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A Viet Nam Vet was kicked off a US Airways plane Saturday when he refused to make his service dog, a Golden Retriever, lay on the floor under the seat.

The ADA specifies, in regards to Service Animals:

A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his service animal from the premises unless: (1) the dog is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or (2) the dog is not housebroken.

Although the Vet got a little hot, the fact is he DID earn great honor and respect by serving our country. Furthermore, these service dogs are typically the most well-behaved and disciplined animals, taught to react properly in an emergency.

The seat next to the Vet was empty, there was no indication the Golden was misbehaving in any way.

Have a heart US Airways: if anything, this service dog might have garnered untold goodwill and even been a tremendous help in the event of an unforeseen crisis.

 

service dog

Viet Nam Memorial Wall

 
 
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  • Retired Marine MSgt

    I don’t know about the rest of you who have read this article, but US Airways has just lost me as a potential customer.

    • tamij

      Ditto MSgt! Thank-you for your service. Had I been a flight attendant, I would have said, “Excuse me sir, would you mind if I got a blanket to cover the seat and then we’ll get you Golden all situated?” I would have added “thank-you for your service…let me know if you need anything!”

      US Airways would have accrued so much goodwill: they couldn’t BUY the kind of advertising they would have had if they’d treated that Vet with respect and honor!

    • Jeff Price

      I don’t know if this has been mentioned. The HQ for US Airways is (was?) located in Washington DC. An indicator of the times we live in, I guess. The only airline headquartered in our nations capitol cannot treat our warriors with honor and respect. Classic Huh?

  • John W Tobin

    I am a VN Vet myself. I have Great respect for this Vet and his dog. BUT, dogs shed and they are prone to having dirty paws. If I was in charge I probably would have offered to put a towel or blanket on the seat.

    • Retired Marine MSgt

      Why is your “Avatar” upside down?

      • John W Tobin

        The Treasury is in Distress!

        • Retired Marine MSgt

          Well then, OKAY!
          ;-)

    • Alexxthegreat

      Thank you, also..for your service…..
      The cleaning crew could have handled it when they got to their destination.

      • John W Tobin

        :D And thank you for your service!

      • WASP

        Dog’s paws are no dirties than a human’s footwear, maybe less, because they clean them a lot. How often have you seen a man licking his shoes?

        It’s surprising which articles become A-hole magnets. This is one of them. no telling which will be.

  • Alexxthegreat

    First…a huge thank you for his service…

    If I were on that plane I would have started an applause on behalf of the vet and his dog…..How can any airline dishonor a man who did what many will not do, especially during that conflict…so many committed treason by running to Canada….
    The man earned the right to have his service animal…..The airline could have handled it better.
    God bless this American Hero.

  • Stacey Torres

    Part of having a service dog – not a pet – the handler is required to keep the dog clean and in good appearance while out in public. It’s doubtful that the dog was muddy before entering the plane. The hair could have easily been taken care of with the use of airplane blankets. Secondly, to ask that a golden retriever lie on the floor for an entire flight is ludicrous. I can barely fit my purse under me let alone a 75 lb dog. The airline should indeed have offered to put something on the seat. I’m not understanding how ADA laws are not introduced to so many businesses as a general requirement. The day that I get on a plane with MY service dog (which is a 70lb Rottweiler Lab mix) and they give me any trouble, the airline better be prepared to face some consequences because I’m not very old to (to take advantage of) and I know the law. Plus, I’m stubborn.

    • Irish78623

      Stacey, I don’t see why they couldn’t just allow the dog to sit in the seat, with a blanket to cover the seat, had the man ‘brought’ something to cover the seat.. You do have to remember however that most airline flight connect with other flights.Although that seat might not have been taken right at that moment it doesn’t mean it would not have been filled at the next stop. How would you like to be dressed on your way to a business meeting or even just vacation or a visit, sit in a seat not knowing it was covered in dog hair. Could be pretty detrimental if you are going to a business meeting to go in with dog hair all over the back of your suit. Also, do you think that they actually wash the blankets after each use? No, they are folded up for the next person.

      As for a Golden Retriever not being able to lay still for that long. it’s a “service” dog and service dogs are trained to do just that, if you have a service dog as you say you should know that. Also, as I’m sure you do know while they may have to allow service dogs in most instances. When you have a service dog you are also told you need to follow the rules that are inplace

      • Stacey Torres

        Okay, yeah, I can see your point on the business suit part. Never thought of that, and have never been on an airline with my dog either… for now. But about the dog being able to lay still – I wasn’t saying that. I was talking about the very small amount of space on the floor, I just don’t see how that would be possible to safely sit that way for the dog or the veteran the entire flight.

        • Irish78623

          True it is a small amount of space, I can’t imagine that you don’t have to state when you are traveling with a service dog. They really need to do everything possible to accommodate the dog. Like maybe make that customer priority for a bulkhead seat. There is more floor and leg space in the bulkhead row. Definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. I mean it’s not like you are likely to have more than 1 service dog on a flight, I’ve NEVER been on a flight with a service dog.

