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Planning a Dream Vacation

Before I started graduate school, my parents took me and my sister on a dream vacation. During this amazing trip, we visited several historical sites including the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We made memories that will last a lifetime. Do you want to take your family on an unforgettable vacation? Consider hiring a professional travel agent to help you plan the perfect getaway. This individual can help you choose the right location based on your budget, interests, and time frame. On this blog, I hope you will discover the benefits of consulting with a travel agent before going on your next extended trip. Enjoy!

Planning a Dream Vacation

Airport Travel With A Service Dog: What You Need To Know

by Isabella Stanley

Service dogs are used widely to help assist those with disabilities with their routine tasks and to alert others or get help in the case of an emergency. If you are flying with a service dog for the very first time, there are some thing you should know to help your trip go as smoothly as possible. 

1. Make sure your dog qualifies.

You don't want to get to the airport only to be told that your pet must be shipped with the luggage because it is not allowed to board with you as a passenger. Your right to assistance from your service dog is protected by the American with Disabilities Act, but not all support animals are permitted to fly. Your dog will be allowed on the plane with you if:

  • the dog is going to be used in an emergency search and rescue mission. You would need documentation that supports this claim.
  • your dog is a guide dog in training. This means the dog is being trained to act well on flights. However, if the dog has already been trained and is being flown to its new owner (meaning it is not assisting you), it is not permitted to be a passenger.
  • your dog is a certified service animal. Seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs, medical condition alert dogs, or mobility dogs all fall under this category. Unfortunately, emotional support dogs, comfort animals, or therapy dogs do not qualify unless the dog is there to provide service in the case of mental illness. 

If you are unsure whether or not your dog will be allowed on board, contact the airline beforehand to make sure.

2. Arrange for transportation.

Transportation to and from the airport is also a major part of your journey. Many taxi and shuttle companies do not allow animals, even if they are crated. However, because of the ADA, your animal must be allowed. If your taxi driver refuses to offer you service, explain your dog is a service animal and is permitted to ride according to the law. You should expect the dog will ride at your feet, sitting on the floor.

To make things better for you, contact a shuttle or airport transportation service ahead of time letting them know of your special needs and of the dog's presence. They will send a driver who is able to meet your needs. Keep in mind that while you might decide to tip your driver more for helping you, you should never be charged extra because you have a service dog.