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Boy Reacts to Dog on Plane

But the trip from Bellingham back home to Phoenix was interrupted by Giovanni's allergic reaction.

"He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over. He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there's dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me," said Fabian.

The allergic reaction delayed take off, and soon the family was told they'd have to deboard.

I've been on a plane w/ a cat before and had my allergies/asthma flare (it was 1 row in front of me).

now too.

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Comments 36

  • Ann Marie

    This is the kind of news report that scares me. First, many allergy sufferers don't need direct contact with an animal to have an attack; animal allergens linger after the pet is gone and even defy cleaning. That's why avoidance is the cornerstone of treatment. Yet the ADA regulations covering the conflicts between allergy sufferers and service animals are based on the assumption that direct contact is the only problem source of the problem. Second, if passengers are applauding the removal of a child with an ADA-recognized disability, some public education is needed! Has the family filed a complaint under the ADA?

  • sazzie

    I am a flight attendant.  My airline never allowed pets until a few years ago.  In the 20 years I flew before we allowed pets and "Emotional Support" animals do you want to know how many working dogs I had on my flights? Three.  Yes.  Three.  And they were working animals for blind people. Now, everyone has a fake doctor's note to bring their Kitty or Doggie on my flight and cause misery for me every flight.  I've had to leave a flight because I had a massive asthma attack due to 2 dirty "Emotional Support" animals.  Could I have used this as an On The Job Injury?  Nope.

  • Shea

    So, I know this post is old, but I was wondering if I would be able to ride on a plane anytime in the future, and came across it, and … now I know I cannot, willnot. This overuse/ huge increase of therapy animals on planes is outrageous. I am done flying. I feel like my son and I are getting kicked out of the world, for people who substitute dogs and pets as family members. This is not healthy, is not good for the high percentage of children and adults with allergies and asthma, and the workers should be protected as well! I just want to say to whoever is in charge: You are either going to have to start giving all people with allergies and asthma disability pay, or you need to change this therapy animal policy/ pet-friendly-everywhere policy, because it is creating more harm than help. Treating your dog like a child or spouse is NOT healthy emotional support . Not being able to go to a grocery store or shopping without pushing your dog in a stroller, is NOT good. That person is not helping themself if that is shat us going ob, they are hiding and scared and grieving and using the pet as a crutch, one that could actually prevent the building and/or healing of a real healthy human family. Getting 25 percent of people on earth with asthma, allergies, and allergic diseases sick on planes, trains, in stores, pharmacies, even in allergy doctors offices… it is insane. I am just so upset, but I am glad I got on disability, but I am not glad my allergies developed chronically into a condition that inflamed my lungs, blood vessels, and heart, gave me a heart attack before I turned 30, nearly killed me and nearly left my infant son orphaned.. I am glad I fought out of that, out of a home where my needs and health were less important than a family members need for dogs and cats, glad I found famuly members who showed I am mkre important than a family pet, glad I fought and took off work to heal and am fighting legally to protect my young son from living with what he is severely allergic to, and glad I fought for disability and had to go to hearing after being rejected at first, because I cannot recover while working in a workforce such as this, and functioning and healing is certainly made more difficult because of this trend. We, as a group with a right yo heal, as human beings, have some serious work to do on getting protection if we ever want to fight this madness for our lives and health and right to breathe and live in the HUMAN society. You want a pet, keep it at your home. You want to get an animal to neuter and treat like a human, so it cannot have a full life, and neither can you, then YOU stay at home, do not make me and my son stay at home, because we are living our lives the right way, we are listening to doctors REAL advice, not getting fake notes for our convenience, so we do not have to pay a dog sitter or deal with chewed furniture, because that is what is going on, and it is ridiculous. 