          • Stacey Torres

            Well out of courtesy, I’ve been told that contacting the airline beforehand so that they may be able to at least prepare somewhat to accommodate the dog(s) is a lot more helpful then just showing up. The veteran in the video didn’t seem very composed either – I’m sure due to jumping to conclusions or misinterpreting what the flight attendant was asking of him.

          • Camaro

            Stacey so you are aware if you ever do fly with your service dog, the ADA does not apply to airline travel, the Air Carrier Access Act is the governing law.

          • Stacey Torres

            Sorry but you’re incorrect. The ACAA states the same discriminatory laws that the ADA does except it’s even more specific. The ACAA even states that emotional support dogs are allowed in the aircraft unlike many places the ADA states businesses do not have to. The only time an airline has the right to ask to remove a service animal is if the animal cannot fit within the cabin without causing an obstruction for safety reasons AND the airline has tried everything possible to make the accommodations (i.e. there are no other areas of the plane to which the handler and dog can be moved, such as the flight being full). That being said, the airline must offer the option for the owner and animal to take a later flight without a charge OR they have the option of allowing the animal to be placed in the cargo hold – also at no charge.

          • Camaro

            Stacey how am I incorrect? I said the ADA does not apply to airline travel, and it doesn’t. ADA regs page 5 “… an air carrier that flies in and out of the same airport is required to comply with the ACAA, but is not covered by title III of the ADA.”

            As far as this case, the airline never asked him to remove the dog, just not have it on the seat. From the ACAA page 79 “the following are not required in providing accommodations for users of service animals: Furnishing more than one seat per ticket”.

            By having the dog use a seat he was using more than
            one seat per ticket, the airline had the right to say no, when they did he became belligerent and his behavior is why he was asked to leave. He was not discriminated against because of his service dog.

  • Time4Dogs

    There are people out there who simply hate dogs….I once traveled with my dog in a carrier and the person next to me said, “she’s not coming out of there is she?” and got up and moved anyway. I paid quite a bit of extra money to be able to carry my dog on. A plane cabin is a public area and dogs properly restrained, and particularly service animals, should not be denied cabin space. Air is meticulously filtered on planes, mitigating the chance of allergic reaction for those who are sensitive. (peanut allergies can kill, but no one so far has banned peanuts from being brought on board). The fact is that some people are just plain heartless.

    • suze13

      You overstate the case of the air being “meticulously filtered” on planes. If that were so, the guy wouldn’t have needed to invent Airborne. The fact is some people may have been attacked by out of control dogs as children, gotten over their fear but not their dislike of dogs. Just because someone doesn’t like dogs does not make them heartless. (Obviously, I am speaking about myself.) I am no dog lover, but I would have stood up for that vet and his dog. Vets deserve our respect and service dogs are not going to be a nuisance in any given situation.

      • Alexxthegreat

        Service dogs are far less of a nuisance than most people are.

        Sad that you are not a ‘dog’ person…but not everyone loves animals…You are to be respected for being honest.

      • Time4Dogs

        “Airborne” was concocted by a woman. It is a vitamin, homeopathic and herbal supplement. Many cold and flu germs can be spread by droplets to those in the immediate vicinity; however, cold and flu viruses are mostly spread by direct contact, they are not “airborne” per se, and cannot be spread via an air circulation/filtration system.
        There are no clinical studies that prove effectiveness of this drug store product “Airborne” for anything. It may help to boost the immune system but it has no specific effect on any particular contagious disease. That being said, thanks for being willing to stand up for a man and his service dog despite your aversion to dogs. You are to be commended.

  • Jennifer Brown

    Heartbreaking. The way service members are treated anymore is disgusting. I am not active duty myself, but my husband is. Are we somehow less of a person because our families served? service members served For everyone because no one else would go. Someone had to go and fight. Have a little respect. And a service dog will not fit on the freaking floor. Geez! Be reasonable. And did anyone else notice when the one person clapped? How everyone turned and stared at them and then the person immediately stopped clapping as the man was removed? Guess they noticed no one else on the plane returned their sentiment for having the vet removed. Haha stupid people. What I am more disappointed about is no one else stood up for the man.

  • Bev Wafford Morris

    As a former flight attendant, I’m wondering if there’s more to the story. Federal law prohibits having ‘loose’ objects in the plane for takeoff and landing. The flight attendant may have been asking him to place the animal in a spot where the dog would be unlikely to become airborne during take-off and landing, since the dog cannot wear a seatbelt. The FA was likely trying to prevent injury to the dog or other passengers, if that was the case.

    The FA wasn’t asking him to do anything other than the follow the policy stated on US Airways’ website. “There is no limit to the number and type of service animals as long as they fit on your lap or in front of your seat. Aisles may not be obstructed.” (http://www.usairways.com/en-US/traveltools/specialneeds/animals.html) Why didn’t the veteran check the airline’s service animal policy before booking?

