Come on DOT – Let’s Talk ESAs!

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airplane window

Well it happened again last month – another emotional support animal (ESA) misbehaved on a flight. This isn’t news, as it seems to be the norm these days. Pretty much anyone can go online and purchase “ESA credentials” so they can fly free with their pets. Just google “emotional support animal credentials” and you’ll get a listing of what I call “card mills” that – for a price — provide certificates, vests and other accessories that will allow your dog to accompany you anywhere. Continue reading

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IATA Passes Accessible Air Travel Resolution

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Early last month the The International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved an accessible air travel resolution at their 75th Annual General Meeting in Seoul, South Korea. The resolution calls upon governments to follow IATA’s core principles for accommodating disabled passengers, and hopes to bring the travel sector together with regulators in order to provide consistent air travel access regulations throughout the world. Continue reading

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DOT to Address Emotional Support Animal Issue

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airplane_landing_199029As the result of the passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018, it looks like the Department of Transportation (DOT) is set to address the emotional support animal issue in 2019. Continue reading

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National Corvette Museum Clearly Defines “Service Animal” — Let’s Hope Other Businesses Follow Suit!

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450px-Emmet_Practices_Opening_a_Power_DoorIt’s no secret that we’re seeing an increase in service animals and emotional support animals here in the US. There are many reasons for this, but the “card mills” which sell service animal certifications, leashes and vests on the internet have definitely helped increase the number of pets that now “claim” service animal status. And for what it’s worth – save your money, as no certifications are required in the US; in fact it’s illegal to ask for them. Continue reading

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Remembering Fallen Friends on this ADA Anniversary

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Betsy Volk and Trooper

Betsy Volk and Trooper

Today marks 28 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. And although some folks lament that we still have access problems, I prefer to look at how far we have come on this day. Although accessible travel certainly wasn’t a priority back in the beginning, it has gained momentum over the years. And that’s not just because we don’t institutionalize folks who are disabled any more — it’s also because some hearty souls paved the way “back in the day.” And because they were my friends, I’d like to give credit where credit is due on this ADA anniversary. Continue reading

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Airline Organization Urges DOT to Redefine “Service Animal”

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New Service Animal FAQs from the DOJ

Airlines for America (AIA) — an airline industry group — recently announced that it had submitted a 222-page document to the Department of Transportation (DOT), in response to a call for input on possible revisions to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). The group’s response included the suggestion that the DOT narrow the definition of “service animal” to “trained dogs that perform a task or work for an individual with a disability.” The document also included the recommendation that airlines should not be required to allow emotional support animals (ESOs) on board. Continue reading

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UK Considering New Accessible Air Travel Regs

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airplane_landing_199029On the heels of Frank Gardner’s nearly two-hour wait to be reunited with his wheelchair at Heathrow International Airport, the British government is considering strengthening their almost non-existent accessible air travel regulations. In the US, disabled passengers are entitled to “prompt” deplaning, which according to the Department of Transportation means  “as soon as the rest of the passenger are deplaned”. Unfortunately that’s not the way things work in the UK. Continue reading

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Wheelchair Damage Reporting Regs Delayed – PVA Sues DOT

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airplane_landing_199029Wheelchair damage – or the potential for it – is something that many air travelers face every time they board a plane. And although we can’t totally stop the damage (wouldn’t that be nice?) we can enact regulations regarding how airlines report such damage, so consumers can choose the airline with the best record. Continue reading

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What Does Brexit Mean for Accessible Travel?

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With Britons voting to exit the European Union, I’ve had quite a few questions about what this means for disabled travelers. And although I don’t have a crystal ball, I can see at least one area that might possibly be in line for a change – air travel. Continue reading

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