Alaska Airlines, adapting to the realities of air travel in 2018, tightened its policy on emotional support animals this week. These changes come in the wake of poorly trained and disruptive animals, bites, and even tragic pet deaths occurring on flights.
“Most animals cause no problems,” said Ray Prentice, Alaska Airlines director of customer advocacy. “However, over the last few years, we have observed a steady increase in incidents from animals who haven’t been adequately trained to behave in a busy airport setting or on a plane, which has prompted us to strengthen our policy.”
Prentice is unfortunately correct about the issue being a growing problem. And as it only takes the actions of a few people to create a chaotic and/or unsafe environment for everybody, it has to be addressed to prevent further harm to people and animals.
Given how numerous recent headlines have left animal people involuntarily shuddering at the mere word “airline,” it is great to see the drafting of emotional support animal policy that we believe will ultimately be safer, fairer, and more humane. Kudos to Alaska Airlines.