Disabled Yet Denied Dog

April 4, 2009

in Animal Stories

I was flying from El Paso to Burbank about a year and a half ago. I travel with a service dog. When I make my airline reservations, I am very clear that I travel with a service dog.

My flight from El Paso to Phoenix was cancelled, and *** airlines put me on another flight. We taxied in El Paso for two hours, and the flight attendants announced on the loudspeaker that they had taken care of everyone’s connector flights. When we arrived in Phoenix, the connecting flight to Burbank had left 20 minutes earlier and the entire flight was advised that it was our problem, not theirs.

To make matters worse, the gate attendant looked at me, said I looked fine and wanted to know why I had a service dog, and she could not let me on unless she knew ! I read her the riot act, then told everyone who missed their flight what to do, who to contact and how to get retribution for *** airline’s error. I also have a suit pending against this airline for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1993!

{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon April 12, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Good for you! I am also disabled and travel with a service animal. I also have been denied until I pull out my business card and state that unless they want a federal lawsuit on their hands they will allow the dog. (I am a disability advocate and work with the government on disability issues. I know the law.)

I have sued 2 airlines and won. They may tout that because they are in the sky, that FAA rules only apply. Not true, like the FAA the ADA is FEDERAL. If you ever encounter this again contact the DOJ immediately (they do have a 24 hour number) and tell them your situation, or contact the airline customer service, explain what is going on and see if they can resolve it. If none of this works and you are still denied boarding, ask for a refund and find an airline that will fly you and your dog. (Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, and NW Airlines are wonderful with regards to disability.) Sorry about your experience and Good luck with the not so friendly skies in the future.

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H E Pennypacker April 12, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Why didn't you name the airline??? Let everyone know who did this to you!

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paul April 12, 2009 at 8:45 pm

yeah, i want to know that airline so i dont fly it. i am considered ADA….please tell us. thanks

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Hugh April 13, 2009 at 3:55 am

She asked why you needed the dog, a reasonable sounding request, post 9/11 and you freaked out. Sounds like your disability is being an a-hole. Grow up and stop wearing your disability like a badge.

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Vicky February 26, 2015 at 3:01 pm

If the dog is wearing a vest, or otherwise clearly marked as a service animal then the attendant shouldn't need to ask why she needed the dog.

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Amber May 20, 2016 at 11:23 am

I at most could see requesting the required paperwork to indicate the dog is a service dog, anything more is prying and none of their business.

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MJ April 13, 2009 at 7:36 am

Hugh, it's ILLEGAL to ask anyone with a disability why they have a service animal. Many "healthy" looking people have disabilities that cause them to need a service animal, and they may be embarrassed or feel that they would be treated differently or discriminated against by strangers knowing the nature of the disability.

You sound like far more of an "a-hole" than the OP.

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Poco April 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Sorry, but I agree with Hugh. I fail to see how it's offensive to ask about a disability. She asked a simple question, and you were oversensitive. Your disability is a fact of your life, learn to accept it.

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Lovedogs September 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm

do I have to reveal my disability if asked?

No, and the law prohibits anyone from asking you this question.

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lovedogs September 5, 2015 at 1:58 pm
Anon April 14, 2009 at 10:05 am

Poco: This is the only minority that can happen to ANYONE. Care to join the 15 mil disabled citizens in the US already? (Trust me that number continues to rise every day.)

Why don't you learn to be more "sensitive" to those around you. Federal Law states: Businesses (including Airlines) may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform BUT CANNOT REQUIRE SPECIAL ID CARDS FOR THE ANIMAL OR ASK ABOUT THE PERSON'S DISABILITY.

When I travel with my service dog, his vest says it all: Seizure Alert Dog/Service Dog- Please Do Not Pet.

People have the right to privacy, and I find it very rude when people pry into my disability. (It would be like me asking you about your finances or where your kids go to school.) Get the point now?

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Hugh April 14, 2009 at 11:15 am

Completely different, I must disagree. After 9/11 if a flight crew sees ANYTHING suspicious, like a person who (by the author's admission) doesn't noticeably need a guide dog, I expect them to ask about it. If privacy is a concern, take it aside…though that doesn't hold up either, we can all see that you have a dog with you. Airlines must be careful, and folks with disabilities shouldn't have such thin skin. We ALL get asked questions which invade privacy at the airport, not just you.

