similar rules as to qualifications, license time limits and requirements for regular renewal periods.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 12:16 am

I would have it so only trained service dogs count. All others, including emotional therapy pets, go in the cargo hold unless a fee is paid and they are small enough to fit in their carry bag under a seat.

I'm ok with the trained animals. Most animals fail the training and would never qualify.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
USAirALB
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 12:41 am

Those are all valid ideas-but I feel like it will NEVER fly with ADA/ACAA.

In college I worked for a certain large retail store that also happened to incorporate a restaurant. We used to require people bringing in a service animal to register it at the front of the store, and write down the type of services the animal provides. We didn't ask what type of disability the individual had, we simply wanted to know what animal did for the individual. This is allowed under ADA/ACAA. Well long story short, we received so many complaints and were "threatened" with so many lawsuits that we had to stop this practice, even though it was technically allowed. I used to hate asking people because they would immediately give me back an attitude and would become irate and hostile. We were trained to be suspicious of anyone answered the question of "What services does the animal perform" with "Service". Whenever we would push and ask for detail, 99% of the time people would scream "THAT'S ILLEGAL FOR YOU TO ASK" and walk away.

Oh, and the amount of people I would see with "service" poodles wearing a tiara in a dog bed in one of our shopping carts was too many to count.

Do other countries have this issue?
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jfkgig
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 1:04 am

Or, the airline industry can understand and accommodate the fact that a large number of their passengers find their current animal transportation offerings completely unacceptable, and develop a safe method of allowing passengers to pay to transport an animal. Most of the fake service animals are not driven by the desire for a free trip or to beat the system, but rather because people consider sticking animals in baggage to be unsafe and inhumane. Most airlines will not allow you to bring a non-service animal onboard at any price, but people who consider their pet to be part of the family will not risk the life of their dog by sticking him in baggage, anymore than they would the life of their children. Allow people to pay to bring animals onboard, or offer a better way to transport your pet below in a manner that a passenger can feel assured of seeing them alive again on the other side, and you will see a lot of the service animal abuse disappear.

And if anybody should think that this is not a real concern on the part of pet owners, they should look at the statistics. United for example, last year had 23 pet injuries, including 9 deaths for every 10,000 pets flown. This is an incredibly high number, which is nothing less than a scandal, and demonstrates that pet owners fears of putting their pets below are far from unfounded. How many seats do you reckon United would be able to sell to human passengers if their injury/death rate were even remotely similar to the number for pets?
 
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ER757
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 1:49 am

EA CO AS wrote:
Throwing this idea out there to see if it has merit. We've all heard at one point or another how the rise of "emotional support" animals, while needed in some cases, has also made it more difficult for legitimate service animals and their owners; pets masquerading as emotional support animals are not trained, or at least not to the same standard as proper service animals, and frequently create problems in public, especially on aircraft. The fact that there's an incentive for doing so (I get to take Fluffy anywhere with me for free!) and that businesses have sprung up selling legitimate-looking badging, vests, and even doctors peddling notes after assessing a patient via telephone for a fee, exacerbates the problem greatly.

So, what if we went this route?

o Standardized, federally-issued service animal badging required for all service animals
o These could only be obtained via a prescription from a licensed physician, similar to controlled substances
o Require the badging be renewed after a set number of years, or even annually
o Make it a federal crime to knowingly provide a prescription for a service animal badge to people without a disability as codified under the ADA or ACAA
o Make it a federal crime to use false statements, badging, or other means to identify a pet or emotional support/therapy animal as a service animal

My thoughts are that this would more clearly enable businesses to identify a legitimate service animal vs.emotional support ones, allowing people to better support the needs of those customers while also being sensitive to the requests of those with emotional support/therapy animals but knowing the limitations under the law.


I like where you're going with this - it is a HUGE problem in the legitimate service animal community. These so-called support animals and falsely labeled service animals give the truly gifted dogs (and other species) that perform actual, valuable, needed services for people a bad rap because the impostors mis-behave and cause people to tar them all with the same brush. Something has to be done - I see these phonies all the time at the airport and even at the local Children's Hospital when I am volunteering at these venues and it makes my blood boil. :gnasher:
 
jfkgig
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 2:08 am

ER757 wrote:
I like where you're going with this - it is a HUGE problem in the legitimate service animal community. These so-called support animals and falsely labeled service animals give the truly gifted dogs (and other species) that perform actual, valuable, needed services for people a bad rap because the impostors mis-behave and cause people to tar them all with the same brush. Something has to be done - I see these phonies all the time at the airport and even at the local Children's Hospital when I am volunteering at these venues and it makes my blood boil. :gnasher:


