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WorldFlier
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:10 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:02 pm

Thank. God.

That is all.
 
enplaned
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:42 pm

AirAfreak wrote:
How do cabin crew and/or gate agents address the safety and comfort concerns onboard a full flight when a ‘Service Animal‘ of large/high-body mass is traveling? For example, a ‘Service Animal‘ in the form
of a tall Greyhound or a Labrador requires the under seat space of two assigned seats in Economy Class, but the passenger only purchased one seat. When the animal requires the under seat space of two passengers, then what happens when the flight is full? Is the passenger (and service animal) offloaded? Are there policies in place similar to passenger baggage allowances regarding the maximum dimensions allowed within the passenger cabin for service animals?

In any case, I welcome the latest improvements concerning ‘service animals onboard.’ I wish for all passengers and crew, flying onboard the domestic services within the United States, to enjoy an improved cabin environment. =)


I was once seated at a bulkhead in the window seat with a good-sized service dog lying in front of me that was working for the woman in the seat next to me. Service dog, not emotional support animal. The dog was incredibly well behaved, barely moved a muscle the entire time. It was definitely occupying some of "my" space, but due to the well-trained nature of the animal it wasn't an issue and I didn't mind at all.

I think most passengers have zero issue with a genuine service animal however large they may be - the dogs are trained to be there, to be well behaved, etc. In such a situation, the issue is more likely to be with the random passengers trying to interact with the dog, kids coming up and wanting to pet the animal, which is a definite no-no for a service dog. You show respect for such an animal and its role by not distracting it.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 9850
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:02 pm

AirAfreak wrote:
How do cabin crew and/or gate agents address the safety and comfort concerns onboard a full flight when a ‘Service Animal‘ of large/high-body mass is traveling? For example, a ‘Service Animal‘ in the form
of a tall Greyhound or a Labrador requires the under seat space of two assigned seats in Economy Class, but the passenger only purchased one seat. When the animal requires the under seat space of two passengers, then what happens when the flight is full? Is the passenger (and service animal) offloaded?


DL:

On Delta flights, service and support animals are expected to be seated in the floor space below a passenger’s seat or seated in a passenger’s lap. Service and support animals and their associated items travel for free. The size of the animal must not exceed the “footprint” of the passenger’s seat.

Items include a kennel, blanket, food or similar item


I don't dismiss your question but it's not a new problem: real service animals have been on board for decades, guided by the Air Carrier Access Act. It was the explosion of ESAs, seeking to avoid pet fees, that created the mass difficulty.

I've been the guy-adjacent, with the good-sized dog on my feet, trying to jump into my lap (but not in my face). I'm recalling a time an excited dog was accompanying a blind elderly woman. I can find patience with that - even on a three hour flight. The self-important millennial who pursues the charade just to avoid a pet fee and reservation - not so much. Sixty pound dogs as service animals with 31" seat pitch in coach - not a good idea.

If nobody has yet posted a link to the DOT's Final Rule: https://www.transportation.gov/briefing ... final-rule
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 1018
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:58 pm

enplaned wrote:
AirAfreak wrote:
How do cabin crew and/or gate agents address the safety and comfort concerns onboard a full flight when a ‘Service Animal‘ of large/high-body mass is traveling? For example, a ‘Service Animal‘ in the form
of a tall Greyhound or a Labrador requires the under seat space of two assigned seats in Economy Class, but the passenger only purchased one seat. When the animal requires the under seat space of two passengers, then what happens when the flight is full? Is the passenger (and service animal) offloaded? Are there policies in place similar to passenger baggage allowances regarding the maximum dimensions allowed within the passenger cabin for service animals?

In any case, I welcome the latest improvements concerning ‘service animals onboard.’ I wish for all passengers and crew, flying onboard the domestic services within the United States, to enjoy an improved cabin environment. =)


I was once seated at a bulkhead in the window seat with a good-sized service dog lying in front of me that was working for the woman in the seat next to me. Service dog, not emotional support animal. The dog was incredibly well behaved, barely moved a muscle the entire time. It was definitely occupying some of "my" space, but due to the well-trained nature of the animal it wasn't an issue and I didn't mind at all.

I think most passengers have zero issue with a genuine service animal however large they may be - the dogs are trained to be there, to be well behaved, etc. In such a situation, the issue is more likely to be with the random passengers trying to interact with the dog, kids coming up and wanting to pet the animal, which is a definite no-no for a service dog. You show respect for such an animal and its role by not distracting it.



Hello and thank you for sharing your experience today. Your response arose varying concerns regarding the particularities of your flight:

+ Passenger Comfort:

The type of bulkhead onboard your flight would be of particular concern regarding the limitations of your personal space against the available legroom, especially for longer flights (i.e. “fixed” full-length wall divider, adjustable cabin divider with half length soft or hard “curtain”, full-length curtain divider, etc.,). When a service animal can only position itself parallel to a “fixed” bulkhead (wall divider) situation, how does the airline enforce the size limitations of a service animal traveling in the bulkhead row? The absence of a forward under seat stowage space at the bulkhead row (in most cases) should automatically prompt the passenger (wishing to travel with a service animal) to purchase of an adjacent seat assignment at time of booking.

