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Pets On Board

New Arrival

Flight 2375 out of Denver Monday 10/15 large dog on floor in first row, no pet crate/carrier, just on the floor... my bag would not be allowed in this space, yet seems ok, despite Pet Policies...

 

While we like pets, my family is very alergic to pet dander, in the past we have been on a flight and suddenly we break out into wheezing, splotchy skin, runny eyes.... Why? What's happend, no pet seen, nor close by... Yet the person accros the asile notices the distress and shares that the prior passenger in our row/seats had a dog and allowed them out of the carrier in the seat...  so we come aboard after they leave and now have contact with the residual dander, nearley caused us to get off the flight... break out the bennedryl.   Can the onboard staff help to keep pets in their carriers, pretty please?

17 REPLIES 17
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Re: Pets On Board

Top Contributor
Solution

If the animals were out of their carriers (or too large to be in one stowed under the seat) then they were flying as Emotional Support Animals or Trained Assistance Animals. Unfortunately, despite recent toughening of rule enforcement regarding these policies, Southwest's hands are somewhat tied, as they must by law accept them onboard when presented with proper documentation (ESAs) or credible evidence (TAAs).

 

When not inside a carrier, Southwest's policies require animals to be leashed at all times. Onboard they may be on the floor or in the passengers lap (if small), but cannot be on a seat. Please alert a flight attendant if you see otherwise.

 

The current laws governing this situation are being examined, and it's likely changes will be announced in coming years that will help reduce the number of animals traveling onboard.

 

Until then: If you alert the crew to your animal allergy, they will help you find seats as far away from any onboard animals as possible. You could also ask to pre-board and have a non-allergic member of your party wipe down the seats. For severe allergies, consider wearing an allergen mask.

 

Hope this helps.

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Re: Pets On Board

New Arrival

If you or family are so severe with allergies to pets then it is really your responsibility to medicate yourself.  If you are so severe then you would have a reaction to anyone who owns a pet and may have dander or hair on their person.  I travel with hypoallergenic pets and I still hear about it.  If the only seat is next to to you I will be sitting there with my pet.  Especially since I have to pay extra to stick under a seat.

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Re: Pets On Board

New Arrival

I love pets but unfortunately are allergic, grandkids suffer with Asthma.  It is very inconsiderate to say I will just sit there when someones life is at stake.  I have rights to ride safe just as you have rthe right to enjoy your pet.  Airlines accommodate pets in a section for pets.  Would it not make more sense to have an area on planes where pets and people are kept separate but someone hired to watch over them and able to check or see them during a flight?  There is always someone abusing the rules.  To place a pet in the seat and then come in and sit behind them (now you are smelling like feces, have pet hairs all over you, wheezing like crap, etc). Is that fair because honestly as much as people claim to love their pets, not all pets are kept meticulously clean.  ALL THE MEDICATION IN THE WORLD WILL NOT HELP when you are placed into an anaphytic reaction because of a rude pet owner who cares about no one but themselves.  Why not work with.a committee to improve for both sides (those who want their pets to travel with them and those who are unable to be in the same space.

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Re: Pets On Board

New Arrival

Bringing your animal on the flight is extremely rude and chiidish.  

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Re: Pets On Board

New Arrival

Yeah, it's really rude & childish except that my animal is a medical device. She is a service dog & not a "pet" per the Americans with Disabilities law. She is better behaved than most of the children on flights, does not sit on seats, and is brushed/groomed daily with a dander reducing spray. Thanks for diminishing me, my service dog, and my disability.

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Re: Pets On Board

New Arrival

I have a mild allergy to dogs. I don't usually think of flying on an airplane as one of those times when I need to be sure to take medicine.

 

Recently, I took a short flight and as the plane was landing, my throat tightened up and my eyes started watering.  As is so often the case I had no idea what caused it until I stood up to get off the plane and saw a dog in the lap of the woman behind me. I said nothing because we were already getting off, but it took me several hours to resolve my allergy symptoms.

 

I am not saying that pets shouldn't be allowed but it is rather unpleasant to be blind-sided by an avoidable allergy attack, which got my trip off to a rocky start. Perhaps a little consideration would help to minimize conflict.  If pet owners, would check with those around them before taking a seat, that would be appreciated.

