I understand the allergy issue, but having flown on many airlines with my service dog, I have not run into any issues with people suffering allergies - I always let the people around me know when I sit down, before the place takes off, that I have a service dog (he is only 25 lbs, and is trained to be as unobtrusive as possible in crowded situations, so most times people do not even know he is there), and if they have any issues (fear of dogs, allergies, etc.) to please let the attendant know, and they will assist us in resolving the problem.
Actually, there was only one problem, a drama queen that had been on both legs of the flight I was on with no issues, who suddenly developed allergies and demanded to be moved.
They moved us to first class once they checked to be sure there were no allergy issues with the passengers there, which is actually what he was trying to get seated- he threw a fit it was us and not him.
IF he had not been so obvious about his intentions or obnoxious about the whole situation, they would have moved *him* to first class instead of me, but they explained they did not want to reward him, as that would cause him to try that stunt every time he flew.
None of the flights I have ever flown on with airlines that allowed animals have had smelly dog issues, or pets defecating issues, or pets barking and whining issues, and I am sure there were more pets on the flights than I knew about. They are unobtrusive, as they are under the seat and are not allowed out of their carriers.
Since passengers cannot control whether or not service animals are allowed on board, it is likely you may have flown with one on a SW airlines flight in the past and not even known it.
So, the new rules do not affect me one way or another, but having extensive experience traveling with a dog, I can say my experience has been that most people are not even aware if there are under the seat pets are on board.
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