It is of course perfectly legitimate for service dogs to be on planes, but no less legitimate for non-disabled people to be able to travel with their pets without putting them in unreasonable danger. It should not make your "blood boil" that people are trying to keep their animals safe. Until non-disabled passengers can travel with their pets in a safe manner, these passengers with pets will do whatever is necessary to keep them out of danger -- including making them "service animals." Don't criticize people for protecting their pets.
 
n471wn
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 2:11 am

So as many of you know I am a huge SWA fan and we are getting a labradoddle puppy in Houston and we live in the SF Bay Area. So we are flying the new puppy from HOU to OAK and SWA is charging us $78 for the container and $95 to let the dog fly. However, the dog must be under the seat and it counts as one of the two carry ones. If the dog is under the seat taking NO bin space why the $95 charge?
 
alfa164
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 2:23 am

EA CO AS wrote:
Throwing this idea out there to see if it has merit. We've all heard at one point or another how the rise of "emotional support" animals, while needed in some cases, has also made it more difficult for legitimate service animals and their owners; pets masquerading as emotional support animals are not trained, or at least not to the same standard as proper service animals, and frequently create problems in public, especially on aircraft. The fact that there's an incentive for doing so (I get to take Fluffy anywhere with me for free!) and that businesses have sprung up selling legitimate-looking badging, vests, and even doctors peddling notes after assessing a patient via telephone for a fee, exacerbates the problem greatly.
So, what if we went this route?
o Standardized, federally-issued service animal badging required for all service animals
o These could only be obtained via a prescription from a licensed physician, similar to controlled substances
o Require the badging be renewed after a set number of years, or even annually
o Make it a federal crime to knowingly provide a prescription for a service animal badge to people without a disability as codified under the ADA or ACAA
o Make it a federal crime to use false statements, badging, or other means to identify a pet or emotional support/therapy animal as a service animal
My thoughts are that this would more clearly enable businesses to identify a legitimate service animal vs.emotional support ones, allowing people to better support the needs of those customers while also being sensitive to the requests of those with emotional support/therapy animals but knowing the limitations under the law.


You have my vote! And it definitely needs the enforcement provisions:

o Make it a federal crime to knowingly provide a prescription for a service animal badge to people without a disability as codified under the ADA or ACAA
o Make it a federal crime to use false statements, badging, or other means to identify a pet or emotional support/therapy animal as a service animal


All it takes is a few seconds on Google to find "doctors" offering to provide verification that someone needs an emotional support animal... without ever meeting them. As long as they have $75.00, that "medical professional" will determine that they are sick as a dog... or, perhaps more correctly, sick without their dog.... :roll:

jfkgig wrote:
And if anybody should think that this is not a real concern on the part of pet owners, they should look at the statistics. United for example, last year had 23 pet injuries, including 9 deaths for every 10,000 pets flown. This is an incredibly high number, which is nothing less than a scandal, and demonstrates that pet owners fears of putting their pets below are far from unfounded. How many seats do you reckon United would be able to sell to human passengers if their injury/death rate were even remotely similar to the number for pets?


And all because some self-absorbed individuals think Fluffy really wants to fly with them, stuffed in an under-seat carrier... or in a cargo compartment... for two...or three...or ten hours. Most people can't afford the upkeep on trophy wives (or husbands), but their trophy pets are there to show off. I wonder... do your neighbors insist on plopping down their domestic animal in your house, when they come for a visit? Leave the pet in familiar surroundings - or with someone who will care for it. Pets get injured on aircraft because airplanes are not meant for pet travel.

Leave the pet at home and get a life! (end of rant)
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 2:36 am

Multiple airlines (like the SWA example above) allow passengers to fly with their pets in the cabin with them for a extra fee. But in my experience the amount of "ESANs" (emotional support animals) out number them 10 to 1, easy.

Why pay the fee and be required to keep the animal in its carrier under the seat when you can just claim its for emotional support and fly it for free and be allowed to hold and play with the animal inflight? Honestly its sort of becoming the new normal, I'm more shocked when someone has a actual "pet" on board more so than a emotional support/service animal.

My possible solution? Do away with the pet fees and just bundle the cost into the airline ticket. Announce "and on our airline pets ride free!!" , but would need collusion among most carriers to make it work.
 
jfkgig
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 3:16 am

alfa164 wrote:

jfkgig wrote:
And if anybody should think that this is not a real concern on the part of pet owners, they should look at the statistics. United for example, last year had 23 pet injuries, including 9 deaths for every 10,000 pets flown. This is an incredibly high number, which is nothing less than a scandal, and demonstrates that pet owners fears of putting their pets below are far from unfounded. How many seats do you reckon United would be able to sell to human passengers if their injury/death rate were even remotely similar to the number for pets?


