Nov 16

Which TSA Will Travelers Get This Holiday Season?

Read full article. holiday-air-travel-lines-at-airport

Thanksgiving air travel is once again going to be the heaviest traveled time of the year, with increased numbers from 2015.

TSA has worked hard to fix past delay issues of passengers going through security checkpoints and are prepared to get passengers quickly and efficiently to their departure gates on time.

How You As A Passenger Can Help:

The better prepared you are as a passenger, the quicker you and everyone else will get through the checkpoints. For more information on what to expect and the TSA requirements to make getting through the security checkpoints in a smooth transition, visit the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/

Remember TSA is there to make sure your travels will be safe. So give a smile and a word of thanks during your holiday travels to a TSA officer, they will appreciate your kind gesture for doing a such a highly stressful job.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Nov 15

Plane Captain Makes Plea for ‘Common Decency’ After Post-election Fight Breaks Out on Flight

United Airlines Captain certainly gets my applaud reminding others about common courtesy and respect.

Thank-you.

Read More.

Nov 12

Future of Flying with X-Ray Vision

sm-inside-commerical-aircraft-cockpitThe Future of Air Travel

Read More: Full Article

Commercial flying as we currently know it, will continue to take on new state of the art technology that will make flying safer and delays from weather conditions a thing of the past. Aircraft equipped with voice activation command response and touch screen applications used to control an aircraft will be just a few of the up-coming latest innovations that will be common equipment onboard aircraft. Just as our current times are moving into the arena of self driving cars, buses and trains, we will also be seeing this in aircraft transportation as well. For me, I will never feel comfortable flying without a human pilot onboard who is able to take control in case of a malfunction. Hopefully they will always require that all pilots are able to manually fly an airplane.

Nov 10

Combat Veteran with PTSD Refused Air Travel With Service Dog by American Airlines

sm-lisa-mccombs-and-sd-jake

Read More: The full article:

Service Dogs Listed on Boarding Passes:

K9 Wings has been advocating that air carriers include disabled passengers service dogs who have been pre-approved to accompany them on board their aircraft, to be either listed on their boarding pass, or that the service dog have their own boarding pass. This should eliminate situations such as what Ms. McCombs and her service dog Jake had to endure. Many airlines argue that it is the human that is being approved to fly, not the dog. But the service dog is a breathing, living entity trained to perform working tasks to mitigate their handlers disabilities, not a suitcase that is to be stowed under a seat, the overhead bin or in the belly of the aircraft. The boarding pass of pre-approval takes away the guess work of TSA officers when the service dog team goes through security checkpoints, when introducing airline gate agents to the fact you are traveling with a service dog and requesting to pre-board, and for the flight crew in case the service dog was not listed on the flight manifest.

The Need for Education:

But it does not stop there. Education is needed for everyone. The service dog owner/handler, airport staff, airline staff and TSA officers.

Education needs to include the differences between the DOT ACAA (department of transportation air carrier access act) service dog regulations, and the DOJ ADA (department of justice Americans with disabilities act) service dog laws, and where the jurisdiction of both begins and ends. When traveling on board aircraft, all passengers are under ACAA regulations, ADA has no justification on board aircraft and does not cover disabled passengers and their service dogs. ACAA regulations are slightly different in what they require of a service dog team and it is important that everyone working in the airline industry or traveling by air, has the correct understanding of them.

Service Dogs Can Legally Be Denied To Board an Aircraft for Bad Behavior:

To clarify, if a service dog has been pre-approved whether it is or is not listed on a boarding pass, does not mean that the dog cannot be denied to fly. Should the dog not be obedience trained and well behaved as defined under the DOT ACAA, the airlines has the legal right to deny access.

Throughout my travels I have been amazed at the lack of education by airport, airline and TSA staff, service dog handlers and trainers.

The Need for Clarification: 

Airlines would greatly benefit by updating and detailing their service dog policy page of their websites to help clarify information and thus decrease incorrect interpretation of DOT ACAA service dog regulations.

JetBlue Sets the Standard:

So far the airlines that has exceeded my expectations of outstanding service for disabled passengers traveling with a service dog is JetBlue. They always make sure my service dog Ellie is listed on my boarding pass, the flight manifests and every gate agent and flight crew member have gone out of their way to make sure our travels are comfortable, enjoyable and safe.

Courtesy & Respect:

Common courtesy and respect goes both ways from the service dog team and all the staff one encounters when flying. Entitlement issues should never blindside someone to where they have forgotten the golden rule of respect, for each other, regulations, laws and policies. Education is absolutely the key that reduces fear and unites an attitude of respect.

Morgance & Ellie SD

Oct 14

DOT ACAA Regulation talks

disabled-with-sds-2Dogfight: Service Animals on Planes an In-Flight Controversy

Jenine Stanley can’t see at all, so her 55-pound golden retriever goes with her everywhere — at home, at the supermarket and on airplanes when she flies.

