Weekly ESA News Report Nov 12: ESA Gets Sick on Delta Flight, Passenger Sits In ItReading Time: 2 minutes
The latest emotional support animal mishap has left a bad smell around for a passenger of a Delta flight this week.
The unpleasant encounter for the man who flew on Delta has raised more questions about emotional support animals flying alongside the general public.
On a flight between Atlanta and Miami on November 1st, passenger Matthew Meehan reportedly ended up with dog feces on his pants and shoes after sitting in his allocated seat.
Delta Flight Leaves Passenger ‘Covered in Animal Feces’
Meehan described his condition after noticing the unhygienic mess on his clothes.
Delta airlines commented on the incident with a spokesperson saying that on the flight preceding that which Meehan caught, an emotional support animal had fallen ill. The soiled area was then apparently cleaned by cleaners, though unsatisfactorily, before the Atlanta to Miami flight. However, feces of the animal remained on the seat and the floor in the area where the dog was seated, which also happened to be Meehan’s assigned seat.
Delta offered to rebook the customer another flight; however, he refused the offer. A second cleaning crew was called in to do a further clean up on the aircraft after the crew was alerted to the situation.
The airline also issued a refund to the passenger and offered an apology. Delta says it has offered to compensate Meehan for his ruined suit and shoes.
Airlines like Delta are still trying to work out how to successfully handle the increase of emotional support animals accompanying owners in the sky.
With incidents like this where other passengers are disadvantaged, airlines often go into damage control after the fact. Now, they are tightening their regulations and policies to attempt to avoid such dramas. Delta is one such airline that recently changed its policy in order to only allow passengers to bring dogs and cats as ESAs, and prohibited pit bull type dogs on all flights.
Delta said that it is investigating what happened, in this case, to ensure that it does not happen again. The plane was taken out of service after the flight in order to be deep cleaned and further disinfected.
CertaPet Urges ESA Owners to Be Responsible and Prepared for Anything: No Excuses
Although this event was an unfortunate accident, the rise of ESA related bad behavior has been a more and more common occurrence in recent times. It is generally a requirement at airports that any ESA that is to travel in the air must be under the complete control of their owners at all times. Most airlines reserve the right to refuse flight to any ESA deemed out of control or a danger to others.
We hope that Delta and other airlines will continue to review and refine their policies and practices ensuring that ESA owners, the public and airline crew can have safe and pleasant flights together.
An emotional support animal can provide comfort and companionship to anyone suffering from mental illness or other conditions and it’s unfortunate ESA owners are not cleaning after their assistance animal thus ruining the legitimacy of ESAs in airports.
But if you think an ESA might help you (and can be accountable for one), take our simple free 5-min pre-screening to see if you qualify. If you do, we will put you touch with a licensed mental health professional who can help you get your ESA letter in as little as 48hrs!
Just make sure to be a responsible owner when flying!
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