  • Shea

    Sorry about typos again, I went go edit after I reread, but then I got timed out. I did not mean to say I got workmens compensation, I meant I fought for unemployment comp while trying to find work I could do while recovering, and THAT even went to hearing, but I won because I could not work fulltime with my health and was let go for that reason, THEN after talking with doc goes and assessing my limits, I fought for disability, and eventually won. I had financial and emotional support from my parents while I cared for myself and my son as well. And, after they talked with me, git notes from my doctors, and finally talked themselves to my doctors, my parents/siblings found a home for their dog, so that my sdsdon and I could visit eithout allergy. None of it was easy. I have dealt with milder allergies all my life, and it is just not a hospitable environmernt out there. I read studies of more and more kids with asthma, studies proving classrooms with more pet owners makes asthma worse for non pet owners just from what is carried on other kids and their belongings… The results are worse chronic conditions, worse food allergies with deadly results, more deaths, more medications, more poverty, more national debt, more family problems, more confusion… And more angry people like me hopefully, who can fight to change things. Awareness. Action. Advocacy. Creating asthma a friendly centers and transportations. There are things we can do.

  • Kathy P

    Hugs…it definitely is prevalent. Last flight I was on, there was a couple with a dog. I didn't see anything to identify it as a service dog. It wound up in the same row, across the aisle from us. Ugh. I'm not terribly allergic to dogs, so it didn't bother my allergies. But just seeing the dog had me unsettled because I didn't know if I was going to have an issue. It just set off the fight or flight response. It's hard to always be in that mode.

  • sazzie

    God Bless You All for having the same problems I have. Shea, if you fly Southwest you can ask the ticket agent if any pets are onboard.  Of course, like me, if dander is left from previous flights we'll have problems. So I do what the peanut allergy people do; wipe everything down with hand-wipes.  The seats,  tray tables, lights and air vents. It helps. I think it's so ridiculous pets are in grocery stores, restaurants, everywhere.  It's not fair.

  • Kathy P

    That's a great idea Sazzie about wiping things down! I would not have thought of that! There are also disposable seat covers that some use. I've also heard that fitted crib sheets are the right size to put over the seat too.

    How do you handle things while in the air if there are pets on board? Do you pretreat to avoid a reaction?

  • K8sMom2002

    to Shea and Sazzie … I definitely hear the frustration and the sadness at isolation in your replies.

    I love my pets … but I understand that people and their health are important. Perhaps I'm lucky, but we don't have a lot of "animals everywhere" where I live. It's still a novelty to see a service dog (and they are usually clearly marked) in a store. I hope for the sake of folks in our area who are like you and suffer from severe dander allergies that our public places will continue to be welcoming to folks with allergies.

    Not even counting severe allergies, I'm extremely aware that some folks are deathly afraid of dogs or cats. I would be more than a little nervous about a strange dog in a confined area like a store – and I am usually comfortable around pets. 

    Edited to correct mis-spelling. CRR – 10-03-2016

  • sazzie

    Kathy P: If I fly as a Customer that is exactly what I do; wipe everything down. Like I said, the peanut allergy people do that.  In fact, I've had a LOT of peanut allergy folks on my flights.

    For people like us?  Well, I ask every flight if an animal is coming aboard.  Imagine doing that 5, 6 times a day. We will try to keep the animal in the front of the airplane and I stay in the back.  Sometimes, they sneak by me. I see the carrier and ask if it's a dog or cat. (They get offended, of course). I always carry Chlortrimeton in my pocket just in case.  It's one dog, early in the morning because all my allergy drugs are in my system, I'm usually okay.  Later in the day when they start wearing off (because they last 12-24 hours, right?) and I have a couple of dogs I take a puff from my rescue inhaler.  If any cat comes on board, I try to avoid that aisle and take the med and a puff. I hate that I have to do this, but I've been flying 26 years and I'm only 48. I have 20-25 more years to fly.

    Thank you for your empathy.  I so understand how you feel, Sweetie.

  • Kathy P

    That's awesome that you are able to minimize your exposure while you are working. I would think that could be challenging. 

