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MIflyer12
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Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:13 pm

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/29/busi ... e=Homepage

The airline, acting in the wake of new federal guidelines aimed at reining in a range of at times exotic animals that passengers have brought onto commercial planes as emotional support animals, kept it simple in announcing on Tuesday what it would allow: only qualified service dogs that are able to lie on the floor or be held in one’s lap.

The airline said that starting Jan. 11, it would permit only service dogs that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.

A Dec. 2 ruling from the U.S. Department of Transportation that amended the department’s Air Carrier Access Act grants airlines the authority to classify emotional support animals as pets rather than service animals. Under the ruling, only dogs that meet specific training criteria are allowed as service animals for people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual or other mental disabilities.

The Americans With Disabilities Act defines dogs and miniature horses as service animals “that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” Under the act, dogs that provide only emotional support are not designated as service animals.



Yes, the article has a reference to the attempt to bring on board a peacock. I expect this move by AS will provide cover for other carriers who will follow along quickly.
Last edited by qf789 on Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Updated title for clarity
 
bennett123
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:20 pm

Miniature Horses?.

Outbreak of sizeism!!.
 
crownvic
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:49 pm

Kudos to Alaska Airlines..I see toy stuffed animal sales increasing dramatically! I hope all other airlines follow this policy too..
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:16 pm

What about a python snake?
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:07 pm

B6 planning this too. You can expect all other airlines to follow. No ESANs at all anymore. People who really need them can blame the 99.9 percent of all others who just abused the system.
 
nine4nine
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:31 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
B6 planning this too. You can expect all other airlines to follow. No ESANs at all anymore. People who really need them can blame the 99.9 percent of all others who just abused the system.



Thank goodness. It was all mostly entitled people with ESA’s with certificates purchased off the internet who just wanted to bring their house pets along for the trip. I’ve had dogs barking the entire flight, I’ve seen a dog nip at another passenger, and seen a large dog diarrhea in the aisle that we had to endure the smell of for 3 hours. Service dogs only, about time!
 
estorilm
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:47 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
B6 planning this too. You can expect all other airlines to follow. No ESANs at all anymore. People who really need them can blame the 99.9 percent of all others who just abused the system.

It is true, but you have to feel for some of these people - as someone who has trained a cardiac alert dog from a puppy for a significant other, who goes everywhere with her... this is tough. On the other hand, I understand the industry and the absolute absurd abuse of the system. I mean you can buy "kits" on amazon to make your obnoxious untrained f'ing chihuahua an ESAN... come on, you're traveling. Yes do you miss your bed? Sure. Do you need to lug it onboard with you to feel safe? NO! Same with most pets.

True service dogs are a completely different issue, but will be thrown into the same mix with these regulations.

I do hope these airlines still adhere to (and respect) the ADA regulations and anonymity laws which are still in place though. Sadly - such (open-ended) laws are exactly what created this issue in the first place.

TRUE REGULATION and training mandates, tests, and licencing of actual ESAN / service animals is something that congress has been slacking on for DECADES.

All you need is to make it a TINY bit more complicated for people, and they'll fail even the most basic requirements. This could be a test administered by any approved AKC rep or instructor, just like puppy S.T.A.R. or their Canine Good Citizen tests. NONE OF THESE dogs would pass the test... in my experience they're the most obnoxious untrained foofoo purse rats I've ever seen.

Sorry for the rant, but as someone who actually works with well-trained animals, this drives me MAD.
 
HNLSLCPDX
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:59 pm

Good! Hopefully all the other U.S. airlines follow their lead. There is no need for emotional support animals anymore. It’s just playing into the snowflake culture and allowing people to feel entitled and wrongly special. I’m all for trained service animals for people with legitimate disabilities and special needs.
 
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TheZ
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:01 pm

Good riddance, it's turned airports and planes into a zoo the past few years. Last time I was at DEN someone's poodle was just went to the bathroom all over the carpet and they owner kept going, I felt bad for the cleaning staff.
 
