Alaska adjusts PET policy |

AW | 2020 12 30 14:52 | AIRLINES / GOVERNMENT

First policies of change transport animals

Alaska Airlines has announced changes in the animal transport policy after the introduction of new regulations in force in transport in the United States. The carriers were the first company to introduce the modifications as of January 11, 2021, authorizing and limiting certain emotional support animals on commercial flights. The airline says it will allow service dogs only, after a move by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has reclassified the types of service animals allowed on flights.

The airline, acting on the basis of new federal guidelines aimed at curbing a range of sometimes exotic animals that passengers have brought onto commercial aircraft as emotional support animals, kept it simple by announcing this Tuesday 12/29 what would allow: Only qualified service dogs that are capable of lying on the ground or being held on your lap, that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Ray Prentice, Director of Customer Advocacy for Alaska Airlines, who said it was the first major airline to publicly change its animal policy in light of updated federal guidelines, said the airline’s decision was a positive step. “This regulatory change is good news as it will help us reduce disturbances on board, while continuing to accommodate our guests traveling with qualified service animals.”it said in a statement.

A December 2, 2020 ruling by the United States Department of Transportation amending the department’s Airline Company Access Act gives airlines the authority to classify emotional support animals as emotional support animals rather than service animals. Under the rule, only dogs that meet specific training criteria are allowed as service animals for people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities. The new regulatory ruling has been criticized by disability rights advocates, who said the restrictions would weaken protections for people with disabilities by limiting the definition of a service animal. According to the formal guidance published by the Department of Transportation in 2019, common service animals include miniature dogs, cats, and horses.

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Approaching criticism

“While it is no secret that we remain a long way from a truly accessible transportation system in this country, the DOT rule will only serve to exacerbate existing inequalities for people with disabilities participating in air travel and will instead accommodate almost exclusively to the interests of the airline industry “said Curt Decker, Executive Director of the National Disability Rights Network, in a statement this month. Despite criticism, airlines and others in the air travel industry, such as lobby group Airlines for America (A4A), have celebrated the recent changes, saying they will do more to decrease animal misbehavior in flights and assisting individuals who abuse the rules regarding service animals.

In the past, passengers have tried to travel with a variety of animals, from the mundane to the downright unusual, such as pigs, monkeys and birds, including the typical case of a peacock that has been denied in flight.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines miniature dogs and horses as service animals “that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” Under the act, dogs that only provide emotional support are not designated as service animals.

Alaska Airlines’ revised policy will allow a maximum of two service dogs per guest and will include psychiatric service dogs. Passengers will also need to submit a form, developed by the Department of Transportation, confirming that a dog is a service animal and has received proper training and vaccinations.

First policies of change transport animals

Alaska Airlines has announced changes to the animal transport policy following the introduction of new regulations in force in transportation in the United States. The carriers were the first company to introduce the modifications as of January 11, 2021, authorizing and limiting certain emotional support animals on commercial flights. The airline says it will allow service dogs only, after a move by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has reclassified the types of service animals allowed on flights.

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Acting on new federal guidelines aimed at curbing a range of sometimes exotic animals that passengers have brought onto commercial aircraft as emotional support animals, the airline kept it simple by announcing this Tuesday 12/29 what it would allow: Only qualified service dogs that are capable of lying on the ground or being held on your lap, that are trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Ray Prentice, Director of Customer Advocacy for Alaska Airlines, who said it was the first major airline to publicly change its animal policy in light of updated federal guidelines, said the airline’s decision was a positive step. “This regulatory change is good news as it will help us reduce disturbances on board, while continuing to accommodate our guests traveling with qualified service animals”, he said in a statement.

A Dec.2, 2020 ruling by the United States Department of Transportation that amended the department’s Airline Company Access Act gives airlines the authority to classify emotional support animals as emotional support animals rather than service animals. Under the rule, only dogs that meet specific training criteria are allowed as service animals for people with physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disabilities. The new regulatory ruling has been criticized by disability rights advocates, who said the restrictions would weaken protections for people with disabilities by limiting the definition of a service animal. According to the formal guidance published by the Department of Transportation in 2019, common service animals include miniature dogs, cats, and horses.

Approaching criticism

“While it is no secret that we remain a long way from a truly accessible transportation system in this country, the DOT rule will only serve to exacerbate existing inequalities for people with disabilities who participate in air travel, and instead will accommodate almost exclusively to the interests of the airline industry”, said Curt Decker, Executive Director of the National Network for Disability Rights, in a statement this month. Despite the criticism, airlines and others in the air travel industry, such as the pressure group Airlines for America (A4A), have celebrated the recent changes, saying they will do more to decrease animal misbehavior on flights and help to individuals who abuse the rules regarding service animals.

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In the past, passengers have tried to travel with a variety of animals, from the mundane to the downright unusual, such as pigs, monkeys and birds, including the typical case of a peacock that has been denied in flight.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines miniature dogs and horses as service animals “that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities.” Under the act, dogs that only provide emotional support are not designated as service animals.

Alaska Airlines’ revised policy will allow a maximum of two service dogs per guest and will include psychiatric service dogs. Passengers will also need to submit a form, developed by the Department of Transportation, confirming that a dog is a service animal and has received proper training and vaccinations.

PUBLISHER: Airgways.com
DBk: Alaskaair.com / Transportation.gov / Nrdn.org / Airgways.com
AW-POST: 202012301452AR

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