I refused to pet dog on plane – the owner turned the whole cabin against me

airplane allergies dog roaming emotional support dog flight attendant frustration irresponsible lack of control passenger phobia Reddit service dog

Posted September 19, 2023 by: Admin #Animals

A passenger expressed frustration after encountering a “service dog” that freely roamed around a crowded airplane. The 35-year-old traveler, who isn’t fond of dogs, found himself on a two-hour flight where a 20lbs dog sought attention by jumping on him.


Growing annoyed, he approached the flight attendants and requested that they ensure the dog remained with its owner, preventing it from “bothering” other passengers. However, his request was declined. He took to Reddit to voice his displeasure, stating, “I dislike this trend of people bringing dogs on flights. I can’t understand why they can’t leave them at home.”

He described the situation, saying, “We took off, and once we reached cruising altitude, a dog, roughly 20lbs, started wandering down the aisle on its own. It freely roamed around, and passengers along the aisle were petting it. It approached people, and to my observation, interacted positively with them. Concerned, I got up, found a flight attendant, and inquired about the dog.”

According to him, the flight attendant informed him that it was considered a service dog, and there was nothing they could do about it. Additionally, they did not want to take any action during the early stages of the flight. As he observed the dog, he began to doubt whether it was a “legitimate service dog” or perhaps an emotional support animal or a regular pet.


He explained, “The dog had been roaming for a significant amount of time, and I couldn’t identify its owner. Notably, there was nothing on the dog indicating it was a service dog. It approached me, I moved my legs away, but it continued to approach, placing its legs on me and looking up as if expecting me to pet it. In response, I lifted my legs onto my seat.”


Frustrated, he called out, “Could someone please come and collect their dog?” He repeated this request twice. A woman in her 20s eventually came over from about five rows ahead to retrieve the dog. He instructed her to control her dog and keep it in its carrier. However, the woman responded with strong language, telling him to “go away” and accused him of ruining her dog’s enjoyment.

Throughout the flight, a few passengers approached her to express their appreciation for the dog, and each time, she made disparaging remarks about him. Seeking opinions on whether he had been too harsh in his response to the dog, he turned to social media for feedback.

In response, one user commented, “I love dogs, but allowing them to roam freely during a flight seems irresponsible. It also seems unusual for a service dog to behave this way. Those dogs undergo extensive training. Perhaps it was an emotional support dog?”


Another user added, “Service animals are trained to perform specific tasks for disabled handlers. Service animals must be under their handler’s control at all times. I agree it’s unlikely that this was a service animal due to the lack of control and the handler’s failure to manage the dog.”

A third user noted, “Service dogs should typically wear vests and remain close to their owner if they are actively working. While they do get downtime, they should not be wandering unsupervised, just like any other dog. Not everyone has to like dogs, and valid reasons may include not liking dogs, having a dog phobia, allergies, or simply not wanting an unsupervised dog in their personal space.”


Thanks for your SHARES!


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