If applicable, were you approached by a member of the cabin crew to offer a rebooking onto a later flight, a monetary refund for the purchase of that bulkhead seat, and/or other form of “acknowledgement“ prior to the closing of the boarding door?

+ Passenger Safety:

‘Service Animals’ should be forbidden entirely at all bulkhead rows because they cannot be “stowed” during the critical stages of flight (i.e. takeoff, climb, descent, landing, etc.,) How can a passenger assume the brace position in the event of an emergency landing at the bulkhead row with the cabin divider and a larger service animal in front of the passenger’s seat space? This is another reason why carry-on items are to be stowed in the overhead compartments during the critical stages of flight. Any (well-mannered) service animal lends the potential to compromise the safety of the passenger(s) at the bulkhead row. Further, the emergency situation onboard becomes especially dangerous for the service animal because it doesn’t have the cushion of a forward seat row to minimize the effects of impact. I would hate to see a service animal suffer tremendous pain from the hard surfaces of a bulkhead divider all because its’ owner didn’t have the common sense or foresight to consider the effects of impact for an animal being slammed against a row of seats versus the entirely hard surfaces of a bulkhead wall.

At the end of the day, or this reply, I am glad you were fortunate to have that pleasant flying experience. =)
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 1018
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Fri Dec 04, 2020 8:25 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
AirAfreak wrote:
How do cabin crew and/or gate agents address the safety and comfort concerns onboard a full flight when a ‘Service Animal‘ of large/high-body mass is traveling? For example, a ‘Service Animal‘ in the form
of a tall Greyhound or a Labrador requires the under seat space of two assigned seats in Economy Class, but the passenger only purchased one seat. When the animal requires the under seat space of two passengers, then what happens when the flight is full? Is the passenger (and service animal) offloaded?


DL:

On Delta flights, service and support animals are expected to be seated in the floor space below a passenger’s seat or seated in a passenger’s lap. Service and support animals and their associated items travel for free. The size of the animal must not exceed the “footprint” of the passenger’s seat.

Items include a kennel, blanket, food or similar item


I don't dismiss your question but it's not a new problem: real service animals have been on board for decades, guided by the Air Carrier Access Act. It was the explosion of ESAs, seeking to avoid pet fees, that created the mass difficulty.

I've been the guy-adjacent, with the good-sized dog on my feet, trying to jump into my lap (but not in my face). I'm recalling a time an excited dog was accompanying a blind elderly woman. I can find patience with that - even on a three hour flight. The self-important millennial who pursues the charade just to avoid a pet fee and reservation - not so much. Sixty pound dogs as service animals with 31" seat pitch in coach - not a good idea.

If nobody has yet posted a link to the DOT's Final Rule: https://www.transportation.gov/briefing ... final-rule


I’m inclined to believe the epicenter of that explosion you mentioned lies within the City of Los Angeles. For a period of time, people kept “forgetting” to bring their ESA credentials.
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
WA707atMSP
Posts: 2056
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:16 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:35 pm

RL757PVD wrote:
davescj wrote:
RL757PVD wrote:
The airlines did this to themselves.... they want $250 RT or $375 for a 3 leg itinerary for my 9 pound dog to go under the seat in front of me. 50% of the time the seatmate had no idea there was even a dog there. If the fee was commensurate with the space and cost (i.e $25 each way), people wouldn't have abused the system.


I would guess the fees came from a few things. Number one, of course, was a revenue stream. A second reason was probably the amount of times pets had to be cleaned up after so, which created the third thing, which was high costs to discourage animals coming. But, I suspect as well, if animals died in transit, the liability went up consequently so did customer cost.


As far as a revenue stream goes, I would hazard a guess it will have a negative impact. Most of these people aren't going to pay and in fact may travel less or use other modes, not a significant amount but not the cash cow that a bunch of MBA's chained to a desk would think.

I will fully admit that while the paperwork is legit, I don't need an ESAN, but I dont have anyone to watch my dog while in temporarily relocated to MIA for work. I've flown enough to make Exec Platinum at AA this year but if they restrict or don't lower the fees, I'll be executive plastic on AA by 2022. I wont stop flying but may relocate my client assignments to allow for less travel.

$25 each way, Id have already paid it every time.


When a fake ESA harms another passenger, the airline is held criminally liable, and has to pay the passenger who was hurt. The animal's owner usually doesn't get sued for bringing an animal on board that should have been left at home. Also, the bad behavior of ESA's causes the airlines to receive negative media coverage.

