I love dogs. Frankly, I love them more than humans.
I am also a big fan of emotional support/service animals. I love that dogs, as well as other animals, can be used to help people out in a variety of ways.
You know there’s going to be a however coming up…wait for it…
Last year the sister in law of one of my friends needed to take a domestic flight- in coach. She was seated in the window seat of a three seat row. Her middle and aisle seatmates each had emotional support dogs. Dogs of the golden retriever size. You know- pretty big.
So she’s in the window seat, two people and and about 120 pounds of dog all rolled up into the row.
Let me just say that the the window seat woman was 100% ok with all of this. She had no issue at all.
Now, as stated, I love dogs, love the whole support thing…
But I don’t know how OK I would have been with this situation.
I have a little claustrophobia thing about airplanes. Without going too much into the story, I once got briefly locked into an airplane bathroom. To say I am now terrified of this happening again is an understatement.
So me, planes, already a little too close too tight thing going on.
What do you think about this situation? Should one passenger be uncomfortable (either emotionally or physically) for the good of the other passenger?
What if someone is scared of dogs? Or is allergic?
What if the window seat was being used by someone not petite, but average or above average sized?
Should someone traveling with a large support dog/animal be required to buy an extra seat?
If you’re in coach, is the answer “Well, you could have bought business or first class?”
Can you see the service animal rule being abused? FYI- I know someone who bought a “service dog” tag for her dog. Trust me- this particular animal, though well mannered and sweet, is not a support animal in any way, shape or form.