Posts Tagged ‘service dog travel’

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. 

United Airlines offers customers the most comprehensive network of worldwide routes. They also include one-stop or no-stop flights to and from anywhere in the United States. With hubs inside the four largest U.S. cities, it’s no wonder that United Airlines leads the airline industry. If you’re planning on booking a flight, United Airlines is probably one of your options. And if you’re traveling with your service dog, understanding United Airlines’ service, dog policies can simplify your trip.

Traveling with Service Animals on United Airlines

United Airlines welcomes service dogs within their cabin, as long as they perform tasks for a person with a qualified disability. United Airlines defines service animals as animals trained to do work to benefit a qualified person with a disability. The disabilities may include — but are not limited to — psychiatric, intellectual, or physical issues.

People with service dogs may travel with up to two animals. Service animals must be dogs and over four months of age to travel within the airline cabin. 

How to Fly with a Service Dog on United Airlines Make sure that your dog qualifies and is trained to provide a service for your disability. Complete the required document(s) (linked below) for your service animal(s). Submit your completed documents to United Airlines at least 48 hours in advance. If you booked your flight within 48 hours of your departure, provide your completed documents at the airport. Contact United Airlines via the United Accessibility Desk (1-800-228-2744) with any questions. Required Documents 

United asks to complete a few forms before flying with a service animal. The Department of Transportation (DOT) forms are as follows:

U.S. Department of Transportation Air Transportation Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form: The Service Animal Training and Behavior Attestation Form is mandatory for all service animals. The form serves as a customer’s statement that the service dog meets the training and behavioral standards for safety.  U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form (Relief Form): The Relief Attestation Form must be completed for flights that are 8 hours or longer. The form ensures that the handler understands the service dog can relieve themselves in such a way that will not be a health or sanitation hazard to others on the plane.

United Airlines asks that both forms be completed and carried with you. For tickets purchased 48 hours before the flight departure, the completed forms may be presented to the airline agent at the airport. United Airlines welcomes you to contact the United Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744 for questions regarding traveling with your service dog. Please be aware that, depending on your destination, additional documents may be necessary.

Before flying with your service dog on United Airlines, familiarize yourself with their rules and policies. Traveling Information 

When inside the cabin, the service dog should sit on the floor in front of their handler’s feet. To ensure safe aisle access for others, the dog should not protrude into the aisle or block others. Smaller dogs with a kennel must fit United Airlines’ stowage parameters. Service dogs and their handlers are prohibited from sitting in the exit row seats.

United Airlines asks customers flying with service dogs to adhere to the following:

Travel is not allowed within 30 days of a service dog’s rabies vaccination. Service dogs must be under the control of their handler at all times. Service dogs must behave appropriately and follow their handler’s directions.  Service dogs are harnessed or leashed at all times. Travel within an airline cabin to an international destination, Guam, or Hawaii, may require a current copy of the service dog’s vaccination records. United recommends that vaccine copies should be on hand whenever traveling.  Service Dogs in Training 

United Airlines allows dog trainers to bring one service dog in training on board — no charge —, as long as it assists a person with a disability. The service dog in training should not occupy a seat and should meet service dog documentation requirements. If not, handlers and trainers are welcome to check the dogs as pets.

Therapy Animals and Emotional Support Animals on United Airlines 

Only service animals helping a person with a disability may travel in the airline cabin free of charge. Therapy animals, comfort animals, and emotional support animals are not considered service animals. When traveling with these animals, pet-related regulations and costs will apply.

Flying with Pets

If you’re flying with a puppy or kitten as a pet, it must be at least four months old and accompanied by an adult person. The pet must remain in the floor space under the seat in a kennel. If they’re too large for a kennel, they must utilize United Airlines’ PetSafe program.

Documentation for Pets

Anyone traveling with a pet on United within the continental U.S. will need a health certificate along with proof of the last rabies vaccine. Travel is prohibited within 30 days of the rabies vaccine. Some states like Hawaii and other countries require additional documents, and travelers must comply with all pet travel requirements relevant to their destination. 