Although airlines will lose a little money because some passengers might choose to fly less because they can't bring their pet on board any more, I think airlines will be better off financially, because they'll no longer have to pay for ESA related litigation.

Likewise, I think the main reason airlines charge so much for pets to go into the cargo hold is to discourage people from travelling with their pets. As others have said, it's stressful for animals to be in cargo holds, and when an animal dies in the cargo hold, the airline gets a lot of negative publicity, and has to pay the pet's owner.
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 4961
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Sun Dec 06, 2020 3:20 pm

A couple years ago on my then twice weekly grocery shopping there would be at least one dog, happily riding in a cart, usually a lot more. The state finally outlawed all ESA animals, Service dogs only. Hardly ever see a dog in a store now. What a relief, and boost for sanitation. While not allergic I don't like a pet next to me on a plane, but must note the few times there was one, owners were so appropriate it was almost not noticeable there was a dog next to me.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
WA707atMSP
Posts: 2056
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:16 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:27 am

frmrCapCadet wrote:
A couple years ago on my then twice weekly grocery shopping there would be at least one dog, happily riding in a cart, usually a lot more. The state finally outlawed all ESA animals, Service dogs only. Hardly ever see a dog in a store now. What a relief, and boost for sanitation. While not allergic I don't like a pet next to me on a plane, but must note the few times there was one, owners were so appropriate it was almost not noticeable there was a dog next to me.


A filthy dog riding in a grocery cart...how disgusting! :ill: :ill: :ill:

Hopefully, the new DoT rules will be the first step in more widespread limits on pets in public places.

Long term, though, it's inevitable that increased concern about climate change and the environment will necessitate limits on pet ownership. Academic studies say the energy required to produce the food consumed by a medium sized dog, and haul the fecal matter spewed by a medium sized dog to a landfill, is equivalent to the energy consumed by a large SUV. Large dogs like great danes and german shepherds that eat a lot, and defecate a lot, are even worse for the environment. I'm hopeful that due to environmental concerns, owning a large dog in 30 years will be as socially unacceptable as smoking tobacco is today.
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 4961
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:40 pm

Dogs and people seem to have co-evolved, I doubt nothing short of Stalin or Mao will stop people from having dogs.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
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enilria
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Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:28 pm

I think this was political timing. They knew this change would create some complaints from the handicapped, so they waited for the middle of a pandemic when it would get little notice and few are flying.
 
WA707atMSP
Posts: 2056
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:16 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:18 pm

enilria wrote:
I think this was political timing. They knew this change would create some complaints from the handicapped, so they waited for the middle of a pandemic when it would get little notice and few are flying.


Enilra, normally, you and I agree, and I really appreciate your hard work on the schedule change report every week, but I don't think this change was released now in hopes that it would "get little notice" when few people are flying.

The US DoT began asking for feedback about proposed changes to ESA rules on January 22, more than a month before the pandemic became a serious problem.

Changes to ESA rules probably would have taken place whether or not there had been a pandemic, partly because flight attendant unions were asking for changes to the rules because the unions' members were tired of being bitten by ESAs, and having to clean up the mess ESAs make in aircraft cabins.

I think the new rules are being released now for the same reason the DoT just announced a ban on cell phone conversations while aircraft are in flight: DoT employees are trying to get new rules put in place before Trump leaves office next month, so the people Biden appoints to DoT will be able to begin work without having to address unresolved ESA and cell phone rule changes.
 
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enilria
Posts: 10410
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Fri Dec 11, 2020 3:29 pm

WA707atMSP wrote:
enilria wrote:
I think this was political timing. They knew this change would create some complaints from the handicapped, so they waited for the middle of a pandemic when it would get little notice and few are flying.


Enilra, normally, you and I agree, and I really appreciate your hard work on the schedule change report every week, but I don't think this change was released now in hopes that it would "get little notice" when few people are flying.

The US DoT began asking for feedback about proposed changes to ESA rules on January 22, more than a month before the pandemic became a serious problem.

Changes to ESA rules probably would have taken place whether or not there had been a pandemic, partly because flight attendant unions were asking for changes to the rules because the unions' members were tired of being bitten by ESAs, and having to clean up the mess ESAs make in aircraft cabins.

I think the new rules are being released now for the same reason the DoT just announced a ban on cell phone conversations while aircraft are in flight: DoT employees are trying to get new rules put in place before Trump leaves office next month, so the people Biden appoints to DoT will be able to begin work without having to address unresolved ESA and cell phone rule changes.

We can disagree on the timing purpose, but it is a fact that it has gotten very little coverage compared to this topic in the past.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: DOT Revisits "Emotional Support Animal" Rules

Fri Dec 11, 2020 8:54 pm

I am glad, but on one of my last flight prior to COvId I sat next to a student with the most adorable puppy. It made the trip more enjoyable for me, but I grant that this had got out of hand.

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