Jump to content

Service Dogs on airlines FYI


sologrip

Recommended Posts

The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) is a federal law with the intent of

providing equal access to people with disabilities in commercial air travel.

This law directly addresses service animals and emotional support animals,

which are under this law substantially different. The ADA does not address

emotional support animals. There are no public access rights for people with

disabilities with emotional support animals other than on commercial

aircraft under the provisions of the ACAA.

 

In order to bring a service animal into the passenger cabin of a commercial

aircraft one first must be a person with a disability under the standards of

the ADA. Simply having a physical or mental impairment does not result in a

person being disabled. Receiving Social Security Disability Income or

Supplemental Security Income from the Social Security Administration does

not mean that a person is disabled under the standards of the ADA. A person

must have a "substantial limitation" of the ability to engage in one or more

"major life activities" in order to be disabled under the ADA and in order

to have the right to bring a service animal into a commercial aircraft

passenger cabin. Through decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States

a "substantial limitation" has been defined as an almost complete inability.

 

A service animal is an animal that is individually trained to do work or

perform tasks that benefit the person with a disability. Engaging in natural

behaviors, such as being affectionate or showing increased affection in the

face of handler stress, does not constitute a trained task. The animal must

be trained to do something specific that serves to mitigate the impairment

on which the claim of disability is based.

 

If a person has a visible disability and if the service animal is wearing a

harness, cape, or other dress that identifies the animal as a service animal

then no questions should be asked as a condition of the passenger having the

service animal in the passenger cabin. In the absence of evidence that the

passenger is a person with a disability the airline representative may ask

the person if s/he is disabled under the standards of the ADA. Questions

that would require disclosing the physical or mental impairment that results

in disability are not allowed. If the service animal is not dressed in a

manner that identifies the animal as a service animal the representative of

the airline can ask for documentation, identification cards, identification

tags, or other such documentation to establish that the animal is a service

animal.

 

If the service animal is not dressed in a manner that identifies the animal

as a service animal, and if no documentation is available from the person

with a disability with the service animal, then the airline representative

may ask questions of the person to obtain "credible verbal assurances" that

the animal is a service animal. These questions can address how the animal

was trained, the duration of the training, who did the training, the

qualifications of the trainer, and details of the task or tasks performed by

the service animal - beyond simply identifying tasks in a generalized way.

Questions of the obedience of the animal and how elimination needs will be

addressed during the flight can also be asked to determine if the animal is

a properly trained service animal that will not put the health and safety of

others at risk. When flying, not dressing a service dog so that the dog is

easily identifiable as a service dog, leaves the passenger open to extensive

questioning as a condition of being allowed to have the service dog in the

passenger cabin of the aircraft.

 

People with disabilities due to mental illness have a right to have an

emotional support animal in the passenger cabin of the aircraft. This is not

a right of all people with mental illnesses. This right is restricted to

those people with mental illnesses where the illness is so severe as to

result in a substantial limitation of the person's ability to engage in one

or more major life activities. Only a small percentage of people with mental

illnesses qualify as disabled under the ADA. In order to bring an emotional

support animal into the passenger cabin of a commercial aircraft the person

must provide the airline, on request, with a letter from a licensed mental

health professional identifying the person as disabled due to a mental

illness. The letter should identify the person as being unable to engage in

one or more major life activities as a result of a mental illness. A

statement that the person qualifies for disability benefits can be deemed to

not be sufficient. The letter must also state that it is "medically

necessary" for the person to be accompanied in the passenger cabin of the

aircraft by the emotional support animal. In other words the mental health

professional must state that the person is not able to fly without the

emotional support animal as a result of the disabling mental illness.

