This lady took Emotional Support Animals to a new level
Our flight from Seattle to Paris started out seeming like every other flight we’ve ever taken. Boarding was normal and quick and people seemed to be settling in as normal. Then we heard it. It would be the first of many from this one particular emotional support animals throughout the entire flight…
This huge woof roared throughout the cabin and you could see one of the flight attendants scrambling for her phone. She stood near us and said “I’ve got to pull up the regulations on this one… I need to see if I have any legal backing for this…”
While we didn’t want to get too much into it, it didn’t take much guesswork to see what she was talking about. In about a minute we see a head peek around the corner.
Apparently, a passenger had paid for a premium economy (comfort plus) seat, and there was an issue with a large dog (emotional support animal) that would obviously NOT fit under the seat in front of her, so she needed to be moved. She kept saying “I paid an extra $1000 for this seat, and I want that seat!” Obviously this was not going to work and the flight attendants needed to step in.
While I understand that a lot of people need animals to help them get through certain medical conditions or PTSD, I am not in favor or people using their animals to ask for special compensation or special treatment. Obviously this dog would not fit underneath the seat and it would inconvenience the other passengers.
The four bulkhead seats next to us for some reason were not booked, so they offered to give her the bulkhead seats and since no one else would be sitting there, it seemed like a good fix. She would have room to place the dog bed on the floor and he could relax.
Once she moved back there, one of the flight attendants came by to ask if she needed anything and the dog jumped at her and barked loudly. The owner had to yank back at the leash to keep her from jumping on the FA. Sorry, at this point, I would have been 100% behind the dog and the passenger being removed from the plane. If the dog was going to act like this, he’s not fit to fly, just like you would do with a person who is drunk or unruly.
Over the course of the flight, the passenger had the dog up on each seat, sitting and sleeping, lying on his bed on the floor, and in one point during heavy turbulence, she even lied down across all four seats on the floor and curled up with her dog. Seriously?
When I asked the FA (who was obviously disturbed by the entire situation) if she was going to wake up the passenger and make her put on her seatbelt, the answer was about as perfect as I could expect.
“At what point do you have to weigh the benefits of her sitting in her chair with her seatbelt with the headache and problems that waking up a powder keg of a client would cause?”
I’ve got to agree. This has got to be a difficult situation. You obviously want to make sure that the client has their seatbelt fastened in case of even rougher air, but she was already being unruly and a nuisance, so causing a scene onboard would also have not been prudent.