An honest question: why are there so many animals in airline cabins? How did people ever get by without them in the past?
As near as I can tell, this is a uniquely American issue. I never see pets in cabins anywhere else in the world I fly in, even in Western Europe where many pets are treated royally.
It wasn’t that long ago that even in the USA, passengers left their furry friends at home or checked them in the underbelly of the plane.
A couple things changed. One, federal law changed to allow service animals and emotional support animals onboard. Second, airlines saw a way to monetize a new wave of consumer demand: bring your pet onboard.
I’m not making any social commentary here, directly at least. Sometimes change is needed. We may have “gotten by” with smoking on airplanes in the past, but it was harmful. Change was not only appropriate, but necessary.
We hear from some that they literally cannot survive without their emotional support animal sitting on their lap. Perhaps ESAs are simply a new form of medicine far more effective than Dramamine.
And yet it is not just about ESAs and service animals. Indeed, it is people who seemingly cannot be separated from their dog (usually) or other pet for just a few hours.
I don’t own any pets (my beautiful collie died nearly two decades ago and we never replaced her). I simply cannot relate nor understand the need to have them nearby at all times. How about you?
Is this just part of an “evolving” society that values pets more or something else?
I’m asking these questions for another article I am working on. Your input is appreciated, especially if you travel with a pet.