And all because some self-absorbed individuals think Fluffy really wants to fly with them, stuffed in an under-seat carrier... or in a cargo compartment... for two...or three...or ten hours. Most people can't afford the upkeep on trophy wives (or husbands), but their trophy pets are there to show off. I wonder... do your neighbors insist on plopping down their domestic animal in your house, when they come for a visit? Leave the pet in familiar surroundings - or with someone who will care for it. Pets get injured on aircraft because airplanes are not meant for pet travel.

Leave the pet at home and get a life! (end of rant)


Yes, that is rant, and rather a sociopathic one in my opinion, which seems not to be able to contemplate the lives and needs of anybody except yourself. You cooly dismiss people wanting to travel with their animals as "self-absorbed" individuals who merely think that their dog wants to travel on vacation with them. Stop for a moment and imagine that people don't all live like you, and some lead lives which require them to travel not for vacations, but because their work takes them and their families overseas for long periods of time. Do you think that these people should just abandon their pets when they move? Do you think that they should instead just grin and bear it and bear a 24 in 10,000 chance that their pet will be killed or injured, or a much larger chance that they will suffer in a freezing baggage compartment or be neglected in an airport transfer facility? You seem rather impressed with yourself to be able demonstrate such a callous disregard for these concerns of other people whom you are unable to relate to, but those who value the well being of their entire family will no doubt understand these issues.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 3:31 am

jfkgig wrote:
Do you think that these people should just abandon their pets when they move? Do you think that they should instead just grin and bear it and bear a 24 in 10,000 chance that their pet will be killed or injured, or a much larger chance that they will suffer in a freezing baggage compartment or be neglected in an airport transfer facility?


No, they shouldn't abandon them - they should have refrained from getting the animal in the first place! For years I craved for a dog or cat to keep me company, but my job was such I travelled 100-150 days a year, and changed location - including country - around every 2-3 years. It seemed utterly selfish of me to expose an animal to that kind of lifestyle, so I didn't get a cat or dog. See how that works?

I've been in aviation for too many years, and have seen way too many dogs and cats pulled off aircraft in a deceased state. I really don't give a toss for the selfish owner who insisted on taking Poodles with her to Mallorca on vacation, but I do feel for poor Poodles who died from stress whilst be locked up in a cage in a cold, noisy, vibrating environment.

It is actually incredibly rare that an animal dies because of neglect by flight crew or ground handlers. By a very large margin, the main cause of death is stress. Happens more to cats than dogs.

So stop being a selfish idiot when you decided to get a pet. If your lifestyle is such that you move quite frequently, or have a job that sees you away from home for extended periods of time, don't get an animal.

I know of no other country in the world who accepts the vomit inducing term 'emotional support animal'. Snowflake idiocy of the highest order.
From receips and radials over straight pipes to big fans - been there, done that, got the hearing defects to prove
 
jfkgig
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 3:40 am

B777LRF wrote:
jfkgig wrote:
Do you think that these people should just abandon their pets when they move? Do you think that they should instead just grin and bear it and bear a 24 in 10,000 chance that their pet will be killed or injured, or a much larger chance that they will suffer in a freezing baggage compartment or be neglected in an airport transfer facility?


No, they shouldn't abandon them - they should have refrained from getting the animal in the first place! For years I craved for a dog or cat to keep me company, but my job was such I travelled 100-150 days a year, and changed location - including country - around every 2-3 years. It seemed utterly selfish of me to expose an animal to that kind of lifestyle, so I didn't get a cat or dog. See how that works?

I've been in aviation for too many years, and have seen way too many dogs and cats pulled off aircraft in a deceased state. I really don't give a toss for the selfish owner who insisted on taking Poodles with her to Mallorca on vacation, but I do feel for poor Poodles who died from stress whilst be locked up in a cage in a cold, noisy, vibrating environment.

It is actually incredibly rare that an animal dies because of neglect by flight crew or ground handlers. By a very large margin, the main cause of death is stress. Happens more to cats than dogs.

So stop being a selfish idiot when you decided to get a pet. If your lifestyle is such that you move quite frequently, or have a job that sees you away from home for extended periods of time, don't get an animal.

I know of no other country in the world who accepts the vomit inducing term 'emotional support animal'. Snowflake idiocy of the highest order.


Opinions are like noses -- everybody has one. But you aren't entitled to make value judgments or decisions for other people. You are very entitled to live your own life the way that best suits you, and decide that you are more dedicated to your job than the love of your family. Other (in fact most) people will decide the opposite. So those who understand the grave risk of putting a pet below -- on this point alone we agree -- will continue to find a way to do so, until the airlines offer a safe and reliable service. And you may continue to deny yourself the love of a pet, and perhaps a family, so that you can pursue your career. See how that works?
 
sw733
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 3:42 am

[twoid][/twoid]
n471wn wrote:
So as many of you know I am a huge SWA fan and we are getting a labradoddle puppy in Houston and we live in the SF Bay Area. So we are flying the new puppy from HOU to OAK and SWA is charging us $78 for the container and $95 to let the dog fly. However, the dog must be under the seat and it counts as one of the two carry ones. If the dog is under the seat taking NO bin space why the $95 charge?