 

Airlines, in general, do not want our service dogs or emotional support dogs

in their aircraft. If they have the right to ask for documentation they will

ask for it and require it as much as the law allows (they often violate the

law and demand far more than what is allowed). If they are allowed to ask

questions to obtain credible verbal assurances they will ask a long string

of questions. While they are not allowed to demand a demonstration of the

tasks performed by a service dog several airlines have been known to demand

just such a show. If they can deny seating that provides room for a service

animal they will refuse to provide necessary seating. While the ACAA states

that people with disabilities SHALL be provided with bulkhead seating so

that we have room for our service dogs at our seats, many airlines have had

their new aircraft built with no bulkhead seats other than exit row seats

where we cannot sit with our service dogs. We are required to request

bulkhead seating no less than 24 hours before flight time. Some airlines

will state that bulkhead seats can only be reserved at the gate one hour

before flight time. At the gate they will then say that the reservation had

to be made 24 hours in advance.

 

If you are a person with a disability with a service dog, or a person with a

disability due to mental illness with an emotional support dog, be prepared

to fight for your rights when you fly on commercial aircraft. It rarely goes

smoothly. If you falsely represent a pet as a service dog, or a person who

is not disabled as a person with a disability, and you get caught, be

prepared to pay extensive legal fees to fight the federal criminal fraud

charges that can be brought against you. Pack a bag so that if you lose you

are ready for your time in prison.

 

 

--

Sincerely yours,

 

Fred

 

Frederick A. Shotz

ADA Consulting Associates

 

Leading The Way To Equal Access

For People With Disabilities

 

http://www.adaconsulting.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just what i have been looking for...information.

 

i see i have an uphill struggle...i am trying to relocate internationally, and am at a loss as to how to transport my dog in cabin for a 12 to 14 hour flight...although i have a progressive mobility disability, my dog is 15lb., does not "fit under the seat in front of you" and is not trained as a service dog..., i have not found training available in europe for other than german sheppard size dogs..but of course, i still have a long way to go...unfortunately, i bought a ticket on british air...no dogs, service or otherwise, permitted in cabin...as much as i would enjoy a transatlantic crossing on QM2, which will eventually set a price for twelve lucky dogs, there is the hassle in getting a dog in and out of england, where QM2 docks at southhampton...i don`t know how other people do it.

 

would appreciate hearing how others have managed relocating back to the states...thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not train the dog yourself? The ADA does not require a "certified" school program. There are do-it-yourself resources.

http://www.topdogusa.org

 

Here is a resource for purchasing your own insignia, backpacks, etc.:

http://www.sitstay.com/store/clothing/service1.shtml

http://wolfpacks.com/

 

You can get materials on this from this website.

http://www.deltasociety.org

Here is a book that the Delta Society sells:

http://www.deltasociety.org/store/minstds.htm

You might want to work with a regular dog trainer who has some experience though.

Here is some additional information:

http://www.iaadp.org/doglaws.html

 

Also, if you are flying, look into an American airline (United, Delta, etc.) instead of a foreign airline. Otherwise, crating and putting in luggage may be your only option (but not one without risk to the dog).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...and don't forget the two best owner-training of service dogs manuals: TEAMWORK I and TEAMWORK II by Stewart Nordensson. Also, a book I found extremely helpful for its in-depth studies of breed characteristics and temperament testing, LEND ME AN EAR by Martha Hoffman.

 

Of course, flying to Great Britain on a U.S. airline will not allow you to escape the long quarantine that is required by most rabies-free areas like Great Britain once you get there...Wouldn't you rather go to France?. You should try taking a service dog to Hawaii, where a service dog is defined as a dog that has been individually and PROFESSIONALLY trained...in violation of the ADA.

 

But, as the text on flying with a service dog, above, states, many medical conditions, however vexing, do not render a person disabled under the ADA. Chronic pain, chronic fatigue, gradual deteriorating conditions, unless they have resulted in a full-time substantial, i.e. almost total, limitation do not meet the standards of the ADA......so the need for a service dog might not yet serve any purpose for you...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not train the dog yourself? The ADA does not require a "certified" school program. There are do-it-yourself resources.

http://www.topdogusa.org

 

Here is a resource for purchasing your own insignia, backpacks, etc.:

http://www.sitstay.com/store/clothing/service1.shtml

http://wolfpacks.com/

 

You can get materials on this from this website.

http://www.deltasociety.org

Here is a book that the Delta Society sells:

http://www.deltasociety.org/store/minstds.htm

You might want to work with a regular dog trainer who has some experience though.