  • Shea

    I wish they had at least marked sections. Although I am far too allergic to be in the same home even if they kept the cat out of the room, vacuumed, cleaned, mopped… Not gonna be effective. Pet-free planes would be workable, and possibly more economical than one would think, as the problem is widespread. If each Irline had one plane, it'd be full with reservations, and it'd pdrovide a safe place for allergic workers. People would pay more for that service too. (If you ask me, they should have it thgthge other way around, have planes just for petowners… But I'm fine with either option.

  • K8sMom2002

    @sazzie … Shea's comment about at least having pet sections on a plane made me wonder what rules and regulations airlines do have regarding pets. Can you share at least your experience with that? I know each carrier would be different, but I am curious.

  • Ann Marie

    @Shea, I feel the same way you do. The prevalence of animals on flights makes me wonder if I can continue to fly. And it makes my blood boil to see animals getting preferential treatment over humans.

    But I doubt separate sections or even wiping down would help because the dander gets into the plane's upholstery and circulation system.

  • Kathy P

    Nice to see you pop in Ann Marie!

    Interesting ideas about having a separate section or dedicated pet free planes. It kind of reminds me of when they had smoking sections on planes (yes, I AM that old!) The first time I ever flew, it was a transatlantic flight and there was still a smoking section. While the smoke still did filter into the other areas (and yikes for the people in the adjacent row), it did help. And it would probably help for people who had mild to moderate allergies so they wouldn't be sitting right next to the animal.

    Pet dander is "sticky" and does stick everywhere! So, there will be at least low levels all over. 

    I think a dedicated plane would be tricky for the airline – how do you make sure that no one with pet dander on their clothes books a flight on that plane? Now that plane is contaminated. If they restricted bookings to only people with pet allergies, it's unlikely that they would be able to fill the seats. People with mild or even moderate allergies who can manage with other options (like wiping down their area, wearing a respirator, making sure to not touch nose/eyes).

  • K8sMom2002

    I wonder if there is any way to have a better ventilation system on planes that did allow pets? Or if there could be a standard cleaning protocol between flights? That way a person could request (like we used to in the bad old days for restaurants when you had a smoking or non-smoking section) a pet-free plane?

    What are the protocols for cleaning, say, for a peanut allergy? Would the same cleaning protocol help reduce pet dander?

  • Kathy P
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    What are the protocols for cleaning, say, for a peanut allergy? Would the same cleaning protocol help reduce pet dander?

    I don't think there are any. And when planes come in late to the gate and the next flight is waiting, they only do a minimum of cleaning the cabin to turn it around and get people boarded.

    The problem is going to be that this does not affect a high enough of people to make it cost effective. It really sucks being that outlier.

  • K8sMom2002

    Yes, it does.  

    Still, someone somewhere has the solution bubbling away in their brain, and one day, I feel sure, the problem will be addressed. Awareness and good problem-solving will come together in a beautiful way.  

    A girl can dream, no?

  • Shea

    They say that 3 in 10 Americans have allergies to cats and/or dogs. Even more with asthma. If you add food allergies, you have even more. You make this plane cater to all those conditions,  and I think you have a full flight. I think one plane per airline could be economical (may have to be pricier ticket, and then sell empty seats for cheaper to fill up as time got closer to takeoff. Other are afraid or uncomfortable around them. A pet-free aarhma-allergy-friendly plane would not stop people with dander on clothing, but that is minimal compared to actual dogs and cats on board, and a mask would suffice. I have been to movie theatres, for instance, and not broke out from dander on peoples clothes (I dont hug them) . Id prob still wear a mask, but it would make a huge difference. 

  • sazzie
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    What are the protocols for cleaning, say, for a peanut allergy? Would the same cleaning protocol help reduce pet dander?

    ************************************************************************************

    As I said before, with Peanut Allergy flights, depending on how bad the allergy is we take the peanuts off the plane or leave them on and don't pass them out.  We offer pretzels as an alternative, but have to tell the Customer they are processed at a peanut plant so there could be slight dust in the bags.

