The next time you hop on a flight, you aren’t going to spot any of your favorite farm animals roaming the aisle.
Over the years, according to the New York Daily News, individuals claiming to suffer from an array of disabilities were permitted to be accompanied by a service animal when boarding an aircraft. Some travelers would bring turkeys, hamsters, mini horses, and even kangaroos. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation is hoping to put the kybosh on the menagerie and has announced that it will ban emotional support animals on flights, with exception to service dogs.
Many believe this regulation is direly needed, as some passengers would abuse the privilege and would fly their uncaged “pets,” for free. Other reasons for change include “increased incidents of misbehavior and complaints about support animals, and concerns from disability advocates that the attempts to fly with wacky support animals erodes public confidence in a legitimate way to help disabled people,” notes the New York Daily News.
According to the regulation, dogs are accepted on flights because “the Department considered the fact that dogs are the most common animal species used by individuals to mitigate disabilities both on and off an aircraft.” Dogs are believed to have the “temperament” to behave appropriately in a public setting, especially when surrounded by a large group of people.
The new rule will now require that those travelling with service animals to have appropriate documentation. They will be given an earlier check-in time and all animals will be required to be leashed.
“As a frequent flyer – someone who has flown almost three million miles with different airlines over the course of my lifetime – these kinds of measures are long overdue. I have witnessed, first-hand, the abuses by those with a haughty sense of entitlement, who care little about the comfort and safety of fellow passengers,” noted Lucas A. Ferrara, a senior partner at Newman Ferrara LLP.
“But you can expect a slew of civil rights lawsuits, and discrimination claims,” he continued. “For if you permit one species with a ‘good temperament,’ how can you exclude others that may share the same attribute? I’d fasten my seatbelt if I were you. As there’s plenty of turbulence ahead.”
# # #
To read the full report in the New York Daily News, click here: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-rule-would-ban-emotional-support-animals-from-planes-besides-dogs-20200123-g2niy45thrbgphs37zht7kqrwa-story.html
# # #
If you are a victim of discrimination or harassment, of any kind, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our Civil Rights attorneys at 212-619-5400.