    • gahnzo55

      Seriously, worried about going airborne? in what, a crash? I think we all know in a crash your pretty likely to just bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.. I don’t really think your going to be very worried about a Golden Retriever flying through the air. along with all the purses, knapsacks, tablets, phones etc that people carry on planes. .and if no one was in the next seat, who cares? Was it really necessary? to have him arrested? He got hot yes, but didn’t seem necessary on the part of the airlines.

      • Bev Wafford Morris

        Yes, seriously, for the same reason that you must be buckled with your seat belt fastened. You don’t seem to understand what could go wrong on a take-off or landing that might cause loose things in the cabin to go all over the place. It’s the same reason you’re not allowed to have a small, 20 pound suitcase sitting on your seat during take-off or landing.

        And people survive crashes during take-off and landing all the time. http://planecrashinfo.com/cause.htm See the chart marked Accidents and Fatalities by Phase of Flight. Your chances of survival are much higher during a crash during these two times than any other.

    • Brenda Carter

      An animal that large can wear a seatbelt. He could have and should have use it.

      • Bev Wafford Morris

        Perhaps he should have bought a seat for the dog and brought a seatbelt he could snap into the airplane’s seatbelt, as well as informing the airline in advance of what he planned. If you want special treatment, the best policy is to ask, not assume it will be okay.

    • Time4Dogs

      How many service dogs fit on your lap or in front of your seat? NONE OF THEM. Time to revise this unreasonable policy.

      • Bev Wafford Morris

        Here’s a list of small service dogs that can easily fit in your lap or under the seat of an airplane. http://animal.discovery.com/pets/10-small-dog-breeds-for-therapy-work.htm My father was blind and had a cocker spaniel named Max.

        • Time4Dogs

          My sister is a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind. They don’t use Cocker Spaniels, and never have to our knowledge. They use German Shepherds, Standard Poodles, Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers and mixes of those breeds, exclusively. There may be other types of service dogs for other disabilities, but for guide dog service, small breeds of dogs are not used.

          • Bev Wafford Morris

            Maybe your sister doesn’t raise cockers for that, but, according to this article, it is done. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_breeds_of_dog_are_used_as_service_dogs And I happen to have lived with a cocker spaniel service dog for about 5 years.

          • Time4Dogs

            Read what I wrote. I did not dispute that Cockers can function as SERVICE DOGS. I have never heard of them being used for GUIDE DOGS FOR THE BLIND which is a specific type of service dog. You are completely missing the point of LARGE service animals, which are a goodly percentage of all service animals, being unable to fit under the seat or in someone’s lap. Are you suggesting that we should try to convert all the service dogs to small breeds just to mollify the airlines’ arbitrary policies?

    • AmericanGram

      do you know that or thin that must be true? We weren’t there so I guess we won’t ever really know.

  • Cynthia Traylor

    What a shame I got spit on when I got back.God bless this man

    • Shaungrl

      Ma’am, I’d be proud take spit for you. I apologize for my fellow ‘Americans’. I would like, this moment, to thank you for your service to this country and to me and mine. I pray your nights be sweet without bad dreams, and your days be blessed.

  • Trudy Miller

    Dis honoring vets? Yet muslims can fly with burka’s on face covered, not be searched. What a load of CRAP. My advice do not fly with that airline !

  • AmericanGram

    The airlines was wrong to evict him; Someone needing to be “Large and Incharge” I guess.. but he was wrong to make belligerent remarks to make it personal. Maybe both sides could learn from this in the future. The dog behavior was not a problem so they should have abided by the service animal act and allowed them to stay. Oh yea, and SHAME on the people who clapped when the veteran was led away by police.

  • ARMYOF69

    I have owned my whole life, and have never seen one of them dirtying a seat. Some hair shed, perhaps. What is the BIG deal with this airline?
    BOYCOTT THEM..especially if you a VETERAN.

  • WASP

    Hit them in the wallet. That’s the only thing these weasels understand. The way to punish rich people is to turn them into poor people.

    • Gary

      You were not there, but you sound like a typical libturd!

  • Camaro

    Please correct the article and remove the section about the ADA, the article and the veteran are wrong. The ADA does not apply to airline travel, the Air Carriers Access Act is the governing law. From the ADA regs pg 5 “… an air carrier that flies in and out of the same airport is required to comply with the ACAA, but is not covered by title III of the ADA.” From the ACAA “the following are not required in providing accommodations for users of service animals: Furnishing more than one seat per ticket” By having the dog use a seat he was using more than one seat per ticket, the airline had the right to say no, when they did he became belligerent and his behavior is why he was asked to leave. He was not discriminated against because of his service dog.

  • poptoy1949

    Absolutely Sinful. Well, they have lost my business for life.

  • Brem jds

    I’d like to thank the person who took the video and those who reported/shared the story. We believe in supporting our Veterans. We’ll show our support for this Veteran and his service dog by no longer flying U.S. Airways. I’ve heard their attempts to justify their actions. They failed miserably.