On U.S. Planes, the Dogs Are Winning

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The airlines discouraged pets in the past but this tradition is changing rapidly. The new rules from airlines are making it easy for the pet owners to take their animals with them. US Airline efforts to corral the menagerie of pet animals in airplane cabins have fizzled this summer.

Delta Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines and other carriers have tightened requirements on emotional-support animals, in bid to curb the dramatic increase in dogs, cats and other creatures flying uncaged with airline passengers. This policy is causing a decrease in the number of cats, dogs, and other animals that fly with passengers without a cage.

The pets have to adjust in a small space in some cases. For example, if you person has a 50-pound dog, he will share space in tiny coach seats with their owners and neighboring passengers.

Delta Airlines says it has had six biting incidents in 2 months. The airline now carries about 700 emotional-support animals and service dogs on flights every day. The total number of animal incidents on airplanes such as, barking, urination and biting has increased 84% since 2016, says Gil West, Delta’s chief operating officer.


In June, a Delta Airlines flight attendant was badly scratched by a pit bull, So Delta Airlines banned that breed from riding in its cabin. “I think we’ve hit a tipping point,” Mr. West says. “We’re very concerned about the safety of our customers and our crew.”

The number of passengers paying pet fees continues to rise. There’s also a cultural change happening. Pets are treated as family, welcomed at hotels and restaurants. Once the air travel with pets became easier, the barn door opened.

J.D. Floyd, a traveler who logs more than 100,000 air miles a year as a financial consultant, has seen many dogs and one ferret fly as an emotional-support animal. They cause fewer problems than rambunctious children, he says. To him, emotional-support animals have just become a new way to game the system and thumb a nose at strict airline rules.

Mr. Floyd points to passengers who haul oversize bags to gates and then line up quickly when agents ask for volunteers to check bags, thus avoiding baggage fees.

“It’s not just emotional-support animals when it comes to travel gaming,” he says.

Original Source of the Article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/on-u-s-planes….

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