So maybe look at a different airline?
 
johnclipper
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 3:47 am

It's getting ridiculous to fly in the U.S. I flew from DFW to SLC and there were three "emotional support" animals on board. I am luckily not allergic to anything but people make a stink about peanut allergies. What about pet allergies? And on top of that, if you bring an animal on board you should be responsible for it the whole trip. One lady had the audacity to ask the FA to hold her dog while she used the lavatory. Again, the FA is serving customers food and drinks and now has to touch and hold a dog. Not sanitary!
"Flown every aircraft since the Wright Flyer" (guys, if you take this literally, then you need to get a life...)
 
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 4:06 am

jfkgig wrote:
It is of course perfectly legitimate for service dogs to be on planes, but no less legitimate for non-disabled people to be able to travel with their pets without putting them in unreasonable danger. It should not make your "blood boil" that people are trying to keep their animals safe. Until non-disabled passengers can travel with their pets in a safe manner, these passengers with pets will do whatever is necessary to keep them out of danger -- including making them "service animals." Don't criticize people for protecting their pets.


The problem is that these untrained, household pets, in close proximity with highly trained service animals, can be an unsafe situation. Emotional support animals that were actually just pets have, in some cases, not only kept service animals from doing their jobs by pestering them, but even attacking them, sometimes resulting in the service animal not being able to be used as a working animal anymore. That means hundreds of hours of training and tens of thousands of dollars invested wiped out in the blink of an eye, just because Fluffy decided to take a swipe at a working animal.

And that's even more unfair to those who rely on service animals daily than those who just want to take their pet on vacation with them.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
alfa164
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 4:25 am

jfkgig wrote:
But you aren't entitled to make value judgments or decisions for other people. You are very entitled to live your own life the way that best suits you, and decide that you are more dedicated to your job than the love of your family.


The rest of us should also be able to live our lives minus having these substitute security blankets imposed upon us, and we should be allowed to travel, inside the confines of a slim metal tube, at 500 miles per hour, with having someone with an insatiable desire for approval from a four-legged animal imposing that beastie upon us. Talk about selfish... what about having respect for the other passengers, who don't enjoy yapping, whining, often-smelly mutts. How about those passengers with pet allergies? Someone fear of animals? You are making a decision for them that ranges from making them uncomfortable... to putting them in real danger.

jfkgig wrote:
[You seem rather impressed with yourself to be able demonstrate such a callous disregard for these concerns of other people whom you are unable to relate to, but those who value the well being of their entire family will no doubt understand these issues.


If you "family" consists of something other than a two-legged mammal... somewhere in the bloodline, someone did something really, really bad...
 
jfkgig
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 4:27 am

EA CO AS wrote:
jfkgig wrote:
It is of course perfectly legitimate for service dogs to be on planes, but no less legitimate for non-disabled people to be able to travel with their pets without putting them in unreasonable danger. It should not make your "blood boil" that people are trying to keep their animals safe. Until non-disabled passengers can travel with their pets in a safe manner, these passengers with pets will do whatever is necessary to keep them out of danger -- including making them "service animals." Don't criticize people for protecting their pets.


The problem is that these untrained, household pets, in close proximity with highly trained service animals, can be an unsafe situation. Emotional support animals that were actually just pets have, in some cases, not only kept service animals from doing their jobs by pestering them, but even attacking them, sometimes resulting in the service animal not being able to be used as a working animal anymore. That means hundreds of hours of training and tens of thousands of dollars invested wiped out in the blink of an eye, just because Fluffy decided to take a swipe at a working animal.

And that's even more unfair to those who rely on service animals daily than those who just want to take their pet on vacation with them.


I guess we can all speculate about what might happen, but can you cite a single instance of a non-service animal interfering with a service animal on a plane? We can all agree that many "service animals" are charades, so there are many of these untrained animals that might potentially do as you are concerned they might. Putting to one side the fact that this has never happened, it is equally true that a child might bother a service animal. Do you think the potential for that happening is a reason to ban children from aircraft? The biggest potential for problems on board aircraft will always be people -- and not animals -- so positing some speculative problem that might occur if we were to allow animals on planes seems to me just an ad hoc rationalization for forbidding them, but not a well founded reason.

As an aside, you and several commenters choose to refer to pets as "fluffy." You might think this is witty, but to me it is simply a slur which betrays your inability to relate to those who love and value their animals as family. Until you get that, and are able to relate on that basic level, you will not be able to understand what drives the fake service animal trend, much less find a solution which works for everybody.
 
jfkgig
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 4:36 am

alfa164 wrote:
jfkgig wrote:
But you aren't entitled to make value judgments or decisions for other people. You are very entitled to live your own life the way that best suits you, and decide that you are more dedicated to your job than the love of your family.