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Rachel January 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Wow everyone, I just stumbled onto this thread, and cannot believe what I am reading here. By law, any person or entity that represents a company or place of business may only ask 2 questions of the owner of a service animal. These questions are as follows: Is the animal a service animal? And what specific tasks is the animal trained to preform for you? No other questions may be asked. The owner may not under any circumstances be forced to show paperwork, provide medications, or a doctors note, or asked specifically what the nature of their disability is. This is the LAW as outlined by the ADA. If you do a very small amount of research, you will find this information to be completely accurate. This act was designed to protect persons with disabilities from having to "announce" their disability, as this can be embarrassing and extremely uncomfortable. You do not have to like or agree with the law or it's ramifications, but you must abide by it. A service animal is considered to be the equivalent of "medical equipment" and denying a disabled person their service animal is like denying a handicapped person the ability to bring their wheelchair on a plane (in this instance), as defined by the law. The OP does not have a thin skin, he has a life threatening condition that is sometimes lessened by having a dog that can alert to a seizure, or provide life saving measures in the event of a seizure. Furthermore, insinuating that this issue is only a matter of having to answer "uncomfortable questions" is not at all accurate.

The OP does have the law on their side, and has every right to sue the airlines for denying him the right to have a medical alert dog on the plane. Please do some research before spouting off about things you obviously have no knowledge of. I hope you never need a service animal, but if you do you will be far more sympathetic.

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Anon April 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Hugh,

No you are incorrect. As the LAW is stated, no one (EXCEPT Law officials) can ask what a person's disability is. All they can ask is if the animal is a service animal and/or what tasks does the animal do for. (The disabled person can be vague about that. ie: The dog is a medical alert dog or the animal helps with my mobility.) Thats it. I and the person who wrote this post shouldn't have to tell every Dick Jane and Larry what is wrong with us. If you see a problem with this then find a police officer, until then please be respectful of those who maybe different than an average joe like yourself.

Btw I am a disability and civil rights attorney and advocate, I know what I am talking about.

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paul April 14, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Hugh – ive been monitoring this conversation. i didnt want to start a argument. but Anon clearly proves a point and since he is an attorney – you may want to start believing the facts becuz i know what he is talking about

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Anon April 15, 2009 at 5:55 am

ROFLOL Lawrence Bentley! Bravo, colour me impressed. However being an attorney I've heard alot worse. Yes, I am a bitch. Its my job. There is nothing that you can say that I haven't heard before. However you sir, have no empathy towards those who are different. I am guessing from your post that you are very angry with the world. Well sir, that fault is your own. So why don't you grow up, and start taking responsibility for yourself instead of attacking others and being so "low-brow". I do a job that you may need one day, however with your "potty-mouth" I don't think you will be walking into my office anytime soon. My advice to you Lawrence, Start thinking positive and lose the "world owes me" attitude, trust me you will go alot further in life.

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Lawrence Bentley April 15, 2009 at 7:39 am

Anon…how brave not leaving a name. I do hope we meet someday. I would love to spend an evening with you. Since you are, by your own admission, a bitch, we would of course do it “doggy style”. Think of it as me doing to you, what you liars, I mean lawyers (soory) have been doing to us for years.
[Part of the comment was removed by the moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards.]

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Anon April 15, 2009 at 11:24 am

I'm sorry Lawrence, but my name is of no concequence, however since you are so insistant in knowing, my name is Mina. (You are going to have to try harder if you want my last name.) As for your sexual escapades, I'm sorry but I'm married and very devoted to my husband. However if you feel that you need a dominatrix I actually know of one who could fufill your fantasies. (Her name is Lady Katherine, and she is a prior client of mine that I help assist in a civil rights case.) She is located off of Park Ave in New York however she is very exclusive and her start fee for an hour is $550.00.

I do hope that this post is the last of our corespondence. I would rather discuss ideas with others about making the airline industry better, than spend my time bantering back and forth with you. It has been interesting but there are far more important issues out there than your sexual needs. Have a good life Lawrence. Good-bye.

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Lawrence Bentley April 15, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Farewell to you also Mina. Trust me, I have no need of a Dominatrix. I still disagree with your assessment of the original posting. I think the author was being much too sensitive in this post 9/11 world. I believe she needs to grow up a little and if an asked question bothers her, she needs to contact an authority, NOT run around causing problems for the airline. Toodles!

