Airline Etiquette: When Is It Ok To Have A Dog In Your Seat

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In our recent flight from ATL to LAX on our way to French Polynesia, the young lady in seat 3A kept her dog in the seat with her the entire flight. The little dog had a ‘Medical Alert’ jacket on so it appeared she needed the dog with her. The dog seemed to be her best friend, at one point she was feeding the dog some of her strawberrys she brought on board.

Airline Etiquette: When Is It Ok To Have A Dog In Your Seat

However about 1 hour into the flight she slipped on her eye mask and fell asleep. The poor gent next to her had to battle the dog’s breath and the little thing trying to get in his lap for about four hours. He was a better sport than I would have been and I love dogs. I can only imagine of someone else had been in that seat who didn’t care for pets.

Airline Etiquette: When Is It Ok To Have A Dog In Your Seat
Airline Etiquette: When Is It Ok To Have A Dog In Your Seat

What do you think, are medical dogs required to be actually ‘in’ the seat with you, was this appropriate?

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. I think this is highly inappropriate, unless prior consent was granted by the seatmate and those around the passenger. Many, including myself, are extremely allergic to dogs, and can have severe reactions to pet dander (especially in the recycled-air confines of an aircraft)

  2. This is outrageous! I would hate to have a dog jumping on me and biting my head off for four hours straight. medical condition or not

  3. @ Mike, glad this wasnt you, agree it could not only be uncomfortable but dangerous to health

    @ Ben, this dog kept jumping over the arm rest and onto this guys lap. I felt bad for him but he didn’t once complain to tge purser or even say a word to the sleeping owner

  4. When you own the jet it’s okay to have whatever animal with you.

    This is crazy, they’ll let any documented weirdo bring pets and let them out of the cage on board, but if a normal passenger gets up from his seat when the cabin crew deems he shouldn’t, he’s afraid he’ll get arrested.

  5. You can buy “Medical Alert” jackets for pets online. Since there is no uniform certification process it’s really easy for people to get any dog on as a service animal.

    Last month I was on a flight where a woman had a Shih-tsu with a similar “Medical Alert” jacket. The dog completely misbehaved the entire flight and obviously lacked the temprement\training to be a service animal.

    People who continue to put fake service animal jackets on their dogs are doing a disservice to those with legitimate need.

  6. This dog mis-behaved as well. Suspect you could be right on a jacket purchase to bring the dog on board and in seat.

  7. presumably the passenger has to clear the dog (and provide certification/qualification) to the airline’s medical desk beforehand.

  8. I love dogs. But I don’t think they should be out of the kennel for the flight. The kennel is there for the dog’s safety and the safety of the other passengers.

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