13 Comments

  • Plus the monkey is on the TSA fast-track plan.

    Bob

  • Monkey loose on a crowded public conveyance? This really sounds like a “Little Rascals” episode, with women screaming and the monkey snatching a toupee off some bald guy’s head.

    Don’t know what the rules are in Vegas , but in New York, a true “service animal,” with the statutory right to enter just about anywhere, is a dog, that’s it…no tarantulas, no monkeys, no pot-bellied pigs.

    Of course, an “emotional support” animal, sometimes called a therapy animal, can be just about anything, and it seems that the airlines are helpless to deal with it. The proper way would be to require medical certification that the animal has some legitimate therapeutic purpose (as an apartment tenant would have to produce in order to overcome a “no pets” policy), but I suppose an airline doesn’t want to get into that.

    Much easier just to let the little devil on the plane. Passengers unhappy? Still cheaper than a lawsuit and resulting bad publicity.

    • Agreed. I fly about once a week and find that airlines are fearful of enforcing reasonable polices when a passenger claims a disability.

      – They are very reluctant to de-plane a passenger who takes more than one seat.

      – They take the word of any passenger who requests early boarding, and allow an entire family of a dozen people to board along, too.

      – They’ll tell *everyone* on the plane not to eat anything with nuts in it because some kid in row 25 claims to have a peanut allergy. (If she were that sensitive, she would have died walking through the airport.)

  • OK, so if there is one segment of the population that probably should not be allowed to own guns, I would like to argue that it is anyone who needs an emotional support monkey.

    Unless, of course, the monkey holds the key to the gun safe.

    Steve

  • “Don’t know what the rules are in Vegas , but in New York, a true “service animal,” with the statutory right to enter just about anywhere, is a dog, that’s it…no tarantulas, no monkeys, no pot-bellied pigs.”

    Sorry, but the federal ADA trumps Both New York and Nevada state law on this issue and the Federal courts have ruled that other types of animals must be accepted as service animals if properly certified.

    • Read the US department of justice’s own position. https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

      Only dogs.
      Only when trained to do work or perform specific tasks.

      Providing comfort by their presence is not a specific task.

      • That’s the DOJ’s interpretation of the ADA though. Airlines must instead follow the Air Carrier Access Act, a different law that predates the ADA and has somewhat different requirements.

    • That wouldn’t surprise me…of course, I was referring to rights of service animal owners under NY law.

      ADA common law tends to be a wild and wooly area, perhaps because of the distance between the voters and the interpreters (federal judges and departmental employees) of federal law. It’s not like you can vote a federal judge out of office.

      I did a little research in the federal service/support animal area recently…some of the more fun cases involved animals such as a sugar glider (a kind of Australian flying squirrel); a monkey which aided its owner by baring its teeth at people who approached her; another woman (almost always women…why?) who went everywhere pushing a stroller with four (!) little monkeys dressed in pirate costumes; and a man who wanted to attended music concerts with his dog, who aided him by barking gently.

      So imagine yourself at the concert…the music is soothing, perhaps something by Debussy….the monkey is baring its teeth at you, the dog is gently barking, the four pirate monkeys are brandishing their little swords, and the sugar glider is flying around over the heads of the orchestra.
      Welcome to the 21st century.

  • Note that changes in the federal government’s interpretation of ADA in 2011, as I’ve written, “attempted to lay out a bright-line rule that animals other than individually trained dogs and some miniature horses do not enjoy service animal status under the ADA.” The rules were meant to cover shops and the like and not necessarily all situations of disabled accommodation. There may be special rules applicable to the airline business, and some states (like California) may provide wider rights to animal owners than does federal law. http://www.overlawyered.com/2011/03/ada-feds-withdraw-service-animal-backing-for-ferrets-snakes/

  • “You want to touch my monkey?”

  • 14 CFR 382.117 – Must carriers permit passengers with a disability to travel with service animals? — paragraph (f) excerpted—
    (f) You [air carrier] are never required to accommodate certain unusual service animals (e.g., snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders) as service animals in the cabin. With respect to all other animals, including unusual or exotic animals that are presented as service animals (e.g., miniature horses, pigs, monkeys), as a carrier you must determine whether any factors preclude their traveling in the cabin as service animals (e.g., whether the animal is too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin, whether the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, whether it would be prohibited from entering a foreign country that is the flight’s destination). If no such factors preclude the animal from traveling in the cabin, you must permit it to do so. However, as a foreign carrier, you are not required to carry service animals other than dogs.

    Then there’s also 14 CFR 91.3–
    § 91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

    (a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

    Who has the final say under these sometimes contradictory regulations? I’d say the pilot in command.

  • Only time I was ever early boarded was the _first_ time I cam home with a dog guide (proper generic term). It was actually a leader dog ™ from Rochester Mi, lion’s club supported producer of dog guides. The second one I just got on with everyone else. All my other travel? Just normal passenger with a dog and/or wife/kids.
    On the other hand, I have been refused entry at a couple restaurants. I had one threaten to call the cops, I invited them to do so immediately. If it had been the era of cell phones I would have offered to call myself. And yes, the dog was well groomed, in harness and I had the ID card provided by leader dog which included both my and my dog’s photo. Eventually it was determined that we had a right to enter and be provided service. At that time I turned around and walked out. No lawsuit, no lawyers, no complaints, simply having proven the point I had determined it was somewhere that did not deserve my patronage. Hopefully, if there was ever another blind customer with a dog guide they were welcomed as a customer.

  • I wonder how many of these serivce animals are actually pets whose owners do not want to pay the exorbitant airline fee for a pet in a carrier. My wife and I used to travel with one or two cats, and the fee for travel across the Atlantic was $250 or 250 euros, depending on the direction. Every airline, every flight. Then we got back to the US to find all sorts of small dogs with coats proclaiming them to be “service animals” scampering thru the airport and in the laps of the passengers on the flights.

    My cats stay in the carriers for the whole flight, but maybe I should find a doctor who could sign a piece of paper that it is important to my mental well being during the flight to be able to scratch the head of a Marine Coon cat. They are known to be quite human dependent and they bond quite easily with their supporting staff members.