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Amit April 16, 2009 at 9:40 am

Nice Mina…taking the high road with idiotic and overly paranoid commenters. The people who think all of our lives should change and we should give up all of these rights freedoms because of 9/11 are basically telling al Qaeda that they have won. Mina's protection under the ADA is not trumped by emotional feelings regarding that tragic event. There is no legislation to back up the gate attendants action, period.

What happened to you is so obviously wrong it doesn't really deserve further discussion. When making the reservation you were clear that you flew with a service dog. 'nuff said. There was no reason why you should have ever been asked about this again, except by a fellow passenger who may have wanted to pet the doggie.

As for 9/11, more than ten times as many people die from auto accidents in the US each year, than who died on that day. Not trying to compare the two, but how many of you citing 9/11 as a reason to give up our rights refrain from driving under the influence or speeding excessively. Maybe you'll agree to a rectal exam next time you go to the airport.

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Hugh April 20, 2009 at 2:11 am

Amit…Funny how you don't want to compare 9/11 to auto accidents, yet you do. I stand by my original post. No one was asked to give up any rights. A woman was questioned about her need for the dog. Rather than doing the right thing and giving a simple answer, or if embarrased and wanting privacy, saying so, she shose to make a scene. Perhaps the FA could have acted better/differently, but I contend that the the author should have as well. I am sick of everyone with supposed disabilities using that to trump everyone else's rights. I can't park within a quarter mile of the doors of my gym because of all the handicapped spaces…at a GYM!!! I also have the right to be safe in flight whether it is pre or post 9/11 and if that means that some woman gets asked about a dog, so be it. You liberals who bear repsonsibility for 9/11 continue the damage by accusing everyone who tries to prevent it form happening again, of fear mongering.

As for a rectal exam, no one was asking her to submit to ANYTHING approaching that. Get real. Perhaps you shoudl submit to one and maybe your head will be found.

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Luna August 10, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Hugh quit your whining.

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Amit April 20, 2009 at 10:42 am

It's a black and white issue, Hugh (troll). It's against the law for them to ask her and it wasn't even the flight crew, as you said. It was a gate attendant. If you are wrong, then leave it at that. Don't exacerbate the situation by trying to push your irrelevant opinion. Disabilities are a sensitive issue and she already cleared up that aspect of it when she bought the ticket. TSA handles flight security, followed by the flight crew themselves, if necessary. Not a gate attendant. Read the facts before posting.

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Hugh April 21, 2009 at 8:54 am

Amit, you are an ass. Because I disagree with you, I am a troll? I read the facts, and I posted my opinion. You feel I am wrong, I feel you are wrong. I however don't call you a troll for it. This isn't the only thread that you have done this in. Do us all a favor and grow up.

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Leo April 22, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Hi guys,

It's shameful how this conversation has denegrated! It's also eye-awakening how people are willing to give up the rights of others (rarely their own) and forgoe the law in the name of "the greater good", id. post 9/11 justifies everything. What happens when they come for you and there is no one left to stand up for your rights?

People with disabilities are treated so poorly in this country it's laughable. You are NEVER supposed to ask someone what their disability is or asking them to explain why they have a service dog. Service dogs are highly trained and not easy to get, it's enough of an explination that someone has one.

Can't we just learn to treat people with fairness and compassion? i hardly think a person on an airplane with a service dog is comparable to the animals that masterminded 9/11. Shame on anyone who uses such a tragedy to hide their bigotry!

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Hugh April 23, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Leo…Those without an argument resort to calling those who disagree, bigots. Shame on you for invoking that term. No one here exhibited any bigoted behavior.

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Anon April 24, 2009 at 5:02 am

Hugh,

Its Mina again (The disabled and disability rights attorney w/ a service dog.) I have been traveling for 11 years with the same dog and I have only had to go after two airlines for their blantant disregard for the law. (ACCA-Air Carrier Access Act 1986) I won my cases simply because of how the law is written. Its written to protect those who are disabled. My dog and I go through the same screening as everyone else. (He is THOROUGHLY patted down, as well as I.) Not all disabilities are visible. I'm in a wheelchair but you would never know that I also have seizures. (Epilepsy is an invisible disability.) My dog is specifically trained to be a medical alert dog. (seizures) If I am about to have a seizure, he will do things to make me safe. He carries a card on him that states that I have epilepsy and he lets people approach and assist me if I need it. My dog is my life saver, without him I wouldn't be where I am today.