Miamiairport
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:24 pm

The operable word is "emotional." If people can't get through the day for one second without Fluffy or Fido stay home. True support animals, yes, immature adults that want to be indulged, no.
 
MIflyer12
Topic Author
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:43 pm

estorilm wrote:
TRUE REGULATION and training mandates, tests, and licencing of actual ESAN / service animals is something that congress has been slacking on for DECADES.

All you need is to make it a TINY bit more complicated for people, and they'll fail even the most basic requirements.


That's the point of AS' requirements under the new DOT regulations this month: trained...service...dogs.

The final rule:

Defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability;
No longer considers an emotional support animal to be a service animal;


https://www.transportation.gov/briefing ... ce-animals

AS may be the first carrier to author new rules under DOT's more restrictive definitions. (B6 may be having discussions but I don't find a published rule for customers.)
 
jetwet1
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:46 pm

I guess it needs to be pointed out that airlines are not governed by the ADA, they are covered by the ACAA.

But in any case, it's a good move.
 
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75driver
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:55 pm

Thank god! The people that abused this “privilege” were annoying and belligerent. Some of the crap they tried to pawn off as some kind of support beast was absurd. Good riddance.
 
Jet-lagged
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:05 pm

Good for them and I hope other airlines quickly follow suit. People have been abusing the policy for years.

I know a fellow, nice guy, who got a new dog. When he and his wife travelled somewhere they got a vet to certify it as an emotional support animal, even though that was clearly BS, in order to save money taking it with them.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:15 pm

bennett123 wrote:
Miniature Horses?.

Outbreak of sizeism!!.

I wrote an ADA compliance plan for a public space awhile back, and this one stopped me cold. Just how big are they?

Turns out they are actually about the size of a large dog. They are useful for people who are allergic to dogs but still need service animals smart enough to serve.
 
nws2002
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:12 pm

Looks like G4 is also changing their policies.

https://www.allegiantair.com/passengers-special-needs
"Effective January 11, 2021, the Department of Transportation will no longer require air carriers accept the transport of Emotional Support Animals. Allegiant will no longer accept reservations which include Emotional Support Animals as of January 11, 2021. Passengers with a current reservation will be able to continue travel with their Emotional Support Animal until May 1, 2021. If you have a reservation which includes an Emotional Support Animal after May 1, 2021, please refer to our website under Travel Info/FAQs for Traveling with Pets, or contact us via email or call our Customer Care Team for options."
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:53 pm

This is a great move and hopefully, the rest of the industry will follow suit. It got beyond ridiculous. If you must travel with a peacock, tarantula, snake, etc...you don't belong in an airplane.
 
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ER757
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:21 pm

It's about time!
Estorilm - I am pretty sure what you have there is a service animal, not an ESA so if you file the proper paperwork there should be no issue bringing it on board
 
estorilm
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:57 pm

ER757 wrote:
It's about time!
Estorilm - I am pretty sure what you have there is a service animal, not an ESA so if you file the proper paperwork there should be no issue bringing it on board

Oh yeah there was never any issue with him or other dogs performing similar tasks - but being grouped together with them IS a massive issue, not just in the airline industry but out in public in general. People just need to stop with the ESA crap, period.
 
seat1a
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:45 pm

What will that passenger with the peacock do now? Fly Cubana?

Now if grocery stores, drugstores, and coffee houses will impose this ban, too, the better. Am I just cruel and cold when I see a person at the Thriftway with a dog on a leash or in their arms while they go through the fruit and stand their bewildered how they can't make it through a 10 or 20 minute grocery trip without their pet?!?
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:49 pm

seat1a wrote:
What will that passenger with the peacock do now? Fly Cubana?

Now if grocery stores, drugstores, and coffee houses will impose this ban, too, the better. Am I just cruel and cold when I see a person at the Thriftway with a dog on a leash or in their arms while they go through the fruit and stand their bewildered how they can't make it through a 10 or 20 minute grocery trip without their pet?!?

