FLYING NEXT TO FIDO: HOW BUSINESS TRAVELERS COPE
by Cassie Sclafani, on November 13, 2019
Business travelers are experienced frequent flyers and can typically handle any travel curveball with ease. However, in recent years, the allowance of pets and other animals on aircrafts has proliferated, launching even the most experienced flyers into uncharted territory. When you’re traveling for business, you may get seated next to an animal on your flight — and while some animal lovers may have zero problem with this, others may be looking for more information on what to do in this situation.
In recent years, the United States Department of Transportation cracked down on what animals can be on a plane, and clarified what documentation was needed for service animals. Even as recently as August 2019, the United States Department of Transportation further clarified rules limiting what animals can be brought aboard an aircraft. This has worked to stop airplanes from becoming a high-altitude zoo, but the fact remains that some animals will still be allowed in the cabin on flights.
Allergies? You Can Move
This tip is for anyone traveling, not just business travelers. If you unfortunately have been plagued by pet allergies, you do have options. You can ask the flight attendant if you can move your seat, and they will do their best to accommodate you. Preferably, if you notice that an animal will be on your plane, talk to the attendant at the gate before you board. In some cases, you may end up being able to move onto the next flight without issue if your allergies are severe. If you suffer from severe allergies, it may be a good idea to bring documentation of your allergy. This will help the airlines better serve you. Unfortunately for you, the passenger with the animal (in most cases a dog) has the right to be on the flight, and they cannot be forced to move or deplane unless for another reason, such as if the animal misbehaves. Always be kind when making requests — you get more bees with honey.
Flying can be stressful for animals — even trained ones, such as service dogs. Whether you are or aren’t an animal person, it is best to ignore them. Giving them additional attention may result in undue stress or excitement, which can unfortunately result in unwanted behavior. When you’re traveling for business, this shouldn’t be too difficult, as you likely have emails or other work to do while traveling. By ignoring the pet and focusing on yourself and what you need to do, you will likely create a better environment for the animal.
Want to meet them? Ask first.
If you’re an animal lover and end up flying next to a dog or other animal on your next business trip, be sure to ask the animal’s owner before approaching them. The dog may be a service animal, in which case the animal should be wearing a harness that indicates the animal’s status. Remember, those dogs are working, and just as you likely don’t like to be interrupted while you’re doing your job, the dog likely won’t appreciate it either. In those instances, you should not approach the animal. If you are given approval to greet the dog, follow safe guidelines to meeting a strange dog. Especially because you are in a confined space on an airplane which may exacerbate stress and cause an adverse reaction (growling, biting, hissing, etc.).
Hopefully, when you’re scheduled for a corporate travel trip and you end up being seated next to an animal, you’ll be armed with some tips to make your flight as smooth as possible. Remember, a travel management company is always there to guide you through the entire process, offering answers to commonly asked questions and making business travel easy. Interested in learning more? Contact us at AmTrav today!