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WATCH: Disabled Man Kicked Off US Airways Flight Over Service Dog Controversy

As reported on Fox news, a disabled man was ejected from a US Airways flight after he apparently refused to make his service dog, a Golden Retriever, lay on the floorboard. The dog was sitting on the seat, but US Airways found this unacceptable. As seen in the video, the man was quite upset and belligerent, but his position is understandable since the dog would’ve barely fit between his feet and the seat in front of him as the airline was requesting for him to do on the small CRJ aircraft.

We can only hope that US Airways refunds the man and accommodates him since even if he was being a bit brash, he did have his dog’s best interests at heart and was clearly very upset by the whole affair. Below is the accompanying text from the YouTube video which indicates that “children can be held on laps,” so it seems that US Airways could have made an exception here, but they were likely not prone to do so since man was yelling loudly and became indignant very quickly.

This Vietnam War Veteran was removed from this U.S. Airways flight on 31 Aug 13. This man was 100% disabled and was accompanied by a Golden Retriever service dog. The reason this man was removed was because the airline wanted the dog to lay on the floorboard by the mans feet for takeoff and landing and the dog was sitting in the seat. The mans protest was understandable because being a small CRJ aircraft and the dog being full size it was hard for the dog to fit on the floor between the seats.The dog was behaving beautifully while seated in the seat and not bothering anyone. After the man was escorted off of the airplane the police officer came on board (not shown in the video) and said to the people on board the aircraft “Folks we are going to see how you feel the situation was handled. Do you think it was right for this man to be escorted off of this aircraft?” The individuals on the airplane replied with a thunderous (shaking me in my seat as I yelled) NO!!! My arguments…. 1) Parents are allowed to hold their children unbuckled in their lap for take off so why shouldn’t this man be allowed to hold on to his working dog for take off? (The Government gives veterans with PTSD service dogs that are trained to help calm the veterans in stressful situations). 2) The airlines policies should be written to act as a guide and not a hard and fast rule. I am a pilot myself and to my knowledge the FARs do not prohibit an animal from sitting in a passengers seat.(Ref: FAR 135.85).

As you can see in the video this man stands up and apologizes to the passengers on board while waiting for the police to arrive.

My opinion is that U.S. Airways needs to re-visit their “policies” and reimburse this man his money at the minimum.

What are your thoughts?

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1 comment

  1. I being this man Terry J. paid for front row seating behind the bulkhead seat 1A window 3 months in advance through a travel agency. USAir gave my seat to someone else, and placed me four rows back without a bulkhead for the safety of my service dog. I was told by USAir that I could not have my service dog on the seat. My response was, for the safety of my dog he would not be on the floor during take off or landing because I no longer had the protection of the bulkhead. I was removed from the plain by airport police. I and my dog were placed in different cells (separated from each other). I was in jail for over an hour, before I was told by the police that USAir had decided to pay for a hotel room for me and my dog and a $10.00 food voucher. USAir gave me a ( free ) ride to my final destination the next day and a ticket to see the judge in 8 days for Court. I did not go back to see the judge. I wrote letter to the judge requesting a change of venue and more time to recover from my flight on USAir, and that I am not guilty of breaking any law. I never received a response. I am now a wanted man by the laws of Arizona. USAir has taken my freedom away from me. USAir has caused a great deal stress in my life. My first three flights were great, I was able to sit in my prepaid seat, it clearly stated on all boarding tickets that I had a 80lb service dog. No one has seen the whole video, the beginning or the end just the middle.

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