The Rights of Pet Allergy Sufferers when Traveling on Airplanes

Pet AllergiesThis is an interesting article on travelers who are allergic to pets and their rights to comfort when traveling in the cabin of an airplane. Click here to see the article . The author makes a good point about passenger rights when it comes to animals not traveling in a carrier such as service animals or emotional support animals.

The article did not mention the concessions that Air Canada has made for folks that are allergic to pets. This airline address the issue at the time of reservations, not when the aircraft is ready for take off. Air Canada will ban dogs or cats on planes without HEPA filters when a passenger with an allergy to dogs or cats is on board. If the dog is a service animal, priority will be given to the first reservation made. On planes with HEPA filters, a five row buffer zone between a pet and the passenger with allergies will be established in the aircraft.

With the increase of animals traveling in the cabin, those who cannot be exposed to pet allergens should work with the airlines at the time of reservation to ensure they are not seated in close proximity to animals. This is an issue that may surface over time as the airlines try to accommodate those passengers on both sides of the fence.


The Rights of Pet Allergy Sufferers when Traveling on Airplanes — 164 Comments

  1. Allergy sufferers must have a fur free option. Allergies are a very serious health risk… When some allergies kick-up the effects can last for two to three days (ruining your trip), or can place a person in the hospital. My cat allergies will place me in the hospital.
    I once told an attendant (on a transatlantic flight) that I was sitting next to a cat and that I had serious cat allergies. The attendant ridiculed me, and tried to ignore me.
    Surely people can live without their pets for a two hour flight if the health of human beings is involved. Would they take their pet onboard the plain if they thought that it would make their pet sick? A few years ago I found hotels that were smoke free, I will do the same for planes.

  2. I assess 7 large dogs on an airplane is a security risk not only for allergy sufferers but also in general. What if the flight is turbulent and the dogs go bizurk. I recently flew on an airplane with 7 large animals and even the flight crew said this is insanity.

    Good grief.
    I will be raising my concerns to the FAA.

  3. Absolutely..people come first! It’s ridiculous that I can’t find a pet free’s as bad as cigarette smoke for me.

  4. When airlines recognized the danger peanuts posed to people who are allergic, they stopped serving peanuts. What about respiratory danger to people alllergic to animal dander? Pets seem to have priority.

  5. This problem of people bringing animals on flights violates the rights of people with life-threatening asthma, allergies and respiratory disease and prevents us from flying. Animal dander contaminates the entire plane and is a life-threatening hazard. Simply moving the animal to another part of the plane does not protect people with life-threatening asthma, allergies and respiratory disease from dander exposure. The enclosed space functions as a “death trap” of dander for such people. Even if there are no animals on a given flight, the dander remains on all surfaces until they are deep cleaned, top to bottom. There should be designated dander-free flights. There also should be a strict ban on any animals that are not legitimate, trained service animals. Emotional support pets and others pets are not recognized by the ADA and should not be recognized by DOT, either.

  6. H Wms – your inquiry should be directed to the agency that performs security clearances at the airport. In the US, this is the TSA and you can find more information on the processes they follow with screening here and there is also contact information for them: In the US, you can apply for TSA pre-screening, but this does not apply to your luggage. Perhaps the TSA can offer a solution.

  7. I found dog hair on my clothes and suitcases after an extended trip where I flew to multiple locations. I was extremely sick during the entire trip. Coughing, sneezing, using my emergency inhaler in everyone of the hotel rooms. Keep in mind, I washed my clothes at every stop after disinfecting the washer and dryer because I don’t want to fly with dirty laundry. After I returned home I had a severe allergic reaction and discovered dog hair all over my clothes and suitcases. I “believe” it may have come from the dogs that sniff your luggage for illegal substances.
    Does anyone know a way around this. I am willing to take my luggage to the airport days in advance and sit there while they search each article, rejecting anything they deem questionable. I just can’t go thru another 5 week travel session as sick as I was on the last one. Any help is appreciated.

  8. Rudy – this issue is in a state of flux currently. Because they are protected by the American with Disabilities Act, service animals must be accepted at businesses in the US unless conditions are not appropriate for animals. The Department of Transportation is currently reviewing comments on specifications for emotional support animals and the resulting legislation will likely allow air carriers to be more restrictive in the definition of an emotional support animal and in their policies to accept them. As for hotels, they certainly should be responsible to provide for people with allergies and many will use special vaccuums to clean rooms and also restrict animals to certain rooms. If they cannot provide this assurance, then you may want to consider other hotels.

  9. Hello – I am wondering if there is a group of liked minded people who are seriously allergic to pets airlines and hotels. Some hotels claim to be free of pets but allow service dogs. Recently, I have observed no blind people using services animals – but an increase in pets that declared as emotional comfort animal. These animals have no special training. They can be declared by as an emotional comfort animal by almost any health care professional. Real service animals have to have special training. The airlines and hotels can stop this abuse of people who are with allergies and asthma. Remember, the cigarette ban. My question is do we have a group who can lobby for us. Please answer. Thank you. Rudy

  10. Yes! I love animals, BUT I have a severe asthmatic reaction to them! Not only can I not fly due to animals on board, but I also have a hard time finding hotels that don’t allow animals in rooms. I think that the disabilities act totally ignores those of us that are disabled due to life threatening allergies.

  11. It seems that allergy sufferers should have a fur free flight option. I cant breathe, carry an inhaler for those allergic moments with the prescription attached. Is there the question asked, are you allergic to furry animals?

  12. Fantastic web site. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks for your effort!

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