From reading your comments, I would say that you don't care for those who are disabled. However like I said before this is the ONLY minority that ANYBODY can join. Something to think about.

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leo April 24, 2009 at 11:38 am

Ahh…the reverse shame technique. Very nice Hugh! I fail to see how a person with a service dog would invoke 9/11. My experience tells me that people often use tragedies such as this to hide their own prejudices (jeez, I hope you don't take offense to that term) and i personally think it is immoral and immaterial to connect the two…..you have still failed to explain how a person with a service dog is in any way connected to 9/11 unless perhaps you were afraid the dog was carrying a bomb or trained to attack flight attendants. I can guarantee the dog had to go through the same security screens as the rest of us….

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leo April 24, 2009 at 11:45 am

BTW Hugh, what about those who call people assholes or tell them to search for their heads up their rectums? Sounds like you resort to name calling pretty quickly. I haven't personally attacked or name called anyone, just pointed out that people hide behind tragedies and use them to build up their own prejudices. As someone who lost more than one person to 9/11 i find that offensive. And to put the blame for 9/11 on liberals in this country rather than on those who actually masterminded and carried out the attacks is horrific and disgusting.

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Hugh April 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Leo, I disagree with your view. I have nothing against the disabled, and insinuating that I do is a lame and ridiculous argument. I think that yes, a dog like that could be trained to attack. who would have thought that a few boxcutters could have hijacked a plane. if the FA felt that it was worth asking a question, then I think the question should be answered, or if privacy dictates, take it aside and answer the question. It doesn't sound like the FA made a huge deal of it, it sounds like the author did. she was frustrated and decided to make a big deal out of nothing. Hell, even if she had told the FA, "I'm sorry, legally you aren't allowed to ask that." or "I'm sorry, i don't feel comfortable answering that", that would have been a far better response than blowing up and mouthing off to the entire area how they can cause trouble for the airline.

So, does a service dog = 9/11 no, probably not, but it could. I want any FA who has any doubts to raise them. Better to be having the argument on the ground, or here in this forum, than to have more buildings down and people dead.

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Leo April 24, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Hugh,

I agree with you in that the FA and the TSA does have the right to ask the questions that need to be asked but they must do it in a lawful manner which in this particular instance they did not.

I do find it interesting however that my original post was not directed to you in particular. As a matter of fact it was not directed towards you at all and you took personal umbrage to what I said and accused me of name calling. Could be that perhaps I hit a nerve?

I don't think there is anything wrong with asking a disabled person the right questions so long as a modicum of decency is excercised and so long as it is done within what the law says you can and cannot do.

From your posts and your comments to me and others I get the feeling you are more interested in arguing your point than you are in actually listening to what people are saying.

BTW: I am a liberal and I also happen to be for the death penalty and I support our troops in many MANY ways so I think your assumption that liberals are weak or that they are somehow responsible for 911 is complete tripe. I am proud to be an american and I am proud of my country in it's entirety, that means being proud of conservatives as well. No-one is right 100% of the time, liberal or conservative.

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Hugh April 25, 2009 at 4:00 am

I don't know why it is that simply because I think the author could have answered the question, OR politely refused, OR at the very least not behaved as she did, and somehow that makes me hate disabled people. I have disabled people in my family, I care very much for them. I sponsor the special Olympics, and work with Cub Scouts, and have a special needs child in our Pack. I am certainly not advocating discrimination against the disabled. I think the author behaved poorly, period. There were several ways she could have behaved better, she did not. The fact that she is disabled does not prevent her from acting a fool. In this respect, I show more compassion than any of you, recognizing that she is just like anyone else, and can be an ass. Some of you seem to feel that because she has a disability, she is impervious to bad behavior. I am done posting in this thread. I stated my point of view and have been attacked and brutalized enough for it.

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Leo April 26, 2009 at 3:56 am

HAHAHA!!! Hugh, you are cracking me up!! Ever thought about being a stand up comic? You come into this post, guns blazing. In your first post you call the author an a-hole and now not only are you claiming to have more compassion than the rest of us but you are playing the victim!! You are a VERY funny man.

next time try starting your post with "i realize it's difficult living with a disability and that it you are probably tired of being asked to explain yourself, but have you thought about reacting like this…" that would have shown your understanding, and your "compassion" and you probably would not have come off as such a "victim"….HAHAHA!!! Thanks for the laugh

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Anonymous April 26, 2009 at 6:28 am

I agree – Hugh does come up with some good ones. He's a great contributor to the site.