Honestly, I've never seen any pets in grocery stores or drugstores; only a few times in restaurants, but those were (at least identified as) genuine service dogs.
I get that flying can be stressful on some; but, if you need your pocket pet for that, then drive, take the train or the bus.
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:51 pm

The problem is not emotional support animals. A well trained ESA is essential to *some* people being able to function well in society. The problem is with people who use ESA exemptions for their ill-behaved and untrained pets. The Venn-diagram of people who think their pets are too precious for normal rules and those who train their pets to be in public has minimal overlap.

That does not mean there is not an important role for true, trained ESAs along with service animals.
 
2175301
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:37 am

NameOmitted wrote:
bennett123 wrote:
Miniature Horses?.

Outbreak of sizeism!!.

I wrote an ADA compliance plan for a public space awhile back, and this one stopped me cold. Just how big are they?

Turns out they are actually about the size of a large dog. They are useful for people who are allergic to dogs but still need service animals smart enough to serve.


Miniature Horses also live far longer and last about 20 years as as "service animal" where most "Service Dogs" only last about 5 years before they have to be replaced.

Miniature Horses are vastly more expensive than dogs as well which is why they are so rare. I've actually seen one that was a service animal.

Have a great day,
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:16 am

I’d suggest changing the title of the thread to “prohibits” instead of “limits.”
 
MIflyer12
Topic Author
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:05 am

EA CO AS wrote:
I’d suggest changing the title of the thread to “prohibits” instead of “limits.”


That's a bit of a subjective choice. Psychiatric service animals are still required by DOT regs.
 
XT6Wagon
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:47 am

Well, there goes my plan to fly with an emotional support Liger.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 4:05 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
EA CO AS wrote:
I’d suggest changing the title of the thread to “prohibits” instead of “limits.”


That's a bit of a subjective choice. Psychiatric service animals are still required by DOT regs.


That’s a legitimate service animal though, not emotional support, and guests with psychiatric service animals will have to fill out a DOT form attesting that it’s a trained service animal and will note that it’s a federal crime to knowingly and willfully misrepresent facts to secure disability accommodations. And airlines can and will report incidents of fraud to the government.
 
Speedy752
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:33 am

estorilm wrote:
ER757 wrote:
It's about time!
Estorilm - I am pretty sure what you have there is a service animal, not an ESA so if you file the proper paperwork there should be no issue bringing it on board

Oh yeah there was never any issue with him or other dogs performing similar tasks - but being grouped together with them IS a massive issue, not just in the airline industry but out in public in general. People just need to stop with the ESA crap, period.

Most of the flyers I’ve talked to are just as annoyed and recognize the clear delineation of an ESA vs a service animal, including a legitimate medically necessary psychiatric/PTSD required one who will also be trained and certified as such. It was only entitled people who thought they were fooling anyone. Most of the public by now can probably spot the difference between well trained service animals and ESAs that bark, run, poop and shed everywhere. It’s about time this was done.
 
JayWings
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Re: Alaska Airlines limits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:11 am

I know that this will negatively impact a small group of people who truly need their animal as a support through the experience of traveling... but after dealing with so many untrained, misrepresented service animals on planes I am thrilled at this news!
 
TravelsUK
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:14 pm

I find it interesting that here in Europe we never have these kind of issues as 'emotional support animals' are not a concept here, yes trained guide dogs etc. are rightly accommodated by airlines at no charge. Pets go in the hold, suitably caged, having paid the appropriate fee. Simple!
 
WrldTravlr65
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:38 pm

TravelsUK wrote:
I find it interesting that here in Europe we never have these kind of issues as 'emotional support animals' are not a concept here, yes trained guide dogs etc. are rightly accommodated by airlines at no charge. Pets go in the hold, suitably caged, having paid the appropriate fee. Simple!


