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Leaving a Disable Veteran in Danger

Explorer C

I am a Disable Veteran , on the 10 of May 2018 , My wife and my 88 year old mother in law was flighing to Tampa , Fl to leave her off at her house after a Visit , I have 2 small service dogs and I have never had a problem ever! I showed the southwest people my letter from the VA Dr Psychiatrist  in Dallas and they said it was fine , I also showed my Military ID as Disable to insure thats who I am . 

Well coming back to Dallas We checked in to Tampa and as we checked in our bags I showed my Paper work as I did in Dallas , Southwest said I am good , Later it was time to Pre board The lady at the Gate asked me for my paper work for my service dogs. I showed her and she said I cant board ! I said Dallas said it was good , your check in counter said it was good , Now your telling me I cant board , are you the Dog patrol, Well my wife is Blonde and Blue she let my wife and my other service dog board , BUT MOT ME ! The manager Mr Brett Bean said  I cant board because I was rude and I needed to but a ticket for my service Dog! I told him my wife is on board with my other service dog and all my medication with I need having PTSD, Heart  , and Diabities I cant be with out it, He said tough luck . or something like that. I hurried to the USO and clamed down and they were ready to call 911 . a few hrs pasted i begged south west to get me on board to go home and they said i had to pay a ticket for my service Dog , and I did because of my state of mind and needed my medication! The Airlines think they are jury and Judge over us!!! They put my life and my service dog in Danger , They are racist pigs and have no consideration for Disable Veterans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Carl F


Re: Leaving a Disable Veteran in Danger

Frequent Flyer A

Hello Carl.

I'm sorry for the bad experience you had on Southwest but I have to wonder how much was Southwest's fault and how much was yours.

I don't know if both of your dogs were "service dogs" or not since I can not see the paperwork. However, if Southwest told you that you had to pay for one of the dogs, it sounds like only one of the dogs had proper paperwork. If that's the case, Southwest was correct to charge you $95 to carry the other dog.

Also, you referred to the Operations Agent at the gate as the "Dog Patrol." Did you actually say that to her? If so, what else did you say to the Operations Agent? The fact that a Southwest manager was involved indicates that the situation was escalated somehow and Southwest felt that you might be a safety risk if allowed to board. You said yourself that you had to go to the USO to calm down.

By the way, the Operations Agent is, in fact, the "Dog Patrol" because it's their job to ensure that anybody boarding the aircraft with a service animal has the proper paperwork.

I'm curious why you called the airlines "racist pigs." Because they wanted you to pay the pet fare for your dog? Because they wouldn't let you board when you created a scene at the gate? Nothing in your complaint indicates that racism was remotely involved. And, how exactly was the life of your service dog ever in danger? 

Finally, while I am sorry that you are disabled and am grateful for your service to the U.S., I wonder why you believe that Southwest has no consideration for Disabled Veterans. There is ample evidence that Southwest cares a great deal for Disabled Veterans. You can start here:

Based solely on my reading of your complaint, it seems to me that you tried to sneak an extra dog on board and then created a scene at the gate when you were called out on it. You then used hot button phrases like "disabled veteran" and "racist pigs" in your complaint to try to take the focus off of you actions and put it on Southwest.

Please remember that Southwest is responsible for the safety and comfort of all Customers and when one passenger acts up or tries to break the rules, Southwest must do what's best for the rest of the Customers, no matter what the offending passenger's status is.

Re: Leaving a Disable Veteran in Danger

Aviator A

First, thank you for your service.


Second, please be aware this this is not a direct customer service channel for Southwest. It's a customer-to-customer forum.


Please consider contacting Southwest directly to discuss your experience. Given the nature and severity, you may also want to consider filing a DOT consumer complaint.


Re: Leaving a Disable Veteran in Danger

Explorer C

1. He explained that the dog was allowed at the prior flight. So he had no reason to believe things would go awry. Did they think the dog materialized past security?Were they just checking more times to collect additional money? (Bean counters) Why didn't they re check his blonde wife?

2. Please to not use "escalation" to use ableist hate speech and gaslighting. We were disabled in service and some of those disabilities may be psychological but do not pose a violent threat to others. Fyi gaslighting is denying someone's experiences to make them feel crazy or invalidated. And ableist speech is when you assume we live in a world where everyone is nuerotypical. 

3. I'm glad the USO lounge  let one of us in their lounge. I read the newer policy that it's just for active duty and their dependants now. So a tag chaser that managed to put a ring on it can get in but not us who may or may not have lost everything in the recession and have credentials which do not translate to the civilian sector at all causing us to have to settle for working at the Baskin Robbins but we have master's level training 👍. Kudos to OP. Get those disabled vet rights and campaign for PTSD purple hearts because the brain is, in fact a bodily organ which can be injured.


4. Sorry I went off tangent but I agree with OP

Re: Leaving a Disable Veteran in Danger

Explorer C

Bottom Line Up Front:  I was a "Fly Thru" from Indianapolis to Tucson, just the other day and after the 6 hour flight pass in San Diego: was told while the plane was being cleaned, feel free to go out and stretch your legs - it shall be a good 45 minutes.  

Well shoot - I'm going to the lounge which was 30 feet from the gate - right.

Ugh - I paid  extra for the stupid Southwest cattle call A flight Business A3 Seat 


6 hour flight - as I went to get back on boarding call - I was instructed that the "Bartender? " (1 Beverage), had noticed that I was wobbling?


What?  I told the Southwest Woman that I was a pass thru passenger and was going to Tucson and she reiterated that I was not going onboard due to the Bartender seeing my wobbling?



I'm a disabled veteran with ironically Gait (gate).




I knew not to argue or disrupt; however; of course with my Veteran issues I became overwhelmed and stressed out - anxiety.



Seriously.  I was actually taken to a hospital in San Diego not a VA Hospital - for what -

I was not drunk or inebrieated? Tested? 

Freaked Out! Anxiety without my meds yes!


OMG - what the Scripps hospital didn't know what to do with me?

The Southwest Airlines said I couldn't fly unless a Doctor said in writing I was good to go to fly?  But they didn't say that in writing to anyone only the EMS and the Airport Cops.


Don't Argue right, be cool.



Who's paying this bill, I had to find a hotel, rebook my flight, put up with the embarassment and HELLO, what was my legal crime - document



Unbelievable - the Doctors at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, CA say they get travelers all the time - well what the heck!


What did I do!  Thanks for the expense 

What did I do?