Old Feb 21, 2007, 12:31 AM
scuba.hi scuba.hi is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1
Default My letter to AA: Animals in the Cabin

American Airlines
Consumer Relations
Maryanne McCabe-Cipperly
PO Box 619612 MD2400
DFW Airport, TX
(817) 967-2000

Dear Ms. McCabe-Cipperly:

On February 8th, 2007, I flew flt225 from Boston to San Diego. I encountered an issue new to me. A passenger in the row behind me was flying with her pet cat which was placed beneath the seat in front of her. Being allergic to cats you can imagine my surprise and chagrin facing a six hour flight. The typical allergic reactions began immediately, red, itchy eyes, runny nose, etc. Quickly and politely I asked an AA attendant in the rear of the aircraft for assistance. This woman had no name tag, but she was over fifty years of age, short in stature with short grey hair and a cloudy disposition.

Unlike most AA attendants this person lacked basic customer service skills. Being seated toward the rear of the aircraft and having a full flight, I was told to de-plane and to speak with a gate agent. The attendant did not want to use the phone in the rear of the aircraft. As you can imagine with the aircraft boarding there was a mass of humanity in the aisle so de-planing was not an option. When boarding was complete I brought my issue to the attention of the attendants working the front of the aircraft. They were both sympathetic and immediately responsive. They contacted the rear attendant, who in an effort to excuse her lack of effort, informed them I had refused to exchange seats with a passenger in the rear of the plane. What she failed to tell them was the seat offered was directly behind the passenger with the cat. With the aid of the attendants up front and a willing passenger my aisle seat was traded for a middle seat more forward in the cabin.

While this move helped, the flight was still very uncomfortable. Being an animal lover I have no issues with pets. However, I would ask AA to consider a policy preventing them from being in the cabin. Animals, as far as I know, do not pay the same fare as human passengers and should not be allowed to inconvenience paying passengers. After all peanuts have been banned to accommodate those with food allergies. I surmise there are far fewer people with these food allergies than those of us who are allergic to cats.

In addition, if you can recognize the attendants working the front of the aircraft for their customer service it would be appreciated. They truly went out of their way to assist me. As for the attendant in the rear of the aircraft perhaps you can constructively address her issues. Thank you for your assistance with this matter. I hope a change in policy can be affected.


James F. Flynn, Jr.
E-mail: scuba.hi (at) comcast (dot) net
Old Jun 3, 2007, 2:14 AM
rebeccaapril rebeccaapril is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1

i travel with my 5 lb dog all the time. people DO pay for their pets, there is no way i would make my tiny little dog fly cargo that is absurd. next time you fly you should ask your airline if there are any pets booked for that flight. take some allergy medicine and tough it out!
Old Sep 7, 2007, 4:25 PM
AADFW AADFW is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 117
Default Pets In The Cabin


Passengers who bring pets on board the aircraft must pay an outrageous $70 (USD) fee each way for domestic travel, and the pets do not earn frequent flier mileage. American only allows a certain number of pets on board each flight.

Also keep in mind that even if American (or other airlines) instituted a ban on in-cabin pets, service animals would still be allowed on board to comply with Federal law. This includes "emotional assistance" pets (i.e. anyone who has a sympathetic shrink willing to write a letter saying that he/she needs to travel with a dog for emotional/companionship reasons). So it doesn't really make much sense to impose such a ban.

It'd be best to check with AA Central Reservations (1-800-433-7300) before departure to verify if any animals are in your ticketed cabin near where you are seated.

Hope this helps, and good luck!


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