Originally Posted by 36Monsters
While trying to fly back home for Christmas, I found out, rather unfortunately, that Southwest Airlines is not therapy dog friendly, regardless of what the law says!
I made it all the way to Oakland California from Burbank with my dog, my letters from my doctor, my military ID, and all his applicable paperwork...but the airlines would not let me continue on to Boise, Idaho! Worse still was that they absolutely refused to let me make other arrangements with Southwest...
So, there I was, at ten at night, with no other flights leaving to Idaho until the next morning. I had to rebook through Delta, find a hotel for the night, and make sure that I was able to get back to the airport the NEXT morning to make my flight!
Southwest, the entire time, claimed that I had never shown them proof of my dogs paperwork and that I had been "Sneaking" him on board and that he was a disruption to passengers (which is bull puckey as he was NEVER out of his carrier while on the flight and had been sedated and was sleeping). OUTRAGEOUS! I had ALL his paperwork, had been CLEARED through Burbank, and had spoken with numerous gate agents along the way, all who assured me I was fine!
JUST AN FYI...Southwest has had a history of unreasonable removals of passengers from their flights...from people with wardrobe the airlines felt was inappropriate all the way to a poor man with Autism who was not only kicked off, but shuttled for 12 hours on various flights around the country while his frantic family tried to track him down!
When we spoke with Southwest representatives concerning this matter they said that it was against their policies to allow any animals on their planes, regardless of the reason. When I quoted the laws as outlined by the Americans With Disabilities Act as well as the medical documentation as supplied by the VFW, the response was "Well, you don't look like you have any disabilities..." Apparently you have to be physically disabled to be allowed by Southwest, and even that is probably a big IF.
I am an Afghanistan/Iraq war veteran with diagnosed bipolar and post traumatic stress syndrome. My dog is an emotional support dog who not only helps me with flying but from reoccuring night terrors and panic attacks. He has, on one very serious occasion, saved my life. This dog is NOT A PET, he is my life line.
Boycot Southwest. Fly Delta.
I just read your story about the trouble you had with Southwest Airlines. The employees who acted like that is dispicable. Unfortunately some people still believe that disabilities are only physical, like blindness or Cerebral Palsey.
I do have a question. You wrote that your dog is a therapy dog. Did you mean a Psychiatric Service Dog? I kind of assume that you did mean a PSD, but the two titles are very different.
If you can prove that you kept your dog in the crate and had all the paperwork, I think you should sue the heck out of Southwest. I forget if you mentioned the breed you have. I just tried to research a little about dogs in airplane cabins, and, at the very least Continental is very clear about their policy toward pets. I also looked up the Southwest Airline's pet policy, which was a little ambiguos, but the dog should have been allowed on the airplaine "Small cats and dogs are now (effective June 17, 2009) allowed to travel in the cabin of the aircraft on Southwest Airlines flights. The pet must be small enough to fit in an approved under the seat carrier. Each airline has different rules regarding pets in the cabin. There was no mention of a policy for PSD's, but that makes your story even more infuriating.
I'm not a lawyer, but I'm very passionate about the rights of people with invisible disabilities. I also don't remember the date that you had posted your story (memory issues directly related to my conditions), but I hope you don't have to go through an ordeal like that again.