Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

Sometimes you have to take some time away from home, whether it’s for business or pleasure. If you have a service dog, you can bring your dog with you while you travel. Because Hilton offers so many hotel options, there’s a good chance that you and your service dog may stay at one of their establishments. If so, understanding the Hilton Service Dog Policy can make your stay even more comfortable. 

Hilton Hotels Welcomes Service Dogs

Hilton Hotels boast 575 hotels over six continents worldwide. As a leader in the hotel industry, Hilton Hotels and Resorts sets the benchmark for customer service. With 90 years in the hotel business, Hilton uses its extensive knowledge to provide for all the needs of its clientele — including people with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act Protects Your Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of individuals with disabilities and defines service dogs as animals specifically trained to perform a task for a person with a disability. Under the ADA, a service dog may accompany their handler anywhere the public has access to — including hotels where no pets are allowed. In most circumstances, hotels can legally charge a pet fee or refuse to allow pets into their establishment. Service animals, however, are not pets and are exempt from limitations and additional fees. 

Staying at the Hilton with a Service Dog

Many of Hilton’s hotels and inns have very pet-friendly policies. However, depending on the individual hotel, they have limitations for where pets can go. Pet fees are mandatory for pets to stay. Service dogs, however, do not fall under the hotel’s pet policies and are not subject to the same fees. 

Where a Service Dog Can Go

According to the ADA, service dogs have public access and may accompany their handler wherever the public is allowed. For example, in a hotel, the public is welcome into their dining room, but the kitchen is only open to employees. Therefore, a service dog may accompany their handler into the dining area, but not the hotel’s kitchen. 

Hilton Hotels’ service animal policy will have every service dog feel at home. Alternative Goods and Services

In some cases, it’s not reasonable or possible for a service dog to accompany its handler to a specific area. If the service dog’s presence affects the handler’s ability to use the hotel’s goods and services, the hotel may make accommodations. The hotel may offer to secure the animal in a safe location and offer the assistance of an employee or provide an alternative service. 

However, segregating a person with a service dog from other patrons because of the presence of their service dog is not allowed. 

Fees and Charges for a Service Dog at Hilton

Although pet fees don’t apply to service dogs, the hotel may charge a handler for any destruction of property. The charges would not be classified as a pet cleaning fee. Instead, charges would be priced as per a cleaning or damage fee incurred by any other guest. 

Recognizing a Service Dog

Hilton workers understand the importance of customer privacy. However, a Hilton employee is allowed to ask the following questions to verify a service dog

Is the service dog necessary because of a disability?  What task has the dog been trained to assist with? 

Hilton workers — or any other employee — may not ask a service dog owner to provide proof or have the dog demonstrate the task they perform.

Keep in mind, however, service dog’s laws and regulations may vary from country to country. In Canada, for example, Hilton employees may ask for documentation because Canadian laws allow for that practice. Conversely, in the United States, the ADA prevents people from asking for documentation or proof that a dog is a service dog. 

Care and Control of a Service Dog at a Hilton 

The Hilton is not responsible for the care, feeding, grooming, or toileting of a service dog. The handler must look after the service dog, including have the dog relieve itself in appropriate areas only. 

The service dog must be under the control of its handler at all times. A Hilton employee may ask the handler to remove the animal from an area if the service dog becomes aggressive, growls, barks excessively, attacks, or jumps at other customers or employees. If other patrons are severely allergic to dogs, reasonable efforts are made to meet the needs of all parties. 

Staying at a Hilton Hotel with Your Service Dog 

Although it’s not mandatory, it’s best to let Hilton’s hotel services know that a service dog will accompany you when making a reservation. By doing so, it allows Hilton to make reasonable accommodations and ensure a stress-free stay. All Hilton staff receive training on addressing the needs of people with disabilities, enabling you to enjoy your stay with your service dog at any Hilton Hotel. 

There are a number of people that require the assistance of a service dog. These specialized and highly trained canines provide the person with a disability the right most of us take for granted; to freely participate in all of the activities of life without judgment or discrimination.

However, there are still some establishments, like hotels, that are falling behind on the rights of these individuals. If you or someone you know is disabled and requires the aid of a service dog, the following information is important for you to know.

Can Hotels Charge for a Service Dog?

Under the ADA laws, the hotel cannot charge an extra fee for the service animal as they would another client with a pet. This also means you and your dog will be allowed in the public areas of the hotel, as well as having the right to a floor and room that are not normally designated for people traveling with pets.

What to Expect With Hotels and Service Dogs

When traveling with a service animal, according to the ADA, the hotel staff only has the right to ask you two questions;

Is your dog a service dog? What task(s) does your service dog provide?

If the task is apparent (seeing eye dog, wheelchair-related) the staff has no right to inquire about either the service dog or your disability. When dealing with ignorant hotel staff members, presenting your service dog certification and identification card can help alleviate tension. Remember, the staff members are only employees and may not be properly trained in dealing with service animals in the hotel.

In addition, the hotel staff still has to act according to the rules of conduct the general public should adhere to concerning a service dog. These include;

Not petting the dog Speaking to or teasing the dog No feeding the dog

The staff is also not required to help you perform any of the tasks related to the service dog such as taking it out to relieve itself, feeding, handling etc.

Following the Rules of the Hotel 

Under the ADA, persons with a disability do have a number of rights. However, you will still be expected to follow the rules of the hotel as they are set forth for all their visiting clients.

Your service dog must be under your control at all times, whether this is by the means of a leash, hand gestures or voice control, your dog cannot become unruly. In addition, if your service dog were to damage anything in the hotel room, you are still liable for the cost of those damages.

Hotel Stays with Your Service Dog

Just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you should be stripped of your rights to stay in a hotel with your service dog. Under the ADA, hotels cannot refuse you and your service canine accommodations and they cannot ask you personal questions about your condition or your dog’s certification. If an improperly trained hotel staff member makes any of these mistakes, don’t hesitate to ask for the manager.

Staying at an AirBNB with Your Service Dog

As AirBNB becomes more popular with travelers, people have asked us if service dogs are allowed in AirBNB rentals. AirBNB hosts in the United States must allow service animals if they are renting out the entire home or apartment to an AirBNB guest. AirBNB’s nondiscrimination policy requires hosts to allow all service animals into their home unless local laws restrict access for service animals. Please research your intentional destination before booking an AirBNB with your service dog.

Service Dogs Defined Under the ADA

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was established in 1990 and was put into place as a way to prevent establishments from discriminating against those people with a physical or mental disability, which also includes any companion they may have along for help and support. However, those “companions” began moving away from humans to the animal world and many people used this policy to treat their exotic pets such as reptiles, ferrets, pigs and parrots as “service animals.”

To stop people from taking advantage of the true nature of the ADA, amendments have been made to their policies. These changes state only dogs would be considered a service animal and on March 15th, 2011 those changes became official.

However, under the ADA definition, even the service dog will be scrutinized. Their policies state the dog must be there to directly help the person with a disability. This means the canine aids in areas such as pulling a wheelchair, guiding the person safely, alerting to seizures or medications and other services that are needed for the person’s health and well-being.

Although, under the ADA policy, they also ask that establishments make reasonable modifications to also allow the use of miniature horses as a service animal, as these are becoming more popular over time.