Tag Archives: dogs on planes

Emotional support and flight anxiety

Lots of people are scared of flying – and some overcome this by travelling with an emotional support animal…. BUT … not everyone is in favour of this including the flight attendant who recently had to have 5 stitches after having been bitten by an emotional support animal… here is the full story as reported online –

A flight attendant had to get five stitches after being bitten by an emotional support dog during an American Airlines flight, operated by its subsidiary Envoy Air, this week.

The incident took place on an E-175 aircraft that was traveling from Dallas, Texas, to Greensboro, North Carolina, American Airlines tells PEOPLE.

The customer with the emotional support animal “became ill during flight, and the flight attendant was reaching into the seatback pocket to retrieve the air sickness bag for them,” the airline says.

“The dog apparently felt threatened and bit the flight attendant on their left hand.”

The flight attendant was examined by medical personnel when the plane landed at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in North Carolina, “but did not require any treatment – he was cleared to return to [the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport].”

“Upon return to DFW, the flight attendant subsequently received five stitches,” the airline says.

The Association of Flight Attendants said in a statement Tuesday that the incident “is completely unacceptable and inexcusable,” calling for stricter “standards” when it comes to emotional support animals on flights.

 “For years, AFA has supported the role trained animals can provide to passengers in the cabin, but we have also called for action in regards to setting standards for emotional support animals,” the union’s statement continued.

“We need the Department of Transportation to take action now, so events like the one that happened yesterday do not continue to occur on our planes.”

Well this incident was probably unusual.  I have travelled on flights with pets before – but they were small dogs or cats in carriers placed under the seat.  If the animal is bigger then you would have to have them fly cargo in a proper carrier.  So if it is an emotional support animal that is too big for a carrier under the seat then they can sit on your lap or you might have to purchase another seat for your dog.  I say “dog” because most emotional support animals we see on flights are dogs…. But what about other animals..

American Airlines says only cats and dogs are allowed as emotional support animals in the cabin.  But strangely enough they also say miniature horses are allowed!

The problem is that flying can be very nerve-wracking and if you do have anxiety issues and have an emotional support animal to help with those issues then you really need that help when you fly. 

If you do have a fear of flying you might be comforted to know that you are not alone and you don’t really need to take a horse with you to overcome these fears.  Many celebrities suffer the same anxiety every time they need to get on a flight –

These are just a few of them….

Colin Farrell
Miley Cyrus
Ben Affleck
Taylor Swift
Kate Winslet
Kirsten Dunst
Sandra Bullock
Jennifer Aniston
Megan Fox
Billy Bob Thorton
Justin Bieber

So you are not alone – there are lots of websites with advice out there – breathing techniques, meditation, listening to music, natural remedies, prescription remedies…. The fact of the matter is that in this big world we live in it is the easiest and quickest way to get from A to B …. But I guess if it is really an issue then to get to Europe you could always drive or train to New York and then do the Trans Atlantic on the Queen Mary – now THAT’s travel in style – and no jet lag either!

It’s a dog’s life

Do you travel with your dog?  Many people do and it can be a hassle trying to find hotels that will accommodate them.  Fortunately in North America more hotels are becoming pet friendly.  However travelling around some parts in North America on public transit might be a problem.  The rules of riding on the NYC subway are that in order to bring your pet onto the subway it has to be in a bag.  One thinks of the little mini-dog accessory that many of the “stars” sport these day –

dog and paris
Every girl should have a pair – right????

So how do New York dog lovers get around this?  They just put the damn dog in a bag!
dog in bag

Like that

dog in bag 2

There you go – he’s in a bag.

Getting on a flight is a bit more problematic for dog owners.  The number of dogs allowed in the cabin is limited on each flight and of course you must be able to stow your dog away in a carrier underneath the seat in front of you.  Unless of course you are travelling with a support animal (or two).  Like the two large dogs that travelled in business class next to my husband a year or so ago.  Fair enough seats had been purchased for them (Wow) and the very attractive young lady (well that’s how my husband described her) who owned them indicated that it was an emotional support thing.  Whatever – everyone in the business class cabin made a fuss of them and they were very well-behaved despite a bit of snoring.  I just couldn’t help wondering what happens when they want to poop.

This thought came to me when I was out walking the dog we are suddenly babysitting.  I headed out with two large Safeway bags but a couple of times spotted very organised dog owners with small green bags (just the right size) clipped onto the leash.  In fact I even passed someone who cleverly tied the filled green bag to the leash too.  Poor Mutt!  It was like the equivalent of the Shame scene in Game of Thrones.  Bad enough that you have to be watched pooping – you then have to have it tied around your neck while you walk through the neighbourhood.

Shame!  Shame!

Game of Thrones