Here is some additional information:

http://www.iaadp.org/doglaws.html

 

Also, if you are flying, look into an American airline (United, Delta, etc.) instead of a foreign airline. Otherwise, crating and putting in luggage may be your only option (but not one without risk to the dog).

 

What you might not know, though, is that pets rarely have what it takes to become service dogs after they've been pets for a while...The life is just too rigid. The behavior standards for service dogs are so high that a pet dressed as a service dog will be "found out" quickly and, too, the owner will not know how to respond to the inevitable questioning by businesses. And, of course, the handler has to qualify as disabled under the ADA. The responsible thing for someone who is offering helpful information on retraining a pet as a service animal is to consider whether the handler is qualified to put that information to use legally. In this case it would be difficult to see just how a 15-pound dog would be of any use to someone with a mobility problem...I mean, really...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

splinter......thank you for the reference sites, i will look into them.

 

...as to "Why not train the dog yourself?"

 

i think she would think i am playing with her, if i tried to impose strict training ...she is very intelligent but knows that i am not.

 

sologrip...thank you again for this thread...

 

as to "...Wouldn't you rather go to France?.

 

the answer is "yes"

 

...i referred to england only because QM2 embarks on transatlantic crossings from england...and as i noted...NO, i do NOT want to go through the hassle there... just noting that QM2 does accept dogs.

 

"In this case it would be difficult to see just how a 15-pound dog would be of any use to someone with a mobility problem...I mean, really..."

 

that really stings...let me just calmly state that i would pass my dog off as a cat...if it would get us home....

 

thanks again for your insightful comments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, too, think that training an animal yourself is not a good option. My husband's guide dog came from a school that breeds their own puppies, and raises them to be guide dogs. They still have a 50% washout rate. Trying to do it youself is a monumental task, especially if the dog has been treated as a pet previously. You might consider allowing you current dog to remain a pet, and get an additional dog that has been trained to meet your needs.

 

Trust me, though, a 15 pound dog will fit under the seat in front of you. We travel with a 100 pound lab and he can almost make it. The 60 to 70 pound labs will fit. Because of the size of my husband's dog, we are all much happier with a bulk head seat which we have generally been able to get. Your dog may be happier in a pet carrier, that we use for our cats. If you research the size of carryon luggage, you can determine what size you need. Our 16 pound cat fit in a carrier, so I know your dog could fit. I suggest that just because the dog might feel safer in an enclosed space. We have not flown outside of the US, so I am not familiar with the requirements for international flights. Since US airlines are subject to ADA, I think they would be your best bet. We have found that even US airlines are not always aware of the requirements. A dog in harness is not supposed to be challenged, but we have been. I imagine it would be even tougher with a small dog.

 

England no longer requires the long quarantine. When they became part of the EU, they adopted the Pet Travel Scheme. It involves getting a microchip for your dog, having its blood tested at one specific lab in Kansas, and maintaining the dog's rabies vaccinations. http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/index.htm We have followed these directions for my husband's dog, and they are really not too hard. Keep in mind, though, that every country has their own regulations. One way to find out what they are is to call the country's embassy in Washington. It is possible to research some on the internet, but not every country has a website with that information.

 

I wish you luck. If I can be any help on taking your dog to another country, I would be happy to try.

 

Check out this website I just found: http://www.petswelcome.com/milkbone/frameairtrav.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes, i too agree that should my dog be trained for service, i would prefer an experienced trainer to do it...from what i have read, there are programs where you train as a team...but that is really getting ahead of myself...these programs are in the states, and i am not...my main objective is getting my doggie back to the states without subjecting her to the "storage area"... i am thinking more of the future than the need to have a service dog right now...i manage and i would prefer to have my pet...