The rest of us should also be able to live our lives minus having these substitute security blankets imposed upon us, and we should be allowed to travel, inside the confines of a slim metal tube, at 500 miles per hour, with having someone with an insatiable desire for approval from a four-legged animal imposing that beastie upon us. Talk about selfish... what about having respect for the other passengers, who don't enjoy yapping, whining, often-smelly mutts. How about those passengers with pet allergies? Someone fear of animals? You are making a decision for them that ranges from making them uncomfortable... to putting them in real danger.

jfkgig wrote:
[You seem rather impressed with yourself to be able demonstrate such a callous disregard for these concerns of other people whom you are unable to relate to, but those who value the well being of their entire family will no doubt understand these issues.


If you "family" consists of something other than a two-legged mammal... somewhere in the bloodline, someone did something really, really bad...


Actually, unless and until you can afford to fly private, than you are in the same situation as the rest of us who must learn to tolerate those around us, without regard to what our preferences would be.

You show a rather remarkable narrow mindedness for what should properly constitute "family" for other people. Fortunately, most of the world has made great strides in being able to understand that there is no single acceptable conception of family. You apparently have been left behind in this regard, but thankfully most of the world is more broad minded -- and getting more so all the time. My own family has found great joy and love in having a pet, which I think has taught my children important values which has led them to lead more fulfilling lives. I think that every family should have the same opportunity, and its a pity for you that your own experiences (or lack of them) make it impossible for you to relate.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 4:36 am

Ok heres some info most do not know. People with PTSD & ADHD dogs are not emotional support animals. They provide a service. That service being Whe a panic attack is coming on or the ADHD patient starts to get confused or upset the animal bumps into them or gets the attention drawn to them.This allows them to think about something different and halt or slow down the episode. So like regular service dogs or "Miniature Ponies" they provide a service. Only Dogs & Miniature ponies are covered under the ADA. If you go to ADA.gov there is a fact sheet that fully note that emotional support animals are not covered under the ADA and do not have to be allowed into businesses.
Emotional Support animals are for people that are home bound to prevent depression from being alone part of the day or all day. They are meant for home when others are not there, not to take shopping.
Also people that say they have 2 or 3 or 4 service animals do not as only 1 service animal gets approved per person. People that need service animals are also not the ones that train them.
So no emotional support animals should not be required on flights outside of small cages under seat or in the cargo hold.
Don't even get me started on the guy in Washington state that sued because a McDonalds and a food store would not let him shop with his "service snake." He had a heart condition and claimed when he needed meds the snake would sense it and squeeze him to let him know.

We need to stop the I need to take my pet everywhere with me. Pets are not a KID. Kids are cheaper to raise, Ask my dad!

Official Government Docs on ADA: https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.pdf
Note the Airlines have a different version of ADA for them to follow.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 4:45 am

jfkgig wrote:
alfa164 wrote:

jfkgig wrote:
And if anybody should think that this is not a real concern on the part of pet owners, they should look at the statistics. United for example, last year had 23 pet injuries, including 9 deaths for every 10,000 pets flown. This is an incredibly high number, which is nothing less than a scandal, and demonstrates that pet owners fears of putting their pets below are far from unfounded. How many seats do you reckon United would be able to sell to human passengers if their injury/death rate were even remotely similar to the number for pets?


And all because some self-absorbed individuals think Fluffy really wants to fly with them, stuffed in an under-seat carrier... or in a cargo compartment... for two...or three...or ten hours. Most people can't afford the upkeep on trophy wives (or husbands), but their trophy pets are there to show off. I wonder... do your neighbors insist on plopping down their domestic animal in your house, when they come for a visit? Leave the pet in familiar surroundings - or with someone who will care for it. Pets get injured on aircraft because airplanes are not meant for pet travel.

Leave the pet at home and get a life! (end of rant)


Yes, that is rant, and rather a sociopathic one in my opinion, which seems not to be able to contemplate the lives and needs of anybody except yourself. You cooly dismiss people wanting to travel with their animals as "self-absorbed" individuals who merely think that their dog wants to travel on vacation with them. Stop for a moment and imagine that people don't all live like you, and some lead lives which require them to travel not for vacations, but because their work takes them and their families overseas for long periods of time. Do you think that these people should just abandon their pets when they move? Do you think that they should instead just grin and bear it and bear a 24 in 10,000 chance that their pet will be killed or injured, or a much larger chance that they will suffer in a freezing baggage compartment or be neglected in an airport transfer facility? You seem rather impressed with yourself to be able demonstrate such a callous disregard for these concerns of other people whom you are unable to relate to, but those who value the well being of their entire family will no doubt understand these issues.