    It's the Customers that wipe everything down themselves when they board and choose a seat.

    My airlines says they make a lot of money with pets in carriers, but most animals I see are working/support/emotional.  I can't do anything about working dogs, but the support/emo animals are out of control.

  • K8sMom2002

    Wait … are the animals in carriers? 

    Can you tell how long it's been since I've been on a flight??

  • Shea

    *I wanted to edit my last comment, it is 3 in 10 people with allergies are allergic to cats and/or dogs, and 10% of the people are allergic to cats and/or dogs, and 1 in 7 children are allergic to cats. 

    Dander is airborne hours after the pet leaves, cat dander is exceptionally sticky and difficult to remove. There are some anti-allergen sprays and detergents  such as ADMS antiallergenic spray,  that could be a possible cleaning solution for pet free flights or to prevent contact hives. A mask could help with airborne allergens.      especially the HEPA ones, although their are some stylish ones I am going to try out one on Friday for secondhand exposure 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, I thought about you and @sazzie when I saw an … I posted a topic about it so that others could see it as well, but I wanted to link here for you!

  • K8sMom2002

    @Shea and @sazzie, I thought you'd want to know that there's still a comment window open for the .

  • K8sMom2002

    @sazzie, just checking in to see how you are doing … hoping your flying has been asthma-free and trouble-free! Let us know how things are going!

  • Marc

    Is the AAFA actively lobbyingadvocating for asthmatics regarding the pets on planes issue?

  • sazzie

    Thank you all for being so understanding and empathetic to my plight.  We had a rule where only 5 carriers dogs or cats were allowed, but now I've had 5 carriers (they pay like, $95 or so) and emo pets are unlimited.  *sigh* Now the holidays are coming and it will get worst. 

    Someone asked how I was doing on the plane lately and I've been doing okay. Cats come on board I get drugged up and a puff of Combivent. Dogs; depends how many.

    I traveled as a Customer during Thanksgiving and I was feeling okay.  I asked the ticket agent how many animals were on my flight.  She said 2. It's hard to watch during boarding where the carriers are.  Anyway, by the end of my flight I was coughing and I couldn't figure out why my chest was also tight so I used my inhaler.  Guess what: 2 dogs in a carrier right across from me! Ugh!

    I hope you are all doing well and feeling okay!

  • K8sMom2002

    Marc! Yes, AAFA has submitted . 

    Sazzie, that's a bummer on the number of pets and no way to reserve a spot for you that's safer. How are you doing now? Does your doctor advise pre-treating before a flight?

  • Kathy P

    Marc – AAFA is, but the link is not working at the moment.

    Sazzie – that must be frustrating. I had that happen w/ a cat in a carrier many years ago! I couldn't figure out why my eyes were itching and I was coughing. Well, I got to use the lavatory and spotted the cat carrier under the seat 2 rows in front! Ugh!

  • Jen

    Sazzie – Is there any way your airline could find out info about animals on the flight ahead of time?  Do people have to put that info in their ticket reservation?

  • Anne P

    Suzzie, can you get a letter from your doctor stating that you need to have a pet free flight?  It's my understanding that service dogs can't be banned because of pet allergies, but I would think that you could request that no pets be on the same flights. That would eliminate cats from being on the flight (no such thing as a service cat ) and help reduce/eliminate dogs too.

  • Marc

    Here is the link to the masks that I ordered.  I will keep one in my briefcase for emergency need.

  • K8sMom2002

    Marc, do you fly frequently? I don't — not enough to know if advance notice is something that people can ask about or even if you could request/pay extra for a seat in a section that is completely pet free. That would help if you were not so sensitive that the pet dander recirculating in the air filtration would cause problems. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Anne, do you know if the laws regarding service animals change state by state or city by city? Is there a listing of laws that a person could review to see what rights he has when it comes to service animals?