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?