Sep 22

K9 Wings Service Dog Airport Training Seminars – Security, Safety and Efficiency in Air Travel

K9 Wings-blue backgroundSan Diego International – September 21st, 2014

Attendees Service Dog teams got to enjoy San Diego’s newly remodeled state of the art international airport and California’s beautiful pacific coastal weather. I want to thank TSA, Airport and JetBlue officials whose contribution to the education, learning and training was invaluable for making the K9 Wings Seminar a success.

Future seminars will be listed as dates and locations become available on the “K9 Wings Seminars” page.


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  1. Phillis Peppard

    Having recently traveled on an airline for the first time with my service dog, I wish this program had been available to me. It offers a roadmap for airline travel with a service dog and it would have been much easier and less stressful for me had I been able to know what to do beforehand. I see this as a terrific opportunity for both service dog handlers and trainers to learn airport and airline travel with a service dog in a relaxed, supportive, and informative way. I’m looking forward to taking it as soon as its available in my area!

  2. Debby Kay

    “The K9 Wings program is exactly the type of program needed today to help teach both service dog teams and the airline personnel that must deal with them, all the appropriate behaviors while traveling.”
    Debby Kay, executive director, Diabetes Alert Dog Alliance

  3. leadwithyourdogsheart2014

    K9 Wings Service Dog Airport Training Seminar – San Diego Airport – September 21st, 2014

    Hi Morgance, I can’t thank you enough for putting together a wonderfully organized and amazing opportunity of training in an airport and on a plane. I really think this program is so important to service dog handlers and service dog trainers alike.

    Karin Chan

  4. leadwithyourdogsheart2014

    K9 Wings Service Dog Team Airport Training Day September 21, 2014 testimonial

    I have a service dog in training (SDIT) and this was one of our very first experiences to lead us to our goal of being a Service Dog Team. My dog Cocoa and I were able to gain valuable experience in understanding how to get through airport screening, a TSA pat down of Cocoa and how to communicate with the TSA officer the best way to approach my dog, a ride on an airport shuttle bus, and boarding an airplane. I even got to watch Cocoa’s reaction to the noise of the luggage compartment of the plane being opened with a big thump! She did great by the way! We also experienced the baggage claim area, where Coca was not too sure of all that equipment, but with Morgance’s SD Ellie to guide her, she quickly settled down and thought it was no big deal. Thank you Ellie! I want to give a big thank you to Jet Blue and Brian Zeugschmidt their GM representative for being so generous with their time and answering the many questions we had while on board the plane. The TSA agents and airport representative were also very help in that regard as well. We had a very informative discussion regarding CPR and basic first aid for our dogs as we ate lunch. Morgance Ellis was able to give us many invaluable traveling tips based on her traveling experiences. I recommend this training to anyone that wants to train Service Dogs for others as well as anyone that has a Service Dog and will need to travel with them on an airplane!

    Geneva Lucas

  5. leadwithyourdogsheart2014

    K9 Wings Service Dog Airport Training Seminar – San Diego Airport – September 21st, 2014

    Having already flown a number of times, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of Morgance Ellis’ K9 Wings seminar. However, it turned out to be a great learning experience and education for me, the other people taking the class, and I think even for the airport and airline personnel! Going through security with all the service dogs was quite an experience. Then we went onto an actual JetBlue plane sitting at the airport! That was the best part of the whole event. Instead of a lecture, Morgance led an interactive conversation about accommodations and how to travel in the easiest way possible for everyone involved. The JetBlue representative, the TSA representatives, and the airport representative all participated in our session, both asking and answering questions.

    One thing I hadn’t realized before is that different airlines have different amounts of leg room for their seats. I usually travel United, but I was so impressed with the room on the JetBlue airplane for my service dog! My 28 inch tall (at the shoulder!) standard poodle was able to very comfortably curl up in the space underneath the seat in front of me. I will definitely be putting JetBlue into my category of preferred airlines from now on! On most airlines we take up two seats worth of legroom since the legroom area is so small.

    I really hope this program is expanded to other airports. Even though I am an experienced flyer, I still learned things from the JetBlue and TSA agents about flying with a service dog. This type of class will greatly benefit service dog handlers out there in teaching them how to go about flying with a service dog. I think it will also impact the airport and airline it is held with, as once people become familiar with one thing, they don’t like to change. So I think it would actually draw business to both the airport and to JetBlue.

    Thank you for the opportunity to participate!

