U.S. airlines have cracked down on emotional support animals this year, but the problem remains…as one American Airlines flight attendant can now painfully attest.
On Monday, an American Airlines flight attendant was bitten by an emotional support dog on a flight to North Carolina. The attacked occurred on AA3506 from Dallas (DFW) to Greensboro (GSO) onboard an Embraer 175 regional jet operated by Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American.
An American Airlines spokesperson would not disclose the breed of dog, but mentioned that the flight attendant required five stitches in his left hand. That, in my mind, constitutes a vicious attack.
What happened on yesterday’s American Airlines flight is completely unacceptable and inexcusable.
We need the (U.S.) Department of Transportation to take action now, so events like the one that happened yesterday do not continue to occur on our planes. This is fundamentally about maintaining safety, health and security for passengers and crew, while ensuring accessibility for those who need it.
American revised its emotional support animal policy earlier this year, limiting such animals to dogs and cats only. It also required a veterinary health form with vaccination details. But apparently that was still not enough.
Is it time to ban all emotional support animals on commercial flights?