 

yes, we have a brochure stating the health requirements by country...my doggie even has a EU passport with all of her vacinations and she will be getting the chip which my friends assure me is nothing to worry about, but needed to travel through some EC countries...we have a very attentive vet.

 

oh, believe me, if the airlines would allow a fifteen pound dog on the plane, we would definitely fit under that seat...we have a spanking new carrier that i bought just for our in cabin experience...and i let her test it out, to get her friendly with it...it is mesh with rigid sides....suppossidly "airlines approved".

 

your offer to help me is so kind and i thank you for it...i appreciate your sharing...and support...now i will check out the site you recommended...you know, i read so much on the internet while trying to figure out how to take my dog with me, and i am still at square one...thats why my dog knows she is smarter than i am:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't realize which way you were going. If you are coming to the US, you have to meet US Department of Agriculture standards. Look here:http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ncie/pet-info.html They are really not too hard to satisfy. The microchip is a little painful because of the size. If your dog needs any other procedure (like teeth cleaning) where it would be under anesthetic, that would be a good time to have the chip done.

 

As to the plane, I believe (could be wrong) that if your dog was considered a service animal, it would not have to be in a carrier. If it is not considered a service animal, it could fly in the cabin with you in an approved carrier. That would certainly seem like the easier route for you to take. We have always found flight attendants to be very kind and considerate about our dog. It's the people in an office that will sometimes give you a hassle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

can you believe it, british air says that ALL dogs go into the storage area, even service dogs...that is why i am at square one...i DID reserch many airlines`policies and still when it came time to book, i did not even remember that BA does not favor dogs in cabin...it has to do with my "memory overload"...

 

my daughter will be visiting me next year and returning to the states on North West...if she can swing a business class ticket, she may be able to take my dog back with her...my concern has been my doggies weight, which is five lbs over the allowance on most airlines...they ask you how much the dog weighs and it is usually between 8-10 pounds limit.

 

i see now that going the route of a service dog is not feasible...though at some point i may need one, but my little cockapoo may not be up to it.

 

yes, we are having the chip injected in 2 weeks because my doggie sitter is taking my doggie to sweden while we cruise...its a dogs life :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

splinter......thank you for the reference sites, i will look into them.

 

...as to "Why not train the dog yourself?"

 

i think she would think i am playing with her, if i tried to impose strict training ...she is very intelligent but knows that i am not.

 

sologrip...thank you again for this thread...

 

as to "...Wouldn't you rather go to France?.

 

the answer is "yes"

 

...i referred to england only because QM2 embarks on transatlantic crossings from england...and as i noted...NO, i do NOT want to go through the hassle there... just noting that QM2 does accept dogs.

 

"In this case it would be difficult to see just how a 15-pound dog would be of any use to someone with a mobility problem...I mean, really..."

 

that really stings...let me just calmly state that i would pass my dog off as a cat...if it would get us home....

 

thanks again for your insightful comments.

 

 

Sorry for the "sting". The mobility dogs that I know do various tasks such as pull wheelchairs, brace for fall prevention, support walking, steady poor balance...all tasks requiring at least a 60# dog. Cash weighs 125#. Smaller dogs have their place, too, in the Service Dog lineup, performing hearing, seizure alert, and other more non-physical tasks but these tasks have nothing to do with mitigating a mobility problem. I cannot imagine a 15# dog pulling a wheelchair....That's canine abuse..... and no one would believe that someone who obviously loves their dog would expect it to perform such demanding work.

 

I have shipped my pet dogs in cargo bays and these days there are few dangers. More airlines are creating areas that are pressurized and climate-controlled for shipping animals. There is really no reason for anyone to present themself or their pet as something they are not in order to have a safe flight.

I hope you solve your transport problem in a way that is both satisfactory for you and healthy for your baby....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...oh, i can take a sting :) ...and i was being facetious about passing my doggie off as a cat...