That last one can be a hassle even though the guide dog quietly sits at her feet during flights and is a veteran of the skies. Stanley must show paperwork to prove she has a disability and the dog is a trained service animal.

It’s worse for her husband, who is half blind and has a guide dog of his own. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., he was inundated with questions about him and his dog, including how much he could really see.

Jenine and her husband were headed to Washington for a committee meeting with the the Department of Transportation, which is considering new rules for service animals on planes. On Wednesday, representatives from the airline, medical and service animal industries will meet for the sixth and final time before the department proposes clearer rules about what is and isn’t allowed in an airplane cabin.

Stanley, a representative for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and her husband are the least of anyone’s problems.

Both sides agree on this: Too many people are taking advantage of rules meant to benefit people with legitimate disabilities, such as blindness or post-traumatic stress disorder. They’re registering personal pets as “emotional support animals” to avoid costly boarding fees to transport them.

Airlines want stricter guidelines for what is allowed on a plane. Today, even turkeys and pigs can be registered as “emotional support animals” and roam free about cabins. The carriers want to narrow that definition and make sure they know the animal’s presence on board is necessary.

The service animal groups also would like to clarify what can and can’t be brought on board so animals are serving legitimate purposes. They just want the process to be as unobtrusive as possible.

“I don’t have to walk into a store and provide that kind of proof that says, ‘I’m disabled and that’s why I have this dog,’” Stanley told Patch.

Then there are the concerns of other passengers.

“I am severely allergic to dogs. I don’t like being allergic, I love dogs, but the airlines make me feel like a horrible person when I state that I cannot sit near a dog on board,” Chelle Lewis of Murrieta, California, said in a Patch Facebook survey of our readers. “They have told me that I will have to change flights, not the person with the dog. I am valued less than an animal.”

Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American Airlines, which has a representative on the committee, said in an email to Patch that the airlines’ proposals are “multifaceted” and otherwise referred to rule-making documentation. In a response to a rules proposal from pet advocates, the airlines say the United States has some of the loosest laws in the world about service animals on airplanes.

Two types of animals are in play.

The first group are animals — typically dogs — that perform specific tasks such as guiding blind people, providing medication during panic attacks and recognizing low blood sugar.

The second group, “emotional support animals,” provide comfort to people with anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. This category is frequently exploited for personal use. And no behavioral training is required, so “certification” is easy to come by.

Airlines would like to see that second category eliminated completely, with animals serving legitimate comfort needs rolled up into the service animals category.

Perhaps the person most qualified to assess the issue facing airlines and service animal advocates is Susannah Charleson, the executive director of a service dog-training organization and certified commercial pilot. (She is not part of the DOT committee.)

Charleson’s organization, Possibility Dogs, requires the same behavioral training for any emotional support dog as it does for specific service dogs.

“There are plenty of people who do not have a disability who are bringing untrained dogs aboard airplanes that do not have the standard of etiquette that they should have and provide a nuisance or a risk for other passengers,” Charleson told Patch. “It’s a very, very difficult road to travel and a very difficult decision to be made.”

Few would argue that all animals should be banned from aircraft. But a line must be drawn.

“Just like parking in a handicap parking spot requires proper ID, service dogs should also. It’s too easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, this is my service dog,’” Ed Col in Toms River, New Jersey, said in the Patch Facebook survey. “Too many people abuse the system and claim every pet is a service animal.”

Apr 10

Flight Around the World – Adrian A. Eichhorn

Adrian A. Eichhorn is a pilot for JetBlue and started his flight around the world April 10th, 2016 in his private aircraft. A restored 1962 P Beechcraft Bonanza. N1733G is carrying a few items from K9 Wings along their travels. We will be following Adrian and supporting his travels here and on his site: http://flybluehorizons.com/

You can find more information on JetBlue’s website: http://blog.jetblue.com/around-world-n1733g/

Arian & N1733G in the air

photo used by permission and is copyright protected property of Adrian Eichhorn and not available for copy.

Nov 24

Thanksgiving Travelers Facing Tougher Security Measures

pittsburg airport-thanksgiving holiday travel alert-3Even passengers with TSA Pre-Check might be asked to go through standard checks. Remember that TSA and the U.S. State Department and Homeland Security are trying to keep all of us safe. So do you part, be patient and cooperate when asked to do something you would not normally be asked to do for everyone’s benefit.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/thanksgiving-travelers-facing-tougher-security-measures/ar-BBnofJm

Nov 24

U.S. State Department Issues ‘Worldwide’ Travel Alert

armed police at airportsPeople traveling by air, bus, train and car need to be extra careful during this holiday season.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/state-department-issues-worldwide-travel-alert/ar-BBnn8Uz?ocid=ansmsnnews11

Keep contact information on you and your Service Dogs while traveling. Carry food and supplies in case of longer delays or unexpected emergency situations.

Nov 22

Ellie and I Love JetBlue! Do You Have a Favorite Airlines?

