In response to two employees being bitten last week and a passenger being mauled on a plane last year, Delta Airlines has issued a ban on both emotional support dogs and service dogs that are classed as “pit bull type”, to be effective July 10th, 2018.
For differences on service dogs versus support dogs, see our article here: DOGS – PTSD, EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOGS AND SERVICE DOGS. Both animals fly for free on Delta. Both types of dogs will be banned. Delta’s COO stated “The safety and security of Delta people and our customers is always our top priority. We will always review and enhance our policies and procedures to ensure that Delta remains a leader in safety.”
Delta spokesman Ashton Kang said the airline is regulated under the Air Carrier Access Act, which gives them the right to exclude animals that “pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; cause a significant disruption of cabin service or are prohibited from entering a foreign country.”
The announcement also comes on the heels of several incidents regarding defecation and urination by animals on Delta planes, along with complaints from Delta flight attendants of being bitten by pit bulls. According to Delta, there has been an 84 percent increase in such incidents involving emotional support dogs since June 2016. Delta also got some bad publicity when two Boise, Idaho families puppies were allegedly inadvertently flown thousands of miles around the country, and when a Pomeranian named Alejandro died in the cargo hold during a stopover in Detroit earlier this month.
Most Customers are extremely upset, although some are relieved about the ban – many have taken to twitter to express their views.
Some veterans service groups are also concerned that this may impair the pairing of dogs with veterans – since many pit bull mixes are in shelters, they are many that have been put into training as support dogs for veterans.
The ban is one of the latest of a string of animal banning and prohibitions being undertaken by various airlines. In May of this year, United announced their decision to ban several breeds of dogs following the highly publicized death of a dog on board one of its flights. Click here for a summary of United’s ban.
Pit bulls have been the source of much controversy over the years, with many people and cities banning the breed on the belief that they are inherently vicious. Others who own the breed, and many researchers into dog behavior have stated in the alternative that the fault almost always lies with the owners of these dogs and not the breed itself. See our article here summarizing various viewpoints on pit bulls: GOT A ‘MEAN’ DOG? PITTBULLS, ROTTIES, GERMAN SHEPHERDS – THE PSYCHOLOGY OF BREED STEREOTYPES – BREEDING FEAR.
— Daxton’s Friends (@Daxtons_Friends) June 20, 2018
Well, I’ve been flying with my “pit bull type” emotional support animal for 8 years, but @delta has lost my business forever. Every time there is a disruption, it’s an untrained lap dog– but sure, blame the innocents.
— Leslie Ranne (@LeslieRanne) June 21, 2018
Any person or business who believes discrimination is ok is dangerous. Fear based ignorance is shameful. I’ll never fly .@delta again and will encourage others do to the same. No one should trust a company this stupid with their lives. #banignorancenordogshttps://t.co/D8ceoRdnGo
— Rebecca Corry (@TheRebeccaCorry) June 21, 2018
— Chewie (@chewie_the_dawg) June 21, 2018
Dear @Delta ,
My “pit bull type” dog and I think your planes smell bad anyway. Also, any breed is capable of “causing harm” my neighbors chihuahua is particularly vicious.
If this were a golden retriever would you be emplementing the same ban? Hm? A poorly trained Pomeranian!?
— •Tomee Noelle• (@_elleXIII) June 21, 2018
Good for Delta. Delta bans pit bull dogs as service animals https://t.co/woFNqL4Zlm
— Barbara Kay (@BarbaraRKay) June 21, 2018
— einheit (@einheit) June 21, 2018