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Hugh April 27, 2009 at 7:01 am

Leo, I don;t need to justify my disagreeing with someone who IMHO is wrong. When I post about someone who is not disabled, I don't try to lighten it up, or state my understanding to the situation. Look, there are a handful of you who disagree with me, I'm fine with that, it's what posting and sharing opinions are about. However, ganging up, and character assassination is more your style, that's fine. I know who I'm dealing with, and you can consider yourselves all wonderful people for supposedly "caring more" but someday you will need to justify your behavior to a higher power.

Just because the author is disabled doesn't mean she can't be a bitch. While I disagree somewhat with Mina, I can accept her argument and see her point to some extent. Leo, you are nothing but a name caller and a bully, or at least trying to be a bully, your arguments are meaningless. Funny how the internet makes you tough…it allows you to say things that if you were in front of me you wouldn't dare to say. Have a wonderful day Leo.

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leo April 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm

HAHA Hugh, Keep them coming! You make a lot of assumptions about me and others and there is a lot of humor in someone who jumps into a post calling someone an a-hole and then complaining about being brutalized. I find comedy in that. Unlike you, I have never called you a name or anyone else on this post, that's not my style.

As for not saying things to your face, well that's an another assumption on your part.

You fail to see that it is not your opinion that people take offense too, it's your style. As I said, your first post was not an opinion, it was a personal attack. You sound like someone who likes to attack people and then complain when someone points that out to you. My mom does that too. Haha!!

BTW: I thought you were done with posting here. Guess you're a lier as well as a name caller….As the church lady would say….isn't that special?

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leo April 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm

BTW Hugh, I do not believe that you do any kind of work with the special olympics or that you have any interaction with anyone who is disabled. i say this because you show an extreme lack of the very basic understanding of disabled people's issues. It is painful. You throw stones then cry foul, and then you name call when someone calls you on it. Hugh, you sound like someone who has a lot of personal work to do and I wish you luck with that. In a way, that is a personal disability in itself.

For all that you claim to not have to justify your behavior you seem to do an awful lot of that which also tells me you are unsure of yourself and your own beliefs, or at the very least you know your beliefs to be untrue. It's a tough situation to be in and believe me when I say that God, or a "higher power" cannot help you with this. Only you can fix yourself Hugh and I truly wish you luck with that.

Take care of yourself and be good to others.

Leo

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Hugh April 28, 2009 at 12:59 am

Leo, I stand by my initial post that the author was an a-hole. She behaved atrociously. You are also making quite a few assumptions. One more thing…the word is pelled L-I-A-R, not L-I-E-R. Next time you decide to mock someone, try using spell check.

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Leo April 28, 2009 at 5:51 am

When people start picking apart other people's spelling it's because they're run out of arguments. If you stand by your post then you have no room to complain Hugh. If you want to run around calling people names then you will have to deal with the consequences, which is people will think unkindly of you. My nonna used to say, don't piss on my back and then tell me it's raining. Don't act like a jerk and then cry about it Hugh, it's undignified….

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Mani April 28, 2009 at 10:46 am

Leo,

you are right. My advice to you is to stop worrying about Hugh. It's clear he doesn't get it and won't get it. His arguments make now sense. He reminds me of my 6 year old nephew who I saw one day run up to his friend and smack him. His friend smacked him back and then my nephew went crying to my sister that his friend had hit him when he in fact started the fight….

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Anonymous April 28, 2009 at 10:49 am

Hugh,

You spelled "spelled" wrong….

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Anon May 1, 2009 at 6:48 am

Leo,

Leave it alone. Hugh will never understand until he becomes one of us. The sad fact is that alot of people are like this, they don't walk in our shoes, (pardon the pun) because they CAN'T. Like I've said time and time again THIS IS THE ONLY MINORITY THAT ANYONE CAN JOIN. Its just a matter of time when Hugh will be just like us and then his views and perceptions of the disabled will change.

Mina

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Atari May 31, 2009 at 10:57 pm

"When people start picking apart other people's spelling it's because they're run out of arguments."

You are right, Leo; he did run out of arguments.

It's called, "The point of diminishing returns."