 

Since you apparently don't suffer from this kind of allergies, you may not be aware that the medicines to cope with an allergy attack can make you sleepy and not everyone can take those medicines all the time due to blood pressure problems and other health issues. If you have to use your epipen, you are supposed to seek medical supervision as soon as possible because they can cause complications.

 

I just want to know so I can either move or take some medicine before I have a serious problem.  There has to be a kind way to communicate this in both directions that doesn't offend anyone.

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Re: Pets On Board

New Arrival

Ok, I am a fan of pets, they are wonderful in many ways.  They have never been allowed in cabins and I believe the policiy was put in plac for very excellent reasons.  I am not sure why any circumstance would have changed those reasons or exerted a change to that policy.  But I am very allergic to them (especially cats and dogs, even the most hypoallergnic species).  Your policy seems to ignore my and like passenger rights, and opens your company up for a negligence suit to say the least.  Why should I(we) have to wear a mask or take other precaustions for my(our) health, when such never had to be done apriori?  It is bad enough that the planes are packed to capacity with passengers and the cost of the tickets are very expensive.  Is there a way to know if there is a service animal in the cabin while, or prior to, buying tickets? l have not seen such. Southwest is a proactive, or progressive company surely there is a solution that will benefit all passengers young and old.    

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Re: Pets On Board

Top Contributor

@Anonymous1165 wrote:

Ok, I am a fan of pets, they are wonderful in many ways.  They have never been allowed in cabins and I believe the policiy was put in plac for very excellent reasons.  I am not sure why any circumstance would have changed those reasons or exerted a change to that policy.  But I am very allergic to them (especially cats and dogs, even the most hypoallergnic species).  Your policy seems to ignore my and like passenger rights, and opens your company up for a negligence suit to say the least.  Why should I(we) have to wear a mask or take other precaustions for my(our) health, when such never had to be done apriori?  It is bad enough that the planes are packed to capacity with passengers and the cost of the tickets are very expensive.  Is there a way to know if there is a service animal in the cabin while, or prior to, buying tickets? l have not seen such. Southwest is a proactive, or progressive company surely there is a solution that will benefit all passengers young and old.    


Federal law requires all airlines to accomodate passengers with disabilities. It cannot prevent passengers with either emotional support animals or service animals from getting on  planes. These passengers are asked to advise the airline in advance that they wil be travelling with animals, but they are not required to. Besides nothing prevents anyone from buying a ticket at the last minute. So there is really no way to insure that, when you buy your ticket, that there will be no animal aboard your flight.

 

Further Southwest allows up to six small animals that can be stowed under seat per aircraft. I believe that all major airlines do the same. If you travel on Southwest and mention your allergy, Southwest will try to seat you as far as possible from any animals. If you are really alergic, be advised that there is no way of knowing if an animal was near your seat on a previous flight that day or after the last thorough cleaning of the plane.

 

So, you really do need to take your own precautions be carrying the appropriate meds should you need them.

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Re: Pets On Board

New Arrival

While it's good advice to prepare for a flight by taking meds beforehand, and to do what you can on the flight to ensure your own health, this response and others I've read show a lack of understanding of what it means to have allergies.  I have severe allergies to animals, perfumes, dust, molds, etc.  Being in any public place is a constant risk, a risk that I have no choice but to accept.  I carry an Epipen but in a severe attack, I'm not sure that I could administer it to myself.  The current fad of everyone claiming to have a service dog or emotional support animal is out of hand.  Anyone can order a service dog vest on the internet.  Airlines, hotels, grocery stores, hospitals, car rental agencies, etc.  all have to recognize the risk they are putting people at when they allow such abuses.  And yes, I know there are laws that currently must be adhered to, but companies should be working to get the laws changed, if for no other reason than to avoid the lawsuits that are bound to come as more and more people abuse the priviledge of traveling with an animal.  Hotels limit rooms that can accept pets.  Why can't airlines limit the flights, or at least the seating?  Why not have an option when booking a flight for passengers to declare whether they have allergies or wish to travel with an animal?  First passenger to declare their needs determines whether pets are allowed on that flight.  I know this isn't a perfect solution.  As you point out, dander left from a previous flight could be a problem.  But if the animals were still restricted to (let's say) the rear of the plane, and anyone declaring allergies were seated as far as possible away from that section (whether there's animals on that particular flight or not), that would go a long way toward ensuring the health of everyone.  While I know I can never eliminate all the risk of traveling, there are things you could be doing to improve my chances.