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Alaska Airlines To Ban Emotional Support Animals From January 11, But There’s A Loophole

Alaska Airlines made the first move, announcing its intentions to ban emotional support animals in line with a recent decision made by the the U.S. Department of Transportation. ( More...

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ken young 50
This emotional support animal thing was permitted to get out of control.
Our society now populated by whiny self entitled narcissists, will go to Great lengths to not only take advantage of a situation by claiming some sort of victim status, these people deem themselves entitled to "more equal" status.
Mike Davis 40
The ONLY way this could work is to require a certification from a dis-interested third party. I work at a national park where dogs are not allowed on hiking trails. The NPS allows "service" dogs as defined by the ADA, but not "emotional support" dogs. So park rangers are always encountering people with dogs who want to take them on the trails. According to the ADA, we can only ask the owner if the animal is a "service" animal and if it is "trained to perform a service due to disability." We cannot ask what the disability is, nor can we ask for the owner to demonstrate the skill. Lies to both of those questions, gets a dog onto the trails and we get complaints from others who were honest and denied. The ADA also allows owners to train their own dogs. That's not a loophole, it's an open door.

Depending on how you define "emotional support" ALL dogs are emotional support animals. This rule is used and abused. We've seen dogs stampede elk herds endangering bystanders. And all hostile moose encounters recorded have involved dogs with the owners. While the owner may love their dog and consider it "family" others do not share that love in public settings.
WhiteKnight77 13
Sadly, there are way too many people who like to game the system. As long as people are willing to do such, those in dire need of such will be looked upon as one of those.
For the record, the airlines are bound by the Air Carrier Access Act, which supersedes the ADA. That law does have a provision for Emotional Support Animals.

The ADA applies at the airport, while the ACAA applies when the animal is on the plane.
ken young 23
For the record, please be considerate of other passengers. If your emotional support doggie is a pain in the rear end to everyone but you, please use non public transportation.
The rest of us should not have to suffer because fluffy the bichon frise is an obnoxious yapper
My wife is blind, and has a guide dog. If you'd like us to be considerate of others, how about being considerate of her and loaning her your eyes; for if you are willing to take hers away (which a guide dog is NOT an emotional support animal), then it would only be fitting that she has yours so she can see.
TWA55 2
I would suggest that any such animal in a cabin presents a risk to safety. I have no reason to be confident that a dog even one such as your wife's has been trained on a regular basis if at all on situations where panic among people and then possibly to the animal would not impede the successful evac of the acrft. I mean this with all due respect, your wife like anyone else is at risk on an acrft in an emergency. For this reason I would never allow a guide dog or any animal in the cabin. To be more to the point, she would be on her own, and probably not getting much help if any from others. Throw the animal into the mix and things could become much worse for all. Your comment is allowing for only one point of view, that there will never be a problem. Flight Attendants do not have the means to help those who are in need in such a situation. If she cannot get a human to be her guide, she should not fly. And I say this with all due care, think of her in such a crises not being able to see for herself. I have had to try and seat people who had zero mobility and I have always thought, no way they are getting off. Not every airplane is a 747. And you most of all should remember that she will probably never get off either.
You would be completely and totally wrong.

As seen on the show "Pick of the Litter", this is the exact place where we received our guide dog. Additionally, it is the same place where another famous guide dog came from: Roselle, who was the guide for Michael Hingson, who with the help of his dog, guided over 200 people to safety during a major incident. That incident was 9/11, where he was at work at Qualcomm Computers, on Floor 78, Tower 1, World Trade Center.

You have absolutely no idea.. completely and totally no clue as to what a guide dog can and can not do, especially when it comes to helping someone who is totally or legally blind.

If you can not handle being around the presence of a service animal, especially on an aircraft, I suggest that YOU do not fly.
why does an adult have to be told this?
Charles Boggs 2
Agree 100%. People have severe allergies being a round animals. It is out of hand.
Allergies can be dealt with. A guide dog assisting someone who is blind is a different issue, as it is dealing with a disability.