I wonder if this same question can be connected to an observation my friend and I had while traveling through Asia a couple of years ago.

We took some time to visit the Disney theme parks while there (Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai) and the one thing that stood out was how few wheelchairs there were. And even a smaller amount of strollers than we were used to seeing at the US parks. We'd see little tackers walking along, holding their parent's hand at 8:00 p.m. Here in the States kids would be getting sour-faced by 10:00 a.m. if they didn't have access to a stroller, and some tech device in their hands to play with. As if being at Disneyland isn't enough fun. Add to that getting slammed in the ankles by scooters driven by guests who couldn't have seemed to care less.

I just fear, to borrow the term of another poster on the site here, the USA has become a "snowflake" society. There is always someone who needs to have "something" to keep them calm. And a whole bunch of proponents and "professionals" who back it up.

'Oh yes, statistics tell us that the ability to carry one's Ming vase on board an aircraft has done wonders for their socio-emotional health.'

Service animals, of course, we understand.

But this other thing has just gotten out of hand.
 
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LostLuggage
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:25 pm

So these new policies of service dogs only; how will it be implemented?

Even members of my own family Stateside have bought their pets a registration on various "US Registry of Service Animals" online databases. You get a fake little card for an extra $30 and everything!

How do the airlines distinguish what is a genuine service animal vs one of these phoney certificates? Is there a legitimate registry/identification for them? The folks I know used to just say their dog could detect certain nuts the owners are (weren't actually) allergic to, but required no further evidence to bring them aboard. I don't know if in that situation, the airline was classing them as emotional support or service animals.
 
EAARbrat
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:38 pm

Thank goodness I have the ability to change my dogs designation to PSD.

For all the abuse legitimate ESA should still be allowed, luckily the changes provided an option. The PSD designation will be used by legitimate former ESA owners.

Like it or not the greed of the airlines caused this abuse. I would have gladly paid $50 each way which is what it was 10-15 years ago. When airlines jacked it to $150 each way it became outright extortion. I agree anything but dogs is ridiculous but those of you that didn't/don't like dogs in the cabin need to get control over your misguided anger. Dogs that have a true alpha owner are not trouble, it's those around them that are the wild card. Dogs have exceptional perception and can easily read the human state. Reach for a dog with mixed intentions you have created a potential red zone. Problem is that is not the owners problem its yours, take accountability for your own actions. If your to young to understand this I feel sorry for and will pray for the rest of us.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:08 pm

EAARbrat wrote:
Thank goodness I have the ability to change my dogs designation to PSD.

For all the abuse legitimate ESA should still be allowed, luckily the changes provided an option. The PSD designation will be used by legitimate former ESA owners.

Like it or not the greed of the airlines caused this abuse. I would have gladly paid $50 each way which is what it was 10-15 years ago. When airlines jacked it to $150 each way it became outright extortion. I agree anything but dogs is ridiculous but those of you that didn't/don't like dogs in the cabin need to get control over your misguided anger. Dogs that have a true alpha owner are not trouble, it's those around them that are the wild card. Dogs have exceptional perception and can easily read the human state. Reach for a dog with mixed intentions you have created a potential red zone. Problem is that is not the owners problem its yours, take accountability for your own actions. If your to young to understand this I feel sorry for and will pray for the rest of us.


It wasn’t the greed of the airlines, it was mostly people taking advantage who didn’t want to pay extra for their animals to go in the cargo hold.

People managed fine since the 1900’s as passengers without needing to take their support ostrich on the plane.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:38 pm

LostLuggage wrote:
So these new policies of service dogs only; how will it be implemented?

Even members of my own family Stateside have bought their pets a registration on various "US Registry of Service Animals" online databases. You get a fake little card for an extra $30 and everything!

How do the airlines distinguish what is a genuine service animal vs one of these phoney certificates? Is there a legitimate registry/identification for them? The folks I know used to just say their dog could detect certain nuts the owners are (weren't actually) allergic to, but required no further evidence to bring them aboard. I don't know if in that situation, the airline was classing them as emotional support or service animals.