Do they have baggage compartments that are no climate controlled on any commercial jets? The airlines that do not or don't have jets and do not have climate control do not carry pets unless they fit under the seat. In Arizona most airline will not carry pets as cargo in the summer as the cage will sit on the tarmac in the heat for to long to be safe.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 4:46 am

jfkgig wrote:
I guess we can all speculate about what might happen, but can you cite a single instance of a non-service animal interfering with a service animal on a plane?


As part of my duties involve being a trained and certified Air Carrier Access Act Complaint Resolution Official (CRO) under 14 CFR 382 for my company, I can think of many situations, both on and off the aircraft, where this has occurred. It would be inappropriate for me to discuss the particulars, of course, but I can assure you this is a very real problem.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
grbauc
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 5:05 am

Who really cares what people bring. Regulate regulate regulate..
 
rbavfan
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 5:14 am

I wish they had a federal Card to show that its a certified, service animal trained at a licensed facility. Don't give me the it would be a burden on the disabled. They have to have to show ID to get the dog in the first place. The burden would be to all the people cheating and claiming it's a service animal when it is not. Those are the ones that will be screaming "Protect the disabled". Some of the same ones that say it's a burden on the elderly, disabled and low income to who an ID to vote. Hello They already have to have that ID for Medicare or MediCaid. So how is having it with you when you vote a burden?
 
johnclipper
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 5:14 am

What's funny is that this is an "American" thing (hopefully staying there) and not a "worldwide" thing. Even those in ultra-liberal Europe or Australia are laughing at us.
"Flown every aircraft since the Wright Flyer" (guys, if you take this literally, then you need to get a life...)
 
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Blimpie
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 9:59 am

Last month on my AA flight, the owner of a so-call service animal fell asleep, his Shitzu decided to wonder from Y to J, piss on the door and then nip/bite the FA.

So, leave Fiffy at home, a kennel or at the very least leave him in an effing carrier.

It's almost as bad as my neighbor down the street with a bull terrier who claims he needs a surport animal as a veteran of the cola wars back in the 80's.

I too am so sick of the American sense of self entitlement, that rules and regs don't apply to them and milk the system.
Real men fly without wings!
 
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Blimpie
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 10:01 am

grbauc wrote:
Who really cares what people bring. Regulate regulate regulate..


Because people get bit, people have allergies, there are few provisions on AC to accommodate animals deficating, animals bark... whereas service animals are trained
Real men fly without wings!
 
crownvic
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 12:43 pm

Very simple solution.. If someone requires an emotional support animal to fly, then that person should stay off any airplane and stay home.. Case closed.. No rebuttals , no exceptions... Stay home weirdos
 
crownvic
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 12:46 pm

Oh, if they have to fly there are plenty of stuffed animals they can hug and squeeze to get them through their ordeal
 
rnav2dlrey
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 1:27 pm

jfkgig wrote:
And if anybody should think that this is not a real concern on the part of pet owners, they should look at the statistics. United for example, last year had 23 pet injuries, including 9 deaths for every 10,000 pets flown. This is an incredibly high number, which is nothing less than a scandal, and demonstrates that pet owners fears of putting their pets below are far from unfounded. How many seats do you reckon United would be able to sell to human passengers if their injury/death rate were even remotely similar to the number for pets?


i disagree with your emotional-based arguments, but i'll also challenge your purported statistical argument. UA's pet injury/death rate is not an "incredibly high" figure, no matter how dramatic that sounds in your head.

i'm fairly certain i know of the DOT report those numbers are from. although UA bashing is en vogue, which carrier in that report has the longest average stage length? that's right, UA.

the HA numbers, at face, seem more troubling - but then you have to consider the conditions they operate in, along with their network.

these threads always get ugly really quickly, which is part of the reason i doubt we'll see any solutions to the issue. this will be my one and only post in this thread, as it's certain to devolve into the exact bickering match that the OP didn't intend.

the "but muh freedom" crowd will once again get their way over more rational people. also consider the population of a.net posters - we're going to be significantly more aligned with the "anti" (for lack of a better term) side. it's a similar fracture to the way the general public gets outraged at the recent social media-driven incidents, but our backgrounds in the industry allow us to parse the situations with actual facts. kettle flyers of the general population sitting to our left and right are a lot less likely to appreciate anything other than their need to get from A to B the way they see fit - all while documenting their 'horrible' experience on facebook.
 
commpilot
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 2:01 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
Multiple airlines (like the SWA example above) allow passengers to fly with their pets in the cabin with them for a extra fee. But in my experience the amount of "ESANs" (emotional support animals) out number them 10 to 1, easy.