ASA's stance on this is only towards ESAs. This does not affect Guide Dogs, and for those not knowing (which there are a hell of a lot of people here who don't), there is a HUGE distinction and difference between the two.
Greg Kearney 22
I am a user of a properlly trained service dog (dabetic alert) I carry his and miy medical certification papers and his identification as such. He is properlly harnessed at all times when with me. He is under my direct control and I and professials train and retrain him. All this "emotional support animal" stuff, what dog isn't, make my life very hard as a service dog user. I am always being challenged needlessly because some people decided to abuse the system.
It’s a shame these people are harming people like you.
Clive Clifford 15
World wide airlines support dogs for people with disabilities in sight and hearing coming on board. These animals have intensive training in being involved in with the public at large and to ensure the safety of their owner.
Their is little or no medical evidence that animals do anything for "emotional support" . Time and time again one hears people bragging of how they took their "pet" on board to avoid hold transit costs.
As said only in America! The rest of the world seems a saner place. Good to see airlines are taking a stand on being bamboozled.
I can see the "loophole" getting out of control too. Seems like there is no change, just different wording to make it appear to be so.
no s**t sherlock!
Bill Mallinson 18
only in America .......... !
The rest of the world is 'emotionally' stable :)
Will I be affected ? My ESA is a chipmunk , which I carry in my right side vest pocket , to be close to my heart , no wait , my heart is on my left . Anyway the chipmunk is calm and quiet until , well , until the free peanuts are handed out . Then the little fellow goes crazy . I wish they would stop handing out peanuts .
you make the perfect point. children push the limit as is their RIGHT!
HP Baumeister 8
It’s about time this scourge stops - mostly system abuse at the expense of fellow passengers
Paul Miller 16
Thank God they did that, as I have seen some crazy situations where people with either a VERY weak ability to function on their own (unlike 95% of us that all have to manage to do so anyway) or others who simply feel that it's their right to bring almost ANY type of Animal onto an Aircraft ? and to hell with others who will also have to sit next to or close to them !!!! IF you can't live without some Animal being with you on a Flight ? Then DON'T fly and take the Bus, Taxi, Train, Boat.

Just imagine for a moment, what IF ALL of the Passengers on a Boeing 777, brought their Pets with them for the flight.... I know of course that it's a weird idea, but in life ANYTHING can happen.
Just imagine for a moment, what IF ALL people with emotional support animals were fraudulent jerks.

Just because some idiot brings a peacock with them on their return flight to Florida doesn't mean it's true.
Lisa Delinsky 14
What about the health rights of others who have serious respiratory allergies to cats or dogs? They also have the right to sit (& breathe) in their paid airline seat without worrying about experiencing a mejor medical incident.
If every time someone brings an ESA on a plane, everyone else ( or even half ) ought to get up and exit. Few rounds of this will probably cure the problem. Your freedom to be you is my freedom to be free from you.
David Beattie 3
Sure, you go first!
Promise you I would. I’m not sitting next to a rodent or a farm animal. Lol
J.J. Lasne 3
The only service animals I remember ever coming across used to be dogs for the blind. But a peacock or any other wild animal - and others to which some passengers might be allergic such as cats - is unacceptable.
WhiteKnight77 2
While I am allergic to both dog and cat dander, it is only cats that can bother me. Dogs typically do not.
mikeenderle 9
A pig could fly in the seat next to me but I had to wear some rag over my face because of germs. What a world.
gil graham 2
If someone needs a "psychiatric" service dog, I think the dog should be allowed to fly, but not the owner.
Makes you wonder why we did away with asylums.
Pat Cook 2
I dare say almost all pets are emotional support animals(ESA). Why would anyone have a pet otherwise? One has a pet for a companion. In saying this, I would exclude as pets, work animals, e.g. herders, sensors (sniffers), guides, fetchers etc. So the question is the degree of need for the pet, a.k.a. ESA.
Tony Di Bona 2
I totally agree with Ken. And, if one is so emotionally affected they should stay off of the aircraft. It would scare me to have someone unstable requiring a dog to be aboard.
Mike Rigg 1
I just searched YouTube for “emotional support donkey on airplane”. I thought it would be a joke, but I’m the donkey here.
TWA55 1
It's back to the belly kids.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

If the animal is medically necessary, why not just get a licensed medical health professional to say as much? That's the only documentation required per the DOT site.
zamoragr -9
I do? In order to move into my apartment I needed 2 letters from my 2 different medical professionals, using official letterhead, from medical professionals who live in my area (to prove I didn't just buy letters off a website), and have an established history with me for at least 6 months. I also have vaccination records for my animal and a behavioral report. My animal just isn't a dog because I hate dogs.
ken young 8
Why is it that people like you feel entitled to foist your animal on others?
Why would you not be considerate of others and use private means of travel?
Michael Cole 5
Extreme narcissism, plain and simple. It’s all about “zamoragr.”
did you downvote both comments below? Odd, since they are opposing views.
zamoragr 4
Yes, because I didn't like them, so I downvoted them. You are free to downvote mine, that's kind of how this forum works.
Oh, you downvote comments because you didn't like them. Now I get it. Thanks, Captain Obvious.

I never vote because a) I'm not delusional enough to think anyone cares what I like or don't like and b) there's no value in it for either one of us.
Michael Cole 3
Good for you. I guess since that’s the way you do it, everyone should follow and do it just like you. Wow. You are just so much better than everyone else. Thanks for letting us know what your rules are. Self-important much?
Bandrunner 0
My Emotional Support Chimpanzee is a gas during long haul flights. Many's the time he had a go at the controls and even accomplished a landing or two.
I quickly found out that allowing the cabin crew to feed him cheesy snacks was fraught with difficult after-effects, but soon cleaned up and cabin ventilation helped a lot.


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