Where Does a Service Dog Sit On An Airplane?
In short: During flights, smaller service dogs are allowed to sit in their handler’s lap while larger service dogs can sit in the foot space. The service dog cannot impinge on another passenger’s space or block the aisle.
Before you fly ✈️ : U.S. travel rules permit service dogs to fly in the cabin if the handler has submitted the DOT’s service animal form to the airline prior to boarding. This allows owners of service dogs and psychiatric service dogs to board airplanes with their canines free of any additional charge.
Alternate accommodations for larger breeds: Many service dogs are larger breeds such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Labradors. These dogs sometimes cannot comfortably fit into the passenger’s foot space. In these situations, the airline should try to move the passenger to another seat in the same class of service where the service dog can be accommodated (for example, next to an empty seat, if available).
Last resort options: If a larger service dog cannot be accommodated on a full flight, airlines can offer to transport the service dog free of charge in cargo (which almost every service dog owner would decline) or rebook the tickets on a later flight if there is space available.
What else to know: Be sure to come prepared to the airport with a harness, leash, or tether. The airline can require the handler to use these items. It’s also a good idea to use service dog accessories like tags, vests, and ID cards so you can let airline staff and other passengers know that you have a service dog.
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