 

no, i have read enough about service dogs to know that even though my lovable canine does me a great service, she would not be recognized as a "service" dog, ...even in cape and harness disguise...(i would need to add sunglasses too...) evenso, it is all i can do to get her to keep a ribbon around her pompom....i guess i was hoping to hear how some other cc were able to travel with their pets..if it is at all possible, it is encourageing....i take it your service animals are too large to travel in cabin?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that you can get a pet passport for a pet's entry into the UK. You will have to go to your veterinarian or the Department of Agriculture for information. I believe that the pet has to have a microchip and have had its rabies shot ahead of time (I'm not sure how far ahead.) I'm not sure if the pet will have to go through any quarantine when it gets to the UK or if it is a shortened quarentine. Sorry not to have been of any more help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i take it your service animals are too large to travel in cabin?

 

No, Cash deflates himself, somehow, and squashes as far under seats as possible for a 125# dog and he's the only Service Dog I have. I have had others (pets) flown to me and flown home again in a cargo bay. If the airlines would stop building planes that turn the bulkheads into exit rows, where neither Service Dogs nor disabled passengers are allowed to sit, flying would be a lot easier on the dogs. I can't believe that they won't allow you to pack your mity-mite under the seat in a carrier...I've never heard of the weight angle but then, I know from experience that the cabin staff can be an absolute pain when it comes to dogs on planes. I remember my life before disability and flying was NEVER such a pain. No one ever told me to sit in a seat I couldn't get to so I wouldn't block the exit of other passengers in the row and on and on...I'm cranky...today I was refused a reservation at a motel because of Cash....No pets, no animals, not even service dogs they told my travel agent. Now I have to wade in and sort it out....Lawsuit, anyone? What a life. I hope you never have to depend on a service dog. They are wonderful and make life so much easier but they are a magnet for officious bureaucratic types that exist in the ADA dark ages....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sologrip: a law suit? ...time, energy, big bucks... unless the laws aginst animal discrimination are relaxed, we don`t have a leg to stand on, imho...in my experience, i have had some serious "airlines rules" dug up...rules never heard of but were on the "book"...a case of the passenger be aware, the cards are stacked in the airlines favor, after all, it is their airline, motel, whereever.

 

...how many hours do your animals fly in the cargohold...mine would be in the "hold" for anywhere between 14 or more hours and i can not imagine her not sufering trauma (me too!)

 

 

"I can't believe that they won't allow you to pack your mity-mite under the seat in a carrier"

 

...with british airlines, they are very strict:

 

"Travelling with Guide Dogs

Certified Service Dogs for blind, deaf or disabled passengers travel free of charge in the aircraft cabin on all British Airways services within the UK.

 

On other routes, Certified Service Dogs for blind, deaf or disabled passengers travel free of charge but are carried in the aircraft hold. To avoid quarantine in the UK, they must travel under the Pets Travel Scheme. British Airways only offers this cargo service on a limited number of routes to the UK... As always at British Airways we want to make everything as easy as possible for you so that your journey is relaxing and enjoyable."

 

since i am not traveling within the UK, my un-guided dog would be put into ath "aircraft hold."...and the pet travel scheme is so complicated, it is a joke...under these "guidelines"...one must prepare for traveling with a pet, several months in advance, providing proof that all tests have been carried out during the prescribed time periods prior to flight.

 

anyway, under any circumstances, the handling and "hold" price are just about as expensive as my ticket...so, the price for the flight with my pet in the cargohold would double for us...but that is nothing for me, i would not use british airlines again...and if i can cancel and find a flight that i can travel with my pet, i am glad to do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and...as applies to un-guided pets:

 

Flying into the UK via London

What you need to do and when

 

The six month rule: Your pet may not enter the UK under PETS until six months have passed from the date that your vet took the blood sample which led to a successful test result (see below). Once the vet has signed the PETS certificate and that six month period has passed, the PETS certificate is valid and your pet may enter the UK.

 

In order to bring your pet cat or dog into the UK under the PETS scheme you must :

Microchip your pet.

