Fly the not-so-friendly skies

The actual support animals are typically very, very well trained. The ones going crazy on the planes are usually just house pets.

It’s not just the abusers though. If airlines stopped killing pets, some of the pet owners might stop trying to lie about why their animal is there. It’s probably easy to forget because of one disaster after another with this industry, but the way they sometimes handle pets has been pretty tragic.

This is an excellent point and probably what has driven passengers to take advantage of the lax rules in the first place.

Or maybe leave your pets at home?

Not every trip is a… vacation.

I wonder what the statistics are on pet injury/death during airplane cargo transport. We obviously hear stories here and there, but I wonder if those are tragic one-offs or statistically high occurrences.

Statistically, it wasn’t high but…

I mean go look at our pet topic and ask yourself which pet deserves to suffocate to death. I think what makes some of these especially hard is the ones that make the news, they sound so preventable, and yeah if they had been with the owners, they likely wouldn’t die. It’s hard to tell someone not to hold their cat where they can soothe and calm them, know there is breathable air, and it’s temperature controlled to throw them into that space with the other cargo instead.

And no, not everyone is taking their pet on tropical paradise vacations and refusing to leave them behind in some shelter which… have problems themselves. There are valid reasons for people to travel with their pets, and I think many pet owners who could afford it would choose a safer option than throw them in with cargo but not next to the guy with dog allergies… if there was actually an option for that.

But the problems with the emotional pets, I mean it was not good. It would be a tough call for me to take my pet screaming for hours on a plane or traveling days in a car. I wouldn’t lie about it, but even if I bought a seat for the carrier it would be miserable. I don’t envy anyone making those choices, and purse dogs suddenly seem more viable when it comes to travel.

Thanks for the link. That’s statistically really low. The info on certain breeds of dogs being much more susceptible is interesting.

One of the general issues with “emotional support animals” is that there has never been any official certification or training for them. You just tell your doctor that you need it, and they write a prescription for it, which usually amounted to nothing more than a vague note. Other folks figured out that there was no real governance, so they just started naming whatever they wanted as their ESA. There are zillion scammy sites that say they will “officially register” your ESA, which confuses the issue for people.

On the flipside, the fact that businesses are afraid of of being sued so they usually restrict their employees from even questioning things hasn’t helped matters.

  • When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

Statistically it’s fairly low, but then you have shit like flight attendants telling people to put dogs in the overhead compartment and for some reason people stopped trusting the airlines with their pets.

Having them in the baggage hold has always been fairly sketchy tbh. It’s cold as fuck down there and trusting the luggage handlers with your pet when you see how they treat everything is a rational reason to be concerned.

Especially when you pay extra for the privilege.

Putting my dogs in the hold of a plane is nightmare fuel. It’s like failing one of those psychology experiments from the ‘60s trying to get you to do bad things.

I hope i would have the presence of mind (and ability of circumstance) to tell them no if I were forced to choose between bringing my pets at all and shoving them in the hold. It also makes me feel obligated to buy them seats for them were it every necessary to fly with them, even if they were in carriers.

Very few die, but they can be traumatized. They put them in a cargo hold and stuff can happen there.

So here’s our situation. When the GF’s daughter goes back to college next fall she has to fly into Newfoundland. It’s highly impractical to drive – it would take about 50 hours to drive there.

Unfortunately this kid has a dog – I still consider ita mistake and it has profoundly changed her college experience, living by herself in an apartment instead of on campus in a dorm with others, but that bridge has been crossed and burned.

She got a psychiatrist to write her a letter saying she needed the dog for emotional support. So she has been flying with this dog. I don’t know what this is going to do to that plan. All I know is I do not want this dog in my care full-time. It’s a sweet little thing, but it runs away at every chance it gets and it still sometimes poops in the house.

So she either continues to finagle the dog as an emotional support animal or it flies in the cargo hold or she leaves it with us, which is going to make one of us unhappy.

When our (previous) cats moved with us from Canada, they rode in the cabin, under the seats in front of us, sedated. I wonder if that’s still doable. Obvs doesn’t work with a dog.

The dog I’m referring to is small and can ride in the girl’s lap. She does give it a sedative. It’s reasonably well behaved, but I sympathize with any on the plane being annoyed by animals. Flights can be stressful enough.

As far as I know, animals that can fit in a carriers beneath your seat can fly in the cabin regardless of support animal status.

The issue is generally fees. A companion pet fare ($100+) versus a service animal fare ($0).

A lot of people treat their pets like family. Imagine if only a few grandmas died every year due to the fact we just treated her like cargo. I just think they could give people a legit way to protect the animals flying without lying about it.

If you don’t put the pets in cargo, where do you put them?

Here were the numbers for 2017:

The Transportation Department counted 506,994 animals transported last year, including 24 that died, 15 that were injured and one that was lost.

Those were for animals travelling in cargo. No numbers on pets that died while travelling in the passenger area.

You can’t put all pets in the passenger areas. Sometimes it’s the carrier. Sometimes it’s the pet itself, like size. That rare bunny they sent… didn’t have a passenger. One of them advertises sending pets, I think, and it doesn’t require a person to travel with them.

Again I never said it was statistically high, only that these are very much preventable. You don’t shove a rabbit in a amazon box and punch holes in it, throw it in the mailbox and call it good.

This is not defensible. I am not sure why it’s being implied that it is.

I don’t get it. There are variety of circumstances where it’s not appropriate or allowed for people to have pets with them: most workplaces, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, public transportation, public restrooms, movie theaters, etc. Basically any place where you shouldn’t go now because of COVID, you shouldn’t bring a pet either, because it creates a negative externality: a public cost that is borne by other people, like pollution or overfishing or communicable disease. Airplanes are the same. Don’t bring your dog into the passenger compartment on a flight. If you need to travel with it, drive or use a specialty company that ships pets. It’s one of the costs you assume–like vet bills, pet food, daily walks, picking up shit, etc–when you decide to take on the responsibility of having a pet.