When it comes to creating unnecessary hassles, delays, and paperwork hurdles, the airline industry is at the top of a long list. Adding to the already full plate of nonsense air passengers have to put up with, Delta has seen fit to begin cracking down on service animals.
Here’s the scoop from CBS News:
Soon Delta Air Lines will require additional documentation for passengers taking service animals with them on flights.
Starting March 1, customers will have to show proof of health or vaccinations for their animals 48 hours in advance. In addition, owners of emotional-support animals will need to sign a statement confirming their animal can behave.
Federal regulators have interpreted a 1986 access-to-travel law to allow support animals in airplane cabins and in apartment buildings that do not allow pets. But some people use untrained pets in order to get them on a plane for free, especially since it’s easy to go online to.
Overall, the airline says it carries 700 service or support animals every day. But people have tried to fly with everything from turkeys, to snakes, spiders and even gliding possums, which are also known as sugar gliders.
Since 2016, the company reported an 86-percent increase in ‘animal incidents’, that include animals urinating, biting or showing acts of aggression. Last June, a 70-pound dog flying as a support animal bit another passenger several times in the face on a Delta plane in Atlanta. The victim was hospitalized.
“For two and a half hours, passengers had to tolerate this dog while it was barking, lunging and disrupting the flight,” Panek said. “No one wanted to confront this individual and say that that dog is not appropriate as an emotional support dog.”
Nineteen states have laws against calling untrained dogs, service dogs. Arizona is considering legislation to become the twentieth.
While we understand the need for stringent policies regarding animals and airplanes, it seems like Delta might be going a bit too far with their regulations. It actually might be a better idea to pass a federal law that determines exactly what is and what isn’t a service or emotional support animal. That way, you’ve either got that card or you don’t and there’s no confusion!
Just a thought…
What’s your opinion on the matter?
Is Delta right on the money or going too far?