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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by AdamEfimoff, Nov 30, 2014.
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Simple solution. Allow "emotional support animals" per DOT regulations, but charge the in-cabin pet fee. For Certified Assistance Animals, make it so that they can get a refund of that fee.
I like this idea and I for one am sick of people abusing the emotional support animal angle to cheat the airlines out of their pet in-cabin fees.
[Later edit: Upon further research I found I was wrong about airline's responsibilities to accommodate emotional support animals. See the next post too.]
Part of the issue is "ADA-qualified service animals" vs "emotional support animals". The only type of animal which qualifies under federal ADA regulations to be a service animal is a dog. No pigs, cats, ferrets, etc. Whether or not that's fair is debatable, but seeing how the law reads I wonder if airlines should be more selective when choosing to carry a pig as an emotional support animal? It gets a bit ridiculous when people show up with snakes, pigs, ponies, cats and ferrets (and maybe even unicorns, with P3 coming up) and claim they are emotional support animals which thus can poop on the floor and take a bulkhead seat away from a basketball player.
On the other hand I totally agree with allowing properly trained animals which fill a genuine need, though even then there are caveats*. It's the preponderance of poorly-trained animals flying with even more poorly-trained owners looking to vacation with Fifi and avoid the pet fee which bothers me -- in addition to jeopardizing the future acceptance of service animals.
*(e.g. passengers may have allergies to certain animals so some further coordination/accommodation might be necessary to be sure all passengers can co-exist.)
I'm going to correct myself here. What I said about the ADA appears to be true, but upon further reading looks like it's the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) which defines the airline's responsibilities, not the ADA. That's a whole 'nother kettle of fish. The ACAA does accommodate emotional support animals.
It doesn't matter which side of this you are on there will be someone who will try to stretch the limits so far that they piss everyone off as they demand tolerance of their needs.
My wife just yesterday asked if she could take me onto a plane for free as her emotional support ape.
I like where you're going with this.
You have to admit a big plate of Bacon does exhibit some emotional support..
Roasting feast at 30,000 ft?! Sign me right up!