JetBlue plane tailsOur JetBlue Favorite Things List”

  1. They do not require you to purchase a ticket before being transferred to a “Special Assistant Coordinator” to secure a desired seat for you and your service dog, because…(see number 2)
  2. Any phone ticket agent can help book your flight and get your desired seats.
  3. You can book on the phone without paying a phone service fee.
  4. They wave the upgrade fee for a bulkhead seat.
  5. They list your service dog on all boarding passes and flight manifests.
  6. Gate agents love for you to check-in with them before boarding and will make sure your dog is listed on your boarding pass(s) and on the flight manifests.
  7. They honor your request to pre-board.
  8. They greet you by name and acknowledge your service dog.
  9. Flight crew makes sure your service dog is provided with in-flight comforts.
  10. Will help you get to your connecting flight should there be delays.
  11. They know DOT ACAA Service Dog regulations and will stand-up for the rights of you and your service dog.

Let us hear about your favorite airlines.

For information on JetBlue: http://www.jetblue.com/#/

Nov 22

Airports – Animal Relief Areas for Dogs

San Diego International Airport inside "secured passengers only area" animal relief bathroom.

San Diego International Airport inside “secured passengers only area” animal relief bathroom. Photo is the property of Morgance Ellis and not available for copy

Be sure to locate all the “animal relief areas” at the airports you and your dog will be visiting during your air travels before you travel. I have included a website that is kept updated on the most current information. http://petfriendlytravel.com/airports

Animal Relief Area Options:

Many airports do not have an “Animal Relief Area” inside the “Secured Passenger Only Area”. Should that be the case you have two other options; take your dog to a designated “animal relief area” outside of the terminal or, if you have taught your dog how to use pee pads, you can take them to the nearest bathroom and use a handicap stall. Please be sure to dispose of pee pads that have been property placed in a sealed trash bag in the correct trash receptacle. If you have the time between flights and are physically able to get to an outside animal relief area, it is a great way to give your service dog and yourself some much needed exercise. Do be aware that if you and your service dog leave the restricted “Secured Passenger Only Area” unescorted by an airline employee, airport employee or TSA officer, you will be required to go back through the TSA security checkpoint.

Be aware that some dogs find the cleaners used in the animal relief area’s inside the “Secured Passenger Only Area” very offensive and will not use them. Having other options available is a must in this circumstance. I highly recommend teaching your dog to use pee pads. Train them to use pee pads in different places, and on different ground and floor surfaces.

Support Services for Disabled Passengers Traveling with Service Dogs:

All airlines provide passengers with disabilities, support services through their company or arrange support through another company to get you and your service dog to an animal relief area should it be necessary, whether inside or outside the terminal. You are the one responsible to arrange for this service before you fly and remind the flight crew well ahead of your landing time, to alert the appropriate personal so they are waiting for you when you and your service dog depart the plane. They will take you and your dog on a motorized cart to the “animal relief area” whether it is inside or outside the terminal and you will not have to go back through the TSA security checkpoint. TSA “Passenger Support Specialists” service is usually the company that will help you and your dog. This service is a must when you have a connecting flight to catch. Be sure to book your flights keeping this in mind so you can leave enough time to get your service dog to an “animal relief area”.

Be sure to include some form of training for your service dog so they are comfortable riding a motorized cart in the event you must use one during your travels.

Check All Your Special Arrangements a Few Days Before Your Departure Date: 

it is important if you have arranged special service assistance, that you check a few days before your departure date to be sure all arrangements have been made and are in place, on the correct flight dates, times and locations. Be sure to retain the name, and phone number of the person you spoke with, their job title and department in which they work. Ask for the same information of a contact person at your destination(s).

TSA “Passenger Support Specialists”

TSA provides on-the-spot services for disabled passengers. They will meet you at the airport curb and take you through the security screening process if needed, and escort you and your service dog to an “animal relief area” whether it is inside or outside of the terminal. Again, you must contact them before your flight to arrange this service.

http://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support

Animal Relief Area’s Inside the “Secured Passenger Only Area”

Airports that have inside “Animal Relief Area’s” usually only have one. So be sure to have a map and find out exactly where it is located and how to get to it from your arrival gate. For connecting flights this is really important as many airport are very large, and may require you to go in and out of TSA security checkpoints.

Sometimes your gate will be changed without notice. If a flight crew member announces there is a gate change during your flight for either your arrival gate or connecting flight, be sure you have a map of the airports “animal relief areas” and ask for assistance if you need it before the plane lands.

DOT ACAA Health & Safety Requirements for SD’s on Flights Longer Than 8 Hours:

ACAA regulations can now ask passengers traveling with service dogs on flight longer than 8 hours in duration, to provide documentation or verbal assurance that your dog will not relief itself on the plane or can do so in a way that you are able to it clean up without it being a health hazard to others. Remember to always factor in the possibility of delays. Ellie and I have been delayed for up to 4 hours on the run-up taxi way, while on-board with a 6 hour flight still ahead of us.  Always be prepared for the unexpected before you fly.

Older posts «