Aircraft dispatchers spend time calculating the weight of passengers and luggage to calculate fuel for a flight. Did they ever think to calculate the weight of a service animal? These days, it is very common to see service animals on flights all around the world. Though the laws have made it clear that service animals must be allowed to enter planes, is it an issue of aviation safety?
Though aviation safety standards are set to be the same across the board, some airlines have different policies regarding your pet. The consensus is that these standards must be met for an animal to be allowed on the plane:
- Your dog must be small enough to fit comfortably under the seat.
- The dog must be calm enough to fly.
- Some airline safety requirements demand that the dog be placed in a carrier.
- Be prepared to show a health certificate for your dog, or even a service animal certificate as part of the aviation safety requirements.
So far, no major airlines have reported safety concerns in regards to service dogs on planes. Though airlines have been very accommodating, some animal rights groups are saying that pets should not be allowed to fly because it’s too stressful on the animal. Kirsten Theisen, Director of the Humane Society of the U.S., says that pets should not fly if it can be helped.
As far as aircraft dispatchers are concerned, the safety of the flight is the number one priority, and animals have posed no immediate threat for them to be concerned about service animals on planes, as long as the flight remains safe.
Anyone who does decide to bring their dogs onboard an aircraft should consider the following:
- You should have all of your dog’s necessities such as food and water on-hand and readily available so that they remain content and calm.
- You may be required to pay a fee for your dog.
- Be careful how much you feed your dog before a flight.