The only way to be sure if an animal is a genuine service animal would be to put it to the test. These animals have undergone training, they've learned to respond to certain commands in a certain way. Simply give the animal a series of commands and if it responds in the correct way, it is indeed a trained service animal. If not, the registration is being scrapped immediately and the owner faces a huge penalty for fraud.
 
EAARbrat
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:32 pm

TheWorm123 wrote:
It wasn’t the greed of the airlines, it was mostly people taking advantage who didn’t want to pay extra for their animals to go in the cargo hold.


Cause and effect. No cause no effect. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Deny all you want.

TheWorm123 wrote:
People managed fine since the 1900’s as passengers without needing to take their support ostrich on the plane.


Last I checked the average Joe's did not take to the sky until the 60' & 70's. The remaining bulk of the masses didn't show up until the 80' & 90's.

If you stay on subject my post is clearly about DOGS.

Lastly up until 20-25 years ago the concept of emotional or psychological support animals was medically in it's infancy. Today it is supported by the medical/psychiatric community. For those who have never experienced PTSD (war or otherwise) or debilitating anxiety and other afflictions pertinent to the need for a Support DOG I suggest you reserve your judgement until you've walked in the same shoes as those who suffer these afflictions.
 
TheWorm123
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:13 pm

EAARbrat wrote:
TheWorm123 wrote:
It wasn’t the greed of the airlines, it was mostly people taking advantage who didn’t want to pay extra for their animals to go in the cargo hold.


Cause and effect. No cause no effect. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Deny all you want.

TheWorm123 wrote:
People managed fine since the 1900’s as passengers without needing to take their support ostrich on the plane.


Last I checked the average Joe's did not take to the sky until the 60' & 70's. The remaining bulk of the masses didn't show up until the 80' & 90's.

If you stay on subject my post is clearly about DOGS.

Lastly up until 20-25 years ago the concept of emotional or psychological support animals was medically in it's infancy. Today it is supported by the medical/psychiatric community. For those who have never experienced PTSD (war or otherwise) or debilitating anxiety and other afflictions pertinent to the need for a Support DOG I suggest you reserve your judgement until you've walked in the same shoes as those who suffer these afflictions.

I’ve suffered from manic depression and general anxiety disorder for well over 10 years.
 
dstc47
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:55 am

I read this heading and had a vision of a full dog sled team on board the aircraft.
Gave me a laugh, badly needed.
 
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LostLuggage
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Mon Jan 04, 2021 10:45 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
LostLuggage wrote:
So these new policies of service dogs only; how will it be implemented?

Even members of my own family Stateside have bought their pets a registration on various "US Registry of Service Animals" online databases. You get a fake little card for an extra $30 and everything!

How do the airlines distinguish what is a genuine service animal vs one of these phoney certificates? Is there a legitimate registry/identification for them? The folks I know used to just say their dog could detect certain nuts the owners are (weren't actually) allergic to, but required no further evidence to bring them aboard. I don't know if in that situation, the airline was classing them as emotional support or service animals.


The only way to be sure if an animal is a genuine service animal would be to put it to the test. These animals have undergone training, they've learned to respond to certain commands in a certain way. Simply give the animal a series of commands and if it responds in the correct way, it is indeed a trained service animal. If not, the registration is being scrapped immediately and the owner faces a huge penalty for fraud.


I entirely agree, but is this method actually going to be used or be practical enough to be implemented at every boarding gate across the country? That's my concern, that as long as a flimsy and unverifiable piece of paper can be claimed as justification then enforcement will be an issue.
 
global1
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:08 pm

No more ESA on Delta either.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Alaska Airlines prohibits Emotional Support Animals

Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:45 pm

And American Airlines is banning them as well. Only trained service dogs allowed on board, all other animals travel in the cargo hold for a fee.

https://www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/nieuws/ ... -in-de-ban

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