Country Singer Claims American Flight Attendant Harassed Her Over Service Dog
A country music singer says that while she was flying with her service dog for her Type 1 Diabetes on Monday, an American Airlines flight attendant "harassed" her for the entire flight.
Singer RaeLynn was traveling on a flight from Charlotte (CLT) to Salisbury, Maryland (SBY) with her 85-pound German Shepard, Jazz, which helps detect when her blood sugar is running low. During the flight, RaeLynn says that a flight attendant continued to approach her about issues with her dog.
"I did my best to keep (Jazz) there but the flight attendant continued to come to me telling me that I wasn’t being compliant," The 23-year-old singer told Taste of Country. “I probably heard that word five-thousand times. She then accused Jazz of not being trained and not being a service dog, which obviously is not true. The flight attendant was being extremely disrespectful. She talked extremely loud and it was such a small plane."
The flight was operated by a Bombardier Dash 8-300 aircraft, a narrow aircraft that seats 46 passengers in a 2-2 configuration. As the aircraft began its final descent, RaeLynn says the flight attendant informed her the aircraft couldn't land until her dog was fully under the seat.
"There are certain regulations when it comes to service dogs and each airline handles it differently, but this flight attendant was extremely mean and completely disrespectful,” she says. "I have never been asked to put a German Shepherd under a seat this size."
The singer tweeted the incident was the "worst experience" she's had on a flight:
American Airlines apologized and said it was looking into the incident. "We’re sorry that RaeLynn had a bad travel experience with us," the carrier said in a statement to Fox News. "Our team is working to gather more information and facts, and our customer relations team has reached out to her directly. Piedmont Airlines, which operated flight 4831 from Charlotte, N.C. to Salisbury-Ocean City, Md., on April 9, is also reviewing these allegations."
The incident comes among a slew of recent problems of passengers flying with pets and service animals. Some airlines have introduced new restrictions on flying for service animals. As of March 1, Delta requires passengers traveling with service animals to provide additional documents, outlining the need for the service animal as well as proof of the animal’s training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to departure. That decision came after passengers were attempting to fly with nontraditional service animals such as turkeys, ducks and peacocks.