    Veronica Morris PhD and Ollivander SD
    President of Psychiatric Service Dog Partners

  6. leadwithyourdogsheart2014

    K9 Wings Service Dog Airport Training Seminar – San Diego Airport – September 21st, 2014

    I attended Morgance Ellis’s K9 Wings training seminar on 9/21/14 with a bit of an outsider’s perspective, since I do not have a service dog, but my spouse does. My spouse and I have flown with her current and previous service dog for years, so we weren’t sure what we would get out of the seminar. We just trusted, based on past experience, that Morgance would put something together that would not disappoint. Our trust was well-placed!

    I have passionately taught at a top university and organized conferences for years, and as one with such experience, I am impressed by Morgance’s clear ability to liaise with key personnel to construct and implement a unique training program. The JetBlue representative Brian Zeugschmidt in particular was a gracious host as we had an exchange that was informative among all parties. It was also great to hear presentations from the TSA representatives, and to have the airport management involved.

    Morgance herself was a stellar leader throughout the traveling of our classroom in and around the airport. Morgance created an atmosphere in which participants were comfortable and receptive to an educational experience of satisfying breadth, and she displayed a deft professionalism in handling unforeseeable circumstances. She was able to address those of us with years of experience with the same aplomb as she was those just starting out.

    Finding the right person for the job usually seems like trying to untie a Gordian knot. Morgance is one of those delightful professionals who comes along and smoothly slices through that knot: the world is a better place for the airline industry and service dog handlers because of her efforts. I am sincerely grateful for and proud of my connection with her, and plan to continue my professional relationship with her indefinitely.

    –Bradley W. Morris, MA
    Secretary & Co-Treasurer, Board of Directors
    Psychiatric Service Dog Partners

  7. leadwithyourdogsheart2014

    K9 Wings Service Dog Airport Training Seminar – San Diego Airport – September 21st, 2014

    I would recommend Morgance Ellis’ K9 Wings training seminar to anyone interested in flying with their service dog. It was important for me to be able to go through security with a wheelchair and service dog to see how everything was done. And also to help educate the TSA on how to best handle patting down my service dog.

    I also enjoyed boarding a JetBlue airplane and seeing what it was like getting on an airplane with my wheelchair and service dog. It was reassuring that jetBlue promised to take special care of all wheelchairs and would take on the responsibility of any damage to a wheelchair. They were very accommodating of all the service dogs that boarded the airplane and wanted to do their best to help us with the right seating placement for all sizes of dogs.

    Morgance is wonderful at educating both the airport and airplane personnel as well as the people using service dogs. I recommend her and her program to everyone!

    Chanda & Oliver CGCA, PAT, SD
    PSDP Board of Directors

  8. Leif Erickson

    K9 Wings Service Dog Airport Training Seminar – San Diego Airport – September 21st, 2014

    I found the airport seminar to be quite informative. I would recommend this for anyone who wants to get an idea of what it entails to bring your service dog with you on a plane trip. It is a great opportunity to go through all the procedures that it takes to get your dog through TSA security checkpoint requirements. The part where you get to board a JetBlue aircraft with your dog and ask questions was a great experience.

    Before taking this seminar I had little clue about what it takes to bring a service dog with you on a plane trip. Now I know exactly what it takes. I would recommend it to anyone who has a service dog. It is much more informative than looking everything up online. It is also a great way to give yourself and your dog some experience in the matter.

    Thank you,
    Leif Erickson

  9. leadwithyourdogsheart2014

    K9 Wings Service Dog Airport Training Seminar – San Diego Airport – September 21st, 2014

    I attended the training day with K9 Wings at the San Diego airport on September 21st, 2014 with my Psychiatric Service Dog, Castle. For me, the opportunity to go through security and board a plane when not also stressed by actual travel was very valuable. Security was by far the most stressful. My dog was not phased by any of it, but security is a very busy, overwhelming, and crowded space for me. Knowing what is expected of the human part of the team lessens the stress for both dog and handler.

    Being able to board a plane was wonderful, and so very helpful. Actually fitting your dog under the seats, navigating the aisles, learning where the best place to have your dog, all these things make planning future air travel much easier.

    Those of us with owner trained Service Dogs strive hard to make sure our dogs are the very best they can be, continually training and refining their skills. Being able to be part of a training session like this was great for my dog, and for me. I was pleased to learn that I can travel with a small dog as carry on in addition to my Service Dog. I’m planning to fly to pick up a future puppy next year, and I was already worried about how I was going to get there and back. Now I know I will be ok, as I can have Castle with me.

    I think anyone flying with a Service Dog, Emotional Support Animal, or even a pet would benefit from a training session like this. We all want our Service Dogs to keep the privileges they have, and the best way to do that is lots of communication. So that we know what is expected and can be prepared, and the airlines are all on the same page so the Service Dog using community is not blindsided by different rules at different airports.

    Michelle Penix & Castle SD

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