Have you written your Congressperson / Senators? They're the ones who took the lobby money to add the exceptions. They're the ones who need to remove them.The ADA also recognizes breathing as a basic right but it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s my understanding that airlines don’t have to abide by the same rules as public places.
And there are now “service animals” in doctors offices. Those of us with severe animal allergies are being further and further restricted.
Excuse my venting but this is very serious. I have written to all kinds of agencies. I will contine to contact the AAFA because they appear to be the only ones who get it.
Early in the thread Christina H provided us with a good description of how service animals are designated outside the United States; the standards are much more rigorous, but also fair.This is not so much a case of one type of disability being second-class or there being second-class citizens, or any condition being less important than another. It is a case of that key phrase: reasonable accommodation.
It is never a reasonable accommodation for me or my medical equipment (eg, a service animal) to not be able to avail myself of public transit or a public area due to your needs, whether your needs are a disability, a fear, or anything else. Period. Full stop. "Remove that human for this public space" is not a reasonable accommodation.
"But!" you say, "I (or another person with asthma, allergies, or fears) has to remove HIM or HERSELF from that same public space! And it is not really an option for that person!" That may be true in practice, but that person is not being removed from that space. That person is removing himself or herself due to an inability to manage a medical condition (or fear or aversion) in a given circumstance. He or she may feel that he or she has no choice, but that is different from being removed. Or, he or she may announce, "If I am on this plane with this dog I will have a life-threatening allergic reaction" and be removed at the discretion of the crew for medical reasons, the same way they can remove someone if that person expresses symptoms indicating she may have a heart attack in flight.
Incidentally, I am fortunate to be the partner of a hypoallergenic service animal.
To the individual who described the service pug, this is alarming. No airline should be allowing you to hold an ESA in your lap while you fly. I am glad your companion allows you to travel.
No one is being given higher priority than another, California. You can twist this to imply that I think that people with allergies have no rights until you are blue in the face, but that will not make it so.Early in the thread Christina H provided us with a good description of how service animals are designated outside the United States; the standards are much more rigorous, but also fair.
I would venture a guess that most animals on aircraft are not service animals, but emotional support animals at best -- and pets masquerading as emotional support animals at worst. They are often untrained, they are not hypoallergenic. Yet the way the rules have been written, they do get priority over someone with allergies. While you may disagree, that person with allergies does have rights.
When equal rights are in conflict, the best solution is some selection method that gives proper respect for all parties. In this situation, the better solution is the first to check in gets precedence. The other passenger is effectively the first on the next flight, guaranteeing their transport.
@slb2rf - I think you have it exactly right.I think the real crux of the issue here is that people don't think that those with ESAs should be granted a reasonable accommodation to have those ESAs under the law. But since they are, until they no longer are, someone else cannot be granted the accommodation of "have that person's accommodation taken out of my space."
I will say it again: Those with allergies do have rights. To reasonable accommodation. But it is not within the realm of reasonable accommodation to have someone else, or that person's accommodation, removed.