Service Animals on Flights Controversy

As of March 1st, Delta Airlines will be requiring fliers with service animals to submit more paperwork in order to bring their service animal on board. The action came after reports of biting and urinating on flights have nearly doubled since 2016 as a result of pets being fraudulently passed as service animals. Untrained animals have been allowed to board on planes under the pretext that they are needed for emotional and psychological support for those who suffer from anxiety attacks. Fliers have grown upset and angry about having dogs, cats, (even ducks and pigs) that are not trained and working, on the same flight. The constant barking, running down isles and the every now and then bite has done it for passengers.

The Washington Post reported an encounter Mr. Marlin Jackson had on a Delta flight. He “arrived at his row on a Delta flight from Atlanta to San Diego in June, the middle seat was already occupied by a man with a sizable dog on his lap. Jackson squeezed by them to his window seat, and the Labrador mix lunged at his face. The attack lasted about 30 seconds, according to Jackson’s attorney, and left him with facial wounds that required 28 stitches and scars that are still visible today.”

Delta’s new vetting system also emphasizes the safety concerns regarding passengers with allergies, claiming it has become dangerous for them to fly. However, some disability rights advocates argue that it is an attack on their rights as some individuals feel they cannot be separated from their pets. 

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