OVER BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Delta flight 2765 from LaGuardia to Fort Lauderdale was an uneventful flight Friday, unless you count the man holding the tiny dog with a pink bow in first class. We don’t care that it was a man holding a dog with a pink bow — to each their own — but as the dog licked its way through the storage pouch, we were again perplexed as to how Delta — or any airline, for that matter — thinks this is okay.
What are the odds that pouch is wiped down for dog slobber before the plane was re-boarded for another flight?
To its credit, Delta has implemented new rules requiring “emotional support dogs” to be verified, certified and authorized several days before a flight. That has cut down on the absurdity a bit. But this dog didn’t appear to be trained to do anything other than lick things — and itself — unless its pink bow lights up in the event of a true emergency. And if it’s not an “emotional support animal,” it’s not allowed out of its carrier.
The emotional support dog scam continues, with airlines all but banned from banning the clearly emotionally needy people with dogs, cats, ferrets and hamsters from their planes. (You are by definition “emotionally disturbed” if you have to travel with your pet). But as was the case with smoking back in the 70s, why can’t there be a pet section on planes? It sounds like a good use of the rows next to the bathrooms in the back of aircraft. Row 37 should be reserved for those who absolutely must travel with their animal family member.
There is no rule that requires animals to fly in first class or other premium seats.
We call on Delta and other airlines to take more action. If you want to pay to fly in first class or an “upgraded” class, you must certify that you are not traveling with a pet. If you quality for an airline’s free upgrades, you must certify that you are not flying with an animal — if you are, you won’t qualify for an upgrade.
And we call on airlines to truly certify the authenticity of “emotional support” animals. Not just that a dog is trained, but that their owners are truly needy. Let’s require their owners to wear a badge — much like an unaccompanied minor — that says, “yup, I’m certifiably nuts.”
If you wear the badge, you get to travel with the dog.
In row 37.