Why pay the fee and be required to keep the animal in its carrier under the seat when you can just claim its for emotional support and fly it for free and be allowed to hold and play with the animal inflight? Honestly its sort of becoming the new normal, I'm more shocked when someone has a actual "pet" on board more so than a emotional support/service animal.

My possible solution? Do away with the pet fees and just bundle the cost into the airline ticket. Announce "and on our airline pets ride free!!" , but would need collusion among most carriers to make it work.



Airlines charge pet fees because it is a private company who can controls what gets on the plane and what doesn't.

Also your statement of "just claim its for emotional support" really shows you haven't bothered to read the law or even understand what is required per federal law in the USA. Anyone who is claiming the need for an emotional support animal for any reason, on board or at their final destination, must provide a physical letter, on the letterhead, from their treating doctor stating that they the person is under treatment and is basically being prescribed the animal. That's is the Air Carrier Access Act, not the airline's rules. So the real problem is with doctors (includes mental health professionals) who may be wrongfully writing letters just to appease their patients. I have personally seem emotional support animals go from being vary rare to almost a daily thing so it does raise questions when things don't seem right but by law nothing can be done if all the qualifiers are there. For animals being claimed as service animals the Air Carrier Access Act clearly outlines the phrase: "What service does this animal provide you?" Which is all the airlines can ask and then make a judgement call based on the animal's behavior if the passenger is telling the truth.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 2:38 pm

In this country where its ridiculously easy to get prescribed and then addicted to heavy opiates, thinking even for a second a "letter" from a health/mental health care professional is going to be some barrier of entry to get all your animals labeled ESANs is naive to say the least.

At this point, anyone paying the pet fee is viewed as a sucker paying an unnecessary fee. Oh, also many carriers limit the number of "pets" that can travel in the cabin per flight, so telling your Dr. you are a nervous flyer and need fido in your lap has the additional benefit of ensuring you can always catch any flight with your dog.

There are just too many incentives to not do it, and low and behold most are doing it.

There maybe one thing that will lead to a crackdown on this, and thats the day terrorists bring a group of specially trained attacked dogs on a flight with them to cause havoc. Taking advantage of our foolishness is something they like doing. Silly? So are underwear and shoe bombs. (and laptops).
 
dmg626
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 3:40 pm

n471wn wrote:
So as many of you know I am a huge SWA fan and we are getting a labradoddle puppy in Houston and we live in the SF Bay Area. So we are flying the new puppy from HOU to OAK and SWA is charging us $78 for the container and $95 to let the dog fly. However, the dog must be under the seat and it counts as one of the two carry ones. If the dog is under the seat taking NO bin space why the $95 charge?



Cant you find a mixed breed dog closer to your home?
 
Okie
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 3:51 pm

OMG I am in serious emotional stress because I am afraid that the vicious Emotional Support Animal that another passenger has is going to attack me and bite me. :hissyfit:
Can I sue the airline now? :sarcastic:


Okie
 
sldispatcher
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 6:43 pm

Here's a solution: LEAVE THE PET AT HOME!

Where does it end? That's the problem with these SJW efforts on the permanently offended class. You make it where you have to have the dog, what about the boa constrictor? The horse? For 40 years, I have seen people fly without needing these dumb pets on the plane. Heck, even the smokers have to do without.

I'm offended because I can't get honey roasted peanuts anymore. I'm offended because of leg room issues. I'm offended with seat cushion disappearing. I'm offended by screaming kids on the plane. I'm offended because the a/c isn't turned down enough. On and on and on.

No matter what you say, you cannot appease the pet owners. I had a huge poodle plopped down in the bulkhead and the person was not blind. They DO NOT NEED the dog on the plane. And before you start, yes, I'm a physician and can't think of a SINGLE reason that someone, with a companion, needs a dog onboard the plane. Period.

They should be in the cargo hold or shipped by separate means. Period. It worked for decades.

Again, if the animal (and they are not human)
 
dc9northwest
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 10:12 pm

I suggest the emotional service animal can travel in the cabin, whereas the passenger has to travel tranquilized in the hold.

You solve 2 complaints at once:

1) people who can't stand others' pets... err, sorry, emotional support pets.
2) F/As and Gate Agents bitching about having to deal with the public after getting a job that involves dealing with the public
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2262
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 10:13 pm

Okie wrote:
OMG I am in serious emotional stress because I am afraid that the vicious Emotional Support Animal that another passenger has is going to attack me and bite me. :hissyfit:
Can I sue the airline now? :sarcastic:


Okie


I suggest you get an emotional support snake. I hear the trouser species is particularly good for it.
 
