Posts Tagged ‘service dog policy’

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. 

If you’re traveling with American Airlines with a service dog, you may want to educate yourself on the process. Before boarding, American Airlines — and most other airlines — ask their customers to fill out documents and meet requirements regarding their service dog. Please note that only dogs are accepted as service animals on American Airline flights.

Service Dogs on American Airlines

Fully-trained service dogs and psychiatric service dogs can fly in the cabin of the plane without charge, as long as they meet the airline’s service dog requirements. Team members from the airlines receive training to ask appropriate questions, which helps determine whether a dog is an acceptable service dog for travel. American Airlines defines a service dog as a dog trained to work for an individual with a qualified disability

The disability may be sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or physical. Some examples are: 

Deafness Seizures  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Mobility problems Visual impairments Deafness Seizures Mobility impairments How to Fly with a Service Dog on American Airlines Instructions Read and complete the DOT Service Animal Air Transportation Form Complete the DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form if applicable for your trip Submit your form(s) at least 48 hours before your flight Keep the form(s) with you during your trip

If you’re traveling with a service dog on American Airlines, you’ll need to complete a few forms before your departure. American Airlines asks service dog handlers to read and complete the Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form and, if applicable, the DOT Service Animal Relief Attestation Form. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Air Transportation Form serves as a declaration to the health and training of your dog. The Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Sanitation Form, on the other hand, is typically for flights over 8 hours long. The form is a statement that the dog:

Will not need to relieve itself or Can relieve itself in a way that will not create a health issue for other passengers

Both forms are submitted within 48 hours before the flight.

If the ticket was purchased 48 hours before the flight, service dog handlers may complete the document at the airport’s Special Assistance desk, as long as they appear at the airport ahead of time to finish the forms. For your convenience, you should keep copies of the forms with you throughout the trip.

Get to know American Airlines’ policy on traveling with pets before booking a flight with your service dog. Service Animal Identification 

Although there’s no centralized database in the U.S. for animals, American Airlines keeps its own database of its own service animal travelers. Keeping records simplifies the traveling process for its customers. Once your forms are submitted and approved by American Airlines, the company issues your dog an SVAN ID (service animal identification). This SVAN ID expires a year after being issued (or when the animal’s vaccination expires, whichever comes first), but handlers will not have to resubmit forms for any American Airlines flights during that time period.

Service Dog Fees on American Airlines

American Airlines does not charge any type of fees for service dogs. If your dog does not meet the service dog requirements, you may have to categorize your dog as a pet and pay a pet travel fee.

Behavior and Travel Requirements 

Even for service animals, all airlines have behavioral and travel requirements. American Airlines is no exception. American Airlines requires the following:

The service dog must be leashed, tethered, or harnessed at all times. The service dog must be over the age of 4 months, clean, and well-behaved. The service dog must fit in the handler’s lap, under the seat, or at their handler’s feet.  Kennels must fit under the handler’s seat.  A handler is limited to two service animals. 

A service dog should not:

Block aisles or occupy a seat. Consume food from tray tables. Sit in an exit row. 

If a service animal is too large to adhere to the requirements, the handler may:

Rebook on another flight with more open seats Purchase a ticket for the animal. Check the animal as a pet. Emotional Support as Pets 

If you have an emotional support animal (ESA), know that policies for assistance animals were changed as of January 11, 2021. Since that date, American Airlines ceased to authorize new travel for ESAs. If you’re traveling with an ESA, American Airlines encourages you to transport your ESA, therapy dog, or comfort animal as a pet. 

Keep in mind that the rules for service animals differ from those for pets, ESA, therapy dogs, and comfort animals. If you have a domesticated cat or dog, you may travel with your animal as an in-cabin pet, though extra charges may apply. In-cabin pets are cats or dogs that can fit in a kennel and kept under the seat in the front. American Airlines prohibits Pit Bull breeds in the cabin and does not allow in-cabin pets on flights to and from Hawaii. 

American Airlines and Service Dogs 

If you’re planning on traveling with your service dog, it’s good to prepare beforehand. Completing the appropriate documentation and preparing your service animal prior to the flight will help to make the whole trip smoother.