In other words, there was really nothing else to say to you.

At first, you seemed reasonable in your responses, but as soon as Hugh lightened up a bit and stated his case clearly, you start acting like a pugnacious fart.

At first, I was agreeing with everyone BUT Hugh, but at the same time, I failed to realize that he recognized the same thing I did:

The person in the original post seemed to make a HUGE deal out of a simple question.

Should could simply have said, "He's a dog."

The end.

If the person had persisted, THEN she could whip out credentials or laws or what ever she thinks she needed, but the fact is, she overreacted to a simple question.

I doubt that the lady meant any harm and I certainly do not believe that anyone 'had it out' for the original poster.

Instead of making immature posts to a person who has given up the argument and repeatedly stated that it is just his opinion, you could be doing something more productive; like sticking your tongue in a fan.

Leo; read back on your posts and feel ashamed out how childish you acted. The fake laugh fooled everyone, I'm sure. Nice job on the irony, too. Laugh it up, you dopey twat.

Also: To Anonymous: Spelling something wrong and making a typo are two different things.

And I'm surprised at Mina, as I thought that if ANYONE understood his ultimate viewpoint (that the lady overreacted just an infinitesimal bit) it would be you.

I'll not stoop to calling you names, as you were quite civil in your responses.

Nevertheless, it IS an opinion, whether you think she overreacted or not.

There is no law stating that one MUST state the law loudly and with invective if someone asks a simple question.

Get off of your high horses and at least attempt to perceive his viewpoint.

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Pan April 2, 2018 at 7:21 am

I think you called him a 'twat', so you are calling him names…

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mags July 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm

'a simple question' is a subjective phrase! Could the person have handled it better? Maybe. Is the person sick and tired of total strangers asking ‘Why do you have a service dog?’ Most likely.

I know I was FURIOUS when I was asked to state my religion on a government form for registration.

Regardless, why is no one asking the most basic of questions?

If this is indeed a law, why, oh why is airline staff not informed of it?

I had the great misfortune of traveling twice, years apart, in a wheelchair. The first time I thought, great I’ll get better treatment – nope! I was treated like cargo.

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umm wtf July 23, 2009 at 8:53 pm

hugh, you are a troll because you keep returning to this site just to argue. TROLL TROLL TROLL. get over it and move on…TROLL.

and the same goes for leo and everyone else that replied to a story on a website more than once. grow up.

read the story, comment, move on and live life. oh and grow up some more.

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Kevin Kurtz July 24, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I think it is reasonable for a FA, TSA or other airline official to ask what the disability is that requires the service animal. Why? Is the disability one that altitude changes could affect? Is it one that the Flight Crew will need to be aware of in the event of an emergency –will they need special assistance etc. Additionally, I can buy a service animal vest online right now for $20.00 and have a ADA card made in 2 second flat. The law simply allows anyone to make their pet a service animal. We have a huge problem with that in Portland where people have ridden public transportation with their pets with service animal vest on. The pet has then bitten people on the bus or train and come to find out, the vest was purchased online and the card was fake.

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Ziggy August 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm

It is not up to the FA or even TSA to evaluate a disability. I would agree that they have a right to determine if a service animal is legit, but that determination should be made prior to the passenger boarding the plane. The question the FA asked in this case was not only illegal, but the answer was of little value. With an "invisible disability" the passenger could have answered anything. If the passenger said she had Batten Disease that would not help the FA determine if a service animal was o.k. for her or not.

The need for a service animal is between a doctor, patient and the patient's support system. I fully support the proper registering and credentialing of service animals but that can't –and shouldn't– be done at an aircraft door.

This is not a security issue. The FA posed a probative question that would not have resulted in any security improvement had it been answered. The passenger's disability is not open for public discussion. If the FA was a physician she would still have to do some kind of examination to confirm whatever ailment the passenger claimed to have. After all, if you can't trust the passenger's need for a service animal, why would you trust them to tell you their disability?

I think the passenger was correct to defend her rights. It is also a good opportunity to suggest to the airline that they improve or develop good policy on how to deal with this situation.

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Rich October 25, 2010 at 2:57 am

It is reasonable to ask the question as long as it is asked politely. How you phrase a question (including your tone) is important. It seems like this airline was already going out of it's way to be jerks. You miss a connection due to their not getting you to that airport on time and they say it is your problem? Not likely!

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