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Airlines plan new regulations for service animals in-flight




Student guide dog Max, a Golden Retreiver puppy, pulls his handler down the aisle of a plane during their training program March 27, 2004 at New Liberty International airport in New Jersey.
Student guide dog Max, a Golden Retreiver puppy, pulls his handler down the aisle of a plane during their training program March 27, 2004 at New Liberty International airport in New Jersey.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

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The list of plane-approved therapy animals may soon shrink.

Currently, service animals and emotional support animals can fly in-cabin, free of charge. But which animals qualify as support animals is up for debate.

A committee of airline representatives and disabled rights advocates have been working on new rules to define the types of animals to be permitted on planes

Airline reps say too many passengers falsely claim their pets as support animals. They want to limit the list to dogs and miniature horses. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation wants limits for a different set of reasons – mainly, dander, and its subsequent allergy inducing effects.

So should airlines limit the types of service animals allowed on flights? Is there an appropriate compromise to suit both airlines and disabled rights advocates? Or do passengers have a right to fly with their support animals, be they pigs, turkeys or dogs?

Guest: 

Brett Snyder, President of the airline industry blog the Cranky Flier