Flying with United Airlines

As one of America’s premier airlines, United Airlines’ regulations for service animals are generally in line with other major U.S. airlines. Although service dogs are welcome in the cabin of United Airline’s airplanes, people traveling with service dogs should ensure that the correct documents and regulations are met. This makes the journey more enjoyable for both the individual and the service animal.

Although federal laws protect the presence of service animals on airlines, can you take a service dog on an Amtrak train? Short answer: Yes, you can. 

In more detail, Amtrak operates a nationwide rail network through 46 states and three Canadian provinces. It’s rail network accesses 500 destinations and is federally chartered, with the federal government as the majority stockholder. In 2016, 17.8 million trips were made on the NEC rail lines alone. With so many passengers traveling on Amtrak, the company is familiar with the needs of passengers with disabilities and their service dogs.

Amtrak’s Animal Passenger Rules 

Amtrak understands the need for animals to travel with their owners. They’ve established carry-on pet guidelines where animals must remain inside a carrier while in stations and onboard trains (with exceptions on some specific routes). These guidelines apply for the following animals:

Emotional Support Animals (ESA): ESAs give emotional support but are not trained to execute a specific task. Police Dogs: Dogs used for public safety or by the Amtrak Police Department. Search and Rescue Dogs: Dogs specifically trained to serve a general purpose, but not for an individual’s personal use.  Pets: Dogs and cats under 20 kg (including the carrier) are allowed on trips less than 7 hours. Pets are allowed in Coach class only; They are not allowed in First class, Business class, bedrooms, or dining cars.

Service animals do not fall in any of the above categories, and therefore the carry-on pet guidelines do not apply.

Taking your service dog on Amtrak is allowed only if you and your dog qualify. Service Dog Considerations on Amtrak 

Federal laws apply to service animals, which protects their handlers’ right to have their service dog by their side at all times. Because of their importance, service animals are not considered pets. Instead, the fees and general rules that apply to pets don’t apply to service dogs.

Although the service dog is essential to the wellbeing of their handler, service dogs are still animals. To keep both the service dog and other passengers safe, there are specific rules that service dogs and their owners must abide by:

1. Remain on the Floor

Service dogs onboard an Amtrak train must remain on the floor. They can sit or lie under their handler’s seat or at their feet, but they can’t be on a seat, bed, or in the aisle. Trains have tight spaces, keeping the aisles free for others to pass is vital. 

2. Walking a Service Dog

Amtrak trains have scheduled stops with breaks for passengers to change trains or get some fresh air. Service dog owners are welcome to take their dogs out for walks during these stops and re-board at the same time as other passengers. Service dog handlers are responsible for the care of the service dog at all times, which includes any “accidents” the dog may have.

3. Prior Notification 

To ensure that Amtrak can accommodate a service animal, it’s best to make a reservation on their website ( or through their number (1-800-USA-RAIL ). This allows Amtrak to set aside an accessible seat upon request. Amtrak can also provide a list of stops along the route. 

4. Keeping a Controlled Service Dog

Amtrak has everything that could make a passenger comfortable. From onboard dining rooms to private rooms, Amtrak provides a unique experience to make each trip pleasurable. Though service dogs can accompany their handlers throughout the journey, they must remain well-behaved and calm.

Amtrak holds a service dog to the following requirements:

The service dog must be leashed, tethered, or harnessed at all times unless it is contraindicated because of the handler’s disability. The service dog must be under the handler’s control and not pose a disturbance to other passengers. 

If a dog is causing a significant disruption to the environment, such as barking uncontrollably or acting aggressively, an Amtrak employee may ask the handler to remove the dog from the area. In that case, the service dog handler can choose to remain in the area; however, the dog may not be left alone. If there is no one to accept custody, then the handler may resume travel at another time. 

Traveling with a Service Dog on Amtrak

A service dog provides an individual with a disability with more freedom to do the activities they enjoy, including traveling. Amtrak understands the importance of service dogs and is prepared to welcome them aboard their trains. 

When on an Amtrak train, show everyone your service dog is a necessary part of your life with your Service Dog ID. Get your service dog registered now.