Guide dogs that people who are blind use in order to have mobility and independence are not like any other dogs. First, they know how to take up very little space if needed. They also don’t bark. They don’t bite. They don’t run around. They stay close to the person they work for, ever ready to guide and help. Unfortunately one woman found a flight attendant on Delta who didn’t know this. The attendant wanted the blind woman moved out of the bulk head seat because she didn’t want to sit next to the dog. She was afraid of the dog.
According to the report in the Consumerist, the woman with the guide dog has flown thirty times with this particular guide dog and always requests bulkhead in order to have room for the dog to sit at her feet. According to the rules established by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a guide dog is like a wheelchair so accommodations need to be made.
Sometimes requesting bulkhead works. Sometimes airlines are not helpful. Snafus happen, and then the snafus are worked out. In this case, the snafu was the flight attendant who also was sitting in a bulkhead seat. Because she is afraid of dogs, she wanted the woman moved to a regular coach seat.
See the problem? Have you ever had a hard time figuring out where you might even place your feet while sitting in a regular coach seat. Now imagine a Labrador, German Shepherd or Standard poodle at your feet. Maybe a foot rest for all three seats in the row if the other passengers AND the guide dog didn’t mind?
In the case of this woman, this guide dog and this flight attendant, a Complaint Resolution Officer was called in to help solve the problem. The resolution was that the flight attendant got a dose of dog therapy. The three shared the bulkhead with the flight attendant complaining all the while anytime it seemed that a hair on the dog was coming closer.
What I don’t understand is why the flight attendant didn’t move? Unless there were only heavy people, drunks and children on board, other pet peeves of travelers.
I have a friend with a guide dog who I have taken shopping. Most of the time I don’t even know that the dog is around and she sits at my friend’s feet in my car in transit. I have a Toyota Corolla.