 

This must be done by your vet before any of the other PETS scheme requirements are met, as the microchip is the means by which your pet will be identified at each of the following stages (the microchip should meet ISO standard 11784 or annex A to ISO standard 11785 - otherwise you should provide your own microchip reader)

 

Ensure you have your pet vaccinated.

 

Once your pet has had a microchip fitted it will then need to be vaccinated against rabies

 

Make sure your pet's blood has been tested.

 

30 days after the vaccination you will need to have a blood test carried out to ensure that the vaccine has given an adequate level of protection against rabies

 

Get a PETS certificate.

 

For journeys into London, your pet will not be able to check in with you but will be handled professionally by British Airways World Cargo and travel as an Unaccompanied Pet. A cargo booking will be required which can be requested through the local British Airways World Cargo office.

 

...blah, blah, blah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have shipped my pet dogs in cargo bays and these days there are few dangers. More airlines are creating areas that are pressurized and climate-controlled for shipping animals. There is really no reason for anyone to present themself or their pet as something they are not in order to have a safe flight.

I hope you solve your transport problem in a way that is both satisfactory for you and healthy for your baby....

 

Military families have shipped their pets for years in all directions. Yes, the quarentine is now eased for service animals going to Britain and Hawaii but not pets. But no airline flies live animals in unpressurized cargo holds! They are pressurized or the poor things would explode. Let your pet get used to it's "airline home" (crate) for months or as much time ahead as possible. Make sure it fits your pet. Follow your vets guidelines about when to last feed and water your pet. Make sure the collar has contact phone numbers and the owners name on it. You can use masking tape to add this. Tape special instructions such as last feeding and drink time on the crate and add last "lawn visit" for dogs. ALWAYS attempt to fly on the same flight as your pet. Make sure you tell the head attendant that there is a live animal aboard and to tell the captain in case a long wait on the tarmac is experienced. Follow up if this does happen. Air conditioning or heating of the hold begins at flight not at engine start up. This is why some airlines will not carry animals during certain times of the year or on some routes.

 

I am also learning the ropes now on service animals as my last pet died. As a pet she gave me great joy and paying her way when we moved from Germany to the US was part of carrying for my pet. These days you will also be paying for 15 pound human babies so I think you'll just have to get used to it and sign your pet up for frequent flyer miles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

at this point in time, i would definitly need a seditive, knowing that my pet was in climate controlled cargo and i in cabin for 14 hours (read 2 days)...no, i do not begrudge the airlines the extra $300 for "handling" and flying my pet one way...just give us both a seat in economy, i can handle her ...thank you.

 

btw...2 years ago, we did fly business class into germany on lufthansa... in cabin...she was only 8 kilos then...from the responses on this thread, i am encouraged and no longer thinking of her as a "possible" service dog, or a "cat", or flying with her in tow through great britain...

 

even though she gives me a great deal of emotional support...pets need a bill of rights.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the quarentine is now eased for service animals going to Britain and Hawaii but not pets.

 

Actually, that is the point of the PETS travel scheme. The quarantine is eased for pets going into Britain. You just have to plan ahead the first time to allow for the time frames on the blood tests. After your animal has the passport, it is renewed by keeping up the rabies shots on a timely basis. In effect, your animal serves the quarantine at home after undergoing the blood tests. The requirements are laid out in the website I posted above. If all requirements are met, an animal can accompany its owner without quarantine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Clopaw. I think I have it now. Took a couple of reads. I'm just starting the process by calling a couple of training centers a friend of mine suggested.

 

Joan, the only time we had to ship our pet was after my injury that sent me back to the US. Once ready for her friends she had been staying with stayed right up to laoding in Berlin. Her first Mom ( we got her from these friends) spoke directly to the flight crew. She had a stop in Atlanta where she was walked and we were there when she arrived at cargo in Baltimore. I think she would have gone home with anyone at that point. She was mainly tired.

 

I firmly believe in bloody Marys before flying--for me. Our dog had her stuffed pet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...