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ER757
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 20, 2017 11:41 pm

jfkgig wrote:
ER757 wrote:
I like where you're going with this - it is a HUGE problem in the legitimate service animal community. These so-called support animals and falsely labeled service animals give the truly gifted dogs (and other species) that perform actual, valuable, needed services for people a bad rap because the impostors mis-behave and cause people to tar them all with the same brush. Something has to be done - I see these phonies all the time at the airport and even at the local Children's Hospital when I am volunteering at these venues and it makes my blood boil. :gnasher:


It is of course perfectly legitimate for service dogs to be on planes, but no less legitimate for non-disabled people to be able to travel with their pets without putting them in unreasonable danger. It should not make your "blood boil" that people are trying to keep their animals safe. Until non-disabled passengers can travel with their pets in a safe manner, these passengers with pets will do whatever is necessary to keep them out of danger -- including making them "service animals." Don't criticize people for protecting their pets.

I am going to have to disagree with your premise, I cannot go along with your idea that people falsify their needs and/or animal's abilities so that they can ride along with Mom or Dad in the cabin. Sorry - if you are not truly in need of a service animal and your animal is not legit and you are concerned bad things will happen if they go under the floor, then don't take them on the trip, period. We clearly are not on the same page here and never will be, so let's just move on.
 
Okie
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sun May 21, 2017 3:21 am

dc9northwest wrote:
I suggest you get an emotional support snake


I am going nuclear.

Bringing an Emotional Support Alligator. :yes:
That should clear a path.


Okie
 
jfkgig
Posts: 197
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Sat May 27, 2017 2:23 pm

ER757 wrote:
jfkgig wrote:
ER757 wrote:
I like where you're going with this - it is a HUGE problem in the legitimate service animal community. These so-called support animals and falsely labeled service animals give the truly gifted dogs (and other species) that perform actual, valuable, needed services for people a bad rap because the impostors mis-behave and cause people to tar them all with the same brush. Something has to be done - I see these phonies all the time at the airport and even at the local Children's Hospital when I am volunteering at these venues and it makes my blood boil. :gnasher:


It is of course perfectly legitimate for service dogs to be on planes, but no less legitimate for non-disabled people to be able to travel with their pets without putting them in unreasonable danger. It should not make your "blood boil" that people are trying to keep their animals safe. Until non-disabled passengers can travel with their pets in a safe manner, these passengers with pets will do whatever is necessary to keep them out of danger -- including making them "service animals." Don't criticize people for protecting their pets.

I am going to have to disagree with your premise, I cannot go along with your idea that people falsify their needs and/or animal's abilities so that they can ride along with Mom or Dad in the cabin. Sorry - if you are not truly in need of a service animal and your animal is not legit and you are concerned bad things will happen if they go under the floor, then don't take them on the trip, period. We clearly are not on the same page here and never will be, so let's just move on.


This has nothing to do with your personal feelings on the subject. I am not arguing from an emotional level, but from a factual one. People sometimes need to travel with their animals, and there is no legitimate path for them to do so. It has nothing to do with you, I, or anybody thinks its a good, correct, or morally horrible idea, but when people are denied of any legitimate path to accomplishing what they consider to be the basic needs of their families, they will find alternate paths, as they have done and will continue to do. Until a legitimate path is made for them to accomplish safely moving their pets from one place to another, they will continue to use the service animal route for doing so. We can condemn them, but that won't begin to change things.
 
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AirAfreak
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Re: Potential "emotional support" v. service animal solution

Mon May 29, 2017 3:34 am

I get the idea of wanting to protect Snoopy and Hello Kitty and Teddy Ruxpin from accidental harm, however airlines should allow pets of smaller size free-of-charge to avoid these "emotional-support" liars. I get people have PTSD (my dad has it) so I am in favor of a government-regulated care program for people that really need an emotional-support animal as opposed to the people that abuse this system just because they are simply "needy" or whatever.

If airlines can offer free flights to infants under the age of two such as an "infant-in-arms" passenger, then why charge small pets in the cabin that can fit under the seat in front? I'm sure the extra fee is a deterrent for some.

Personally, I don't care if pets sit in the cabin as long as they are well-groomed, take minimal space, and exercise self-control with bowel movements. Children with lice on an airplane bother me. Yes, children do get lice; well, the dirty ones anyway, because the parents don't wash their hair properly.

Anyway, living in Los Angeles for nearly 18 years, I am skeptical of these fake and phony trends such as the cute little emotional-support animal to decorate your Louis Vuitton handbag, cold-pressed juices on every block because Tropicana isn't good enough, and gluten-free diets because one simply is trying to eliminate carbs from their daily diet to lose weight. Even those trendy hipsters are ruining the prices of cauliflower right now making the prices more expensive at the grocery stores with this new cauliflower trend in restaurants. First the avocados go up and now the cauliflower but, I digress.

Life is so different now than it was in the 80's. But then again, we live in a very different world filled with GMO's and Yelp so I guess these special needs are all psychological, yet plausible. Rant over.
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