Back in the Saddle: Service-Animal Horse Flies on American Airlines
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Last week, passengers aboard an American Airlines flight from Omaha to Chicago had an unexpected seat neighbor.
Flirty, a miniature horse trained as a guide animal for a woman who is allergic to dogs, was photographed in the cabin and became a social-media sensation. (Helped, no doubt, by having her own Instagram account.)
According to policies from American and the Department of Transportation, trained miniature horses are generally accepted as service animals, although the airline said it permits them to board on a case-by-case basis.
The DOT website says airlines can request documentation related to any service animal’s training, vaccinations or disposition, and may refuse to transport any animal that poses a “direct threat.” But, it also says the Department monitors airlines’ documentation requirements to make sure the carriers are not unfairly restricting passengers from flying with service animals. It also prohibits airlines from requiring advance notice for service-animal carriage.
In Flirty’s case, it looks like she was warmly welcomed aboard and caused no extra commotion on the flight.
Featured photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
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